• New item 6/11/2009,MAG. Train someone to use the most simplified version possible: If we want to get this adopted, we need to get some practice in the field. We should consider training Ron Zeeman on deploying the UAV, flying it using Phairwell, and monitoring video using mosaicking. This would be a two-laptop solution and might be useful near-term. We also need to address FAA considerations.
    • This shouldn't be too difficult but I feel that a bit of work would need to be done on Phairwell before we train someone to use it in the field. Most of the time it works well but there are still some glitches that do occur. More also needs to be done to help the pilot know what has happened when the UAV appears to be deviating from an assigned course or when there is a sudden change in behavior. Unless we want to train people on the RC we need to have everything working very reliably, especially takeoff and landing with just the autopilot (we have definitely had large improvements in this area recently). –Mike Roscheck
    • I think training Ron is a great idea. However, other than what Mike R mentioned, we also need some documentation (instruction sheet, checklist, etc). – Lannylin
  • Estimating the quality of search coverage: The idea of seeability could be applied to manned aerial searches (with and without a camera) and to ground searches. This could really help an incident commander manage the evolution of longer searches and avoid the “scenario lock” identified by Koester [page 46]. It could also complement emerging GIS systems designed to support the incident commander.
    • I have been working on the see-ability for ground searchers and I have a simplified version already running that seems to work pretty well. I am hoping that the iPod Touch can be used to build a quick app that utilizes these coverage maps. The biggest consideration is the communication between base camp and the ground searchers which is discussed below. –Mike Roscheck
    • What software system does the WiSAR community use right now? I know FEMA and Cal Fire are definitely using ArcGIS. I agree that it is important to integrate our technologies (non-UAV flying ones) into the existing technology/framework in use. – Lannylin
  • Tracking and supporting ground searchers: Ron Zeeman suggested that the UAV could be used to support training exercises by tracking ground searchers. It seems like it might also be good to track ground searchers in a real search, particularly to help them plan paths through difficult terrain (augmenting traditional GPS and topo maps).
    • One thought here is that we are currently working on predicting how people will move through terrain. We could also use the same ideas to suggest a travel-friendly route for searchers between their current location and a point of interest. – James
    • We should be able to easily overlay some aerial imagery from the UAV looking at a POI into Google maps on the iPod Touch. This would help the ground searchers find the object of interest much more quickly. –Mike Roscheck
  • Providing video enhancement of manned aerial searches: Video capture, IR imaging, mosaicking, and coverage maps could be very beneficial for maximizing the return on flying a manned aircraft. This could get more data that could be analyzed offline than could be obtained just by having a trained searcher look out the window of the aircraft through binoculars.
  • Providing IR imagery: This would likely be most useful at dawn or dusk, or near water features. It could be extremely useful if we could fly at night, but it is a longer term commitment to make the UAV capable of flying at night.
    • What needs to be done to make the UAV night-capable?
  • Enhancing communication between base camp and ground searchers: We've talked about using the UAV as a communication relay between air and ground searchers, allowing ground searchers to receive imagery or GPS tracklogs of a desired search pattern. Flying a helium balloon that creates a simple network between base camp and ground searchers could be an extremely powerful tool for improving search.
    • The more I think about this one the more it seems iffy. Even with good line-of-sight, wifi range is limited. I guess the signal off the balloon could be amplified, but if we are going to equip ground searchers with ipod touches we'd have the problem of amplifying their (undoubtedly weak) output. Maybe we could do a test of the ipod touches - see how well their wireless works in an outdoor environment. –Spengy 19:31, 2 June 2009 (EDT)
    • Ground searchers would need to carry some kind of portable router/signal booster for the iPod Touch in order to be able to communicate back to the relay network. –Mike Roscheck
    • I see a balloon or blimp working really well for this, but using a UAV for this might not be the right idea. – Lannylin
wisar/near-term.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/11 19:41 by tmburdge
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