The 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.