Drones – More than Photo Documentation
Author: Rhoda Deng, Project Manager, UAS Client Solutions
About the Environmental Business Council (EBC)
ARE is proud to support local professional organizations like the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC). The EBC, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1990 by environmental and energy company executives who began meeting regularly to exchange ideas and share experiences. They were the first organization in the United States to establish support and foster the development of the environmental industry. The goal is to enhance business and job growth of both vested and emerging environmental and energy companies.
Jon Budreski, UAS Business Development Director of ARE, has been an active member of EBC since 2017. During this time, Jon not only developed many professional relationships but also promoted Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the environmental industry. ARE has been helping environmental companies collect and process various data, including LiDAR, ortho imagery, thermal imagery, and multispectral imagery with UAS for the past five years.
With the fast development of UAS technology, more and more environmental companies are utilizing UAS for mapping, monitoring, and planning. In environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands or estuaries, UAS are an excellent tool for efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively collecting real-time data.
On May 13th, 2020, Jon organized a webinar with EBC: Ocean & Coastal Resources: Drones – More than Photo Documentation to have a deep dive on UAS utilization on coastal resources related projects. During the webinar, Jon discussed and presented an in-depth look at a recent project ARE completed that required three sensors to collect high-resolution geospatial products in support of a salt marsh restoration. UAS based LiDAR, RGB (orthophotography), and NDVI (multispectral) imaging were discussed. The webinar provided an extensive look at project planning, including FAA airspace and land-owner coordination (adjacent to the busy airport), survey support, data collection, processing, and delivery. Additionally, information regarding flights over people, UAS night operations, and lessons learned were shared as related to similar projects. In addition, there were three presenters from Fuss O’Neil, ESS Group, and Wells Reserve sharing insights on correlated coastal solutions that utilized drones in New England. The presentations of the webinar can be found here: https://ebcne.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Presentations-Ocean-Coastal-Resources-Webinar-Drones-More-than-Photo-Documentation.pdf.
ARE has been serving the coastal clients since the beginning stages of commercial UAS operations. Wetland mapping, coastal erosion monitoring, and salt marsh studies are the focus of our UAS solutions. Collecting data with UAS eliminates safety concerns and helps preserve environmentally sensitive areas that can be difficult to access by traditional survey methods.
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