International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium

In 2021 a joint initiative of Belgium and The Netherlands

Summer School Programme

We were very pleased to have received 85 high-quality applications and are looking forward to organize a successful three-day summer school where data collection campaign, technical lessons, demo by service and drone providers and hands-on exercises will be combined.

Unfortunately, we feel obliged to postpone our event. The safety and well-being of our participants is our priority and with the continued resurgence of COVID-19 we are not able to organize the summer school as we have foreseen and communicated to all of you. We therefore decided to postpone the IGARSS 2021 Summer School till September 8-10, 2021. All applicants will be informed by email and will be able to re-subscribe or cancel their submission.

IGARSS 2021 Summer School

In the frame of IGARSS 2021 a three-day summer school will be organized from 8-10 September, 2021. The summer school will be dedicated to drone based remote sensing and will include a very practical training where data collection campaign, technical lessons, demo by service and drone providers and hands-on exercises will be combined.

If you are a young researcher, entrepreneur or student who has interest in drone based remote sensing technology, this programme is for you.

The summer school will take place at DronePort. A unique campus and training site dedicated to drones.

Experts from VITO Remote Sensing and the CISS of the Royal Military Academy and the University of Ghent in Belgium will provide the training and will help you to get started with drone-based remote sensing. Specifically, the following insights will be provided:

  • Overview of drone technology – platforms & sensors;
  • Integration and calibration of sensors;
  • Preparation and organisation of a measurement campaign;
  • Collection using active and passive imaging;
  • Collection of ground trothing data;
  • Validation of image quality;
  • Extraction of information from raw data and advanced image processing;
  • Software needed;
  • And many more...

Important Dates

Start Registration23 January 2021
Registration Deadline23 April 2021
Notification of Acceptance16 June 2021
Deadline hotel bookingTBD
Summer school8-10 September 2021


An updated programme will be published soon.

Location: Droneport

09:00 - 09:30

Registration and Welcome

09:30 - 12:30

Introduction and session 1

Theory session 1: Platforms

  • Drone (type, structure, integration, main units)
  • Georeferencing (structure from motion vs direct georeferencing)
  • Data streaming (methods, data extraction, ...)

Hands-on session 1: Data acquisition

  • Overview different ground control software
  • Different steps in the process of making a flight planning (step-by-step explanation)

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 – 17:00

Demo 1: Demonstration of different drone systems

  • Fixed wing drone
  • VTOL (virtual take-off and landing)
  • Multicopter drone
  • RTK drones
  • Direct georeferencing setups

Demo 2: Mission planning, calibration and quality check

  • Drone data acquisition (preparation, planning, flight, quality checking)
  • Preparation + GCPs
  • Mission Planning
  • Flight
  • Checking of image quality

For this demo session, the group will be split up into several smaller teams, each which are assigned a drone pilot to. Each team can collect data for different use cases (phenotyping, precision agriculture, forestry,...)

17:00 - 19:00


Location: Droneport

09:00 – 12:30

Theory session 2: Sensors and imaging data

  • Sensors types, sensors data, applications > passive systems
  • Sensors types, sensors data, applications > active systems
  • Sensors integration in the platform;
  • Image streaming, pre-processing and processing steps

Demo 3: Demonstration of different camera setups

  • RGB and Multispectral camera
  • Hyperspectral camera
  • Thermal camera
  • Lidar scanner

Hands-on 2: Data processing >> VITO

  • Student applies theory to process the data of previous collected data.
  • How do processing pipelines change with these different setups?
    • compare accuracy between RTK drone vs GCP solution vs direct georeferencing
    • Calculate number of flights to cover 1km2 with fixed wing vs multicopter
  • Discussion on different results between the groups

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 – 17:00

Theory session 3: Ground truth measurements

  • Geo positioning – methods and GPS/GNSS
  • Spectral calibration – methods and spectrometer
  • Light and atmosphere – methods and calibration

Guest lecture by Airobot

Demo 4: Calibration and Ground truthing

  • Scene description
  • Geo-positioning
  • Spectral calibration
  • Light and atmosphere

Hands on 3: Modus Operandi – drone-based campaign

Location: Droneport

09:00 - 17:00

Hands on 4: Validation of materials, description, calibration

Demo 5: Field campaign (a field nearby Droneport)

  • Data collection of VHR RGB, TIR and hyperspectral data over urban and agriculture areas using Fixed wing Drone and multicopter. Collection of ground truth data. Organised in 2 teams

A small lunch will be provided on the field as well

Hands on 5: Data handling and Summary (back at Droneport)

  • Data distribution
  • Archiving of the data
  • Summary
  • Wrap up
Royal Military Academy, Brussels
vito remote sensing
University of Ghent
IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society