Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Florida
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Florida Project

Production and evaluation of an autonomous UAV system for natural resources management

January 2007 - December 2009


Participating Agencies

  • Corps of Engineers

The multidisciplinary team of collaborators at University of Florida has developed a small autonomously-controlled UAV system for the detection, classification, tracking, and counting of animals, plants, or other objects or terrain characteristics. The purpose of this project is to pursue enhancements to an existing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to improve its present applicability and future potential for a variety of natural-resource uses. The research is interdisciplinary in nature and includes engineering, ecological, photogrammetric, and remote sensing elements and experts in those disciplines. Research objectives and major tasks of this three-year project include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Improvements in construction and electronics to enhance the reliability and ease of operation of the aircraft. 2. Progress in the development of geographical referencing capability for imagery collected from the aircraft. 3. Training of personnel for testing of a complete UAV system for research and management applications. 4. Development and testing of thermal infrared (TIR) sensor capability. 5. Evaluation of operating and maintaining a UAV system. 6. Exploration of future UAV system enhancements for remote-sensing applications. [continuation of RWO 228]