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Bruce Quirk: USGS Eyes Partnership With Industry for UAS-Based Geomapping

droneThe U.S. Geological Survey is looking to enlist commercial drone operators to help the agency with geomapping and other aerial surveying missions, FCW reported Monday.

Mark Rockwell writes that USGS is monitoring the Federal Aviation Administration‘s approval of unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial use.

“When the FAA finally opens up the national airspace system for commercial operations, the USGS will investigate service contracts with the commercial sector that would provide the data sets we need to meet our mission,” Bruce Quirk, USGS’ UAS liaison, told FCW in an email.

“We already have a contract vehicle in place called the Geospatial Product and Service Contracts that we could use to secure these services,” Quirk added, according to FCW.

The FAA has authorized energy firm BP to utilize the AeroVironment-built Puma drone to perform an infrastructure survey in Alaska.

The Puma UAS is built with LiDAR and other sensor technologies that work to collect data and imagery of pipelines, roads and gravel pits.

FCW reports that some other civilian agencies agencies use repurposed military drones to support disaster recovery, forest monitoring and geological surveying activities.

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