Aerial Missions Unit

CTM’s Aerial Missions Unit was established to develop the architecture and resources to conduct operational research on small unmanned aircraft systems, in accordance with established federal directives and standards. AMU personnel maintain extensive subject matter expertise in unmanned systems technologies, capabilities and limitations, and policies to support exploration and implementation of applications in law enforcement, emergency management, environmental resource management, and UAS countermeasures.

Group 1 UAS

The Group 1 UAS program focuses on the capability of tactical units to employ small unmanned aircraft as organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, supplementing constrained manned aircraft and other operational- and strategic-level resources.

The AMU maintains operational expertise, flight qualifications, and material access to a variety of UAS platforms.

AMU UAS platforms

AeroVironment Puma AE
PSI Tactical Robotics InstantEye
Aquacopter Bullfrog
3DRobotics Aero
3DRobotics Iris
3DRobotics X8
3DRobotics Y6
3DRobotics Solo
DJI Phantom 2
DJI Phantom 2 vision +
DJI Phantom 3 Pro
DJI Inspire
DJI Mavic Pro
Aerial Alchemy Tadpole

Environmental Survey

The ability of unmanned aircraft to operate with flexibility and minimize environmental interference makes them ideal for applications in observational research. As subject matter experts in UAS applications and operations, AMU provides support to a number of environmental research programs. These have included initiatives to survey protected nesting sites and measure the growth of whale calves.

Expendable Air Vehicle

The EAV program provides the administrative and operational construct to conduct rapid-response experimentation of experimental or commercially available UAS in restricted airspace. This program streamlines the process of airworthiness approvals, airspace and frequency authorizations, providing access to test venues that present policy, administrative, or logistics challenges.

Additive Manufacturing

The Additive Manufacturing program focuses on the capability of resource-constrained and geographically isolated units to use 3D printing technology to manufacture aircraft and spare parts based on the specifics of their operational environment and application.

Surrogate UAS

The Surrogate UAS program focuses on experimentation captive carry of UAS sensors and data links by manned aircraft. Through this construct, training and experimentation of UAS subsystems can be conducted in airspace otherwise inaccessible under routine circumstances, with minimal impact to routine air traffic or artificiality imposed upon the operator.


If you would like to contact us regarding research opportunities, current and upcoming programs, or general information, we welcome your inquiries.