Information Forum

ASOG Members,

We need your help. We’re in the process of setting up a working group to develop a training guide (two guides – manned and unmanned) for those professionals who participate as a crewmember (secondary profession), i.e., research scientist, archeologist, photographer etc…, i.e., heavy focus on the civilian/commercial community.

When it comes to the unmanned (RPAS) guide, should the focus be:

a. ASO/Observer Only
b. Operator/ASO combined
c. Breakup a and b into two guides
d. Other

I like “a” ….rationale: There’s a lot of information already published for the RPAS operator but not for the individuals working with the operator. I believe this type of guide could help RPAS operators build a better crew or a secondary ASO professional plug & play in any crew or operation.

What are your thoughts? 


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  • Hi Gary,

    Super...we'll pick up things when we both get back from vacation. Have a safe trip heading out west and best wishes for your daughter’s wedding. I'll wave to you on Sunday from my A380 seat, i.e., flying over Canada.

    Cheers Mate!


  • Awesome Patrick, having an aide-memoire sort of book for those non-aircrew types is always good. From my experience when we had that type of person on board for a mission (fishheries officers or RCMP usually) they were more boresighted on what going on in their sphere of influence. IE the fisheries officer was worried about the license of the boat we were tracking and the RCMP were interested in pattern of life aboard the suspected drug smuggler boat, that sort of thing. 

    The rest of it was given to them as a passenger briefing, where we told them to be aware of things going on inside the plane. If they see or smell smoke etc then let someone know, look out for trip hazards, be aware of aircraft manouvers, that sort of thing. It was sort of a crash course in giving them some SA.

    My personal opinion is that SA is developed over time though and the more you fly the better it gets. That, of course, only counts for manned platforms. SA in an RPAS environment is another kettle of fish, yet still important. 

    Enjoy the summer. I too will be off comms in about three weeks as we drive out west for our daughters wedding.



  • Hi Gary,

    Excellent feedback & inputs. I agree it’s not black & white like the manned 2nd ASO Professional. Like your 2Cents, my 2Cents is produced a simple guide for RPAS Operators/Pilots to hand to a person who will be in that Operators/Pilots bubble of responsibility during flight, i.e., train them (non-pilot crewmembers) to be “ahead of the jet vs. behind the jet.” Rationale: Again, my 2Cents, having well trained non-pilot crewmembers (young person helping as an Observer or end-user standing next to the Pilot, etc.) will minimize the workload on the Pilot and improve the quality of the data collected.

    When I get back from summer vacation, I’ll stand-up the working group.

    What do you think?

    Again, excellent Gary!


  • Hi Patrick. I think that it depends on what the platform is. For the smaller quadcopter type RPAS then in most cases the operator is also the ASO, therefore any input from a "participating crewmember" like a scientist would be in the form of looking over the Operator/ASO shoulder or giving him verbal cues as to what is looking for. 

    When it comes to larger RPAS like MALE/HALE then its most likely there may be a secondary feed from the sensor to the other person who can see what they want and may be able to do their own analysis while the ASO operates the sensor. 

    This is all dependent on the size of the operation and just how much infrastructure they can muster. For your average civilian start-up company with a $5000 quadcopter setup who is vying for some contracts then they are more restricted than it it was a larger company or a military operation.

    Thats just my $.02.



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