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A Mission Flexible and Effective System for Remote Sensing Using Multi-Sensor Unmanned Air Systems

March 02, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Dr. John Valasek
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University

Director, Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS)


As small unmanned aircraft systems become increasingly affordable, reliable, and formally recognized under federal regulation, they become increasingly attractive as novel platforms for civil applications. This presentation details the development and demonstration of fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems for precision agriculture tasks. Rationale for sensor, vehicle, and ground equipment selections are provided, in addition to developed flight operation procedures for acquiring high quality data. Results from two years of field work and experience using multispectral, thermal IR, and DSLR sensors are presented and analyzed, and these results demonstrate that fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems can be modified to carry non-traditional sensors at extended endurance durations, and hold promise for enabling the collection of high quality data for significant scientific purposes.


John Valasek is Director, Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS), Director, Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, and member of the Honors Faculty. He has been actively conducting flight mechanics and controls research of Manned and Unmanned Air Vehicles in both Industry and Academia for 32 years. Prior to his 20 years at TAMU he was a Flight Control Engineer for the Northrop Corporation, Aircraft Division. John is the author / co-author of three recent books on Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), and is a co-inventor on a patent for autonomous air refueling of UAS. His research is currently focused on bridging the gap between traditional computer science topics and aerospace engineering topics, and has been funded by AFOSR, AFRL, ONR, NSF, NASA, FAA, and industry. It encompasses machine learning and multi-agent systems, intelligent autonomous control, vision based navigation systems, fault tolerant adaptive control, and cockpit systems and displays. John earned the B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1986 and the M.S. degree with honors and the Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, in 1990 and 1995 respectively.


Dr. Michael Bishop: michael.bishop@tamu.edu


March 2, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Eller O&M Bldg., Room 807