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Drone in flight

Unmanned aircraft systems can improve survey data collection

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, will disrupt many industries in the next 5 to 10 years. In this research brief, we speculate about how UAS could be used in survey data collection to make survey data more accurate and/or less costly. We put forth three ideas for how UAS can be used to improve surveys in the future to (1) supplement survey data with UAS photo and sensor data; (2) deliver survey hardware to selected respondents; and (3) detect and enumerate housing units for sample selection.

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