UAS LIDAR MAPPING OF AN ARCTIC TUNDRA WATERSHED: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Keywords: Arctic, Best practices, Drone, LiDAR, UAS
Abstract. Uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) are increasingly used across disciplines in academic research. We deployed a heavy-lift UAS (<25 kg) for research in the Arctic tundra, a remote and complex landscape. Conducting UAS work in this location required adapting our standard field approach to include both the unique challenges of working in these locations with those specific to UAS work. We collected metadata on each field campaign and analyzed our expended efforts and the contributors to our successes and failures. We formulated a set of best practices to address each challenge in a systematic way, addressing each with the underlying goals of maximizing system and team resilience, operational efficiency, and safety. By adopting a structured set of best practices tenets into our UAS work in the Arctic, we achieved greater project success and we recommend integrating such methods into similar projects of high importance or consequence, especially for UAS LiDAR work in the Arctic.