Its Cloudy in Badu – Jan 2020

One of the biggest challenges in capturing aerial imagery is the presence of clouds, either between the aircraft and the ground or clouds casting shadows on the ground. In most cases our survey crew will wait until the skies are clear, but Badu Island presented an interesting challenge. Located north of Queensland and part of the Torres Strait Island Region, Badu islands are more often that not covered by clouds. It took our flight crew weeks of standby time and multiple flights to find partly clear days for aerial image capture.

Unable to get a complete a survey flight with no clouds, the island was flown several  times searching for the elusive clear skies.

This approach proved to be moderately successful, but it took significant time to select the best cloud free images from  each flight and use these to generate an image mosaic. That’s where our enthusiastic photogrammetry team demonstrated their expertise.

In the following image you can see our initial mosaic with no manual adjustments applied.

After editing to the cloud cover and shadows are significantly reduced.

Even though some shadows and some clouds remain, the image has improved dramatically, and Badu Island can be now be used for mapping.