Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS): The Peoples’ Technology

Varied Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) user communities are forming at a rapid pace. Many UAS users and prospects are bound by their geographies of responsibilities, geographies of interest (see Figure 1) or geographies of observation. UAS, as a Peoples’ technology, provides user communities with an emancipating opportunity to control and apply geospatial collection technology without third party dependencies and in ways never before available. We’re now free to roam in our personal and professional geographies, to enhance our understanding of places and to plan future missions – at will.

UAS Geography MrSID
Figure 1. Example Geography of Interest

We do live in exciting times as geospatial professionals! The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) members provides great value to UAS user communities with well-vetted guidelines, standards and certifications. As with other geospatial endeavors, the need to capture precise position remains essential (see Figure 2). Understanding location characteristics and conditions are of particular concern for collection logistics associated with low altitude acquisitions – and certainly for the agencies regulating such collects. UAS content provides unique points of view of places for casual and professional UAS practitioners and end user communities.

UAS precise position measurements
Figure 2. Precise Position Measurements

Comprehensive understanding of local geography is paramount for user communities.

Comprehensive understanding of local geography is paramount for user communities. Some, driven by regulatory mandates, acquire image and point clouds of their respective geographies of regulatory responsibilities, such as a stream basin or a protected natural resource area. Highest economic use of land and water resources dictate collections of geographies of interest for speculative computations of yield – For example, a cultivated field, a mining site or other revenue-based land management endeavor. Finally, geographies of observation may be subject to short-term acquisitions or long-term, persistent and sustained missions to detect changes in land use and related surface conditions over time.

Framing a discrete UAS value proposition implores us to clearly articulate regulatory and/or as applicable, business mandates; to understand pre-UAS technical solutions; to define measures of success; visualize UAS value in terms of being better, faster and cost sensitive; and, to finally conceive a technical response which improves daily operations.

A suggested model for UAS user communities segmentation includes municipalities; metropolitan areas and counties; state and province governments; regional and multi-state authorities based on political or physiographic boundaries; and national and multi-national enterprises, across the Globe.

UAS User Sectors served include:

  • National Government and National Security Agencies
  • Infrastructure Authorities
  • Energy Providers
  • Regional and Local Governments
  • Emerging Communities including Heritage, Cultural, Architectural, Construction, Real Estate, Broadcast, Media, Business, Financial Sector, Education and Entertainment special interest groups.

Alternatively expressed as UAS User Communities served include:

  • Municipalities
  • Metropolitan  Areas /Counties
  • State/Province
  • Region/Multi-State based on political or physiographic boundaries
  • National and Tribal Communities
  • Multi-National/Enterprise
  • Global Mission organizations

There is, of course, a little “Big Data” dimension to UAS technology integration into daily workflows due in large part to the collection altitude, sensor resolution, spectral capacity and multi-collection /re-visit aspects of many requirements. UAS (like other technologies) cannot escape the myriad of image asset handling requirements including: compression, management such as color balancing and mosaicking, distribution to end users, integration into other software product image stores and archives, and, of course, deployment of images and point clouds to remote, mobile and disconnected tactical users.

Now is the time to jump into UAS technology headfirst with LizardTech software offerings.

As geospatial professionals there are geographic imperatives before us to more effectively monitor and measure borders, boundaries and area of bounty around us. These are best of times for geospatial practitioners …Now is the time to jump into UAS technology headfirst with LizardTech software offerings.

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