Category Archives: Aerial/UAS

Tracking Wildlife from the Sky

Above: Alan Wilson studied how cheetahs hunt with his modified aircraft. Credit: Stuart Dunn. To uncover the source of the cheetahs’ legendary hunting prowess, a researcher used a customized aerial camera to survey, film, and track their hunts. As recently profiled in a BBC documentary, Professor Alan Wilson, head of a research department at the...

Above the Mud

An orthographic image of the exposed spillway at Geode State Park in Iowa at 1″ ground sample distance. To improve water quality in a 500-acre state park, drones are key for surveying drained lakes and the surrounding watershed. Improving water quality is a key part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) mission. Planning...

3D Cities from a Single System

Above: This screenshot is of CityMapper output. A look at the hybrid airborne system that combines lidar with oblique and nadir imagery. Over the last five years I’ve built and used a lot of 3D GIS and BIM models. Almost all of this has required the capture of stereo imagery and oblique imagery and a...

drone defender

Anti-Anti-Drone Technology

Why we need it and what form it might take. I was walking down the UAS-tech-laden hall of the 2018 Commercial UAV Expo when I spied two booths touting anti-drone technology. I thought to myself, “My issue is the opposite—keeping my UAS in the air. I don’t need any help crashing it.” Yet, looking back,...

Lava Mapping

sUAS provide data for response to an unstoppable disaster. To most people living in Hawaii, it is not unusual to hear of an active lava event somewhere in the islands at any given time. Despite the nearly 70 earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or stronger a week prior to the Kilauea lava event, it might have...

Elios

UAS for Confined-space Inspections: the DARPA Connection

Dangerous, difficult, and dirty: these are missions that drones are often tasked for. Let’s look at one of the most dangerous tasks out there: inspection of confined spaces. Boilers, tunnels, storage tanks, underground storage areas, and vaults are a few good examples. How dangerous are these places? Here’s what the National Institute for Occupational Safety...