The Missing Middle – Feasible & Efficient Use Cases for UAS

Drone. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Unmanned autonomous systems (UAS). Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). LiDAR. NDVI. EO. IR…

These days we hear a myriad of words, catchy phrases, and acronyms to capture the capabilities or concepts brought to market in a system of systems – what we at the EDC like to call Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS). The word drone is cringe-worthy for many professionals dedicating their effort in developing intelligent platforms to perform a variety of functions and improve a company’s bottom-line, efficiencies, safety measures, and datasets.

At the March DroneBiz lunch, Shelly Carroll, owner of SC Recon Drone Intelligence & Technology Services, said communities and users often focus on the fringe or high-risk applications of UAS and miss all of the low-risk, real-world applications for unmanned vehicles.

At SC Recon, Carroll and her team are finding ways to merge with the aviation ecosystem to gather more data, faster than ever before. By partnering with other agencies, including emergency response and recovery teams, fire fighters, law enforcement, departments of natural resources, and National Incident Management teams, organizations can bridge the gap between traditional methods of data collection with feasible, advanced, and highly safe methods using unmanned aircraft.

UAS mitigate risk by providing low and slow aircraft operations over heavily timbered, remote, or vertically developed areas. As autonomy and artificial intelligence enhance the ability to manage large quantities of data, the industry will be able to produce actionable intelligence quickly for customers. Advanced systems such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) become more affordable, and the ability to blend data sets become seamless, users will be able to have a greater impact on vertical markets such as food production & agriculture, natural resource management, and lateral or vertical infrastructure.

While early industry predictions pointed to primary commercial UAS benefits in the agricultural industry, Carroll and her team are finding greater opportunities in property and landscape analysis, timber & water resource management, emergency response and damage assessment, GIS and volumetric mapping, infrastructure (roads, bridges, corridors)

DroneBiz is an event hosted by the Great Plains Chapter of AUVSI and sponsored by Evolve Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Region EDC. If you are interested in becoming a speaker at an upcoming event or to learn more about what Grand Forks has to offer, email me.

April DroneBiz

Join us April 10 at 12 noon at the UND Center for Innovation. Pierre Touma from Axelo, Inc. will talk about the company’s development of advanced inertial measurement unit (IMU) technology for precise navigation and dead-reckoning with North Dakota State University.

To learn more visit the DroneBiz event webpage.


Wes Shover

Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation

UAS Sector Development Manager

President, Great Plains Chapter of AUVSI

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *