If we seem to be repeating ourselves, it's because this is one of the most important things we have learned: the companies that succeed with drone surveying are the ones that start simply. In our February 2017 guest column in Point of Beginning Magazine, we detail what this approach involves and the benefits it offers.
On the heels of the implementation of the FAA's new commercial drone laws, called Part 107, the team at California Surveyor Magazine once again asked Aerotas to weigh in on what surveyors need to know.
Aerotas was honored when Point of Beginning magazine asked us to follow up our article in the September issue with another in October. In October's guest column, titled "Drone Dos and Don’ts," Aerotas co-founders Logan Campbell and Daniel Katz cover just that: what does a survey drone do well, and what does it not do well? This topic is crucial to understand for surveyors considering starting survey drone operations.
This third in our series of posts expanding on our article in Cal Surveyor covers how the deliverables a mapping drone produces translate into real value for surveyors. We dig into how value comes in the form of increasing crew efficiency, minimizing reliance on aerial contractors, record-collection, and reducing crew risk.
The co-founders of Aerotas were featured as Guest Columnists in this month’s Point of Beginning magazine. The focus of the article is on the critical steps in developing a survey drone program. The article covers the crucial categories of technology (hardware and software), operations, insurance, and regulation. In our experience, operations and workflow management are the most critical but over-looked component in ensuring a successful program.
Included in the FAA's new drone laws is the ability to operate a drone from within a moving vehicle. This dramatically expands the areas that drones can cover for mapping or inspection. We took to the deserts of Southern California to see how difficult it is to run a safe UAV operation from a moving vehicle.
Today, the FAA's landmark commercial drone rules went into effect. That also means that today was the first day to take the new knowledge test required to become an FAA licensed operator. I passed the test today, and am happy to report on what I learned about the test.
The second in a series of posts expanding on our article in Cal Surveyor. As we discussed in the article, mapping drones can produce three primary deliverables: orthophotos, 3D models, and high-resolution photo and video. In order to use an aerial mapping drone profitably, a surveyor has to understand each of these deliverables and how a surveyor drone can be used to create them. In this post, we dig in to each of these surveyor drone deliverables.
The Aerotas Map Package is an all-inclusive package of everything an organization needs to start mapping by drone, and it leverages many lessons that the Aerotas team has learned in our consulting practice. It leverages the technology — hardware and software — that we have vetted and found to be most reliable. It leverages our hard-learned best practices in the form of operations guides and training. It leverages thorough study of efficient insurance coverage and regulatory compliance. But the one lesson that it leverages more than any other is this: start simply.
Last week, I spent a day in the field getting a client trained on their new UAV equipment. Naturally, I thought this would be a great chance to test out a new aircraft that we recently received. Unfortunately, I made a mistake that is all too common in UAV operations: I left all of my batteries sitting in their charger back in the office. Having good operational procedures and good training is the solution to prevent this and worse mistakes. In this post we dig into why following procedures and checklists is crucial on every job.