PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (9): 1550-1569.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.09.010

• Industrial Applications of UAV • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in light weight unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing and major industrial applications

GUO Qinghua1,2(), HU Tianyu3,4, LIU Jin3,4, JIN Shichao5, XIAO Qing2,4,6, YANG Guijun7, GAO Xianlian8, XU Qiang9, XIE Pinhua10,11,12, PENG Chigang13, YAN Li14   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Research Center for UAV Application and Control, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Institute of Botany, CAS, Beijing 100093, China
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5. Plant Phenomics Research Centre, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
    6. Aerospace Information Research Institute, CAS, Beijing 100094, China
    7. Beijing Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture / Key Laboratory of Quantitative Remote Sensing in Agriculture of Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100097, China
    8. Investigation Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100714, China
    9. State Key Laboratory of Geohazards Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
    10. Key Laboratory of Environmental Optics and Technology, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
    11. University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
    12. CAS Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Xiamen 361021, Fujian, China
    13. Patrol Operation Center of Guangdong Power Grid Co Ltd, Guangzhou 510600, China
    14. School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2021-01-14 Revised:2021-06-30 Online:2021-09-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFC0500202);National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFC0503905);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31971575);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771388);The Inner Mongolia Science and Technology Plan(2019GG009)


Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a flexible and efficient platform to accurately obtain high-resolution and multi-source remote sensing data in low altitude airspace. It can provide important information for industrial applications and management decisions. With the arrival of the big-data era, both the hardware and software for acquiring and processing UAV remote sensing data stepped into a fast lane. The enormous amount of data has brought unprecedented opportunities and challenges for UAV remote sensing and industrial applications. In this article, we introduced the history and advances in UAV remote sensing hardware development. The UAVs mounted with lightweight, high-precision, standardized, and integrated sensors would be the future direction of UAV remote sensing hardware development. Then, we summarized the current status of applications in agriculture, forestry and prataculture, surveying, geological hazard monitoring and disaster management, electricity sector, and atmospheric monitoring using UAV remote sensing. The integrated UAV remote sensing platforms equipped with multi-sensors are one of the keys for such applications. Finally, we discussed the intelligent UAV hardware, network operation potential, massive data processing capability, automatic information extraction technique, and future directions in UAV remote sensing. The popularization and standardization of UAV remote sensing application in various industries will largely improve and accelerate national and regional social and economic development.

Key words: data fusion, multi-sensor integration, intelligent self-flying, UAV network, deep learning