COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 3, 2015—The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted The Sanborn Map Company, Inc. (Sanborn) approval to commercially operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) under the agency's Section 333 Exemption. The exemption permits Sanborn to offer UAS-based services to its customers immediately.
Sanborn has successfully completed numerous UAS test flights and data collection projects to validate the system's geospatial data collection capabilities. The trials have resulted in unprecedented accuracy and resolution, including high-quality, engineering-grade digital terrain models (DTMs) exceeding 2-inch accuracy; multispectral frame imagery at sub-centimeter resolution; and crisp, vibration-free video.
"We're excited to add this new capability to our world-class service offerings," says Jason Caldwell, vice president, business development and sales. "Several of our more progressive customers already are achieving value from our UAS capabilities."
"Sanborn's UAS technology is a great fit for a host of customers," affirms Sanchit Agarwal, director of mapping operations. "Among them are police and fire departments, agricultural operations, utilities, oil & gas concerns, emergency response planners, local governments, mine operators and the media."
Several functional examples of how Sanborn will serve customers with its UAS include damage assessment and response efforts, site mapping, water resource mapping, volumetric assessment and asset estimation, highway survey and accident mapping, corridor asset review, assessment, and mapping, and precision agriculture.
Sanborn's UAS is a vertical take off and landing (VTOL) platform with a 15-pound payload capacity. This enables the use of a wide range of sophisticated sensors or combinations of sensors, including video, multispectral, infrared, thermal and hyperspectral. The high-performance aircraft features a full military-grade autopilot with GPS waypoints and laser altimeters that are integrated with its sensor payload, permitting pinpoint sensor control. Additionally, the rugged aircraft has demonstrated amazing reliability, including maximum stability in winds up to 50 mph.
In addition to providing UAS flight services, Sanborn will offer a full range of image processing and analysis services for all UAS imagery collected, including cloud storage of customer data. Sanborn also will provide processing and distribution services to third-party UAS operators with a need for expert image processing, analysis, storage and distribution.
About The Sanborn Map Company, Inc.
Sanborn (www.sanborn.com) is a preeminent leader in the exploding geospatial industry, delivering state-of-the-art mapping solutions to customers worldwide. The firm currently operates a fleet of 14 aircraft located strategically across the United States. Embracing cutting-edge technology, Sanborn specializes in oblique aerial imagery, aerial and mobile light detection and ranging (LiDAR) mapping, aerial orthophotography, 3-D modeling and visualization software and services, indoor mapping with its proprietary SPIN robot, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sales, services and image processing, and a host of geospatial software development.