Aerial Services, Altavian & sUAS

Altavian sUAS
Altavian Galaxy R8700 prepared for data collection.

Project information written by Jason Dolf, Flight Coordinator at Aerial Services.

Aerial acquired geospatial data used for mapping, remote sensing, orthophotography, aerial enlargements, or GIS applications must be high quality, high resolution, and distortion free. Aerial Services’ five-decade reputation of acquiring such data is well known. Legally and safely deploying small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) as a remote sensing and mapping tool has enabled Aerial Services to maintain its reputation as an industry leader in the geospatial community. Our commitment to exceed customer expectations is unwavering.

In early 2015, Aerial Services received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to legally fly sUAS for aerial survey. Partnering with Altavian, a company that builds the easiest and most powerful drone data capabilities, and utilizing their Galaxy R8700 allows us to fly in almost all of the continental United States with our Section 333 Exemption paired with a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA).

As the FAA has recently released Part 107 Aerial Services has transitioned to conduct operations under the newly published laws, allowing our team to operate sUAS in an expanded area. Our experienced staff of pilots have obtained Remote Pilot Certificates with small UAS rating required by the FAA. Operation under Part 107 allows greater flexibility for sUAS geospatial acquisition.

Project Highlight (Summer 2016 Agriculture Client)

  • Aerial Services conducted numerous flights throughout the Summer of 2016 to capture critical growth stages of both soybeans and corn.
  • Flights have been conducted almost weekly, sometimes multiple collections in one week.
  • Typical flight time is ~15 minutes per set of batteries.
  • Each location has ground control points.
  • Local GPS base station established for post-processing of ABGPS/IMU data.
  • 0 flights delayed or missed due to equipment malfunction and/or failure.
  • All flight data is run through a field quality control (QC) to verify complete coverage and image radiometry is acceptable.
  • Flight data is delivered to the home office same day of flight, production begins immediately and data is delivered within ~3 business days to the client.

table for Altavian article