Our first research project with a small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAS) is a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship by Jeff Smyczek. He’s using our new Tetracam RGB+3 to map changing prairie vegetation throughout the summer. With the Tetracam, he can create an index of vegetation health, called the Normalized Vegetation Difference Index (NDVI), and correlate the index to biomass measurements.
In Spring 2016, we conducted our first round of small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV), or “drone,” training. Students went through ground school, flight simulator training, indoor flight skills, sUAV mapping software (Pix4D), and building drones from scratch.
Changes to FAA regulations for education allowed us to fly outside later in the semester.