Anthony M. Chimino Kayla M. Boccuzzo Jose L. Cabrera Jr
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Wildlife strikes to aviation are a serious economic and safety concern. The purpose of our study is to investigate the implementation of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies into the airport..
Wildlife strikes to aviation are a serious economic and safety concern. The purpose of our study is to investigate the implementation of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies into the airport environment as a tool to identify hazardous wildlife and their habitats. A Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist (QAWB) can use data collected using the UAS while completing a Wildlife Hazard Assessments (WHA). A WHA provides the empirical framework for the development of an effective Wildlife Hazard Management Plan by the airport operator. A QAWB has helped our team with the development of new data collection methods as well as the identification of species throughout our entire project. Our team has used the DJI Matrice 210 with a Zenmuse X5S camera to collect data. Data has been collected at COE Field (8FA4), a private use, Class G airport. Different strategies to mitigate the risks associated with manned air traffic and remote-controlled aircraft (RCA) were implemented in our study. For example, all team members are properly rated to act as a Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) of the UAS. Our research findings suggest that UAS could help with the effectiveness of the completion of the WHA by: 1. Reducing the labor, personnel, and time needed to accomplish most WHA tasks. 2. Identifying the location of wildlife activities as well as features that have attracted or have the potential to attract hazardous wildlife species to the airport jurisdiction. 3. Collecting data in areas that are inaccessible or difficult to access and/or observe by ground-based means. 4. Obtaining information of different habitats and wildlife species simultaneously. 5. Allowing the QAWB to not have to traverse difficult terrain.