Potential Reclamation Applications of the Gasoline Microair Vehicle (gMAV)

Project ID: 5063
Principal Investigator: Jade Soddell
Research Topic: Water Resource Data Analysis
Funded Fiscal Years: 2012
Keywords: data analysis, unmanned aerial system, vehicles, remote sensing, micro air vehicle, gmav

Research Question

What are the potential Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) applications of the gMAV? Is the gMAV a remote sensing platform that may improve Reclamation remote sensing capabilities, and is it a cost-effective alternative?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were originally developed by the defense forces and first used around WWII. They have been significantly developed in recent years with varying sizes, ranges, and payload capabilities (e.g., Micro Air Vehicles such as the gMAV to the large-scale military UAVs such as the Global Hawk). UAV costs can range from thousands of dollars to millions, excluding maintenance and operating costs. As only a small payload is likely needed for Reclamation purposes, a smaller UAV such as the gMAV may be an economical and beneficial addition to Reclamation's current remote sensing capabilities. There is the potential to use a UAV - such as the gMAV - in all four research and development categories identified in the fiscal year 2012 call for proposals. This project will identify current gMAV payload capabilities (e.g., imaging systems) and help to determine how these payload capabilities can assist in data collection for Reclamation activities.

Need and Benefit

There may be gaps is acquiring remotely sensed data for use by Reclamation particularly in the isolated and scarcely populated environments in which many Reclamation dams are located. UAVs may provide the opportunity to fill some of those gaps and, in some cases, may offer a more cost-effective alternative to obtaining certain information.

The gMAV's unique vertical launch and land capabilities and the ability to hover and persistent stare may provide unique and innovative solutions to Reclamation needs, particularly when it comes to small area photogrammetric projects, damage assessments, and dam inspections.

This project may lay the groundwork for the use of the gMAV for specific Reclamation applications, which ultimately should be of benefit to Reclamation water and power facility managers and stakeholders.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Potential Reclamation Applications of the T-Hawk - A gasoline Micro Air Vehicle: A Guide for Potential Reclamation UAS Users (final, PDF, 4.7MB)
By Jade Soddell
Report completed on March 01, 2013

This document includes information to guide to potential Reclamation Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) users, identifies potential Reclamation applications of the T-Hawk (a gasoline Micro Air Vehicle), provides recommendations for future Reclamation (UAS) research, discusses policies and procedures relating to the use of UAS by Reclamation, and highlights other potential UAS and UAS payloads suitable for Reclamation applications.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20