Special Session 5

Sensors / Sensing Applications for Uninhabited Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)


Sensors and sensing applications play crucial roles in safe operations of uninhabited aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) in general. The fields of UAS and AAM have advanced significantly over the last decade. One of the driving forces behind this rapid expansion is the advancements in sensors and sensing technologies, which have enabled UAS to perceive and interact with their operating environment in sophisticated ways autonomously and / or with minimal human intervention. Another application of sensing technology is in the field of inspection, surveillance, and maintenance, where UAS equipped with sensors such as thermal and optical cameras and increasingly supported by machine learning can be used to inspect infrastructure, monitor agriculture, human and animal activities, etc. Technological developments have had a great impact on development and improvement of variety of UAS mounted sensors, which are now smaller, lighter and with improved performance. Since sophisticated UAS are now commercially available, they can also be misused, which can jeopardize safety and privacy of not only individuals but also infrastructure, wildlife and sensitive sites. Therefore, it is also important to not only detect these UAS (drones) but also to identify the types and ideally the intentions such that appropriate counter-measures can be deployed. 

This special session aims to explore recent advancements in sensors and sensing technologies for UAS and AAM. Areas of interest include:

- Sensors for UAS and AAM 
- Sensing applications
- Counter-UAS (CUAS) 
- Navigation and controls
- Obstacle detection and avoidance
- UAS-based inspection / monitoring
- UAS and AAM structure and structural integrity


  • Aerospace Research Centre, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada

  • Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada