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Calgary researchers using high-tech drones to map Alberta First Nation – CBC

Jan 08, 2024

Maps will help Frog Lake First Nation monitor environment and manage wildfire risk, says team

Researchers and students at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are using sophisticated drones to digitally map Frog Lake First Nation.

The nation, about 260 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, has relied on paper and low-resolution digital maps that no longer represent the community, according to the research team.

“Maps are incredibly dynamic. They change quite often,” said Wade Hawkins, research chair with SAIT’s Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems.

“When you start to look at the quality of data that you can get and the accuracy using drone technology, it just adds a huge, huge amount of value.”

To chart intricate details, researchers are using thermal cameras, which detect heat, and drones that shoot laser beams to the ground to measure elevation, said Hawkins.

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