Workshop Summary ¦ Agenda ¦ Presentations ¦ NOAA UAS Program Office


River Forecast Center Presentation

Robert Moorhead, Director, Geosystems Research and Northern Gulf Institutes, Billie J. Ball Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering: Mapping the Lower Pearl River Watershed
Dr. Moorhead shared some work he has been involved with flying UAS platforms over the lower Pearl River basin, a coastal watershed in Louisiana.

John “JC” Coffey, NOAA UAS Program Office: NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Activities
Mr. Coffey provided a background on UAS platforms, how they have been used, what has been successful, and what general advancements in UAS technology have been made. He suggested that UAS platforms will revolutionize observations, much like GPS did. UAS missions have been focused over the maritime and artic regions where population densities are lower, meaning fewer flight restrictions and privacy restrictions. There have been many successful missions off the coast of Africa in Hurricane operations as well as over Canada. The civilian version of the Predator UAS platform has been a great success. More recently, the envelope is being pushed with smaller platforms that are equipped with chemical, biological and meteorological systems. It is very hard to launch and land UAS for ships; therefore, a lot of focus has gone into UAS vertical takeoff and landing.

Mike Deweese, NCRFC: UAS Applications and Requirements at the North Central River Forecast Center
Mr. Deweese presented a background of his RFC's area of responsibility and provided some example missions where they have had great success with UAS.

Susan Van Cooten, LMRFC: Exploring UAS Applications for Coastal Flood Monitoring and Detection: Expanding LMRFC Prediction Capabilities and Decision Support Services
Dr. Van Cooten presented UAS applications for coastal flood monitoring and detection. She presented the need for UAS information using Hurricane Isaac; a case when river forecast were incorrect due to an unknown loss of water in the river system.

Kevin Low, MBRFC: Missouri Basin River Forecast Center
Mr. Low provided an overview of MBRFC followed by some case studies that demonstrate the application of UAS during real-time events.

Reggina Cabrera, SERFC: River Forecast Centers and Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Mrs. Cabrera provided a focused assessment of how UAS could assist in RFC operations in the SE and other regions who were unable to attend the workshop.

Robin Radlein, APRFC: Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center
Mrs. Radlein presented UAS requirements in Alaska and river forecast challenges in data sparse regions.

UAS use by other NOAA entities

Carven Scott, NWS Alaska Region Headquarters: Observational Gaps in Alaska
Mr. Scott provided background on NWS Alaska. NWS Alaska is unique because it was not always an official part of NOAA. It used to operate on its own. Now they are part of NOAA and operate as NWS stations in CONUS operate.

CAPT Phil Hall, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations: UAS Alaska/Arctic Flight Operations
Captain Hall provided an overview of the UAS that have been used by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), what NOAA is doing with UAS, and some of the challenges in UAS operations.

Robyn Angliss, NOAA Fisheries Service: Use of UAS by NOAA Fisheries, 2008-present
Dr. Angliss presented some specific UAS applications in the NOAA Fisheries Mission and reviewed the successes and lessons learned during this mission.

Tim Bates, UW/PMEL: Aerosol/Radiation, VNIR/NIR/TIR Imaging, Net Solar and Longwave Radiation, Meteorological Fluxes, Atmospheric Dropsonde, and Ocean T/S Microbuoy Payloads for Earth Observations using a Manta Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)
Dr. Bates reviewed some of the international collaboration projects they have been conducting in the Arctic including the use of UAS to study aerosols.

Todd Jacobs: NOAA USCG Healy Deployment
Mr. Jacobs discussed PUMA AE operations from the Healy and reviewed their use of UAS in Arctic intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and environmental response management applications.

Robbie Hood, Director, NOAA UAS Program: NOAA UAS Weather and Sea Ice Observations
The focus of UAS missions have been on high impact weather and marine weather. A major reason for this is because of the ability to fly over the oceans with less restrictions than over the interior United States.