Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG


Group details

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

Update: In the immediate much of our disucssions are happening on this Slack channel, to join see this link

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

20 Jan 2020

Re: [dronedata][early_career_and_engagement][weldd] EU funding and Melbourne P15 sessions of interest

HI Jane
The C3DIS program is out now: And yes, the drones BoF is on Tuesday from 11.15 am to 12.35 pm.
Take care
From: <***@***.***> on behalf of jwyngaard via Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG <***@***.***>
Reply to: "***@***.***" <***@***.***>
Date: Tuesday, 21 January 2020 at 2:13 am

20 Jan 2020

EU funding and Melbourne P15 sessions of interest

Hi all
2 quick updates:
1. If you're EU based and early career check out the funding options for
travel to Melbourn P15 below
2. There will be 3 sessions of possible interest in Melbourn P15:
- As decided at Helsinki we're spinning off a WG: *Working Group on
Ethical and Legal best practices for Drone Data in a global research
context (WELDD
To prep for this there are 2 scheduled pre-webinars (Recordings will be
made available).

07 Jan 2020

RDA Plenary 15 session acceptance: "Joint session Research Data Management in Engineering IG (RDMinEng) and IG small Unmanned Aircraft data (sUAS data IG)"

Dear Research Data Management in Engineering Interest Group and Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems' Data Interest Group,  


Thank you for responding to the TAB comments on your session proposal for RDA Plenary 15 in March 2020. Your session proposal "Joint session Research Data Management in Engineering IG (RDMinEng) and IG small Unmanned Aircraft data (sUAS data IG)" has been accepted. Congratulations! We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne.

Best wishes,

Stefanie Kethers (RDA Secretariat)

23 Dec 2019

RDA P15 Melbourne - Session Acceptance (Improve before Accept)

Dear Research Data Management in Engineering Interest Group and Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems' Data Interest Group,
At its meeting on December 19, the RDA Technical Advisory Board considered your proposal for a session at Plenary 15 in 2020.
1. Update the session description to address TAB's concerns BY OR BEFORE JAN 2ND, 2020

28 Nov 2019

Deadline For P15 Group Session Submissions Extended To 5 December 2019

Dear RDA members, 


RDA's 15th Plenary meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 18-20 March 2020 


The deadline to submit session proposals for Plenary 15 in Melbourne, Australia has been extended to 5 December 2019, midnight UTC.

25 Nov 2019

P15 and WG progress

Hi all
Some quick updates:
1. Freyja Van Den Boom

agreed to chair the WG effort spun out of P14. As voted, this group will*
focus on developing out best practices as regards legal and ethical issues *in
the use of drones for research. The group also voted for there to be
infrastructure focus but unfortunately no one has stepped forward to help
us drive this (the door is definitely still open for that though!...)
- The draft WG Charter is being crafted here, input/comment welcome
- A P15 WG session draft

15 Nov 2019

Invitation: RDA drone WG @ Mon Nov 18, 2019 09:00 - 10:00 (EST) (

You have been invited to the following event.
Title: RDA drone WG
Jane Wyngaard is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 576 746 132
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Meeting ID: 576 746 132