Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG


Group details

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

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

24 Jan 2019

RDA P13 Session Accepted - Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Data IG: sUAS Data Collaborations Effort

Dear group,
Congratulations! Your session application - Small Unmanned Aircraft
Systems’ Data IG: sUAS Data Collaborations Effort - has been approved
and will appear in the RDA Plenary 13 Programme.  Please consider this
your official notification of acceptance.
The detailed Plenary 13 programme will be published online by 11
February, 2019, and your scheduled session time will be published in the
programme. The programme will also include the link to your meeting web

26 Jul 2018

Draft drone data sharing guidelines for earth and environmental science.

Hi drone data list,
We [1] are drafting *data sharing guidelines for earth and environmental
data collected with drones*, and we need* your help. *If you use drones
for scientific data collection at all please take 10-15 minutes to review
and provide feedback on our proposed *minimum information framework *in
this survey .
*More Context:*
Over the last few years you probably know we have run workshops and

10 Jul 2018

Survey on a European Transport Research Cloud

Hi all,


The European Commission has established an Expert Group to investigate the main needs, obstacles and opportunities for open data sharing in the area of transport research. The Group will make recommendations about the potential for a Transport Research Cloud as a thematic pillar of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).


19 Jun 2018

Last call for SciDataCon Sessions/IDW plans update

Hi all
SciDataCon has extended it's abstract call to this coming* Monday (25th
*Cross disciplinary drones for good and the associated data management
Last SciDataCon (2016) they published a special issue of Data Science
Journal from the session so as far as formal publications at IDW goes this
is the place to submit.
We're planing on using the RDA plenary part of IDW as a forum to have
people feed back from the preceding flyingweek

17 Apr 2018

sUAS Data: Presentation Online & SciDataCon sUAS Session Reminder!

Hello sUAS Data IG,
On Monday Jane, Andrea, and I presented for: Unmanning Data Mondays *-
Getting the human out of unmanned aerial systems data, *a webinar
series hosted from institutions involved with UPSiE and the Midwest Data
Hub. The presentation was recorded (most recent on the website), so please
take a look -- and do check out the other presentations as well, there are
some great sUAS data relevant ones!
- Opportunities, Challenges, and Progress in Managing the sUAS/RPAS Data