The Pendleton UAS Range covers 14,000 square miles in northeast Oregon. From high desert to 10,000 foot peaks, the underlying land is mostly sparse population with large sections of agriculture and forest. Precision Ag is a growing topic with high value wheat, vineyards, and fruit orchards. The Columbia Basin Ag Research Center (OSU field extension) is located minutes from Pendleton, and has started incorporating UAS in its research. Forest fire fighting in this region is an activity that has just begun utilizing UAS for support. Additionally, there are 1000’s of miles of infrastructure covering:
- Transportation: Interstates, Highways, Remote Roadways, Rail and Shipping Lanes
- Energy: Power transmission systems and Gas/Product Pipelines and Wind Turbine Farms
- Water Management: Water Supplies, Irrigation Systems, Erosion Control and Dams
- Communications: Fiber Internet, Telecommunications, Mobile Networks and RTK GPS Coverage (CORS Network Integration)
- Earth Monitoring: On Site National Weather Service Station, Land Conservation and Animal Populations
With 347 days of VFR (weather good enough for visual flight), Pendleton UAS Range has a wide range of imagery objectives, great weather for flying, and the growing need for UAS services.