Grants and Contracts Details


The goal of the proposed effort is to develop a multi-disciplinary national center in the use of unmanned aircraft in atmospheric science. This will build on current collaborations and national strengths in unmanned aircraft and meteorology. The project will develop and test systems for remote sensing of Earth's atmosphere, in particular focusing on the lower boundary layer. This region is beyond the height where data is obtained by surface observing stations, e.g., automated surface observing stations (ASOS), automated weather observing systems (AWOS), and the Oklahoma Mesonet, but below that sensed by most airborne weather systems, including balloons, aircraft and satellites. The importance of accurate data in this region is well understood: this region is a major factor in the development of many weather systems, not the least of which include tornados. It will eventually be deployed at higher altitudes to expand the applicability to upper atmosphere systems. Additional data for other focus areas, for example agriculture and energy exploration, can be obtained by swapping out sensor packages. Development of an intellectual center and sustained mentorship of the faculty will be a focus of the proposed effort. This project will leverage key expertise in Oklahoma as well as the partner jurisdictions, including robotics and autonomous control, unmanned aircraft systems, atmospheric measurement, weather modeling and prediction. Each of these areas is critical for the proposed effort to be successful. The specific objectives of this proposal include: Objective 1. Develop a strong mentoring program and intellectual center of gravity in the area of UAS in Weather. This will build on current mentorship activities in the university, adding multi-university collaborative activities. Objective 2. Create UAS capabilities where vehicles can be used in experiments to develop the sensing, control, planning, counter-planning, health monitoring, asset management, learning, control and communications technologies needed to support UAS operating in the conditions typical in the applications. Objective 3. Develop and demonstrate coordinated control and collaboration between autonomous air vehicles. The endurance and communications power of aerial vehicles is often less than is desired for some of the applications described. By collaborating with mobile ground stations, the aerial vehicles, both operating solo and in swarms, can relay communication, offload heavy computation, and potentially land to be refueled by the GCS. Objective 4. Develop and conduct UAS themed outreach in support of NSF's technology education and workforce development. Objective 5. Develop joint efforts for future funding and the development of a national center in use of UAS in Atmospheric Science, ultimately resulting in a NSF ERC proposal. Collaborative research will be required to successfully achieve these objectives. Expected outcomes of these objectives include successful implementation of systems onboard UAS, collaborative field exercises to demonstrate the technology, joint proposals, and national K-12 STEM events.
Effective start/end date8/1/151/31/20


  • Oklahoma State University


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