Unmanned Aerial Systems for Energy Infrastructure Assessment

  • Tony H. Grubesic
  • Jake R. Nelson


As access to remotely sensed imagery increases, researchers and practitioners continue to leverage these data for improving models of the built environment. Recent work illustrates the benefits of remotely sensed data, including their flexibility for extracting urban features such as buildings, vegetation, critical infrastructure, and their use in creating digital surface models. This combination of data and modeling provides important geospatial intelligence to urban planners, engineers, and other stakeholders who are looking to build smarter, more efficient, and sustainable cities. As calls for the use of clean, renewable energy increases, the ability to locate, build, maintain, and evaluate energy infrastructure grows. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of how small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) provide a low-cost and flexible way to collect high-resolution data for energy planning applications. A case study for residential solar energy audits in Phoenix, Arizona highlights the benefits of using sUAS in energy planning, infrastructure development, and maintenance.


Energy Solar Inspection Point cloud Radiation Slope Aspect 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony H. Grubesic
    • 1
  • Jake R. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Geoinformatics and Policy Analytics Lab (GPAL), School of InformationUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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