Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

We’re leading in the use of advanced UAS technologies to provide best-in-class geospatial and surveying solutions for the future.

SAM has a longstanding commitment to being at the forefront of leading geospatial technologies and we’ve now added Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to our range of capabilities. We can utilize professional-grade UAS platform to perform data acquisition tasks to meet a wide range of client needs in market sectors such as oil and gas, electric, transportation, and telecommunications.

The commercial use of these vehicles is highly restricted by governmental regulations, but SAM is fully approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate UAS aircraft for aerial land surveying and geospatial services. We have the FAA Section 333 exemption required to legally conduct UAS flights for commercial activities and are approved to use 5 different Unmanned Aerial Systems for surveying. We've performed projects for a range of public and private sector clients, such as oil and gas companies, waste management companies, river authorities, and municipalities. Our service offerings are fully operational and include:

  • Pre-construction corridor assessment
  • Construction progress
  • As-built surveys
  • Bridge inspection
  • Topographic mapping
  • Civil infrastructure condition assessment
  • ROW pipeline inspection
  • GIS data collection
  • Thermal inspection for electric transmission, substation, and generation
  • Wireless infrastructure inspection
  • Cell tower mapping and inspection
  • Emergency response assessments
  • Vegetation management
  • Volumetric calculations
  • Methane detection

uas dataOur UAS programs and project deployments are managed through our central Geospatial Command Center where we have access to live nationwide data networks to plan, monitor, and execute virtually any geospatial project with oversight in real time. Once UAS data collection is completed for the project, the Command Center is also responsible for the subsequent post-processing and data preparation to meet specific client or project requirements. We can deliver digital assets that include Digital Surface Models (DSMs), point clouds, high-resolution video and still imagery, orthophotography, and other specialty data types in industry-standard formats to meet any almost any client need. We also provide interactive hosted data streaming from our fully provisioned data center.

Our expert flight crews include licensed pilots, trained flight observers, and other geospatial support staff specializing in UAS processing. We have four certificated aviators on staff and the program is run by a former U.S. Army aviator with over 2,100 flight hours. We use both rotary and fixed-wing UAS aircraft that can be equipped with digital cameras and other sensors to support various client applications.

UAS options present numerous advantages over traditional airborne data acquisition methods, including faster deployment of acquisition resources, real time monitoring and results, and the ability to capture high-resolution imagery at very close range.