A researcher from Purdue University has led the development of a free web-based application that allows users of unmanned aerial systems to easily record their flight-related data.
The digital log book known as UAS User Log is available globally for drone users for research, primary produce production, crop spraying applications and other activities. The log book provides options to record a whole slew of data, from interactive recording of the date, time and location of a flight, to make, model and record information of the drone, as well as the status of the battery charge, type of flight (autonomous or manual), types of sensors and captured data used. Additionally, safety precautions taken, weather during the flight and other related information may also be logged.
Dharmendra Saraswat, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue, led the team of researchers from the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, as well as researchers from Washington State University and Texas A & M University.
“We’ve lacked a system to provide UAS users in agriculture with a way to record information about their flights, sensors and maintenance issues,” Saraswat said. “Thus, creation of a common protocol for UAS operations for various research- and production-related applications is an effort to plug that gap and bring standardization to flight data collection.”
Free Access For All
The UAS user protocol application can be accessed from any device connected to the internet, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop and laptop computers. After loading, the application does not need an Internet connection or mobile data because the recorded information is stored on the user’s device.
Access to the meteorological data and the crowdsourcing sensor specifications of the user community can be done over the internet, and once a user is registered they then have the option of saving data to their device of choice. Users can also upload any previously saved file, then edit data and save the updated file as a record for later flights.
Saraswat said he hopes that it will improve the workflow of users, who will be able to use the work diary for everything from tracking flights for research and business purposes to measuring battery life.
Users will also be able to provide feedback to Saraswat and his team in order to to make suggestions on improvements or elements that should be added.
“I’m certain that at some point in time, this ecosystem is going to grow, and we’ll also see many features added to this tool,” Saraswat said
The National Department of Food and Agriculture of the Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA) and the Foundation for Agrifood Research (FFAR) provided financial support for this work.
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