December 2021 Meeting

When we were setting up for demonstration day at the 9th Fall UAS Roundup, Ronald Bell of Drone Geoscience was already flying his aircraft capturing data. He presented the data briefly at the conference the next day and it is fascinating!

Ron agreed to return this month to give us more information about geoscience and drones role in acquiring the data. Here is his description of the presentation:

The Phenomenon Called Drone Geoscience

For more than 100 years, geoscientists have been applying the laws of physics in their quest to shed light on the geological mysteries of the planet many call “Earth”

Over the decades, this area of study grew by leaps and bounds driven by the insatiable need for raw materials and energy. All the while, many geoscientists and engineers were applying the very same laws locate objects long ago buried and forgotten or to identify hazards placing humans at risk.

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to obtain geoscientific data is not a new concept.
For example, scientists at the United States Geological Survey have been using remotely piloted aircraft to measure the magnetic field of the earth for decades. Nonetheless, the availability of affordable UAS coupled with a updates to regulations pertaining to the national air space has caused – for lack of any better descriptor – a “revolution” in geoscientific mapping, a phenomenon that inspired the creation of the term “Drone Geoscience.”
My presentation begins with a review and brief discussion of the current applications for drones deployed to map the surface of the earth and the stuff located below the surface. Several examples of drone geoscience surveys, many from Colorado, will be used to illustrate the beneficial uses for drones in this growing market sector. I will conclude my presentation by sharing a personal vision of the technological advances we will likely witness during the next 5 to 10 years.