By: Sean Hernandez
The UAS senior capstone course known as AS 475: UAS Mission Execution provides practical field experience for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) students with an emphasis on operating UAS in support of actual commercial or civil operations in the surrounding area.
The work the students do isn’t focused on one single project, throughout the semester they’re given multiple missions to conduct.
One of these groups is known as the “Railroad Group” which includes students Eric Osmundson, Trevis Shiroma, Jiyoung Hwang, Nicholas Zweifel, and Sean Hernandez.
Though they have more than one project in the works, one project they are working on involves more research rather than delivering a final product to the customer.
Osmundson and his team are researching the best approach to integrate UAS into railroad inspection.
The group has been considering two specific parts that they believe can be integrated into the current system. If UAS can be used to inspect the geometry and gage of rail road and if it can be used to do visual inspections of tracks.
The teams’ biggest problem has been finding information on UAS being used for inspection railroads. This is truly a market that the UAS industry hasn’t reached yet.
The group has completed their research on inspection of the geometry and gage of the track and is currently working on finding information to determine how useful UAS can be to do visual inspection of tracks. The group has also been working with SJ Homes to see if UAS can be used to help with construction planning.
Osmundson mentions that one of the exciting aspects of the work him and his team have been doing is learning about other industries and seeing all the applications for UAS in those industries.
Any time the question of whether UAS can be applied to an industry or not the team has had to gain extensive knowledge on how the industry currently works to see if there is in fact a feasible application.
Osmundson and his team would like to thank All American Track and SJ Homes for taking time out of their busy schedules to work with them and teach them things about the industries they work in.
They would also like to thank professor Johnny Young for providing connections with local businesses who wanted to work with University’s UAS students.
The Railroad group is excited to be presenting their findings and final products from working with All American Track and from working with SJ Homes. They will be presenting with the rest of the College of Aviation in the Stem Building on April 27.