Here’s a quick look at some of the happenings Wednesday at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems conference in Washington, D.C.

Another tool: Rob Miller believes that unmanned aerial systems are well-suited for the surveying and engineering professions.

“It’s a cliché, but it’s another tool in a surveyor’s toolbox,” said Miller, the UAS product portfolio manager for Trimble.

Miller and Trimble colleague Michael Maes led the session “Use of Very Small UAS for Precise Feature Collection Applications.” In the 30-minute presentation, they examined the potential benefits UASs could provide to the surveying and mapping profession. They also talked about the Trimble UX5 Aerial Imaging Station, which also was on display in the exhibit hall.

Raise public awareness: That was the call from Pierre le Roux of Aerometric Inc. following the Washington Policy Lunch organized by MAPPS.

Le Roux believes there is too much bad news about drones, and he said that it is the responsibility of the surveying and geospatial community to educate the public about the benefits of unmanned aerial systems.

“First, you need to get your community on board,” Le Roux said. “As a community, then we have to step out wide.”

MAPPS meeting: MAPPS hosted the Washington Policy Lunch at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center. Congressional representatives spoke at the roundtable forum, including Blas Nunez-Neto, a senior professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Joan V. O’Hara, deputy chief counsel for the House Committee on Homeland Security; Mitch Kominsky, counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and Tim Tarpley, the deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas).

Much of the discussion centered on privacy concerns, particularly a bill co-sponsored by Poe that would put restrictions on surveillance done by drones.

Tarpley said he believes a reasonable bill on privacy and UASs can allay the public’s fears and actually help the geospatial profession.

SBG Systems: The French company had its Survey Grade Ekinox-D, an inertial navigation system, on display at the exhibit hall.

Quote of the day: “The drone today will be the revolution of tomorrow,” Edouard Guilhot-Gaudeffroy of Workfly.