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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

UAV rotating imagesThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is utilizing a lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform for geospatial data collection. The NOVA UAV is an electrically powered, fully autonomous, hand-launched airplane with an onboard global positioning system (GPS), inertial navigation system (INS), camera and computer. The platform focuses on the rapid acquisition of high-resolution aerial surveys to support various Army Corps infrastructure and natural resource monitoring efforts in both land and aquatic environments. This UAV platform collects directly geo-referenced visible and color-infrared imagery at a resolution between 2 and 10 centimeters.

The UAV program provides high resolution aerial imagery, on demand. The images are much higher resolution than traditional aerial photography.

The UAV technology has already been used to detect infrastructure problems along levies and dikes. A UAV flight over the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee identified an area of erosion along the dike.

UAV Capabilities

Each of the pinpoints in the image below represents the location of a geo-referenced photograph taken by the UAV during its flight. Each of these photos can be "mosaic-ed" into a large, high resolution image of the area during post-processing of the data.
Each of the pinpoints in the image below represents the location of a geo-referenced photograph taken by the UAV during its flight. Each of these photos can be "mosaic-ed" into a large, high resolution image of the area during post-processing of the data.
The UAV program provides high resolution aerial imagery, on demand. The images are much higher resolution than traditional aerial photography.
The UAV program provides high resolution aerial imagery, on demand. The images are much higher resolution than traditional aerial photography. Unmanned Aerial Photography
Traditional Aerial Photography Unmanned Aerial Photography
The high resolution allows scientists to conduct biological monitoring. As you can see below, with the UAV image, you can identify individual plants.
Google Earth Image UAV Image
Google Earth Image UAV Image
The UAV technology has already been used to detect infrastructure problems along levies and dikes. A UAV flight over the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee identified an area of erosion along the dike.
alluvial fan along HHD
Alluvial Fan along Herbert Hoover Dike, Discovered by UAV
The UAV can accurately repeat flights over a specific area, which allows users to monitor change over time. It can be used to monitor environmental conditions such as flooding, beach erosion/restoration, changes in vegetation or wildlife utilization, the success or failure of mitigation projects, and pre and post-storm conditions. It could also be used to track land use changes or monitor construction progress.

The mosaic image below was developed by stitching together multiple images from the UAV flight to depict wading birds nesting on tree islands in the Everglades.

map
With the ability to hand-launch the UAV, the team can perform flights in very remote areas. The picture below shows the team launching the UAV from an airboat in a remote swamp. There is also a video depicting the NOVA 2.1 being launched from an airboat and a water landing. This capability allows the team to survey areas where traditional surveys would be very time consuming and expensive.

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