I found the SWAMP course to be very valuable and a definite success in terms of training and development. SWAMP and the OPTIMISE/EUFAR trainers provided me with expertise in a number of very useful areas. Coming from a background in airborne hardware/platforms and multispectral optical remote sensing my initial reason for applying was to get experience working with hyperspectral imagery, see other unmanned airborne systems and explore the range of hardware used by experts in the field of spectroscopy. I benefited from a number of training opportunities throughout the course:
- I received training with data from the Rikkola hyperspectral imager, and an introduction to the requirements for successfully planning and carrying out an airborne hyperspectral measurement campaign with a UAV.
- I received practical and theoretical training working with the Ocean Optics HR4000 field spectrometer and an important insight into the procedure for developing a sampling strategy, collaborating with gas-chamber teams and working in the vicinity of a flux tower.
- The benefit of a coordinated approach to a spectral information system such as SPECCHIO was amply demonstrated and integrated into the overall scientific plan for the survey. The importance of thoroughly documenting all aspects and providing detailed metadata was reinforced.
- I was introduced to protocol for supporting high-level airborne campaigns and the requirements for synchronising these measurements to reduce errors in subsequent comparisons between datasets.
- I was introduced to a wide network of trainers and trainees from across Europe. These contacts will prove useful for future joint funding applications or potential follow-on projects using data gathered during the SWAMP field and aerial campaigns.
Only one significant difficulty was encountered throughout the course - the weather. This delayed the aerial surveys and lead to subsequent delays with re-fuelling issues, however, this in itself was a valuable example of the difficulties involved when planning and performing an aerial survey, particularly in regions prone to regular or widespread cloud-cover.
The course was very useful and thank you for organising it.
Conor Cahalane, National Centre for Geocomputation, Maynooth University, Ireland