Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Drones are what many call aircraft that fly unmanned without a human pilot on board. SUAS, or small unmanned aircraft system, is the official United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) term for an unmanned aerial vehicle. Initially coined by the FAA in 2004 to reflect the fact that these complex systems include ground stations and other elements besides the actual aircraft, the term was first officially used by the FAA in early 2005 and subsequently adopted by DoD that same year in their Unmanned Aircraft System Roadmap 2005-2030. The inclusion of the term ‘aircraft’ emphasizes that regardless of the location of the pilot and flightcrew, the operations must comply with the same regulations and procedures as do those aircraft with the pilot and flightcrew onboard. The official acronym (SUAS) is also used by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other government aviation regulatory organizations.
UAVs perform a wide variety of functions. The majority of these functions are some form of remote sensing; this is central to the reconnaissance role most UAVs fulfill. Less common UAV functions include interaction and transport.
UAV remote sensing functions include electromagnetic spectrum sensors, gamma ray sensors, biological sensors, and chemical sensors. A UAV?s electromagnetic sensors typically include visual spectrum, infrared, or near infrared cameras as well as radar systems. Other electromagnetic wave detectors such as microwave and ultraviolet spectrum sensors may also be used, but are uncommon. Biological sensors are sensors capable of detecting the airborne presence of various microorganisms and other biological factors. Chemical sensors use laser spectroscopy to analyze the concentrations of each element in the air.
Commercial Aerial Surveillance & Survey
Aerial surveillance of large areas is made possible with low cost UAV systems. Surveillance applications include: livestock monitoring, wildfire mapping, agriculture inspection, pipeline security, home security, road patrol and anti-piracy. The trend for use of UAV technology in commercial aerial surveillance is expanding rapidly.
Public Use – Law Enforcement & Firefighting
Small unmanned aircraft can serve a particularly useful function in law enforcement and other public services. These aircraft are able to get close to potentially hazardous environments and send back real time video data to authorities on the ground. Law enforcement may find them useful in covert reconnaissance and tactical type situations. Firefighters might them them useful when equipped with thermal imaging cameras to detect hotspots in a burning structure.
Scientific & Emergency Disaster Research
Unmanned aircraft are uniquely capable of penetrating areas which may be too dangerous for piloted craft. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began utilizing unmanned aircraft system in 2006 as a hurricane hunter. After the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster incident in 2011, Japanese authorities sent unmanned aircraft into the area to sample and measure for radiation and volatile organic compounds.
Photoship One is actively involved with researching and developing small unmanned aerial systems for commercial and public service use. We offer multirotor and helicopter based airframes which may be fitted with payload packages such as visible light spectrum cameras, infrared cameras, as well as payload transport/deployment systems.SUAS systems can be equipped with real time telemetry for monitoring aircraft systems health as well as payload data. Telemetry system broadcasts via RS-232 serial data @ up to 256kb baud rate. Broadcast range is typically about 1km.
Wireless video capablity of standard definition NTSC/PAL is available for real time monitoring of installed imaging systems. Rnage of wireless video broadcast is typically 0.5 – 1.0km and broadcast on 5.8ghz frequency.