The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned aircraft system (UAS), popularly known as drone, is an airborne system or an aircraft operated remotely by a human operator or autonomously by an onboard computer. There are basically two types of UAVs - Fixed Wing and Rotary based. The fixed-wing aircraft can carry bigger sensors as payloads for longer distances. It also has high flight times and can even fly during rough windy conditions. The ro-tary based UAVs has the ability for takeoff and land verti-cally, hover and perform agile maneuvering to maintain a visual on a single target for extended periods of time. UAVs combined with remote sensing technology have been intending to make use of available technologies in order to acquire the spatial data about land cover, resources, and the environment for processing and analyzing remote sensing data. The imagery data obtained from UAV/UAS can immensely help in many applications ranging from large scale building modelling to vegetation structure mapping which can immensely benefit for local planning and development specially in the North Eastern region with very limited connectivity and physical infrastructure.
The UAVs could be deployed in the inaccessible areas of the north east to get the high-resolution map of the area. Fur-ther, these can be quickly deployed for disaster management. The data products from these airborne system could be used for deriving 3D models of the earth surface, which can then be used as input for applications and analysis. Some of the possible applications are
The Centre has both fixed wing UAV and multirotor based UAVs - quad copter and hex copter and has capability for both manual as well as autonomous flights. The fixed UAV has a flight endurance of about 50-60 mins with a flying range of 4-5 kms. The copter type UAV has 1.5-2.0 kg of payload capability and can be customized to carry sensors such as Thermal, Multispectral, Optical, Hyper spectral or LIDAR etc. It can attain maximum altitude up to 2 Kms with scanning radius of 2 Kms. It can fly for about 20-40 mins . NESAC has also facilitated to all the State Remote Sensing Centers (SRSACs) of North Eastern Region to establish UAV Remote Sensing facilities and providing continuous support to them. 3D printing facility is new edition to UAV Lab at NESAC.