Low-Cost Multispectral Imagery for UAV-based Vegetation Monitoring


This project is to develop a low-cost multispectral camera. I’d want to combine filtered cameras with identical modules below a light diffuser to measure irradiance. Combing the two streams would then allow mapping reflectance based on the filters used. Within the university we should be able to find a chance to try to calibrate and assess this as an alternative to the currently very expensive cameras. This could be combined with the touch screen to output averaged reflectance indices in the image (I hope) and if we work really hard (though will be difficult) to produce images. This plays in with my UAV work, as I’d love to build and test my own low cost multispectral camera (the one I currently use costs £3,600 and is very far from open source…)

The Team


Jonathan Williams, PhD Student, Forest Ecology and Conservation (Coomes) Group
Department of Plant Sciences / University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, University of Cambridge

I’m a PhD student working on image analysis tools, with a Bachelors’ in Maths and a Masters’ in Systems Biology. I plan on working on developing the electronics and software to run the imaging device. I am looking at possible collaborations with a few other projects along a similar vein and have researchers both within (at the Scott Polar Research Institute) and around Cambridge who have suggested they would be keen to work within my project. Some of these also want to learn, and some have previous experience of a similar project and are happy to advise. In summary, I’m still looking for more collaborators and hope to gain some early in the project.

Project Outcomes

Project Report.png

Project Report

Project report and documentation on Github


Project Proposal

Original proposal and application