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First in Flight: Unmanned Aircraft Conducts Aerial Survey at Airport

[caption id="attachment_6306" align="aligncenter" width="770"] DAA and Altavian team preparing for flight[/caption]   It is all about synchronization! For the first time in Virginia, an unmanned aircraft conducted an aerial survey, launching and recovering from an airfield, in a remarkably coordinated effort by the airport staff, flight crew, and Draper Aden Associates.   DAA and Altavian collaborated to conduct an aerial survey for Faulconer Construction utilizing a fixed wing small un-manned aircraft system (sUAS) at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport in Blacksburg, VA. Coordinated efforts between flight operations crew and the airport manager played an important role in maintaining safe operations.   [caption id="attachment_6305" align="aligncenter" width="770"] aUAS in flight over the airport[/caption]   The process included filing a notice with the Federal Aviation Authority’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). A NOTAM is a notice filed, 72 hours in advance, with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a...

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Sky-High Service: Drones for Commercial Use

Would it be confusing to say we’re in on the ground floor for a sky-high service?   It may sound a little complicated but that is just where Draper Aden Associates’ Darren Goodbar has placed the firm. Director of DAA’s Aerial Services and Piedmont Virginia Community College’s (PVCC) co-instructor of the schools unmanned aerial systems program, Darren is bridging the gap between academic research and direct application.   PVCC is the first college in the US to conduct research and development using small unmanned aerial systems (UAV) for public safety purposes. In June, the Virginia Unmanned Systems (UMS) Commission approved its recommendations to the Governor to increase business opportunities for the use of unmanned systems in the Commonwealth. These recommendations include funding the continued expansion of UAV to be used by first responders in life-saving applications in Virginia.   The PVCC course is promoting usage of drones for public safety but the practice is taking off...

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Change is in the Air

Draper Aden Associates has spent the last year integrating small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), navigating the FAA regulatory framework and assessing the accuracy of drone data collection. While traditional survey methods still play a major part of every project, the adoption of aerial imagery has made a profound effect on the firm’s overall abilities to provide efficient and timely delivery of information to customers. The utilization of aerial imagery on projects, including landfills, aggregate production facilities and site planning has led to a marked increase in overall field and office efficiency. An important part of the process was the initial filing for a Section 333 exemption to conduct commercial sUAS flights. This required that DAA not only have a fully implemented safety and operations procedure, but also required a certificated Pilot to operate their aircraft. “Getting a pilot’s license has always been a goal of mine,” stated Darren Goodbar, Director of Aerial...

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