UAS Data Collection at Reclamation Sites

Project ID: 7104
Principal Investigator: Matthew Klein
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017, 2018 and 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can UAS be used to perform data collection tasks at Reclamation more efficiently and safer than standard methods?

Need and Benefit

Need: Data collection requires significant resources. There is a need throughout Reclamation to increase data quality while reducing costs in order to manage and maintain its facilities. Major areas where the improvement to data collection methods using UAS include condition assessment and inspections, geologic mapping and monitoring and geographic information.
Benefit: Utilization of UAS for data collection will help reduce the costs associated with data collection, improve the data quality and increase safety. It is estimated that by using UAS to transfer the data collection sensor from slow and restrictive ground based control to the more fluid and spatially unrestrained platform, data collection times can be reduced by between 50 to 75%. Data collection quality is improved by positioning the sensor in the exact position required and by the ability to access features that are nearly impossible for human entry without specialized equipment and procedures. Using UAS to collect data for these types of features greatly improves safety.
Other costs savings include:
Significantly better data and much cheaper than many traditional survey and condition assessment mapping tools. Substantially less expensive aerial photography, LiDAR, IFSAR, etc. data collection than using manned aircraft.
Reduction in the need for staff on climbing ropes in dangerous environments.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17