SAM Awarded Major UAS Mapping Project for Electric Utility

August 14, 2019

SAM has been contracted to provide geospatial services for one of the largest electric utilities in the country. The project involves delivering as-built oblique aerial photography for electric transmission structures and substations. Over an 18-month period, SAM has been assigned multiple phases of the project that spans the central and southwest U.S. and covers approximately 400 miles of electric transmission line and over 4,200 tower structures. Deliverables include geo-referenced high definition imagery flown below 200-foot altitude and metadata to be utilized in the client’s GIS database.

Unique capabilities for the UAS program involve the deployment of heavy-lift, long endurance Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), equipped with multi-array sensors to collect data in the visible, Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) spectrums, as well as simultaneously collecting LiDAR data at survey grade accuracy. Flight crews are able to stage project sections by transferring operational control to another remote pilot through pilot-to-pilot hand-off for efficient acquisition. Maintaining line of site and visibility is paramount for safely operating the UAS within close proximity of energized transmission lines. The aircraft are equipped with ballistic parachutes for additional safety and protect the payload if operational control is interrupted.

According to Brandon Rench, Senior Project Manager for Geospatial Services, “We’re thrilled to have an expanded role in helping our client with their infrastructure mapping needs. Being selected for this work was supported by our demonstrated successful performance on the delivery of high-value, efficient, and safety-focused UAS services.”

To find out more about how SAM capabilities such as UAS can help with your project needs, see our Geospatial Services page.