Investigating the Capabilities of the UAV-Predator for Reclamation Infrastructure O&M

Project ID: 9059
Principal Investigator: Alan Bell
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can access to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) named Predator, and it's acquired remotely sensed data, be used successfully by Reclamation employees to investigate,monitor, or map Reclamation facilities and infrastructure on either a routine or as needed basis?

Need and Benefit

Current applications within Reclamation for the Predator and its sensor package may include SSLE and the O&M program. The thermal infrared sensor in particular may prove useful for monitoring and surveillance activities around our facilities and infrastruture; canals, powerplants, switchyards, and even the dams themselves all come to mind. The SAR sensor may be useful for investigating subsidence or creating elevation data. Our interaction with OAM, other DOI Bureaus, and even the Corps may turn up other valuable applications.

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.

Investigation of the Potential Useof the Unmanned Aircraft System Predator B on Reclamation Projects (final, PDF, 10.4MB)
By Alan Bell
Report completed on October 07, 2014

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection operates and maintains a fleet of MQ-9 Predator B unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in support of law enforcement and homeland security missions along the United States borders.Primary sensors utilized on the Predator B are full motion video oriented electro-optical, thermal infrared, and synthetic aperture radar. Reclamation made two Predator B requests for data in 2014; 8 sites along the All-American canal (US/Mexico border)and the Grand Coulee Dam area.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20