Marshall slideshow on UAS

"We are not darkening the skies yet, but we are
poised." — Richard Christiansen, vice-president of
NASA contractor Sierra Lobo Inc.
UAS coming home
UAS at war: attack and reconnaissance
Hand-launching an Aerovironment RQ11B Raven. The Raven has a range of 6.2
miles, endurance of 60-90 minutes and
carries color and infrared cameras.
General Atomics Predator B (Reaper) firing a
Hellfire missile. First deployed in 2007, the
Predator B has a range of 1,150 miles, a
maximum altitude of 50,000 feet, and a
payload of 3,850 pounds.
From large to small…
AeroVironment’s Nano
Hummingbird (in development)
has a wingspan of 6.5 inches and
weighs 0.67 ounces.
The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global
Hawk has a wingspan of 130.9 feet,
weighs 32,250 lbs. and can fly over
14,000 miles at an altitude of 60,000 feet.
Advantages of UAS
• UAS allow missions to be conducted without putting human
pilots at risk.
• UAS use less than 20 percent of the fuel used by a manned
• UAS are more environmentally friendly because they
require fewer materials to build and are easier to dispose
• UAS make less noise in flight.
Advantages of UAS
• UAS can fly safely at very low altitude, allowing for precise
measurements or application of fertilizer or other materials.
• UAS can fly repeated missions in adverse weather
conditions for up to 30 hours at a time.
• UAS can be programmed to fly precise flight paths,
allowing the use of multiple devices for more rapid mission
Potential domestic commercial uses
Oil and mineral
Crop analysis
Pipeline surveillance
• Uses infrared cameras to scan
pipelines for temperature
• Modular sensors can also detect
radiation, gas and chemical leaks.
• Data can be recorded or
transmitted in real time.
• UAVs cost under $100,000.
Manned helicopter rates are
about $3,000 per hour.
The Aeryon Scout weighs 2.7 lbs., and can fly
in wind gusts of up to 50 mph. It can be
airborne for 25 minutes at a time. Mapbased operation allows out-of-sight flights.
Targeted crop spraying
• Uses less chemicals than ground spraying
or manned aircraft.
• Operates at 10 percent the cost of a
manned helicopter.
• Effective with uneven terrain.
• Limits human exposure to chemicals.
• Currently 2,500 operators in Japan.
• Being tested at U.C. Davis.
Yamaha’s easy-to-pilot RMAX flies for an
hour at a time, spraying liquid or granular
chemicals. Priced from $86,000-$1 million.
Crop analysis
• Multispectral cameras are used to
gather data reflecting the health of
• UAS can conduct operations less
expensively than manned aircraft
and satellites.
• Unlike satellites, UAS can be
deployed on demand and
operations will not be affected by
cloud cover.
• When data is combined with soil
testing and field scouting, crop
prescriptions can be generated
• Infestations and disease outbreaks
can be detected early through
Oil and mineral exploration
Lidar, high-resolution cameras,
multispectral sensors and magnetometers
are being used to perform a variety of
geodetic surveys for oil and mineral
• Aerial photography at project/prospect
• High resolution digital elevation models
at project scale and for integration into
3D GIS models.
• Multispectral/hyperspectral scanning for
regolith and mineral mapping.
The K-MAX a joint project of
Lockheed Martin and Kaman
Aircraft, is the Marine Corp’s first
unmanned helicopter designed
for resupplying troops in remote
First deployed in December 2011, the K-Max has conducted
hundreds of operations. The vehicle can carry a payload of 6,000
pounds at sea level and can optionally be flown by a human pilot.
Estimated price: $5.1 million
Payload: 6,000 lbs. at sea level
Range: 1,152 miles
Can optionally be flown by human
Growing array of sensors appropriate for
• High-resolution digital cameras
• Infrared and thermal imaging cameras
• Hyper-spectral imaging systems
• Lidar (light/radar)
• Cesium or potassium magnetometers for magnetic
• Quantum cascade lasers for ethane detection
• Miniature synthetic-aperture radar (SAR)
• In 2012, Congress passed legislation calling
on the FAA to write rules by 2015 that would
govern the commercial operation of drones.
• The agency in 2009 created a Unmanned
Aircraft Program Office.
• Once a regulatory framework is in place, the
FAA estimates, 7,500 commercial drones will
be viable within five years.
• Current FAA regulations offer two avenues
for approval for UAV operations.
FAA Certificate of Authorization
• Operators can obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for public
aircraft, which are those that are owned by the U.S. government or a
• Routine operation of UAVs over densely populated areas is prohibited.
• Most COAs require coordination with an air traffic control facility.
• The FAA may require an active transponder on the aircraft if it operates in
certain types of airspace.
• An observer on the ground or in an accompanying chase plane must
maintain visual contact with the UAV.
• There were 327 COAs active as of Feb. 15, 2013.
FAA test site applications
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
requires the agency to select six UAS test sites to
study the safety of UAS and certify commercial
drones for use in the national airspace. The FAA
is expected to name its selection of six test sites
in December 2013.
In Washington state, a coalition of agencies and
organizations is bidding to create the Pacific
Northwest Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center at
the Grant County International Airport near Moses
The state coalition bidding for testing is led by the
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at Richland
and Innovate Washington, the state agency that
promotes technology innovation.
Sense and avoid
• A key to wider deployment of UAS is the implementation of reliable
and affordable sense-and-avoid systems.
• Untethering UAS from line-of-sight operations would greatly expand
the potential uses of UAS.
• Basic technologies are already available, as has been demonstrated
by programs such as the European MIDCAS, which uses electrooptical, infrared and radar sensors.
Sense and avoid
MIDCAS is a four-year, $65 million project
that is expected by 2014 to deliver an
automated sense-and-avoid system that
will not depend on transponders. While it is
being designed to integrate ADS-B,
MIDCAS also includes two visible band
electro-optical cameras and one infrared
camera for aircraft to use in identifying
other aircraft. In addition, the team's
developers are designing imageprocessing algorithms, processing units and
integration with on-board avionics.
Sense and avoid
Engineering challenges remain – to bring the
equipment down in size and weight to be
feasible for UAS of all sizes.
Secure sense-and-avoid systems will rely on
ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillancebroadcast) transponders, which not only
broadcast aircraft location in real time, they
also deliver information on altitude and
Sagetech ADS-B transponders measure
just 3.5” x 1.8” x 0.7” and weigh only 3.5
The FAA will be requiring the majority of aircraft
operating in U.S. airspace to be equipped with
ADS-B by January 1, 2020.
The emerging markets
• AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) has
estimated the industry could contribute more than $80 billion to the U.S.
economy over a decade.
• It's not too soon for potential operators to begin preparing for operations.
• Identifying potential applications and matching potential applications to
• Keeping up with rapidly changing technologies. New sensors mean new
• Changing price points change potential applications.
• One link in the chain of big data integrated through GIS.
Patrick Marshall
[email protected]
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