Students Use UAVs to Perform Ecological Research

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) recently invited a group of talented, multidisciplinary students and scientists to participate in their Advanced Studies Institute. Participants had the opportunity to develop proof of concepts for real world problems using emerging technology. Research topics ranged from ecological research to issues regarding national safety and security.

One of the projects — MODCOPTER — involved performing a feasibility study for an ecologist, Dr. Jen Wright, who wanted the study the efficacy of using an APM-powered quadcopter to collect leaf samples from the forest canopy for study.

Students who worked on the MODCOPTER project, which stands for Manipulation Of Diverse Compact Objects for Probes, Threats, the Environment and basic Research, identified and achieved the following goals:

  • Evolved UAS as sample collection/ data collection platforms
  • Developed modular hardware for UAS to allow interaction with environment
  • Used software tools to control the above, and for improved navigation
  • Created a user interface for simple supervised or controlled piloting and/or sample collection

3D Robotics congratulates all the talented young scientists who completed this ambitious program.

You can learn more about the LANL program in this video.

lanl
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