In 2010 alone there were over 2,000 vehicle fatalities on Canada's highways and roads. The total number of major collisions is much higher. This creates an enormous burden for public safety agencies. Following an accident the role of first responders is critical. Ambulances need to attend to injuries and casualties as soon as possible, fire and emergency management assistance may be required for extraction or dealing with hazards from fire or dangerous materials. Police have responsibility for securing the site and coordinating cleanup, accident reconstruction and evidence gathering. An aerial perspective of a scene provides first responders with additional information for coordinating response and cleanup, and investigation.
Traditional methods for remote wildlife and environmental research can be unreliable, dangerous and expensive. Researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks used the Aeryon Scout to demonstrate the increased reliability and effectiveness of conducting ship based wildlife monitoring using a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV.
Operating in the Bering Sea around the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, one Aeryon Scout was used to fly for more than 6 hours during 31 flights with a total flight distance of 60,124 meters. During this time, researchers captured close to 60 gigabytes of data including more than 6000 high resolution images.
After an early November storm formed ice over the Bering Sea, the remote community of Nome Alaska missed its last scheduled fuel delivery before the winter. The Sitnasuak Native Corp. of Nome contracted a Russian fuel tanker, Renda, to deliver fuel supplies necessary to sustain the community until the ice melts in Spring. The US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy escorted the fuel tanker, and broke through more than 300 miles of ice on its journey to Nome.
Aerial imagery from the Aeryon Scout brings a new level of speed and accuracy to building 3D models of ground surfaces. This is particularly true for modeling and volume calculations in mining – where an aerial perspective reveals surface details that cannot be reliably measured from the ground. Aeryon customer and GIS service provider partner, Geo-Rhea, is a leader in geo-spatial analysis for several industries and applications and uses the Aeryon Scout to produce extremely accurate models and volume calculations. This translates into more effective operations and measurable cost savings for its customers.
Ensuring electrical power line safety is an enormous task. Over time mechanical components supporting high voltage lines fatigue, and electrical isolators crack and break down. To prevent the dangerous situation of downed power lines and electrified towers, frequent inspection is undertaken. Currently manned helicopters are used for inspection purposes, which is both expensive, and hazardous work for the pilot and onboard inspection crews. The Aeryon Scout removes the human element from this dangerous environment - allowing operators to get detailed images of this equipment at a safe distance, and at a fraction of the cost.
Traditionally, inspecting operating infrastructure can require lengthy and expensive shutdowns for detailed manual inspection, especially when personal or environmental safety is concerned. In some cases where flight is not restricted due to confined spaces or other obstacles, the use of rental helicopters is possible - however these are expensive and require advance scheduling. In partnership with ING Engineering (www.ingengineering.com), the Aeryon Scout was used to conduct a detailed aerial inspection of several active flare stacks at a major oil refinery in Eastern Canada. In contrast to manual inspections, personnel were not required to climb the stacks, each several hundred feet in height, and the refinery saved invaluable production time.
Many industries use aerial photographic mapping to provide both overview images and details of specific features. Typically these images are collected using a highly specialized camera mounted on a manned aircraft or by satellite. In either case, traditional methods are quite expensive and often out of date. In this mission summary, the Scout is used to map a large parcel of land and provide 2.5 cm accurate images.
Aerial imagery for emergency response is critical; however, changes happen more often than the imagery is updated. Recent renovations to some local schools required the Halton Regional Police Services to obtain updated aerial imagery, in order to ensure emergency and police tactical response plans for the schools were updated. Using the Aeryon Scout, its AutoGrid(tm) feature, and off the shelf software, they were able to collect a series of images and stitch them together to provide high resolution images.