National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office

National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office
Raven launch at Ft. Carson
Jeff Sloan flying a Raven at Ft. Carson in support of Bureau of Land Management archeological study and wildfire demonstration for Rocky Mountain Geographic Area Coordination Center fire personnel.
About Us
The USGS National UAS Project Office at the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center (GECSC) is located in Denver CO, and is an operational component of the Climate and Land Use Change Land Remote Sensing Program. It was established on May 8, 2008 based on the successful completion of an Emerging Technology Investigation into the potential use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to benefit the DOI and USGS missions. Our Team

This investigation determined that UAS technology would provide cost effective solutions allowing DOI and USGS scientists access to an increased level of persistent monitoring of earth surface processes (forest health conditions, monitoring wildfires, earthquake zones, invasive species, etc.) in areas that have been difficult or impossible to obtain information before.

Our Mission...
Lead and coordinate USGS efforts to promote and develop UAS technology for civil and domestic applications that will directly benefit the DOI and USGS missions. This will be done by leveraging the commitment that the defense and intelligence communities have made in supporting UAS research, and working in partnership with other Federal agencies, academia, and industry groups, to promote UAS technology for civil domestic applications.

Our Partner...
We work with a wide variety of partners including; DOI Aviation Management Directorate, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other DOI agencies, and various academic institutions.

Our Goals...
Support the integration of information derived from UAS technology to support informed decision making.
Actively represent USGS interest and supporting initiatives designed to implement UAS capabilities as a viable, cost effective alternative to existing land imaging resources.

Develop and provide yearly updates to a report that will serve as a roadmap for the development of UAS applications by the Department and USGS. The yearly updates will include new evaluations into the feasibility of future research, application developments, and mission support. This roadmap will help influence budget requests, plans and allocations as utilization of the UAS technology grows in DOI and USGS.

Raven Flight Operations in Eglin Air Force Base
Raven Flight Operations in Eglin Air Force Base for Prescribed Burns
Our Accomplishments...
Development of a Raven Operator training capacity in coordination with The Department of the Interior (DOI) National Business Center's (NBC) Aviation Management Directorate (AMD). This includes the successful completion of four separate training classes that have allowed over 50 DOI scientists to become approved Raven operators.

Establishment of an operational UAS capacity including access to a fleet of RQ-11(A) Raven sUAS and Gasoline Micro Air Vehicles (gMAV).

Creation of an efficient USGS procedure for establishing Federal Aviation Administration Certification of Authorizations (COAs).
Completion of the first civil agency UAS Road Map, detailing the phased adoption of UAS technology by USGS and our partners. Draft Report is available at:

Our Team
Jeff SloanUAS Project Manager, Mission Operator and Data
Mark FellerMission Operator and Data
Mark BauerMission Operator and Data
Todd PrestonMission Operator and Data Analysis406-994-5034USGS/
Lance BradyMission Operator and Data
Issac AndersonMission Operator and Data
Jill CressCoordination and Software
Susan GoplenCOA Coordinator and Software
Bill ChristiansenUSGS Aviation

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