July 6, 2016: Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems

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The 412th Operations Group activated a new Small Unmanned Aerial System Combined Test Force under the direction of Maj Danny G. Riley, III.

Maj. Danny G. Riley, director of the Emerging Technologies Combined Test Force, launches a small unmanned aerial system as members of the 412th Civil Engineer Group look on. The flight was done to evaluate its systems and to test the quadcopter's feasibility as a tool for the 412th Civil Engineer Group to perform roof inspections. 

An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board and a type of unmanned vehicle. These vehicles are a component of an unmanned aircraft system; which include a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of these craft may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers.

Compared to crewed aircraft, unmanned vehicles were originally used for missions too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for humans. While they originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly expanding to commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing and surveillance, product deliveries, aerial photography, infrastructure inspections, smuggling and drone racing. Civilian unmanned vehicles now vastly outnumber military types with estimates of over a million sold on the commercial market.

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