By Ian Hageman, GIS Specialist and FAA certified remote pilot; and Sean McFeely, Product Manager
The use of unmanned systems (a.k.a. drone, UAS, UAV) has increased rapidly over the past few years. This growth has increased even more over the past couple of months as the FAA has relaxed requirements and regulations for commercial drone operation in August of 2016.
The use of UAS (unmanned aerial systems) is a cutting edge, low cost, and high efficiently platform for data. Unlike data collection with the typical satellite or manned aircraft, UAS offers on demand, and timely results. These results can often times be same day. Riverside is excited to be at the forefront of this technology and now offers a portfolio of drone services.
Some of these drone services include:
- High resolution aerial imagery (between 3-10 cm spatial resolution)
- High resolution elevation models (DEM, DSM, contours, 3D point cloud)
- Floodplain mapping
- Flood monitoring (pre/post flood aerial videos and photos)
- Volumetric calculations (erosion, deposition, quarry/landfill)
- Infrastructure inspection (Full HD video inspection of bridges, dams, infrastructure)
- Agricultural mapping (vegetation mapping, crop analysis, NDVI)
One of the most exciting uses of the drone technology is the ability to update existing and outdated datasets. The landscape and topography of the Earth is dynamic, and is constantly changing over time with rivers changing course, erosion, deposition, and construction projects. With drones, the ability to continuously update these surfaces yields more accurate results and rendering of the current landscape. For example, say that you have an elevation model of a river corridor through a community that was created 5 years ago. Say this community got flooded 2 years ago and there have been some river mitigation and construction work since the flood to prevent future flooding. With the use of Riverside’s UAS, Riverside can now go fly the areas that were newly constructed, process the data and incorporate this new elevation surface into the already existing elevation surface. Depending on the size of the area, this can even be done same day with mapping grade accuracy!
Riverside is excited to now offer this cutting edge technology as a service, and Ian Hageman (GIS Specialist and FAA certified remote pilot) is on staff in Fort Collins, CO to assist in all drone and UAS needs and support.