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NOAA UAS Program Briefs at 2016 AGU Fall Meeting

UAS Program Director, Robbie Hood, Highlights the Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) Global Hawk’s Successes

With over 20,000 attendees in 2016, AGU’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco from Dec 12th-15th was the largest Earth and space science meeting in the World. This year marked the Fall Meeting’s 49th year as the premiere place to present research; latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the sciences. NOAA UAS Program Director, Robbie Hood, briefed the Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) successes during the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the Geosciences session. 

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with the National Weather Service, the National Ocean Service, other Federal agencies, private industry, and academia to evaluate the feasibility of UAS observations to provide time critical information needed for situational awareness, prediction, warning, and damage assessment of hazards. This activity is managed within a portfolio of projects entitled Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT).  The diversity of this portfolio includes evaluations of high altitude UAS observations for high impact oceanic storms prediction to low altitude UAS observations of rivers, severe storms, and coastal areas for pre-hazard situational awareness and post-hazard damage assessments.

Each SHOUT evaluation project begins with a proof-of-concept field demonstration of a UAS observing strategy for a given hazard and then matures to joint studies of both scientific data impact along with cost and operational feasibility of the observing strategy for routine applications. The technology readiness and preliminary evaluation results will be presented for several UAS observing strategies designed for improved observations of oceanic storms, floods, severe storms, and coastal ecosystem hazards.