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NOAA UAS Program Briefs the Interagency Coordinating Committee for Airborne Geosciences Research and Applications (ICCAGRA)

Government teams meet at the NASA HQ on November 15-16 to coordinate 2018 inter-agency scientific aircraft operations.

The NOAA UAS Program briefed the Interagency Coordinating Committee for Airborne Geosciences Research and Applications (ICCAGRA) on November 15th and 16th. The ICCAGRA was established to improve cooperation, foster awareness, facilitate communication among sponsoring agencies having airborne platforms and instruments for research and applications, and serve as a resource to senior level management on airborne geosciences issues. The Committee addressed interagency cooperation issues as they pertain to the use of airborne platforms and instrument payloads for individual investigators as well as national and international field campaigns.

NOAA UAS Program’s John “JC” Coffey shared the NOAA UAS Program’s strategic vision and execution from requirements capture to “transition to operations” with manned and unmanned aircraft counter-parts. He mentioned during the briefing that due to the recent natural disasters, “UAS utilization is spreading like wildfire at the speed of hurricanes!” Recent UAS successes focusing on hazardous weather, maritime and Polar surveys included:

  • SHOUT’s use of Global Hawk for Hurricane Research & Satellite Gap Mitigation.
  • Arctic Domain Awareness Workshop Report which has led to NASA Arctic Wind Tunnel Testing (13-18 Nov) and five 2018 Arctic UAS Concept of Operations (CONOPS).
  • Successful UAS-based oil on water imaging project in the Santa Barbara Channel from October 30 – November 2, 2017. Participants in this exercise included Chevron Technology Corp, NOAA CINMS and ORR, California Office of Oil Spill Prevention & Response (OSPR), American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (AATI) and AeroVironment, inc.
  • NWS’ River Forecasting Center Rapid Response with UAS for Yukon River Watch supporting the NWS Rapid Response CONOPS.
  • SBIR Phase III “Transition to Operation” of Aurora Flight Science’s Centaur for Grav-D survey.
  • UAS use for satellite calibration and validation.
  • Other platform evaluations including from Airbus, Aerovel, Latitude, Swift, Black Swift and others.

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