Presentation on theme: "Everett A. Hinkley National Remote Sensing Program Manager Arlington, Virginia UAS Mini Workshop Silver Spring, Maryland February 4, 2011 Forest Service."— Presentation transcript:
Everett A. Hinkley National Remote Sensing Program Manager Arlington, Virginia UAS Mini Workshop Silver Spring, Maryland February 4, 2011 Forest Service UAS Activities
US Forest Service Aviation Owns and operates 27 aircraft and helicopters Contracts with over 800 aircraft and helicopters annually Missions Include: –Fire surveillance –Aerial reconnaissance –Air Attack –Delivery of smoke jumpers –Firefighter and cargo transport –Aerial delivery of retardant and water –Natural resource management –Research
USFS UAS Strategy 1.Augment NOT replace our manned aircraft 2.Work with partners to identify niche applications that are underserved by current technology, 3.Keep the approach simple work on doing one thing well before adding additional capabilities, 4.Provide unified systems that are affordable.
Small UAS Economics Current Technology Platform: Bell 206B3 or similar Sensor: Gimbaled FLIR system – Handheld thermal imagers. Missions flown at 1000 ft AGL in controlled airspace (TFR). No Night Operations Operating Cost $5,000 to $15,000 per day (cost to fire) Current UAV Technology Perform the same mission at night, Cost comparable with the current technology Real-time data delivery to ICP and fire line.
Wildfire FTA Environment TANKER ORBIT ALTITUDE PLUS 500 ATGS ALT. PLUS 1000 2500 AGL 500 AGL TANKER PATTERN 1000 AGL MANEUVERING ALTITUDE 7nm NOCOM HOLDING RING 12nm initial Contact ring
WILDFIRE UAS - ConOps The Forest Service intends to utilize small UAS for tactical intelligence collection on wildland fires. UAS will be used by fireline supervisors to provide real-time photo/video and infrared imagery in tactical situations. UAS will be used by incident commanders to provide long endurance real-time intelligence and communication for a wildland fire.
Mission Objectives Collect real-time photo/ video color/IR data and transmit to tactical decision makers. Fireline conditions are most often mountainous, heavy vegetation and smoky low visibility situations, which make it difficult to maintain situational awareness of a fires location, fire hazards, terrain features and other inherent fire hazards. Provide another level of fireline safety and ability to find and avoid hazards.
Mission #1 A fire supervisor determines the need to see over the trees, through smoke or down a canyon. Hand launch a UAS, control the UAS from that location as well as receive data from the cameras and make tactical decisions based on the data.
Mission #2 Incident Commander orders UAS for long endurance data collection flights over remote fire area. UAS provides communication link between IC and ground resources UAS provides real-time day infrared video of fire behavior to IC Color video provides fire fuels information for next operational planning cycle UAS can fly during all other fire aviation flights including helicopter and large airtanker operations.
Ground Control Station (GCS) Functions include: Transportation Command and Control Payload Operation Image Processing Most UAS operations can be wholly contained in within the GCS trailer.
Image mosaic KMZ EO image mosaic KMZ with imbedded annotation. Including operations center location and spot fire location with latitude and longitude coordinates.
Video Image Mosaic Video image mosaic of Playas NM, created by 2D3 TacitView software. Output is a KMZ file. Platform R-16 825 ft AGL 35 degrees FOV.
Super Resolution Left is raw image mosaic. Right is the same mosiac with super resolution algorithm applied by TacitView.
SIERRA GP-SAR Collaboration between NASA, USFS, USGS Payload Mirage Systems: Ground Penetrating Synthetic Aperture Radar 300-3000 MHz Goal: collect actionable information on: topography, fuel structure, fuel moisture, and soil moisture Mission Dates: Sept 27-30, 2010
2007-2008 Western States Fire Mission Missions aboard the NASA Ikhana UAS: – Ikhana is a Native-American word from the Choctaw Nation meaning intelligent, conscious or aware. – Standard MQ-9 Predator B/Reaper w/o skyball Mission Plan: One LE mission / week 4-5 missions through summer Mission Durations: ~20+ hours Flight Altitude Operations: FL230 (23,000 feet MSL) Results: 15 missions 81 Fires Traversed 8 western states Over 120 operational hours in the National Airspace
Hyperblimp Radio-Repeater – High Resolution Imagery
Conclusions Integrating UAS into fire operations is complicated but not impossible Its part of the tool kit Its about the mission, if the mission is fire spotting, its about the sensor –Resolution: spatial, spectral, temporal –Data delivery and dissemination How can additional remote sensing capability improve Speed, Agility, and Focus of the firefighters.