UAS-DC Scope and Requirements of Participants

Scope of the UAS Demonstration Campaign

Requirements of UAS-DC participants are determined by the scope of the campaign, which is described in detail in the UAS-DC description and summarized below.

The over-arching aim is described in the UAS-DC project theme, which is:

WMO will coordinate a global demonstration project on the utility and efficacy of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) to routinely and operationally contribute to the WIGOS Global Basic Observing Network (GBON)

The UAS-DC theme then leads to the aims of the campaign.

The scope of the campaign is elaborated below and is based on key requirements and expectations that are derived from the theme and the aims.

Element of Scope Proposed
Observations Period 7 months, from 1 March to 30 September 2024
3 x Special Observing Periods (SOP)

Periods where participants are requested to undertake observations with, where possible:

  • higher temporal resolution - more frequent flights with observations made at a higher frequency
  • With wider coverage - observations from more sites

The SOPs are expected to occur as follows:

  1. April 2024, all month, with high priority on the week commencing on April 8 (overlapping with the total solar eclipse of April 8)
  2. 5 - 12 August 2024, overlapping with the Paris Olympics
  3. 9-15 September 2024, overlapping with the ISARRA flight week

Participant Operators

  • WMO Member UAS operator
  • Research UAS operator
  • Private UAS operator

Participant Data Users

  • Member Data User
    • Numerical Weather Prediction Centres
    • Other applications
  • Research Data User

Other Stakeholders

  • ICAO
  • National Civil Aviation Authorities
Geographical scope

Global - participants from all regions, countries and locations where UAS are and can be flown in compliance with national airspace regulations.

UAS types
  • Autonomous copter or fixed-wing small UAS 
  • Remote-piloted copter or fixed-wind small UAS 
  • Automated high altitude fixed-wing UAS 
  • Remote-piloted high altitude fixed-wing UAS 
Observations Locations & Modes

Observations from all locations and modes, including but not limited to:

  • Oceanic Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) - Vertical profiles of the atmospheric boundary layer with UAS from stationary or moving platform location.
  • Remote land, mountain, coastal and cryosphere observations and vertical profiles with UAS.
  • Upper troposphere and lower stratosphere observations of UAS.
  • Testbed observations and vertical profiling UAS.
  • Symbiotic UAS observations collected by private UAS performing some other primary mission (e.g., package delivery).
Reported Variables

Required physical variables

  1. Air temperature
  2. Air pressure
  3. Relative humidity

Additional physical variables

  1. wind speed
  2. wind direction 
  3. snow cover
  4. snow depth
  5. soil moisture
  6. albedo
  7. roughness length
  8. aerosols or particulates
  9. volcanic ash
  10. turbulence
Data Provision

The operators are welcome to provide UAS profiles throughout the seven-month campaign. However, they are particularly encouraged to focus their measurement efforts for the SOPs, during which participants should measure continuously at least once per day, on at least 4 days per week, and disseminate the observations in in near-real time  (preferably within 30 minutes of the observation time and no later than within 3 hours as a maximum, if possible).

  1. Continuous, Routine Data Provision - The making and provision of observations of the Required Physical Variables and associated Supporting Observational Metadata in accordance with the Modes of Operation at a frequency of at least once per day, on at least 4 days per week.
  2. Near-real Time - preferably within 30 minutes of the observation time if possible, and no later than within 3 hours as a maximum.
  3. Standard Data Representation Format (SDRF) - Data shall be submitted in a pre-defined NetCDF or WMO BUFR format tailored for UAS data representation.

Summary of Requirements of Participants

So as to ensure that participants in the UAS Demonstration Campaign can help to best meet the scope and the aims of the campaign, it is necessary to impose some specific requirements of participants in terms of several aspects related to the role they will play as participants.

Participants fall into 2 main categories:

  1. Participant UAS Operator - providing observations made by UAS in accordance with the Scope above.
  2. Participant Data User - receiving and making use of the UAS data so as to determine and measure data quality and impact.

The requirements of these two participant groups are summarised in the table below.

UAS Operator Requirements Data User Requirements

General requirements
1.    Adhere to the UAS-DC Data Policy.
2.    Endeavour to provide continuous, routine provision of data for at least 1 month during the demonstration observing period.
3.    Endeavour to commit to participating in at least one of the two Special Observing Periods.
4.    Submitted reports by UAS-DC participants able to be used by WMO for input to final report of UAS-DC.
5.    Observations to be made available to Participant Data Users via the Central Data Repository using the standard UAS data representation format.
6.    Provision of a Standard Participant Operator Report and input into demonstration results and outcome reports.

Requirements for UAS operations
1.    Endeavour to perform continuous, routine provision of data for at least 1 month during the demonstration observing period and during at least one of the Special Observing Periods.
2.    Endeavour to provide 1 or more required atmospheric variables along with the supporting observational metadata under a Continuous, Routine Data Provision program throughout at least one month of the campaign and preferably during at least one of the Special Observing Periods, at least one of the Modes of Operation and in one or more of the Observing Locations. 
3.    Provision of data in the standard data representation format to the central data repository in Near-real Time.
4.    Where and when possible, conduct comparison of measurements with Inter-comparison Systems.
5.    Endeavour to operate UAS based on UAS-DC Guidance for UAS Operators document

1.    Adhere to the UAS-DC Data Policy.
2.    Commit to participation in assessment of observation data quality and/or impact to forecasts. 
3.    Operate an NWP System with which the quality of UAS data and their impact to forecasts can be assessed.
4.    Endeavour to assess the quality and, if possible, forecast impacts of observation data provided by UAS operators.
5.    Ability to process and apply UAS-DC Standard Data Representation format in the requirements 2-4 above, and evaluate the usability the data format in the viewpoint of operational real-time data exchange in NWP Systems.
6.    Submit reports to the UAS-DC