Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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AIR ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 36 unmanned systems inside   October/November 2017 go after the one person who's being the bad guy instead of penalizing everyone." Cahill is also the director of the Alaska Center for UAS Integration (ACUASI). Drones the center have developed or used include: The Ptarmigan, a 31.5-inch-long single-op- erator hexarotor drone designed to operate for up to about 18 minutes carrying up to 1.5 kilo- grams of payload including instruments such as the FLIR Vue Pro infrared camera; a pair of Sony NEX 7 digital cameras for stereoptic imaging; a single fixed Sony NEX 7 camera mounted to a high-precision NovAtel GPS that notes the exact location of when each image is taken for survey-grade mapping and 3-D ter- rain modeling; and a GoPro Hero 3 Silver for high-speed video. The Responder, a 75-inch-long two-operator single-rotor drone able to carry up to 3 kilo- grams of payload for up to 35 minutes. This aircraft is capable of fully autonomous f lights from takeoff to landing, including everything to do with navigation and f lying of the aircraft as well as payload commands and heading changes for payload alignment. Flight routes can be updated on the f ly, resumed and started at any place as well as saved and retrieved for later, repeatable f lights. The ScanEagle, a roughly 10-foot wingspan fixed-wing drone designed to carry up to 3.3 kilograms of payload for up to 18 hours. The ScanEagle requires one operator to pilot and manage the aircraft and payload and two ad- ditional crew members for ground operations. The ScanEagle does not need a runway and so may be launched or recovered in a land or maritime environment. Sensors that Cahill and her colleagues equip these drones with include optical par- ticle counters to measure particulate matter, as well as gas sensors for nitrogen oxide and other compounds. "We can use a long-endur- ance aircraft like ScanEagle to circle over a fire for 18 hours and measure what's coming off it and how it evolves over time, which helps refine models of plumes of smoke that can be hazardous to people's health," Cahill said. "We can see what kind of smoke we're getting and model where it's going and what its potential health impact might be." Photos courtesy of UAF Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI). The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska Center for UAS Integration (ACUASI) used three types of drones in its air pollution studies. Responder ScanEagle Ptarmigan

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