News

First mapKITE commercial campaign officially authorized in Brazil

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The company ENGEMAP –GeoNumerics’ partner in Brazil for mapKITE– has been awarded the first official authorisation for a mapKITE commercial mission by the MD and the DECEA.

In August 2018, along the highway BR-259 (state of Espirito Santo, Brazil), the company ENGEMAP conducted a mapKITE geodata acquisition campaign. The [simultaneous, tandem terrestrial and] aerial campaign was the first mapKITE flight officially authorized by the Ministry of Defence (MD) and the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA).

In the campaign, terrestrial measurements were collected with SENSORMAP’s SMM mobile mapping system while aerial measurements were collected from a UAVision’s UX Spyro drone equipped with SENSORMAP’s SAAPI-V photogrammetric payload for drones from. The resulting mapKITE block consists of 11435 aerial and 316000 terrestrial images along 104 km. Approximate flying altitude above ground was 120 m. With these type of data, 3-dimensional corridor mapping of the BR-259 and its ±100 m environment “can be optimally performed” according to César Francisco, ENGEMAP’s Chief Executive Officer.

500 drone signals

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GeoNumerics’ researchers Ismael Colomina and Pere Molina’s article “Unmanned aerial systems for photogrammetry and remote sensing: A review” cited by 500.

Castelldefels, 31 May 2018. GeoNumerics announces and celebrates that, today, the journal article “Unmanned aerial systems for photogrammetry and remote sensing: A review” has reached 500 citations according to the Scopus database. The article, published in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in 2014, was co-authored by GeoNumerics’ Dr. Ismael Colomina and Pere Molina, at the time researchers of the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC).

While reaching 500 citations at Scopus, other databases like Google Scholar offer different scoring metrics and, in this case, the database yields a total number of 819 citations.

September 11 brings the new European Union basic EASA regulation including drones

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On 11 September 2018 the New EASA Basic Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018,–  that include the first EU-wide rules for civil drones of all sizes, has entered into force.

GeoNumerics is happy to learn and further disseminate that, as of yesterday, drone operations start to be regulated in a uniform way across the European Union (EU). The New Basic Regulation (NBR), as part of updated aviation safety rules and a revised mandate for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), was approved by the EU Parliament on 12 June and by the European Council on 26 June, then published on the EU Official Journal on 22 August and, finally, it came into force yesterday. By the end of 2018, the EU Commission and the EASA, shall complement the NBR with and implementing regulation on operations of small drones and with a delegated act for marketing drones in the EU.

First legal authorization of mapKITE operations:  application to coastal erosion monitoring in the project HYCOS

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One of the major drawbacks regarding the adoption of drone technology for professional applications has been -and still is- the lack of an homogeneous regulatory framework. The result is a rather conservative operations framework, in which new, ice-breaking drone applications are lessened. So far, mapKITE has not been an exception to this rule, as it has been also questioned in relation to its fit within the upcoming regulatory framework.

Yet, a big milestone has been achieved to overcome this issue: the first authorization by a civil aviation authority has been granted for mapKITE operations, paving the way for the adoption of mapKITE by professional users in the mapping community. The Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) granted a permission to execute mapKITE operations to Octocam, a Barcelona-based company partnering with GeoNumerics in mapKITE, given the compliance of their aerial platform and procedures with French categorization (scenario S1, category E).