If you work in the military, public safety or commercial industry, your organization likely needs high-quality aerial imagery to make mission-critical decisions. Collecting aerial imagery from airplanes or helicopters can be challenging, especially in potentially dangerous locations or hazardous environmental conditions. This is why the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is on the rise.
ArcNorth News interviewed Kyle Kivimaki, product manager for Aeryon Labs, to learn more about Aeryon UAS and how its integration with Esri software provides a safer, more efficient solution for collecting imagery.
AN: What makes Aeryon Labs the leading drone data platform and premier manufacturer of small UAS?
AL: Aeryon Labs has been in business for 10 years. We have UAS deployed in more than 35 countries worldwide, including 20+ military organizations. There are not very many UAS manufacturers that have the same history. We value our customers. Many of the features and functionality of our solutions are based on their feedback. The customer service and support we provide is also top of class. You speak with a person, not a machine, when you call.
AN: How has Esri technology furthered Aeryon Labs’ ability to provide compelling solutions?
AL: All the data collected with Aeryon UAS, including images and videos, has accurate geo-location data embedded in it. This allows our customers to take full advantage of Esri solutions such as Drone2Map and the ArcGIS Full Motion Video add-in. By combining images from Aeryon UAS with Drone2Map, they can can create ready-to-use GIS imagery. As well, through these analytical tools built on the ArcGIS platform, our customers garner meaningful insights from the data collected with Aeryon UAS. Having this level of integration with Esri technology allows us to offer a complete solution – beyond just selling a UAS.
The following is an example of an orthomosaic created with images captured by the Aeryon SkyRanger. The project took place at a two acre (0.8 ha) limestone quarry encircled by steep cliffs up to 40 ft. (12 m) high.
Orthomosaic showing flight path
Processed data using Drone2Map
AN: Many organizations are increasingly focused on enhancing public safety. How can Aeryon Labs help advance initiatives in this area?
AL: Our company has been working with public safety organizations since 2009. We currently have public safety agencies throughout the world using our UAS in many applications – traffic, tactical, and search & rescue, among others. To help advance initiatives in this area, we produce various materials including white papers and case studies, and offer seminars and webinars to educate organizations on how to build and maintain a UAS program. Many of our customers will speak with other agencies interested in building a program to help them understand what’s involved. We also attend industry trade shows to help increase awareness. As well, we’ve created different programs to help agencies purchase our solutions according to their budget and buying cycles.
AN: What advice can you give organizations that may be hesitant to adopt drone technology due to the many regulatory constraints associated with drone usage?
AL: For organizations that want to start using UAS technology, they should understand that regulations are designed to keep property, people and airspace safe. There are companies and associations that can help with building a safe and compliant program. Insurance companies and lawyers are becoming more knowledgeable and standards are being established. As the industry grows and more people are using the technology, the support for operators is developing and growing as well.
AN: Can you provide an example of an organization benefitting from the use of your solutions? Do you cater only to public safety organizations?
AL: Our customers are in a variety of industries, with a focus on military, public safety and energy/utility. They use our technology to collect aerial imagery in support of various activities including building and structure assessments, power line surveys and inspections, and evaluation of lifespan of mining waste sites.
AN: What’s next for Aeryon Labs? Where do you see the UAV and aerial intelligence market in five years?
AL: We will continue to develop new solutions and services that address our customers’ needs and offer advancements as other technologies deliver more features and functionality. Aeryon creates integrated solutions and we will continue to expand our offerings as required.
(The interview has been condensed and edited.)
Partner Quick Facts
Company: Aeryon Labs
Location: Waterloo, ON
Solutions: Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Industries: military & government, public safety, commercial, energy/utility
Mission: To build solutions that help people do difficult and (often) dangerous tasks – safely and efficiently