Applanix Corp. and American Aerospace Advisors, Inc. (AAAI), have agreed on an OEM supply agreement that will incorporate Applanix direct georeferencing technology into AAAI’s unmanned aerial platforms. The collaboration creates a commercially available professional-grade mapping UAV system for civilian applications such as pipeline monitoring, power line surveys and emergency-response mapping.
The availability of the system follows a series of successful test flights of AAAI’s RS-16 Unmanned Aircraft System equipped with Applanix’ DMS-UAV aerial photogrammetry payload with commercially available inertial technology. Joint teams from Applanix and AAAI planned and flew a sequence of missions to evaluate the capabilities, including the ability to provide highly accurate, directly georeferenced and orthorectified aerial imagery without the need for ground control points or aerial triangulation calculations.
The system — consisting of the airframe, its avionics, mobile ground control station, telemetry systems and the digital mapping payload — performed according to expectations and successfully produced high-quality imagery.
The announcement was made at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2014 Conference in Orlando Florida, where the most comprehensive collection of unmanned systems for every domain – air, ground and marine – are on display. A video of the system can be watched here.
“The OEM supply agreement with Applanix formalizes our plans to transform the aerial mapping industry by creating an integrated, professional-grade mapping system for unmanned flight,” David Yoel, CEO of American Aerospace Advisors, said. “For civilian aerial survey projects, this can mean safer operations, lower costs and more efficient deployments while still delivering very high accuracy. We are very pleased to announce the availability of the RS-16 Direct Mapping Solution.”
“We believe this is a ground-breaking development for the airborne imaging systems market,” Joe Hutton, Director of Inertial Technology and Airborne Products at Applanix, said. “There has been a lot of attention on developing a commercial, directly georeferenced mapping solution for UAVs, and now it is a reality.”
The RS-16 with the Applanix DMS payload is available through American Aerospace Advisors directly, for sale to jurisdictions where it is permitted to fly civilian UAV systems.