Drone-captured group photo of UAS Mapping of Pleistocene Fossilized Trackways
Drone-captured group photo with USGS remote pilots, White Sands National Park personnel, and USGS geologists standing in and next to a study area with fossilized tracks.
In April 2023, NUSO collected scientific UAS data at White Sands National Park to document trackways before erosion erases them. NUSO collected natural-color and lidar data at a variety of flight altitudes and spatial scales at multiple sites with known fossilized footprints. Note that the UAS data collected at White Sands National Park is protected and not released publicly. It is being utilized by park personnel for resource protection and preservation. The use of drones (UAS) and aircraft is prohibited from flying in the airspace above the park. USGS worked with the National Park Service and White Sands Missile Range to obtain airspace authorizations over the Park within a narrow window of time to conduct this data collection.