In order to maximize productivity, versatility, and efficiency with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), ARE-AirShark and the University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Lab (UVM SAL) have formalized a partnership. One of ARE-AirShark’s very own GIS Analysts’, Tayler Engel, worked as UVM SAL’s Lead Pilot for 5 years and stated “I see the ARE-AirShark, UVM SAL relationship as the perfect opportunity for both sides to advance in the field of UAV technology. While at UVM SAL, I frequently worked with AirShark to discuss new technology and new workflows. Nothing has changed now that I work at ARE-AirShark. I work closely with the UVM SAL team on many projects”. This background helped lead ARE-AirShark to form this exciting relationship with UVM. Stemming from this collaboration, UAS projects, including the use and application of a variety of data collection technologies, have been completed.
ARE-AirShark in collaboration with UVM SAL, have already completed a number of photogrammetry and LiDAR projects. They have surveyed the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) campus, captured the structure from motion (SFM) imagery for a GIS map in the town of Truro, Massachusetts, and completed UAS landfill mapping in Vermont. Working with the Director of UVM SAL; Jarlath O’Niel-Dunne, has enabled ARE-AirShark to integrate the strengths of an educational institution and a private sector company, to increase the cost effectiveness when completing UAS mapping and data processing for prospective customers. Working with UVM SAL has allowed ARE-AirShark to scale both in data collection and back-office GIS processing, ultimately allowing for increased project efficiency. In turn, the collaboration with ARE-AirShark has provided UVM the opportunity to educate students on UAS operations and data collection as well as to increase their overall productivity in the field. UVM’s own Research Technician Emma Estabrook said this of her time spent working with ARE-AirShark “I’m very much looking forward to UVM SAL’s continued relationship with ARE-AirShark. I have worked with AirShark on the Truro, UMass, and landfill mapping and their level of professionalism and expertise in the field has not only been beneficial for myself, but our students as well. It’s very neat to be able to work on such a broad range of projects in the private sector and I’m excited to see what we will collaborate on in the future.”
At UMass, ARE-AirShark and the UVM SAL team worked together to successfully survey the campus. The overall objective was to provide photogrammetry mapping and support construction documentation and planimetrics. The image below depicts an orthoimage collected by the Ebee drone. The use of powerful software allows for images to be processed and turned into delivered products quickly. The team provided UMass with 3D models of buildings, campus mapping via drone from 2016 and 2018, as well as updated elevation data. The image below (among others) was used by UMASS to update their plannimetrics, sidewalks, pavement conditions, line work, and centerlines. Our team effort completed the mapping of 1500 acres of campus in 2 days.
The mapping project in the town of Truro was completed by ARE-AirShark and UVM in March of 2018 over the Pamet River. The flight team captured images and video that were used to create a GIS map which in turn helped the town visualize where and to what extent the flooding occurred from March storms. The use of the Ebee UAS with PPK and RTK technology augmented other methods normally used. The town of Truro is inputting this information into hazard mitigation plans and larger long-term engineering projects that in turn will reduce future impacts to the hydrodynamic system.
In 2018, ARE-AirShark and UVM SAL continue monthly landfill mapping, including 3D point clouds, an orthomosaic map, elevation contours, and digital elevation model (DEM). The data provides excellent progress documentation as a part of the overall management plan.
UVM SAL and ARE-AirShark have many more collaborations on the way as a benefit to customers. Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne the Director of University of Vermont’s Spatial Analytics Lab said this of working with ARE-AirShark, “You would be hard pressed to find a group more knowledgeable of UAS/drones than AirShark. From FAA regulations to flight operations to data analytics – AirShark is a leader in the field. Our UAS Team at the University of Vermont has collaborated with AirShark on a broad range of outreach activities and projects. Their capabilities, professionalism, and commitment to safety have been nothing short of outstanding.”