KUAS Bioenvironmental Science and Engineering Faculties Demo Japan's First VTOL Environmental Observation Drone

News Engineering 2020.09.09

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On Friday August 28, 2020 at 13:00, a demonstration flight of a VTOL drone (AS-VTX01, manufactured by Aerosense Corporation) and a briefing session on research using the drone were held at the Kyoto University of Advanced Science Kameoka Campus. The demonstration and briefing were attended by the media, government officials, corporate representatives, and farmers.

While research on drones has been conducted at many universities, KUAS is the first university in Japan to employ research drones capable of vertical take-offs as well as high-speed horizontal flight. A typical multicopter drone can observe about 20 hectares in 1 flight, but a VTOL drone can observe an area five times that size at a maximum speed of of 100 km/h.

In the future, the Faculty of Bioenvironmental Science and the Faculty of Engineering plan to work together to conduct long-term environmental monitoring with the aim of detecting environmental and ecological changes and to provide new crop management methods to farmers.

In cooperation with local governments and other agencies, KUAS aims to provide agricultural, environmental, and ecological observations during environmental disasters, and has a plan to provide the data they gather over time to other universities and companies. The goal of this project is the promotion of drone research to make the Kameoka City a center of environmental observation. Faculty of Engineering Professor Dr. Kazuo Oki, said that he hopes to "hold drone [races and technical achievement] competitions in Kameoka in the near future".

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(Masamitsu Shibata, Research & Collaboration Support Center)