An innovative mapping project using unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) within the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in south-central Colorado was completed by a collaboration among UAS Colorado, Black Swift Technologies (BST), the National Park Service (NPS) and Wohnrade Civil Engineers Inc.
Working in conjunction with NPS park staff, the project's goal was to develop precision mapping approaches using high-fidelity remote sensing to monitor change detection, measure dune height in the vicinity of the Star Dune, and visualize and document the natural resources that NPS is responsible for protecting.
Wohnrade Civil Engineers became the first FAA-licensed service provider to use a UAS to successfully map a 1-square-mile area of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Data collection was performed using the SwiftTrainer fixed-wing drone developed by BST. The resulting terrain dataset will be compared to a 2011 airborne LiDAR acquisition prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Click here for additional technical details as well as downloadable project data examples, which include an orthomosaic image and derived elevation contours.