A Remotely Piloted Aircraft for Remote Sensing and Air Sampling

PI: Dr. Tom Moon, Department of Geophysical Engineering, Montana Tech

The proposed Montana Tech Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Project offers a unique "hands-on" approach to teaching remote sensing, scientific research, and engineering design. Instruments to be flown on the RPA include a CCD video camera, with both framing and imaging spectroscopy capabilities, and an air sampler for trace gas measurements. The aircraft will be outfitted with an autopilot, an onboard microprocessor, and a real time differential global positioning (GPS) system. In addition to the numerous educational possibilities, the RPA will be a valuable tool for continues student and faculty research. One important feature of the RPS is the minimal startup, mobilization and operation costs. Achieving project goals will require collaboration between students and faculty at Montana Tech and Montana State University. Students will be involved in the project through the Undergraduate Research Committee Awards competition. Each student working on the project will present a formal research paper at Montana Tech's Undergraduate Research Conference. At the completion of the grant period, the RPA and instruments will be available for classes, pre-college outreach, and research.

Contact Information

Department of Geophysical Engineering
Montana Tech
1300 W. Park Street
Butte, MT 59701-8997
Phone: (406) 496-4178

Montana Space Grant Home
Updated June 19, 2006