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For further information, please visit The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Uncrewed Systems Program webpage.


  • Thornberry, T. D., Gao, R.-S., Ciciora, S. J., Watts, L. A., McLaughlin, R. J., Leonardi, A., Rosenlof, K. H., Argrow, B. M., Elston, J. S., Stachura, M., Fromm, J., Brewer, W. A., Schroeder, P., & Zucker, M. (2023). A Lightweight Remote Sensing Payload for Wildfire Detection and Fire Radiative Power Measurements. Sensors23(7), 3514.
  • Sellwood, K. J., Sippel, J. A., & Aksoy, A. (2023). Assimilation of Coyote Small Uncrewed Aircraft System Observations in Hurricane Maria (2017) Using Operational HWRF. 38(6).
  • Aksoy, A., J. J. Cione, B. A. Dahl, and P. D. Reasor, 2022: Tropical cyclone data assimilation with Coyote Uncrewed Aircraft System observations, very frequent cycling, and a new online quality control technique. Monthly Weather Review, 150, 797-820,
  • Davis, J., R. Giannelli, C. Falvo, B. Puckett, J. Ridge, and E. Smith. 2022. BEST PRACTICES FOR INCORPORATING UAS IMAGE COLLECTION INTO WETLAND MONITORING EFFORTS: A Guide for Entry Level Users. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 308, Silver Spring, MD. 26 pps.
  • DiGiacomo AE, Giannelli R, Puckett B, Smith E, Ridge JT and Davis J (2022), Considerations and tradeoffs of UAS based coastal wetland monitoring in the Southeastern United States. Front. Remote Sens. 3:924969. doi: 10.3389/frsen.2022.924969.
  • Harrison, L. R., Legleiter, C. J., Sridharan, V. K., Dudley, P. N., & Daniels, M. E. (2022). Evaluating the sensitivity of multi-dimensional model predictions of salmon habitat to the source of remotely sensed river bathymetry. Water Resources Research, 58, e2022WR033097.
  • Hinke, J.T.; Giuseffi, L.M.;Hermanson, V.R.;Woodman, S.M.;Krause, D.J. Evaluating Thermal and Color Sensors for Automating
    Detection of Penguins and Pinnipeds in Images Collected with an Unoccupied Aerial System. Drones 2022, 6, 255.
  • Wagner, M. et al., High-resolution observations of microscale influences on tornado tracks using Unpiloted Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies, Monthly Weather Review 149(8), 2819-2834.
  • Wagner, M.A. & Doe, R.K., 2022. UAS Policies, Workflows, and Challenges in Hazard Environments. In sUAS Applications in Geography (13-40). Springer, Cham.
  • Zawislak, J., et al., 2022: Accomplishments of NOAA’S airborne hurricane field program and a broader future approach to forecast improvement. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 103, E311-338,
  • Chiodi, A.M., C. Zhang, E.D. Cokelet, Q. Yang, C.W. Mordy, C.L. Gentemann, J.N. Cross, N. Lawrence-Slavas, C. Meinig, M. Steele, and others. 2021. Exploring the Pacific Arctic Seasonal Ice Zone With Saildrone USVs.  Frontiers in Marine Science 8(481),
  • Krause, DJ, Hinke, JT, Goebel, ME, Perryman, WL, 2021. Drones minimize Antarctic predator responses relative to ground survey methods: an appeal for context in policy advice. Frontiers in Marine Science 8:648772.
  • Krause, D.J. and Hinke, J.T. 2021. Finally within reach: a drone census of an important, but practically inaccessible, Antarctic fur seal colony. Aquatic Mammals 47(4) 349-354. DOI 10.1578/AM.47.4.2021.349.
  • Kren, A. C., and R. A. Anthes, 2021:  Estimating error variances of a microwave sensor and dropsondes aboard the Global Hawk in Hurricanes using the three-cornered hat method.  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 38, 197-208,
  • Levine, R.M., A. De Robertis, D. Grünbaum, R. Woodgate, C.W. Mordy, F. Mueter, E. Cokelet, N. Lawrence-Slavas, and H. Tabisola. 2021. Autonomous vehicle surveys indicate that flow reversals retain juvenile fishes in a highly advective high-latitude ecosystem.  Limnology and Oceanography 66(4):1139-1154,
  • Wagner, M.A., Doe, R.K., Wang, C., Rasmussen, E., Coniglio, M.C., Elmore, K.L., Balling Jr, R.C. and Cerveny, R.S., 2021. High-resolution observations of microscale influences on a tornado track using Unpiloted Aerial Systems (UAS). Monthly Weather Review, 149(8), pp.2819-2834.
  • Zhang, C., A.F. Levine, M. Wang, C.L. Gentemann, C. Mordy, E.D. Cokelet, P.A. Browne, Q. Yang, N. Lawrence-Slavas, C. Meinig, and others. 2021. Evaluation of operational forecasts at Alaskan Arctic sea surface using in situ observations from saildrones.  Monthly Weather Review
  • Christopher M. Zarzar, Padmanava Dash, Jamie L. Dyer, Robert Moorhead, and Lee Hathcock, 2020. Development of a Simplified Radiometric Calibration Framework for Water-Based and Rapid Deployment Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations. Drones 2020, 4, 17;
  • Cione, J.J., G. Bryan, R. Dobosy, J. Zhang, G. de Boer, A. Aksoy, J. Wadler, E. Kalina, B. Dahl, K. Ryan, J. Neuhaus, E. Dumas, F. Marks, A. Farber, T. Hock and X. Chen (2020): Eye of the storm: Observing hurricanes with a small unmanned aircraft system, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E186-E205,
  • de Boer, G., C. Diehl, J. Jacob, A. Houston, S.W. Smith, P. Chilson, D.G. Schmale III, J. Intrieri, J. Pinto, J. Elston, D. Brus, O. Kemppinen, A. Clark, D. Lawrence, S.C.C. Bailey, M.P. Sama, A. Frazier, C. Crick, V. Natalie, E. Pillar-Little, P. Klein, S. Waugh, J.K. Lundquist, L. Barbieri, S.T. Kral, A.A. Jensen, C. Dixon, S. Borenstein, D. Hesselius, K. Human, P. Hall, B. Argrow, T. Thornberry, R. Wright and  J.T. Kelly (2020): Development of community, capabilities and understanding through unmanned aircraft-based atmospheric research: The LAPSE-RATE campaign, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E684-E699,
  • Guimond, S. R., P. D. Reasor, G. M. Heymsfield, and M. M. McLinden, 2020: The dynamics of vortex Rossby waves and secondary eyewall development in Hurricane Matthew (2016): New insights from Radar Measurements. J. Atmos. Sci., 77, 2349-2374,
  • Harrison LR, Legleiter CJ, Overstreet BT, Bell TW, Hannon J., 2020: Assessing the potential for spectrally based remote sensing of salmon spawning locations. River Research and Applications
  • Jamie Dyer, Robert Moorhead, and Lee Hathcock, 2020: Identification and Analysis of Microscale Hydrologic Flood Impacts Using Unmanned Aerial Systems. Remote Sensing 2020, 12(10), 1549;
  • Kuhn, C.E., A. De Robertis, J. Sterling, C.W. Mordy, C. Meinig, N. Lawrence-Slavas, E. Cokelet, M. Levine, H. Tabisola, R. Jenkins, and others. 2020. Test of unmanned surface vehicles to conduct remote focal follow studies of a marine predator.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 635:1-7,
  • Wick, G. A., and Coauthors, 2020: NOAA’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) Experiment: Observations and forecast impacts. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E968-E987,
  • McFarquhar, G.M., E. Smith, E.A. Pillar-Little, K. Brewster, P.B. Chilson, T.R. Lee, S. Waugh, N. Yussouf, X. Wang, M. Xue, G. de Boer, J.A. Gibbs, C. Fiebrich, B. Baker, J. Brotzge, F. Carr, H. Christophersen, M. Fengler, P. Hall, T. Hock, A. Houston, R. Huck, J. Jacob, R. Palmer, P.K. Quinn, M. Wagner, Y. Zhang and D. Hawk (2020): Current and Future Uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) for Improved Forecasts/Warnings and Scientific Studies, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., early online release, 10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0015.1
  • McFarquhar, G.M., E. Smith, E.A. Pillar-Little, K. Brewster, P.B. Chilson, T.R. Lee, S. Waugh, N. Yussouf, X. Wang, M. Xue, G. de Boer, J.A. Gibbs, C. Fiebrich, B. Baker, J. Brotzge, F. Carr, H. Christophersen, M. Fengler, P. Hall, T. Hock, A. Houston, R. Huck, J. Jacob, R. Palmer, P.K. Quinn, M. Wagner, Y. Zhang and D. Hawk (2020): Workshop on Current and Future Uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) for Improved Forecasts/Warnings and Scientific Studies, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E1322-E1328,
  • Zhang, J. A., J. P. Dunion, and D. S. Nolan, 2020: In situ observations of the diurnal variation in the boundary layer of mature hurricanes. Geophysical Research Letters,
  • Zarzar, C.M., Dash, D., Dyer, J. L., Moorhead, R., and Hathcock, L., 2020: Development of a Simplified Radiometric Calibration Framework for Water-Based and Rapid Deployment Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Operations. Drones, 4, 17,

Submitted Publications (Pending Peer-review)

  • de Boer, G., S. Waugh, A. Erwin, S. Borenstein, C. Dixon, W. Shanti, A. Houston, B. Argrow: Measurements from mobile surface vehicles during LAPSE-RATE, Earth Sys. Sci. Data, submitted.
  • Brus, D, J. Gustafsson, O. Kemppinen, G. de Boer and A. Hirsikko: Properties of aerosol and gases in the vertical profile during LAPSE-RATE campaign, Atmos. Chem. Phys., submitted.
  • de Boer, G., A. Houston, J. Jacob, P.B. Chilson, S.W. Smith, B. Argrow, D. Lawrence, J. Elston, D. Brus, O. Kemppinen, P. Klein, J.K. Lundquist, S. Waugh, S.C.C. Bailey, A. Frazier, M.P. Sama, C. Crick, D. Schmale III, J. Pinto, E.A. Pillar-Little, V. Natalie, A. Jensen: Data Generated During the 2018 LAPSE-RATE Campaign: An Introduction and Overview, Earth Sys. Sci. Data, submitted.

Global Observing Network

A Global Profiling System for Improved Weather and Climate Prediction. Alexander E. MacDonald, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2005.

From the Archive – The Global Hawk Tropical Tropopause Experiment (GHATTEX): Exploring the tropical tropopause region of the Pacific Ocean with the Global Hawk UAV platform

For a description of Global Hawk and the GHATTEX proposal please see:

“Global Hawk – A New Tool for Airborne Remote Sensing” by Greg Loegering of Northrop Grumman Corporation, San Diego, California. As presented at AIAA’s 1st Technical Conference and Workshop on Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles, May 20 – 23, 2002, Portsmouth, Virginia.

See: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Publications and Papers: AIAA 2002-3458 at
(Publisher charges a fee to download the file)

Altair Unmanned Aircraft System Achieves Demonstration Goals

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2006, American Geophysical Union: David W. Fahey, James H. Churnside, James W. Elkins, Albin J. Gasiewski, Karen H. Rosenlof, Sara Summers, Michael Aslaksen, Todd A. Jacobs, Jon D. Sellars, Christopher D. Jennison, Lawrence C. Freudinger, and Michael Cooper, (2006), Altair Unmanned Aircraft System Achieves Demonstration GoalsEOS TRANS. AGU Vol. 87, No. 20, pp 197 & 201. Read the unformatted version

Workshop Reports

Duke University Marine Laboratory Workshop Report – (June 2015)
NOAA and Duke University workshop held in Beaufort, North Carolina.
Duke Meeting Summary

Zarzar, C., Moorhead, R., and Coffey, J., NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program 2nd UAS Arctic and River Forecast Workshop Summary Report, Anchorage, AK, September 15, 2014. See also Alaska Hydrology UAS Requirements and FAA UAS Arctic Implementation Plan.

The NOAA-Environment Canada UAS Arctic Scoping Workshop – (September 2012)
21 experts from Canada and the US met in Boulder, September 25-26 to share information on the civil applications of UAS for environmental research and operations, and to identify collaborative projects for the coming years.

Workshop for Optimal Unmanned Aircraft Systems River Observing Strategy – (February 2012) 
Moorhead, R., Hood, R., Coffey, J., Optimal Unmanned Aircraft Systems River Observing Strategy Workshop Summary Report, Boulder, CO February 21-23, 2012.
NOAA and the Mississippi State University collaborated on a three-day workshop held in Boulder, CO.
See the Agenda with links to presentations.

U.S. Navy Puma AE Sea Trial Report, October 2011.