Overcoming the challenges of mapping terrain in difficult conditions at altitudes exceeding 14,000 feet using a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), Black Swift Technologies (BST), a specialized engineering firm based in Boulder, CO demonstrated that a sUAS can successfully be deployed at extreme altitudes and deliver geo-referenced digital aerial images enabling detailed actionable information cost-effectively without concern for a surveyor’s wellbeing or equipment malfunctions.
Utilizing BST’s SwiftTrainer™, a turnkey sUAS flight system designed specifically for GIS mapping applications, BST captured millions of data points in a fully autonomous flight over one of Colorado’s spectacular 14ers, Mount Evans. The geo-tagged images were easily integrated into processing software resulting in an accurate 3D ortho mosaic (a highly detailed map in true scale).
“Surveyors have been using sUAS in place of more expensive manned aerial missions for quite some time now,” states Jack Elston, Ph.D., CEO of Black Swift Technologies. “Being able to demonstrate that a sUAS can be an effective and accurate mapping platform in areas inaccessible to vehicles or at extreme altitudes solidifies the added value surveyors can offer their clients.”
Reliable and Easy to Use
Using BST’s exclusively developed Mission Planning Software, surveyors can program the SwiftTrainer™ in minutes to calculate the area under review and then begin collecting data for immediate analysis and decision making. Leveraging an intuitive tab-driven interface, flight planning is simple and easy to accomplish. Mission monitoring and mapping is all done from a handheld Android™ Tablet loaded with BST’s SwiftTab™ software. Intuitive gesture-based controls enable users to confidently deploy their SwiftTrainer™ with minimal training while being able to collect data over geography that is topically diverse with confidence.
Fully Integrated Solution
Unlike other sUAS offerings that cobble together hardware and software from a variety of sources to assemble their solutions, BST’s aerospace and software engineers designed the hardware, flight management system, and essential software from the ground up. This unified, fully integrated approach ensures that users have the right airframe and sensor suite to address their specific application requirements without compromise.
About Black Swift Technologies
Founded in 2011, Black Swift Technologies LLC, develops custom unmanned aircraft system (UAS) solutions leveraging the SwiftCore™ Flight Management System (FMS) consisting of the SwiftPilot™ autopilot system, the SwiftTab™ tablet-based user interface, the SwiftStation™ ground station, and application specific sensor integrations. The SwiftCore™ FMS is designed to be modular, robust, and simple to operate allowing users to focus on data products.
In addition to the SwiftCore™ FMS, Black Swift Technologies has unique capabilities to develop and deploy advanced small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) due the team’s combined expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of advanced “smart” control systems, expertise in legal and safe flight operations in the United States airspace, and their practical experience and knowledge from thousands of hours of UAS flight operations in demanding conditions. The SwiftCore™ FMS enables advanced control systems. These “smart” control systems provide industry leading sensor-based control of the UAS that minimizes operator workload while improving the quality of the observed data by autonomously modifying the flight path based on sensor inputs.
More information on Black Swift Technologies and their suite of sUAS solutions can be found at: www.blackswifttech.com.