AIRFIELD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT USING LIGHT DETECTING AND RANGING (LIDAR)
Iatrou, Steven J.
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Airfields are essential to the U.S. military and coalition forces’ logistical lines of communications as well as force projection in any theater around the world. Given their utility and importance, airfields should be available for use anytime, and in case of damage, airfield damage repair (ADR) should start as quickly as possible. Before ADR can commence, however, an Airfield Damage Assessment (ADA) must be conducted. ADA assesses the damage to the airfield in detail so that the right type and amount of materials and teams to repair the airfield can be organized. This research focused on developing a low-cost, low-power system equipped with a Light Detecting and Ranging (LiDAR) system and a Global Positioning System (GPS) to accurately conduct an ADA operation. The system was designed and tested in a near operational environment and successfully demonstrated that an ADA can be conducted via a UAV. During tests on realistic damage at McMillan Airfield at Camp Roberts, the system produced rapid and accurate measurements of the diameter and depth of a crater. Also, the system was able to identify a camouflet that is hidden within a spall field.
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