Four Observations from a Recent UAS Data Collect

Provided by guest blogger, Matt Hutchinson, Woolpert subject matter expert, Dayton

On a breezy, sunny morning in late September, the Woolpert UAS team traveled to the Wilmington Air Park for another UAS data acquisition with our partners Altavian and Sinclair Community College. The goal was to collect and process data for presentation at a media event the following week. We collected imagery with a spatial resolution of 3cm and after processing, the team was impressed with how well the imagery compliments our other products and the opportunities it provides for fusion with these other data sources.

The data acquisition at Wilmington corroborated four observations also apparent during previous UAS collections, including:

  • UAS operations and the associated processing workflow is a new twist on previously established ways of collecting aerial imagery. Although it is aerial acquisition, the logistics and operations are more akin to a surveying project.
  • The inter-departmental nature of UAS activity has required us to work with colleagues we have previously not collaborated with, and share insights that cross technical disciplines. Our team members at Woolpert have done a great job of doing this.
  • UAS are an effective tool for smaller geographic areas, especially when there is a need for excellent spatial resolution (such as 2cm) and/or re-collection on a regular basis (e.g., applications such as environmental change detection, infrastructure monitoring).
  • A second wave of UAS potential will arrive when the technology is integrated into the national airspace (NAS) and current flight requirements are eased.

UAS is certainly a growth area and Woolpert is approaching this technology with the philosophy that has maintained the firm as a market leader in new geospatial capabilities. In the meantime, we look forward to our next UAS flight, and more of those sunny mornings spent outdoors.

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