Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Aerial and Near-field Remote Sensing

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 4
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen (3-647a71436c6a71316e7831676e)
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Course number: NIGK15002U

Course content

The course teaches fundamental understanding of the use of drones and fixed/mobile camera systems, with relevance for geosciences, for detailed photo-monitoring and 3D modeling of different surface types. We evaluate relevant planning tools for mapping, monitoring of ecosystems, land use and calculation of areas/volumes, both in urban areas and in the open landscape. The course will provide a theoretical and practical understanding of the above topics through lectures, exercises and field work.


Learning outcome


Emphasis will be put in understanding the theory of photogrammetry, the organisation of flight campaigns with drones, camera setup and sensor calibration. Moreover, the course will provide thorough knowledge of related software used for post-processing of the collected data.



Students can expect to obtain an understanding of the following topics

- Opportunities and challenges with Arial and Near-field Remote Sensing in geosciences

- Selection of camerasystems for various spatio-temporal monitoring

- Planning of UAV-flights: purpose, weather conditions, coverage area, legislation etc.

- UAV (helicopter/fixed-wing) versus fixed camera setups - pros and cons

- Digital cameras spectral response functions and geometry, including wide/narrow angle, possibilities and limitations.

- Planning of and software for flight control and camera control

- Planning of and software for camera control of fixed or mobile setups

- Camera orientation and use of relative and absolute control points in terrain

- Processing of point cloud data from Structure from motion and aerotriangulation for generating digital elevation models and ortho photos

- Understanding Thermal Imagers - the uses and limitations

- Involvement of experience from practice


The course has an objective to make use of the relevant techniques in both natural and social aspects of the landscape. Obtained competences are consequently the competences to evaluate, criticise and compose a project based on aerial and/or near-field remotely sensed data. This is achieved by integrating theoretical and applied understanding of used methods, project- and mission planning as well as image processing of both spatial and time-lapse data.

Recommended prerequisites

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent

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MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a Minor Subject


Study Board of Geosciences and Management

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Andreas Westergaard Nielsen
Birger Ulf Hansen


1 block


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Teaching and learning methods

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures and field trips. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.






Please see Absalon course page


Category Hours
Theory exercises 35
Project work 35
Preparation 136
English 206


Type of assessment

Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome.

Censorship form

No external censorship
Several internal examiners.


Resubmission of written assignment, 20 minutes oral examination. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.

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