NOAA
UAS Program

Welcome
to the

Research Areas

Evaluate observing strategies

Address critical data gaps

Facilitate UAS application

Evaluate ship-launched UAS technology and infrastructure

Develop extended visual line of sight operations

Analyze the value of high-altitude observations

Develop UAS CONOPS for conducting pinniped surveys in remote regions

UAS Program Mission

To facilitate UAS applications and utilization

Accelerate transition of UAS capabilities from research to operations

Provide expertise and resources for UAS research and development

Vision: To fully exploit UAS capabilities to meet NOAA’s mission requirements

 


This video highlights UAS efforts conducted by the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center in August 2019. Bogoslof Island is an active volcano that erupted 52 times over the course of 9 months, with the last eruption observed in August 2017. This island is largely inhabited by northern fur seals and this survey offered a unique opportunity to compare ground sampling surveys to estimate pup production and comparing that to aerial images captured with the APH-28 hexacopter mounted with a visual sensor. This work was conducted to support the 2020 UAS Program funded project, Phase II: Advanced sensor system for surveying cryptic marine mammals.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Program Highlights

Drones Are Helping NOAA Scientists To Conduct Research



News

NWS’s Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center Builds a UAS Program

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NWS’s Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center Builds a UAS Program

ARTICLE, FIGURES AND VIDEO PROVIDED BY: JESSICA CHERRY (NWS/APRFC/AESSIC)

The link below provides a video that highlights early successes with UAS applications by the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center (APRFC). The APRFC is funded by the UAS Program to look at the feasibility of using small UAS to map flood inundation, as well as for inspecting towers with meteorological instruments. Alaska’s communities face flood risk from river ice jams, glacial dammed lake outbursts, and rainfall-driven events. So far, UAS show strong potential for helping improve flood forecasts and other decision support products from the National Weather Service.   

https://uas.noaa.gov/portals/5/Videos/Summer_APRFC_Missions_Film_1.mp4

NOAA GLERL Great Lakes UAS Initiative for Harmful Algal Bloom

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NOAA GLERL Great Lakes UAS Initiative for Harmful Algal Bloom

ARTICLE AND FIGURES PROVIDED BY STEVE RUBERG (GLERL)

The NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office empowers researchers and engineers to use drones to aid in key research projects and quickly respond to weather, climate and other environmental events. Combining powerful UAS platforms and smaller sensors, it is feasible to routinely and rapidly detect events such as oil spills and cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs). 

Evaluating New UAS Platform to Conduct High Priority Protected Species Research in Hawaii

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Evaluating New UAS Platform to Conduct High Priority Protected Species Research in Hawaii

ARTICLE AND FIGURES PROVIDED BY JESSICA BOHLANDER (PIFSC)

Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are listed as threatened. All three species use beaches throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago that are remote and difficult to access. This has precluded comprehensive investigations of these species by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Protected Species Division (PSD) in remote areas which has inhibited holistic population evaluations of these priority species.

Assessment of Disturbance to Hawaiian Monk Seals and Birds in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by the APH-22 Hexacopter

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Assessment of Disturbance to Hawaiian Monk Seals and Birds in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by the APH-22 Hexacopter

ARTICLE AND FIGURES PROVIDED BY JESSICA BOHLANDER (PIFSC)

In an effort to determine whether use of a UAS APH-22 hexacopter would cause disturbance to endangered Hawaiian monk seals or seabirds, the team at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program embarked on an exploratory study in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

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