There are many Government applications: The most immediate one is to do work with the Department of Homeland Security to provide UAV border surveillance along the US/Mexico border. This suggested solution will use a fleet of small UAVs flying autonomously back and forth between recharge stations to provide meaningful and accurate intelligence of border intrusion. Then, high resolution photos collected by the smart UAV would be sent via our satellites to DHS agents in a remote command facility who will then decide on the level and type of engagement. In addition to border security, this sense and avoid technology can be used to a) permit safe flight for NOAA surveillance of US waterways and landmass; b) help execute search and rescue missions for the US Coast Guard via UAVs and c) support the Department of Transportation to do long range inspection of the country's infrastructure.
The utility inspection problem for oil, gas and electric companies is also a big opportunity for small UAV flight. In this problem, the UAV would fly tens of miles along utility and gas lines looking for places of encroachment and/or maintenance issues. Encroachment occurs when non-suspecting organizations build and/or modify [i.e. dig] the land near these lines which could cause some danger. Maintenance issues are due to the common aging of outdoor elements. In both the Government application and the commercial application, the problem that we are solving is long distance inspection in which the UAV is smart enough to fly autonomously, not hit anything and offer surveillance. Also, in both cases the customer will desire imagery that is then sent back to a command site for human analysis. Our technology, along those developed in this project, will offer the first equipment to achieve this affordably.