Woolpert to develop strategic plan and concept of operations for Indiana's UAS program

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has contracted Woolpert to develop a strategic plan and concept of operations for the state’s UAS program.

INDOT will manage, share and align the policies, procedures and standards created by Woolpert with designated agencies throughout the state.

“INDOT wants to ensure that the state of Indiana is flying UAS safely and effectively,” says Thomas Mackie, Woolpert vice president and geospatial program director.

“People and organizations across the country are attempting to integrate drones into their business processes, due to the many benefits of this technology. But often these processes are inconsistent and untested, and therefore unsafe.”

With more than 30 years’ worth of experience working with INDOT and other state agencies, Woolpert recently completed a contract with Indiana to acquire and process high-resolution orthoimagery and lidar data throughout the state as part of IndianaMap, which houses and shares the geospatial data and services of Indiana. The firm says that this contract extends and complements its support of these technologies across the state.

Also possessing decades’ worth of transportation engineering and survey experience, Woolpert works directly with FAA regulatory leaders and provides strategic consulting services across several markets. In 2014, Woolpert became the first surveying and aerial mapping company approved by the FAA to fly UAS commercially in designated airspace. The firm notes that it has successfully implemented UAS into the operations of other state departments of transportation, airports and governmental agencies.

“UAS implementations are not one size fits all,” Mackie explains.

“Organizations need to outline what they want to accomplish, determine the appropriate system specific to their needs and define the process that will help them achieve their objectives. We help them do that.”

Woolpert has helped with a variety of UAS projects, including those that provide floodplain analysis, landslide mitigation and construction monitoring and management. According to Mackie, the firm is “uniquely suited” for UAS thanks to its architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) experience.

“Our long history supporting the AEG and mapping needs of federal, state, and local governments and agencies has well prepared us to lead operations and heighten the effectiveness of UAS,” he says.

“We employ UAS across the many markets and disciplines within Woolpert, allowing us to explore and advance this technology in real-world situations. This advantage sets us apart from the competition and inspires us to retain that leading edge.”

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