Calspan acquires UAS for aerial surveying, LIDAR mapping, and 3D photography



A company named Calspan has announced the acquisition, modification, and certification of a long-range, fixed-wing UAS, which will allow the company to “enter emerging markets that service public utilities and government agencies.” The company will use the UAS for aerial surveying, LIDAR mapping, and 3D photography.

In addition to acquiring the UAS, Calspan, which provides research and testing services in the aviation and transportation industries, has also obtained the necessary licenses and approvals from the FAA that enable commercial UAS operations under CFR Title 14 Part 107.

“As a global leader in aviation innovation for more than 70 years, Calspan is excited about developing small unmanned aircraft technology to meet the needs of the markets we serve,” says Lou Knotts, CEO of Calspan.

Calspan’s UAS has several unique features, including a flight duration of more than 20 hours, a modular payload system, and it is equipped with a fail-safe parachute recovery system.

In an effort to take advantage of the drone's long range capability, Calspan is developing beyond-line-of-sight communications systems, sensor payloads, and other related equipment, as a part of this project.

Calspan notes that the aircraft’s sensor suite will include conventional imaging, as well as infrared photography, real-time video, LIDAR, and gas leak detection.

Calspan’s UAS operation will be based at the company’s Aerospace facility at Niagara Falls International Airport, in Niagara Falls, New York.

The UAS will be taken to different locations in western New York and Pennsylvania, and will be used to monitor the status of pipelines, rights-of-way, waste storage facilities and “other infrastructure components that belong to government agencies and public utility companies.”