Manufacturer of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), Monarch, Inc., has been named in two Certificate of Waiver Authorizations (COAs) within the same week by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
The waivers allow the company’s new quadcopter, dubbed the ‘LS’, to operate within historical and recreational ares in the California State Park system. Monarch, Inc. will be making use of the LS’s flexible ‘cocoon’ sensor housing system for various projects involving surveying, mapping, facilities management and conservation – and, uniquely, the research and exploration of California gold-mining ghost town Bodie State Historic Park.
The terrain data and imagery tools with which the Monarch LS is equipped allow for extensive research and mapping of the gold-mining community (located just east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range), without intruding on the integrity of buildings, gravesites and other fragile areas. “We’ll be using LiDAR remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating targets with lasers,” explains Monarch CEO Eileen Shibley.
“LiDAR is the very highest possible resolution provided by the current technology for obtaining a point cloud of a particular location.” “When we fly over Bodie, the laser will provide a continuous beam out, the beam and return time of which are registered in the hardware. That information provides the terrain data. The onboard GPS unit on the LS reconciles the point cloud data provided by the laser. The system also carries an electro-optical sensor on board which creates a visible image. The result is real imagery overlaid over exact terrain data”.
The new COAs for mapping Prairie City State Park outside Sacramento, and Bodie State Historic Park near Bridgeport, follow March‘s collaboration with the California State Parks to fly the Monarch AG for aerial surveys and are another win for Monarch, who are rapidly expanding and adapting their systems offers in the wake of new FAA processes that accommodate new commercial applications. Shibley believes that the company’s tailored systems will find use in applications ranging from medical deliveries to the maintenance of wind turbines and solar panels.