Quantum Spatial, Inc. will be acquiring, processing and delivering high-resolution aerial LiDAR data and multispectral imagery data from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management (OCM). The project will focus on three National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) across the country and aid OCM in evaluating the role of UAS in delivering imagery and elevation data required for research and monitoring in a flexible and cost-efficient manner. 

"We are very excited to work with NOAA on its mission to support the stewardship of the United States estuarine ecosystems and the research on invasive species, habitat restoration, source pollution and resilient communities,” says Robert Hickey, general manager, Public Sector at Quantum Spatial. “NOAA is very forward thinking in deploying UAS technology to study and analyze the seasonal changes of these three NERRs."

Quantum Spatial is partnering with PrecisionHawk, a leader in the commercial drone industry, to acquire the NERR imagery. The research work plan requires high-resolution LiDAR and five-band multispectral imagery collection from a UAS at three sites — Rush Ranch in the San Francisco Bay NERR, Calif.; Grand Bay NERR, Miss.; and Jacque Cousteau NERR, N.J. — covering a range of ecosystems. The collections will be conducted twice at Rush Ranch — once in late summer 2016 and again in early spring 2017 — and once in Grand Bay and Jacque Cousteau. Acquisition is scheduled to begin this month.

PrecisionHawk’s Lancaster 5 fixed-wing aircraft will be used to collect data.  The aircraft can accommodate various sensors and enables users to swap sensors in the field, providing a cost-effective way to support multi-sensor data collection. PrecisionHawk’s In-Flight software will provide flight planning and management during data acquisition. Data will be processed and analyzed using PrecisionHawk’s DataMapper post-processing and aerial analytics software along with QSI’s in-house LiDAR data processing tools.

About PrecisionHawk Inc.

PrecisionHawk is a terrestrial data acquisition and analysis company founded in 2010. The company provides a holistic platform using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for data collection and analysis software tools to deliver better business intelligence to clients across a wide range of civilian industries. PrecisionHawk also owns aerial data software, DataMapper, satellite imagery provider, Terraserver, and the Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety platform for drones, LATAS. A privately held company based in Raleigh, N.C., PrecisionHawk’s investors include Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Verizon Ventures, DuPont, a subsidiary of USAA, NTT Docomo Ventures, Yamaha Motor and Indiana University’s Innovate Indiana Fund.

About Quantum Spatial Inc.

Quantum Spatial Inc. is an independent geospatial data firm that provides geographic insights to government and corporate organizations that need geospatial intelligence to mitigate risk, plan for growth, better manage resources and advance scientific understanding. Customers use the company’s acquisition, processing, analytics and visualization solutions in a range of technical and scientific disciplines – from geology and biology, to hydrology, forestry and civil engineering. Utilities, oil and gas producers, engineering and construction firms, as well as the military and major government agencies, are QSI customers. QSI has multiple offices around the country.