The U.S. Geological Survey National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office is leading the research and integration activities needed to make UAS data collection an efficient, safe, and cost effective remote sensing tool for DOI and USGS scientists.

Researchers are engaged in various UAS and sensor technology evaluations, and the performance of proof-of-concept missions to test the effectiveness of UAS data collection for earth science investigations such as monitoring environmental conditions and landscape change rates, responding to natural hazards, conducting required wildlife inventories, and supporting land and resource management. Research missions are performed by teaming with other DOI bureaus or federal, state and local agencies under guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the DOI Office of Aviation Services (OAS).

3DR Solo
3DR Solo
Vertical Take Off (VTOL)
Weight: Up to 5.7 lbs (payload dependent)
Pulse Vapor 55
Pulse Vapor 55™ Helicopter
Vertical Take Off (VTOL)
Weight: Up to 55 lbs (payload dependent)

New and Noteworthy

November 2, 2017
UAS Integration Pilot Program announced by the FAA
October 25, 2017
100-year floods prompt drone visit at historic site, Torrington Telegram
September 8, 2017
FAA Small Drone Rule Lets Unmanned Aircraft Soar, UAS Vision
August 30, 2017
DOI UAS program assists with Hurricane Harvey response
July 26, 2017
Agencies call up drones for monitoring programs, GCN
July 14, 2017
Interactive Map of Restricted Locations provided by the FAA
July 11, 2017
Drones take to the sky over Lake Ontario, Rochester First.com
July 11, 2017
USGS Researching Ontario's Receding Shoreline, Spectrum News, Rochester

Featured Data Products

Image data acquired during UAS research missions is used to produce the various types of geospatial data products needed to answer scientific and natural resource questions.