The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center’s newly acquired unmanned aircraft system (UAS, the senseFly eBee X, took to the skies for its first formal set of survey flights on Oct. 1 at its facility in Huntsville, Ala.
The tests were a step toward creating a safer, more efficient way for the Army to gather high-resolution photography and mapping data for potentially any of the center’s 40-plus programs and the thousands of missions it executes around the globe.
The unmanned aircraft system, or UAS, can also serve as a stand-in when an area or situation poses too many hazards for humans to safely gather this data, said Ryan Strange, research physical scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Aviation and Remote Systems Program and Huntsville Center’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Site Development Branch.
This particular system is a commercial off-the-shelf model called the senseFly eBee X. The fixed-wing configuration allows it to cover larger areas in a shorter amount of time than a quadcopter.