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Drones, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2017) – 5 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems Based on Operational Scenarios Using Value Modelling
Drones 2017, 1(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010005 - 23 Nov 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
In recent years, the use of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) has moved beyond the realm of military operations and has made its way into the hands of consumers and commercial industries. Although the applications of UAS in commercial industries are virtually endless, there [...] Read more.
In recent years, the use of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) has moved beyond the realm of military operations and has made its way into the hands of consumers and commercial industries. Although the applications of UAS in commercial industries are virtually endless, there are many issues regarding their operations that need to be considered before these valuable pieces of equipment are allowed for widespread civil use. Currently, UAS operations in the public domain are guided and controlled by the FAA Part 107 rules after overwhelming public pressure caused by the earlier 333 exemption. In order to approach such larger issues, this paper will exploit the use of value models, which will help to quantify how the different environmental and operational scenarios play a role in UAS operations based on the task being performed. The primary aim of this research is to use the attributes from key factors of the UAS such as the autonomy levels (AL) and technology readiness levels (TRL) along with their operating scenario factors, such as the environmental complexity and task complexity, based on the operating environment in which a UAS performs its task. To analyze the performance of autonomous UAS in different operational scenarios, the physical characteristics and class of a UAS may be linked to its AL and TRL. Using these parameters, the risks faced by the UAS in a particular mission are quantified and a value is assigned to the abstract entities involved. Although there are many critical questions with respect to good practices to be followed by UAS operators in order to obtain valuable data and information on the structures being scanned and monitored, there are many other challenges with regards to large scale operations of UAS such as the ethical, legal and societal implications that have to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Drones at Field Stations and Research Reserves)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Post-Logging Estimation of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Stump Size, Area and Population Using Imagery from a Small Unmanned Aerial System
Drones 2017, 1(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010004 - 20 Oct 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1922
Abstract
This study describes an unmanned aerial system (UAS) method for accurately estimating the number and diameters of harvested Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) stumps in a final harvest (often referred as clear-cut) situation. The study methods are potentially useful in initial detection, [...] Read more.
This study describes an unmanned aerial system (UAS) method for accurately estimating the number and diameters of harvested Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) stumps in a final harvest (often referred as clear-cut) situation. The study methods are potentially useful in initial detection, quantification of area and volume estimation of legal or illegal logging events to help estimate the volumes and value of removed pine timber. The study sites used included three adjacent pine stands in East-Central Mississippi. Using image pattern recognition algorithms, results show a counting accuracy of 77.3% and RMSE of 4.3 cm for stump diameter estimation. The study also shows that the area can be accurately estimated from the UAS collected data. Our experimental study shows that the proposed UAS survey method has the potential for wide use as a monitoring or investigation tool in the forestry and land management industries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hardware Design of a Small UAS Helicopter for Remote Sensing Operations
Drones 2017, 1(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010003 - 10 Sep 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2313
Abstract
This paper presents the hardware design and integration process employed to develop an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) helicopter. The design process evolves from the bare airframe (without any electronics), to become a complete and advanced UAS platform for remote sensing applications. The improvements, [...] Read more.
This paper presents the hardware design and integration process employed to develop an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) helicopter. The design process evolves from the bare airframe (without any electronics), to become a complete and advanced UAS platform for remote sensing applications. The improvements, design decisions and justifications are described throughout the paper. Two airframes have been used during the design and integration process: the AF25B model and the more advanced AF30 model, from the Copterworks company. The airframe engine reliability and fuel economy have been improved by adding an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI), both managed by an Engine Control Unit (ECU). On-board power supply generation and regulation have also been designed and validated. Finally, the integration process incorporates on-board mission computation to improve the concept of operation in remote sensing applications. Several flight tests have been performed to verify the reliability of the whole system. The flight test results demonstrate the correct process of integration and the feasibility of the UAS. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Unmanned Aerial Systems for Civil Applications: A Review
Drones 2017, 1(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010002 - 13 Jul 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4047
Abstract
The present work is a review of unmanned aerial systems technology and their subsystems (frame, propellers, motors and batteries, payloads, and data processing). Different applications are evaluated, related to remote sensing, spraying of liquids, and logistics. An overview of the regulatory framework is [...] Read more.
The present work is a review of unmanned aerial systems technology and their subsystems (frame, propellers, motors and batteries, payloads, and data processing). Different applications are evaluated, related to remote sensing, spraying of liquids, and logistics. An overview of the regulatory framework is also developed. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Drones—An Open Access Journal
Drones 2017, 1(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010001 - 04 Jan 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4997
Abstract
Since the beginning of aviation, unmanned aerial systems have been a challenge for scientists and engineers. Full article
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