RAPID: COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Unmanned Aerial System Datasets from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Grant uri icon


  • This 12-month RAPID project will organize unmanned aerial system (UAS) data from 119 flights at Hurricane Harvey and 247 at Hurricane Irma, in order to make the data available to researchers. The project will (1) screen for personal privacy identification and applicable state laws, and make available to researchers, (2) host a virtual workshop to introduce the dataset and access procedures for researchers, and (3) host a follow up workshop at the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Safety Security and Rescue Robotics to discuss the results by researchers using the datasets and how to acquire datasets in the future. The datasets were collected by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Florida State University who co-deployed to Fort Bend County, Texas, and Putnam and Collier Counties, Florida. They are unique because they (1) reflect the largest number of flights for public officials; (2) represent a diversity of UAS platforms (10 different models) flying at different altitudes and for eight distinctly different missions; (3) consist of video, still imagery, and photogrammetric data products based on mission; and (4) include flights before the event, during the response phase, and through the restoration phase. However, the datasets require some additional work to screen content for privacy, to complete meta-data, to be consistent in naming conventions in order to facilitate access by external researchers, and to set up controlled access. The datasets are ephemeral because the missing meta-data of pilots, platforms, and flight times for each mission will be lost in the memory of the pilots and because the datasets are needed to enable other researchers in computing and engineering use the data.

date/time interval

  • 2017 - 2018