When a COST Action on the harmonisation of UAS techniques for agricultural and natural ecosystems monitoring (HARMONIOUS) started in October 2017, Goran Tmušić of the University of Novi Sad’s Department of Biology and Ecology decided to seize the opportunity. From an initial e-mail to the Action Chair, his involvement quickly developed into a role at the heart of the Action. Participation in a training school in September 2018 was a first milestone in this journey, Tmušić notes.
The course, held in Reykjavik, brought together 18 trainees and 8 experts from around Europe for a full week of activities dedicated to UAS techniques for the acquisition and pre-processing of data. Along with a theoretical introduction to the monitoring of vegetation and soil, it provided opportunities to gain practical experience through field experiments.
“The training school showed me how much there was to learn,” he says. “To use this tool correctly, you need to be familiar with many things I knew nothing about. I am a botanist, and I found myself dealing with drones using different types of sensors, different global navigation systems, etc.”
His curiosity piqued, Tmušić set out to address the gaps in his understanding. During a short-term scientific mission to Italy in February 2019, he conducted a review of literature on the technology’s use in vegetation surveys to produce an initial protocol. On the strength of this, he was invited to contribute to developing a first HARMONIOUS guideline on UAS in environmental monitoring.
As of December 2019, the paper – listing him as first author – is nearing completion. It will provide a framework for subsequent guidelines to be produced by HARMONIOUS, which will adapt the general recommendations to specific fields of study.
This Article is an extract taken from the success stories reported on Annual Report by COST