Montana Department of Transportation

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Applications for Montana Transportation Corridors

This research will compile a comprehensive list of highway design, construction, and maintenance applications that have been successfully implemented in the US and overseas. It will then complete a critical analysis of each potential application within the Montana context, including the review of FAA and other regulations on this topic. The final deliverable will be a White Paper on the topic with recommendations for implementing high value applications with in MDT.

A critical analysis of the information gathered in the literature, surveys, case study and demonstration outcomes will be conducted within the MDT context, and from that, recommendations for high impact/low effort applications of UAV technology in the MDT program will be made. The critical analysis will include a top-down benefit-cost analysis for each of the recommended alternatives. The research deliverable will consist of a collection of 3 to 5 White Papers (4-6 pages) for the UAV alternatives that were found to have the greatest potential for immediate implementation in MDT. Each paper will make the business case for implementing a specific technology including up-to-date cost information, personnel resource requirements, hardware/software needs, necessary training, and FAA constraints. The research plan will be structured in a manner where the above described effort can be considered Phase I with the ability to move directly into a Phase II pilot implementation project if MDT so desires.

Please contact Sue Sillick ( or 406-444-7693) for more information.