Following the Baikal campaign and continuing collaboration with French colleagues from the University of Brest, we came to Reunion Island, more than 9000km from home, to help with hyperspectral data acquisition.
And so it begins:
After a long flight from Paris, we finally arrive to our destination, Saint-Denis. The weather is beautiful, sunny without wind, however quite humid. Tristan gives us a ride to a hotel where the whole team stays. The main area of interest – Le lagon de Saint-Gilles is only 200m far away.
After preparing the drone we rest and enjoy a local Creol band during a nice and warm evening while stil being tired from our long journey.
Next morning we realise we're surrounded by breath taking landscapes. The lagoon we needed to scan is aprox. 300m wide, 0.5-1.5m deep and an unique coral ecosystem.
On the second day we test the drone and do first data acquisition flights once safety is assured. Although the area of interest is relatively small, the flight plans had to be divided into four smaller missions. Although each flight takes about 6 minutes to complete, we needed about an hour to complete our task as setting up the drone and acquisition after each flight was time consuming.
The drone with the VISNX cameras worked great and we got our first hyperspectral images !
Dragos was resting after a successful morning of data acquisition and too little sleep the previous night. Swimming in the lagon was the best reward.
Martin, Nicolas and Touria were hiding from the strong sun in our provisional base camp.
On Tuesday morning, a local TV came to take interviews from all the teams. Dragos was especially enthusiastic while explaining our tech & methodology.
On Wednesday we had another day of successful data acquisiton after which we went to do some special shopping in the south of the island. While driving to St. Pierre from our hotel, we were rewarded with a wonderfully warm sunset against the black volcanic rocks of the island: Our pictures cannot do it justice.