By Amir Hamedpour (Svarmi, Iceland)

Hi, since this is my first blog post I want to introduce myself and talk about all of the things that happened to me during this one year. My name is Amir Hamedpour, I am from a beautiful city in Iran called Tabriz and currently, I am doing my PhD at the Agricultural University of Iceland and I am also an employee at Svarmi (Drone company) in Iceland.

A little bit about my background:

I have completed my Bachelor’s degree in Geomatics Engineering from University of Tabriz in 2017 and also have completed my Master’s degree in Remote Sensing Engineering at the same university in 2019. My master thesis was about extracting buildings and roads automatically using deep learning from satellite images. That you can see the result of implementing my algorithm on a part of Reykjavík city.

My main focus is to connect Artificial Intelligence and Remote Sensing together.

About my PhD and all of the difficulties during Covid-19:

I got admission from Agricultural University of Iceland in Jan 2020 and then got my Visa to come to Iceland. We bought a plane ticket for 31 of March and unfortunately, they started to cancel all of the flights just 10 hours before my flight due to the Covid-19 and I couldn’t go to Moscow to come to Iceland by transit. I remember the day that Tryggvi (My supervisor at Svarmi) was talking with a guy to explain the situation but they didn’t allow me on board. Here is the picture of that horrible day that they didn’t allow me on board!

After that Covid-19 situation became worse and worst and I stuck in Iran for 4 months. Also, my visa expired and again I went through the process of renewing my visa! But finally, we bought another plane ticket for 21 of June and this time I could come to Iceland without any problem!

From the time I arrived in Iceland I did my best to figure out what I am going to do in my PhD and also, I participated in several courses. But because I arrived in June, we didn’t have enough time to fly with drones over the field and take pictures last year. But we prepared ourselves to start soon!

My PhD is about developing of an autonomous UAV application for image-based ecosystem climate response assessment that our main field site is ForHot. During my PhD I will analyze different parameter in grassland from the images to see what is the impact of climate change on that environment.

Unfortunately, my wife couldn’t come with me to Iceland and now it’s about 9 months that we are away from each other, and it is the most difficult thing that I am experiencing nowadays. But she got her visa a few days ago and hopefully, she will arrive to Iceland within 2 or 3 weeks. So, April 2021 is going to be one of the best months in my life since my wife will come to Iceland, we will start to fly over the field with different kinds of drones, the weather is going to be nice and there is a sun in the sky :), and finally, my birthday is also in April!

My experience in Iceland:

My experience in Iceland was amazing. From the time I entered this country, I could see very unique landscape and nature. And I was very lucky that I experienced a few things that usually they happen in Iceland once within 5 or 10 years, like a volcano, and more than thousands of earthquakes per day.

I am looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in the next months and hopefully, I will come back with a lot of good news in the other blog posts.