In Module 4, you will identify an appropriate UAS platform that could support operations of your selected sensor(s) accomplishing your identified application. You must consider issues related to performance (range, duration, speed, power, payload capacity, etc.), required crew (pilots, sensor operators, observers, etc.), necessary support equipment and infrastructure (ground control system, launch and recovery requirements, power/fuel needs, etc.), estimated cost of operation, and any other notable aircraft detail. Remember that the UAS you select must be able to support the sensor in the successful accomplishment of the identified application. As in Module 3, after narrowing your sensor options to a few of the most viable alternatives, conduct a substantive Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to aid in the determination of the best alternative(s). Again, approach the analysis as if you were preparing a report, with all supporting documentation, for a decision-maker in your organization to review and approve your selection(s).
Instructions: In this activity you will conduct an exploration of potential UAS platform types and specific aircraft that are capable of carrying the sensor that you identified in Module 3. Examples of potential UAS types are included in the detailed project documentation as outlined in Module 1 and included again below for reference. As noted in the detailed guidance, you must make a platform selection that is able to accommodate your selected sensor and is well suited for your identified location and application. There may be multiple aircraft that would satisfy your requirements so it is important to use an analysis tool like a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) matrix to aid in your final selection.
Upon selection, submit your UAS platform choice and sensor pairing justification with all required details as defined in the project documentation to the instructor for review and feedback.
Examples of potential project application areas of focus:
- Geospatial (utilities, mapping, construction, etc.)
- First responder (police response, traffic monitoring, firefighting, medical emergencies, disaster response, etc.)
- Precision agriculture (crop emergence, crop health, harvest readiness, livestock/wildlife monitoring, etc.)
- Inspections (amusement ride, tower, and utility inspections, etc.)
- Sport/Entertainment (aerial videography, etc.)
- Other applications of interest pursued with instructor approval