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Drone photography, geospatial data, and atmospheric simulations: a great mix

23 march, 2023

What do drone photography, geospatial data, and atmospheric simulations all have in common? Believe it or not, they are all the passions and areas of expertise of one of our colleagues here at Quarticle.

Liviu Oana, one of our GIS developers, began his professional career as a research assistant at the West University of Timisoara where he was tasked with using the available computing infrastructure to implement and optimize a numerical weather prediction system (which was used in conjunction with various projects). After this, Liviu worked at the National Weather Administration in Romania, before finding his true calling as part of our GIS team. He is also a member of various severe weather communities and is actively involved on social media.

Shortly after starting his journey at Quarticle, he began to develop a new hobby in aerial/drone photography which involves capturing photogenic weather phenomena using his two drones. Aerial photography of weather phenomena requires prior knowledge of weather forecasting systems, accurate weather prediction, and angle planning, so, in order to help him in the decision-making process and getting those really stunning views, Liviu started to implement weather prediction systems on a local server. Analyzing the weather forecast data is done using a suite of geospatial software (GrADS, QGIS, GDAL), as well as by consulting various weather-related parameters.

“What I love most about drone photography is the unique perspective it offers when capturing weather phenomena. Many weather phenomena are obscured when photographing from the ground (either by the topography or buildings) so, when shooting from high off the ground, weather systems can be seen from up to a hundred kilometers.

Pairing that with my knowledge in meteorology, I know exactly when to fly the drone and what to expect from the photography session. However, the most difficult part is knowing when the storm is too close and being aware of the overall phenomena structure (by analyzing satellite imagery, lightning detection data and radar data) and knowing when to begin landing the drone for maximum risk reduction.” (Liviu Oana, GIS Analyst)

Take a look at some spectacular moments caught on camera in 2022

This blog post is dedicated to World Meteorological Day, celebrated yearly on March 23rd. In order to ensure that future generations can survive and thrive on our planet, we must continue to invest in a unique system of cooperation by constantly sharing rapid scientific and technological advances when it comes to global climate and geospatial information.