UAS Platform Development for Crash Scene Investigations

This project is a group effort with a classmate, Kyle Sheehan.  You can visit his blog here.  We also created a PowerPoint presentation briefly covering the information which you can see here.

In aircraft crash investigations, one of the most time consuming parts of the operation is the search for evidence to be used in accident recreation.  The aim of this project is to build a large multirotor and integrate a thermal camera and lidar sensor for future projects which can explore methods of using the platform in aviation crash scene investigations.  Safety procedures, checklists, and a maintenance manual will be produced as written deliverables for this project.

Platform building and sensor integration will primarily be the responsibility of Ryan Ferguson with help from Kyle Sheehan.  Kyle will be responsible for creation of the maintenance manual and checklists. The safety procedures document which outlines the proper procedures for emergencies both in flight and on the ground will be a joint effort between Kyle and Ryan.  All flight tests will be performed as joint efforts between Kyle and Ryan.

Flight tests will need to be performed to tune the aircraft and verify the functionality of the system.  These will be performed in a controlled environment to reduce the risk of injuries and damage to property.  Basic tests of the system in data analysis will also be performed to determine the effectiveness of the system in producing orthomosaics using lidar based DSMs.

If time allows, further tests may also be performed using aircraft parts and luggage scattered in a field.  The ability to correctly identify the items from the air and the percentage of items found will be the two primary factors in determining the effectiveness of this test.  The locations of these items will be determined using either full motion video or orthomosaic mapping. The results of these tests will be included in the final project report.

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