Drones: An Engineering Reconnaissance Tool of Tomorrow, but Here Today!

by Kevin W. Franke, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), Associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, kfranke@et.byu.edu,

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2019, Vol. 23, Issue 4, Pg. 28-32

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: About six years ago, I began researching geotechnical engineering applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. My initial efforts were encouraged by most of my colleagues, but were criticized by some. "Since when did playing with a toy constitute serious scientific research?" I was asked by one particularly honest friend of mine. I don’t fault my friend for his opinion because I understand his point of view. After all, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck, right?

Subject Headings: Aerial surveys | Geotechnical engineering | Aircraft and spacecraft | Robotics | Vehicles | Geological faults


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