Previous Research

Pahoa Lava Mapping

On June 27 th , 2014 lava started to flow from Puʻu Oʻo, a vent in the eastern rift zone of Kīlauea, that traveled toward the town of Pāhoa. SDAV assisted local emergency organizations, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and USGS, by providing up-to-date 3D imagery from sUAS and calculated paths of steepest decent to determine where lava might go.
Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Labs

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Wai`opae Coral Health

The Waiʻōpae Tidepools hosts a diverse ecosystem that support rich coral growth and an abundance of juvenile fish that is vulnerable to land based pollution, climate change, and resource exploitation. SDAV is assisting Dr. Takabayashi and Dr. Burns’ long term coral health monitoring project by using high-resolution imagery from to assess coral health.

Maunakea Summit Arthropod Habitat Suitability

SDAV used a suite of remote sensing technologies along with species occurrence data to identify areas of increased habitat suitability for an number of arthropod species present on the Maunakea summit, including the wēkiu bug (Nysius wekiuicola), a former species for listing under the Endangered Species Act. This new habitat knowledge is helping to guide conservation management and future habitat restoration efforts.

Post Iselle Albizia Mapping

Albizia are invasive, fast-growing, trees that can reach 100 feet tall with long, brittle limbs which make them extremely dangerous during severe weather. In August 2014, Tropical Cyclone Iselle left blocked roads, damaged infrastructure and homes without power. SDAV lab collected high-resolution imagery from sUAS to determine damages from the storm, assess future risks, and provide mitigation assessments.

Vegetation Survey of Waipi’o Valley Overlook

SDAV partnered with Pōhāhā I Ka Lani to conduct sUAS flights to map their parcel of land at the Waipiʻo Valley Overlook to provide a unique visual story telling of the transformation of this ʻāina of Koaʻekea into a cultural kīpuka and community space. As Koaʻekea in one aspect refers to the white Koaʻe bird, the indigenous white-tailed tropic bird (Phaethon lepturus dorotheae), these aerial views give the birds eye perspective of the change that will have occurred throughout Pōhāhā I Ka Lani's stewardship of Koaʻekea.
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Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau UAS Survey

We partnered with the National Park Service to conduct sUAS flights over Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, an area with a culturally and historically important stand of palm trees in decline due to a suspected fungal disease. SDAV employed both optical and hyperspectral sensors to identify palm trees with reduced health.

Andong, South Korea, River Experiment

We are collaborating with researchers from South Korea and the US Geological Survey’s Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory to conduct studies of contaminant, dispersion and surface water/groundwater interactions using sUAS hyperspectral data at the River Experiment Center in Andong, South Korea. The facility at Andong is part of the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, affiliated with Seoul National University. More information

2018 Volcanic Eruption Response

SDAV partnered with Hawaii County Civil Defense, USGS and other agencies to monitor and track the eruption from Kilauea volcano that began on May 3rd and ended in August 2018. Using sUAS platforms with cameras that capture imagery in the visible and infrared wavelengths, SDAV monitored lava flows day and night to provide accurate updates for emergency planners. We would like to thank the following organizations and people for their assistance in this endeavor:
Justin Adams, Harrison Andina, Jason Dzurisin, Laura Hart, Einat Lev, Matt Lucas, Michelle Mazzetti, Jon McBride, David Merrick, Robin Murphy, Tracey Niimi, Brennan O’Neil, Jason Ozboldt, Jonathan Price, Roberto Rodriguez, Victor Rasgado, Nathan Stephenson, Michelle Shuey, Nick Turner, Miki Warren, Mark Wasser
Outplant Growth at Keaukaha Military Reservation Native lowland wet forests in Hawaiʻi are disappearing due to aggressive invasive species dominating the forest. SDAV assisted Dr. Rebecca Ostertag (UH Hilo Biology) by developing bare earth digital elevation models and approximating surface roughness to characterize terrain as it relates to outplant growth in experimental plots. This information will be compared to the 'liko nā pilina' database to determine if ʻaʻā lava field roughness effects outplant growth.