logo CNR-IBE
Close this search box.


Raspberry PI3 Multispectral Low Cost Sensor for UAV based remote sensing case study in south West Niger

Elena Belcore; Marco Piras; Alessandro Pezzoli; Giovanni Massazza; Maurizio Rosso
Published in: Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci.
Date: June 4, 2019


The technology of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is rapidly improving and UAV-integrated sensors have kept up with it, providing more efficient and effective solutions. One of the most sought-after characteristics of on-board sensors is the low costing associated to good quality of the collected data. This paper proposes a very low-cost multiband sensor developed on a Raspberry device and two Raspberry Pi 3 cameras that can be used in photogrammetry from drone applications. The UAV-integrated radiometric sensor and its performance were tested in in two villages of South-west Niger for the detection of temporary surface water bodies (or Ephemeral water bodies): zones of seasonal stagnant water within villages threatening the viability and people’s health. The Raspberry Pi 3 cameras employed were a regular RGB Pi camera 2 (Red, Green, Blue) and a NoIR Pi 3 camera v2 (regular RGB without IR filter) with 8MPX resolution. The cameras were geometrically calibrated and radiometrically tested before the survey in the field. The results of the photogrammetry elaborations were 4 orthophotos (a RGB and NoIRGB orthophoto for each village). The Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) was calculated. The index allowed the localization and the contouring of the temporary surface water bodies present in the villages. The data were checked against the data collected with a Sony (ILCE-5100). Very high correspondence between the different data was detected. Raspberry-based sensors demonstrated to be a valid tool for the data collection in critical areas.