Challenges and Opportunities of UAS for Research
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) currently revolutionize the monitoring, observation, and research opportunities of environmental processes. They provide many positive aspects, such as high spatial and temporal resolution for environmental monitoring and the definition of the observation time. In addition, UAS allow the use of a variety of sensors and instruments and often collect data outside the realm of the optical spectrum – all leading to non-destructive and non-invasive mapping. The utilization of UAS requires a robust legal and regulatory framework that manages the public airspace and ensures that public, commercial, and academic applications are well defined and supported. This includes the requirement of a certificate of knowledge, flight route restrictions due to airspace limitations, and an authorized institution to hand out permits. These legal constraints and regulations are important and provide scientific applications with large potential, for example in the fields of earth and environmental science, agriculture and ecology, the monitoring of natural hazards, archaeology, zoology, and in security research – and many more applications.
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