Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

A UAS is the unmanned aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft.
The USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office and the Office of Aviation Services (OAS) are leading the development and testing of UAS scientific and resource management technology across the Department of the Interior (DOI), in coordination
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) provide an affordable solution to those agencies that need "eyes in the sky" but don't have the budget to maintain a fleet of aircraft, obtain commercial satellite imagery or supplement their current aviation units with
The USGS unmanned aircraft systems activities focus on two small UAS acquired from the Department of Defense, the 4.4-pound AeroVironment Raven aircraft and the 20-pound Honeywell T-Hawk hovercraft.
The USGS small UAS missions to date include estimating migratory bird populations (sandhill cranes and sage grouse), monitoring impacts of dam removal and erosion on rivers (Elwha and Glines dams, and Missouri River), surveying surface mines (West Virg
The Department of the Interior (and USGS) has taken the following actions related to privacy:
All data collected is processed and used in support of mission specific research objectives. The vast majority of the resource management and scientific data will be archived for long term use and placed in the public domain.
Training for USGS UAS operators is provided by the DOI Office of Aviation Services (oas.doi.gov), has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and is specific to the types of UAS that DOI operates.
Yes, flight approval is required and the USGS receives flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration prior to every UAS mission. The official document is referred to as a Certificate of Authorization and Waiver (COA).