Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research

Researchers at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) are exploring ways in which unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are increasingly being used in civilian government work as well as the private sector for use in applications as diverse as cloud seeding to climate change to fighting forest fires. DRI has been actively engaged in UAS sensor development and scientific applications for many years and was a partner in the state’s FAA Test Site application in 2013. 

The State of Nevada has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as one of six US UAS test site operators and scientists at the Desert Research Institute are deeply involved in UAS applications and fire science and management. 

cloud seedingAGRICULTURE

climate changeCLIMATE

cloud seedingCLOUD SEEDING

drought   DROUGHT


cloud seedingWILDLAND FIRE

The enormous potential for UAS to serve as geospatial intelligence tools to improve the safety and effectiveness of fire management, and our ability to forecast fire and smoke movements, remains largely untapped. - Dr. Adam Watts