DAISI digital aerial photography system

Environmental studies on large-scale construction projects at sea, especially offshore wind farms, require an airborne survey of birds and marine mammals. For this purpose, IfAÖ in cooperation with the University of Rostock developed a digital aerial imagery system called DAISI (Digital Aerial Imagery System by IfAÖ) for use on board a small aircraft.

At a flight altitude of approx. 700 m (2300 feet), two high-resolution medium format cameras achieve georeferenced digital photos with a ground resolution of 2 cm at a covered strip width of 500 m. In contrast to other systems for airborne detection, an exact location of all detected objects is achieved. The evaluation software for further object analysis was developed in cooperation with Aarhus University (DK) and ensures a high quality standard for image evaluation.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) enables a reliable exclusion of aerial images not containing target objects, so that the subsequent processing effort is greatly reduced. All target objects are identified by experienced ornithologists and marine mammal specialists. The high image resolution allows for reliable species identification and assignment of additional biological parameters such as sex, age, and behavioral categories.

The data are archived in a specially developed database and undergo several plausibility checks. This creates a quality-assured database for the preparation of expert reports and other environmental documents in the context of construction projects and ensures the rapid transfer of data in the required formats.

The DAISI aerial photography system has been used by IfAÖ for years to carry out environmental monitoring in offshore and coastal areas. The above-mentioned values for flight altitude and ground resolution, among others, result from the investigation standards specified by the permitting authorities.
The airborne system is suitable for a variety of other surveys in marine, terrestrial and limnic environments. Parameters such as flight altitude, image resolution and percentage coverage of survey areas can be adapted to the respective requirements.


Martin Laczny
Head of Department

T +49 40 4321390 11