Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Tobias Weigel
Case Statement: 
IG Established

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are rapidly becoming important tools for data capture across many Scientific domains, as well as within commercial industry.  sUAS have the potential to transform how data are captured in many arenas by, offering higher temporal and spatial resolutions, with less impact on the environments being monitored, and access to new locations and parameters.  In many cases these advantages are further accompanied by lowered costs and increased human safety during data capture.   


As a new technology, however, there are currently no industry-wide accepted best practices for sUAS sensor and flight data handling and management.  There are many reasons for why such would be beneficial but 3 of particular note include:

  1. The creation of standards would lower the barrier to entry and  innovation in terms of what might be monitored with sUAS, by reducing the number of unknowns a new user faces and providing working examples to serve as guides.
  2. With no common goal standards to build to, the development of mature tools for sUAS captured data processing and fusion (with sUAS and other data sources) is currently hampered.  As a consequence, each use case generally develops a unique custom pipeline that only sees one-time use.  
  3. sUAS captured data is - for the most part - not being managed according to data stewardship best practices, such as would ensure the data is FAIR, as articulated by Force11 (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable).   

This interest group therefore seeks to explore and publish (via the RDA community based model), some best practices as regards the handling of sUAS captured sensor and flight data.  By publishing such, after a broad, cross-community engagement process, it is hoped and expected that such will see adoption by both those already using sUAS for scientific work those just beginning to explore their possibilities.  They will therefore address the 3 concerns laid out above, with the associated positive consequences for the scientific community. These outcomes also align directly with the RDA’s Vision and Mission focus, namely, promoting the open sharing of data.

Recent Activity

16 Jan 2018

Fwd: Fw: 3rd ENVRIplus Call for Multi-domain Access to Environmental Research Infrastructures is open

ENVRIplus call for access to European multi-disciplinary environmental
research platforms. One
of the platforms is a site close to the Pyrénées ("P2OA-drones") with a
squadron(word?) of fixed wings available for scientific use.
Candidates, when selected, can get up to 10k€ from Europe to cover their
trips and per/diem on site, and other costs that they would have in their
planned field campaign.
ENVRIplus offers opportunities for free-of-charge transnational access to

05 Jan 2018

Fwd: [Esip-drone] methods for auto-generating structured metadata

Hi group,
A fellow RDA group working on metadata capture - given sUAS are new I
thought some of us might be using novel metadata capture methods (I use ODK
and am working on a RShiny app) so perhaps of interest to some here
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Beth Huffer via Esip-drone <***@***.***>
Date: Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 11:15 AM
Subject: [Esip-drone] methods for auto-generating structured metadata
The Metadata Enhancement Task Force, a sub-committee of the Research Data

05 Dec 2017

Re: [UXS.DWG] Unmanned Systems DWG meeting, Palmerston North

Hi Jane,
Super, thanks ! I'll put your presentation after Steve's.
Don Sullivan
NASA Ames Research Center
Bldg N245, Rm 131a/MS 245-4
P.O. Box 1
Moffett Federal Airfield, CA 94035-0001
Office: +1 650 604 0526
Mobile: +1 650 714 9742
Line2: +1 831 621 5023
email: ***@***.***
OR: ***@***.***

05 Dec 2017

Re: [UXS.DWG] [dronedata] Re: Unmanned Systems DWG meeting, Palmerston North

Thanks ! Looks like we are a "Go". I'll work up the agenda and post/mail it. I will be running the session from here and hand off presentation control.
Don Sullivan
NASA Ames Research Center
Bldg N245, Rm 131a/MS 245-4
P.O. Box 1
Moffett Federal Airfield, CA 94035-0001
Office: +1 650 604 0526
Mobile: +1 650 714 9742
Line2: +1 831 621 5023
email: ***@***.***

05 Dec 2017

Re: [UXS.DWG] Unmanned Systems DWG meeting, Palmerston North

Hi Don,
Thanks for this, not sure how I missed it was all happening, I'll
definitely call in. Also, thanks Josh, will join for Ag session too.
I'd really be interested to hear about Steve's use of SensorThings API.
Be happy to throw together a quick summary of what the RDA group's been
looking at and perhaps more interesting - the initial outcomes from the
VOCamp last week (git repo ) - we
started on building some semantic models for science sUAS data with USGS
and OGC's George Percivall - next stage is moving the UML to OWL (undergrad

05 Dec 2017

Re: [UXS.DWG] Unmanned Systems DWG meeting, Palmerston North

Last call !
I've had NO requests to present/participate in this from the OGC folk.
This time I am including our colleagues in the RDA Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG.
This webex/meeting is:
08:55 Wednesday New Zealand Time
04:55 Wednesday JST (I am sorry, my friends !)
11:55 Tuesday PST
14:55 Tuesday EST
20:55 Tuesday CET
If I have no response, I will, with regret, cancel the session.
Don Sullivan

22 Nov 2017

RDA sUAS in Berlin and Botswana

Dear community,
As you’ve probably seen the call for RDA P11 sessions in Berlin (April
2018) is open. We’ve reached out to the chairs of the Weather, climate and
air quality, From Observational Data to Information, and Geospatial IGs,
and Research Data Collections WG, about possibly running a joint session to
share practical techniques. We’d welcome any comment on that, please feel
free to jump in and comment here on the list.
IDW2018 is happening in Gabarone Bostwana. We think being in the Southern

01 Nov 2017

Spam removed

Hi all,
My apologies for the recent spam. I have removed the post and the user, and will do the same should other spam come up. I won’t bother you all again with the notification about it, just wanted to share our approach with the sUAS group.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and many thanks for your patience,
Lynn Yarmey
Research Data Alliance/US
Director of RDA/US Community Development
RDA Secretariat

22 Oct 2017

Vocabularies and Ontologies for drones

Dear sUAS RDA community,
There's going to be a VOCamp
and Ontologies hackathon/workshop) next month that chance has seen to
ontologies for sUAS data being accepted as a topic for work (github repo
). Given this group has talked about the need
for VO for sUAS data it looks like this maybe a good opportunity to make
some tangible prototype steps forward.
It's takig place in Washington DC USA but we’d welcome input from anyone
either at the event or prior. And we're keen to schedule a sUAS specific