POWER Engineers team licensed for drone services
HAILEY, Idaho (Dec. 6, 2016) — POWER Engineers Incorporated (POWER) is now offering the use of unmanned aerial systems — commonly known as drones — to collect video, photos and data for use in state-of-the-art 3D terrain and tower modeling and visualizations for clients across the nation.
Three of POWER’s expert staff members passed the Part 107 Aeronautical Exam, which allows them to operate drones commercially under the FAA’s new rules regarding drone operation. POWER Visualization Services Department Manager Jason Pfaff, GIS Department Manager Aaron Ames and GIS Analyst Andy Bartos all have their remote pilot certificates, and are beginning to use their drone skills on behalf of clients.
POWER operates two types of drones. The first type is a fixed-wing system that can fly for up to 40 minutes collecting GIS data, aerial images and terrain models. The second type is a rotorcraft, capable of carrying high-resolution photography and video equipment that can capture data from nearly any angle. The rotorcraft can hover in one place and fly with extreme precision, making it possible to model structures such as lattice towers.
“Rotorcraft systems are rapidly proving to be a safe and cost effective way to gather data for our clients,” Pfaff said. “Removing the pilot and crew from the vehicle reduces project risk, especially in situations where we need to be close to the ground or close to our subjects. Intelligent GPS controls and high resolution video feedback bring a higher level of precision than traditional methods.
“Future advances in augmented reality combined with UAS technology will revolutionize the visualization industry that we know today.”
Ames said the real advantage for clients is POWER’s ability to pinpoint the required data and process it in ways that can be useful to clients.
“Built-in flight control systems help make it easy and safe to fly these drones,” he said. “Our experience with geographic information and engineering requirements assure that we get all of the parameters correct to provide reliable and cost-effective information for many applications.”