Category Archives: Aerial/UAS

Multicopter Profiles

The eXom, RiCOPTER, Aibot X6, and Trimble ZX5 SenseFly’s eXom Inspection and close-in mapping sUAS I first saw sensFly’s new eXom sUAS at the ILMF conference in Denver early this year. It’s billed as an inspection and close-in mapping platform, and I thought, “Inspection? That’s interesting” and moved on. Turns out the team at senseFly...

Utility corridor mapping and monitoring is a prime example of an application that is constrained by the current FAA Section 333 VLOS rule. (Here a hydroelectric power transmission tower being inspected by an Aeryon Scout. Courtesy of SkyDroid.)

Getting Beyond VLOS

The FAA’s streamlined Section 333 exemption and COA process is welcome, but there’s still a fly in the ointment.  While the ongoing FAA Section 333 exemption process is a big step in the right direction for UAS, all operators flying under these exemptions are constrained by the VLOS rule: all flights must be conducted within...

In the early 1990s our attempts to eliminate ground control were by establishing a fixed base at the airport and a rover on the plane. Using post-processing software, we were able to add precise coordinates to each photograph.

We Are Aviators First

With UAS, surveyors are becoming aviators. As we adopt new technology, we should heed old advice. I flew my first photogrammetric mission in the early 1980s while I was completing my geodesy degree during tumultuous times at my alma mater. While the rest of the world had disco fever, students at Universidad Central de Venezuela...

This breakwater in Costa Rica was built in the 1970s and now needs serious repair, as assessed by this image taken by a UAS.

Copter Power

A UAS rotocopter pilot directs the successful imaging of a breakwater project in Costa Rica. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are finding their way into geospatial applications beyond the obvious commercial topography, volumes, and inspection applications. One particular application that is poised to take advantage of the lower cost associated with UAS data acquisition is environmental...

Trimble Takes Flight with New Multirotor Unmanned Aircraft System

Latest Addition to UAS Portfolio Makes Working in Tight Spaces Easy Trimble  announced the ZX5 Multirotor Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), a new aerial imaging and workflow solution that captures and processes geo-referenced photo and video data for mapping, agriculture and inspection applications. The Trimble® ZX5 complements the UAS portfolio with the ability to reach smaller,...

Trimble was the first UAS manufacturer to receive an FAA Section 333 exemption. Pictured here is Trimble’s UX5.

How FAA Exemptions Work for Commercial Operation of sUAS

How They Work for Commercial Operation of sUAS On February 15, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposes to enact part 107 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Specifically, the rulemaking proposes operating requirements to allow small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to operate for non-hobby or non-recreational purposes....