Facts About Unmanned Aerial Systems

What is an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and how do you use it?


Commonly referred to as “drones,” the UAS is the aggregate of all the systems required to safely operate the remotely piloted aircraft.  The UAS includes but is not limited to the following components: Ground Control Station, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Launching System, and Recovery System.

Ground Control Station (GCS)


The GCS is where the UAS pilot can control the aircraft and operate the various types of onboard cameras, sensors, and other mission specific “payloads.”

Launching System 


While many UAS’s are capable of a runway take-off just like manned aircraft, some UAS’s have an added launching system that allows for the aircraft to take-off with minimum surrounding ground space requirements, such as watercraft and spatially restrictive forward operating bases.

Recovery System 


The recovery system allows for the aircraft to be captured in similar environments as the launching system.  Some UAS’s capture using a net or rope and hook, while others belly-land.

How are UAVs being used?


UAS’s are widely used amongst all branches due to the fact that they provide a multitude of mission critical capabilities and services at little to no risk to the operators. UAS operators typically tasked with the following types of missions: Aerial reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting, and Target acquisition.


UAS operators are routinely deployed, as both military and civilian, globally in support of US military and government operations.

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