UC Drones Fly Onto Nation’s Radar

By: Ashley Duvelius

WLWT’s Brian Hamrick visited UC CEAS on Monday, May 19, 2014 to get a closer look at how UC is leading the way in unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

The University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science is turning heads again—towards the sky! WLWT’s Brian Hamrick visited CEAS on Monday, May 19, 2014 to get the full story on UC’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. UAV’s, or drones, are the wave of the future and their future starts here at CEAS.

Paul D. Orkwis, PhD and Head of the UC CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, explains, “We’re in an age with the potential to change life as much as the smart phone. Drones are known for military use but inexpensive consumer models with cameras (UAV’s) are growing increasingly popular in recreation and with these—even the sky isn’t the limit.”

Kelly Cohen, PhD and associate professor in the UC CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, adds, “UAV’s provide stunning views, some never before seen, but the one most dramatic is the perspective they provide of the future. From here to flying saucers, the distance is very small.”

Among other innovations, Cohen supervises a project known as SIERRA (Surveillance for Intelligent Emergency Response Robotic Aircraft) which integrates small, unmanned aircraft with global positioning systems, environmental data, video and fire-prediction software to give real-time information about where a fire is burning, and where it is moving.

Larry Bennett, JD, BA and Head of the UC Fire Science, says, “Drones are a remarkable technological tool for firefighters as they can fly into dangerous hazmat situations or with thermal imaging, can spot victims in burning buildings. I think we’re going to quickly take UAV’s from training to field application in the realm of fire science—I see them as saving lives.”

To check out the WLWT’s full story, please visit: http://www.wlwt.com/news/wlwt-investigates-the-future-of-drones/26059814

For more information on the history of UC UAV’s, please visit: