June 12, 2024

Dr. Moersh explains the evolution of drone technology, discusses usage on Earth-like landscapes

Dr. J.E. Moersh spoke on Friday, Feb. 24 about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and how it’s becoming a more common way to study Earth-like landscapes.

//Photo by Ryan McGill

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAV’s, may soon be common use to study various Earth-like landscapes.

Dr. J.E. Moersh spoke on Friday about how drone technology is evolving into a more sophisticated craft, and will soon be advanced enough to start testing in non terrestrial atmospheres.

“These little guys hold a camera better than we can, and fly around a grid and map out an area in about three times less the time we would take,” Moersh said.

At the start of the lecture, Moersh passed around his own personal drone, showing the audience were the camera dock was, and explained that even as the drone itself shook and adjusted to wind during flight, the camera itself never wavered and provided a perfectly still image.

He then proceeded to show the audience various drone models in action through video, showing landscapes of various countries and continents.

In regards to how hard it is to have permission to fly them, Moersh said, “It was actually almost impossible to fly them in any parks in the U.S., but abroad, they were mostly all for it. We got the footage and testing we needed, and in return, they got a 3D map of their own territory.  It was a win-win.”

When it came to Mars, he explained that it would be relatively easy to start testing drone flight on mars through simulation and through testing in our own atmosphere.

“Mars has the 1/3rd of the atmospheric density we have here on Earth.  Flown high enough in our own atmosphere, it wouldn’t be hard to replicate those conditions,” said Moersh.

After the lecture, Amanda Womac, an attendee, said, “This could be how research is conducted in the future, with drones in the field and scientists in the lab.”

For more Science Forum lecture information, visit this website.

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Featured Image by Ryan McGill

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