In 2013 we formalised our donations of aerial photography equipment by setting up the Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme. Our initial donations, starting in 2009, consisted mainly of cameras with poles. Our aim has been to introduce students of all ages, primary school to PhD, and local archaeology and other groups, to aerial photography. We have donated well over 200 KAP kits.
The Scheme originally found more success in Ireland than in Scotland!
Since the beginning of the Scheme much has changed. The price of small action cameras with 12MP Sony sensors has fallen below £30 (flown on a simple selfie stick) and thermal imagers below £200. These new Flir One imagers do not require any special form of stabilisation and can be flown on a selfie stick.
What do you need in order to do kite aerial thermography and how much does it cost?
Total cost is ~£360-£465, depending on the choice of kite.
I use a 32GB, Octa Core, Leagoo Elite One phone (~£100)
Flir One imager (~£200)
Kite and Line (£45-£140 each, I use a range of kites, but mainly a cheap 2.6m delta)
Lockable-section selfie stick construct (~£15-£20)
And, for when working alone, a dog ground stake for anchoring the line during take off and landing (~£1-£5).
The stick is fully extended in flight.
We fly from the near UV to the thermal infra-red. The next step will be LiDAR, when the cheaper systems come through. We use KARS before any other technique (like geophysical ones) on sites of archaeological interest as it is quick and easy. The timing of a visit is critical and best suited to archaeology groups who can access their local sites when conditions are appropriate. This is especially true for thermal imaging.
We have a Facebook page on kite aerial remote sensing.