GEOG 892
Geospatial Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

UAS Challenges in Certain Applications


In this section, we will discuss operational challenges in using the UAS for certain applications.

So far, we have read and discussed materials about the successful utilization of the unmanned aircraft for a variety of applications. However, some of such applications are found to be challenging due to different reasons. Among such reasons are the following:

  1. FAA hesitates in allowing UASs to fly during natural disaster situations such as floods and hurricanes. This is mainly due to the fact that operating a UAS during a storm lacks alternative communications capabilities. During storms, the air traffic control capabilities in the affected area are usually limited, risking the safety of the UAS, which usually operates without sense-and-avoid instruments.
  2. UAS offers many advantages over conventional of traffic monitoring and transportation planning for police, emergency responders, and DOT. UAS can move from one location to another with higher speed and is not restricted to specific routes that are usually used by ground vehicles. In addition, UAS can fly through hazardous or inclement weather conditions. However, UAS used for traffic monitoring is challenged in urban canyon areas where visibility of the traffic on the ground is obscured by high rise buildings.
  3. Small UASs cannot maintain their flying routes during stormy conditions. The lightweight of the UAS makes it venerable to gusty winds.
  4. Here in the U.S., it is difficult to obtain the FAA proper approval to fly civilian projects whenever there are people in the project area, even after the issuance of Part 107. Such restriction is expected to be diminishing in the future as the FAA continues its efforts to integrate the UAS into the NAS. 

To Read

  1. Sections 6.2.2 and 6.2.3 of Chapter 6 of Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems.