Aspen Expands Client Services with sUAS Certification


Aspen employee piloting drone at project site.

Aspen Environmental Group has recently expanded our capabilities by obtaining FAA certifications for several of our staff members to pilot small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). A sUAS, more commonly known as a drone, is a remotely operated flying platform equipped with highly accurate sensors and a high definition camera. By developing this new capability, Aspen can better serve our clients by providing a broad range of products ranging from simple aerial photos and site inspections to high-resolution, geo-referenced imagery and complex 3D models.  

Since the company’s inception in 1991, over 98 percent of Aspen’s work has been related to infrastructure and public works projects, particularly water and energy infrastructure. Aspen’s focus on infrastructure projects provides us with the knowledge, insight, and understanding needed to identify the benefits that integrating drones into technical analysis, inspections, monitoring, and project management can have for our clients. Aspen’s growth into this emerging sector continues our history as a leader in innovation and technology for the environmental sector. Aspen is pleased to be one of the first environmental consulting firms to fully integrate and provide the benefits of sUAS to our clients.


Comparison of standard basemap imagery (top) and Aspen sUAS collected imagery (bottom).

Utilizing our new sUAS services on projects will bring multiple advantages and efficiencies for our clients. Our sUAS is equipped with a high-resolution camera and internal GPS/GLONASS sensors allowing the Aspen team to capture highly accurate, site-specific information that has already increased the accuracy of technical analysis and reduced required field time. Timely, high-resolution, aerial imagery is useful in classifying vegetation, mapping state and or federal waters, and assessing habitat quality in hard to reach or dangerous locations. High-resolution imagery is also valuable in assessing cultural and historic resources. One of the additional benefits of utilizing a sUAS on a project is the data alone. By capturing the imagery in-house and in near real-time, Aspen offers increased security and ownership of the data and ensures that your project information is up-to-date and of the highest quality.

The potential for sUAS is not limited just to data analysis. Aspen is now able to safely complete environmental compliance and permitting inspections for facilities such as transmission lines, solar farms, and wind turbines while reducing liability and human error. The flexibility and speed of the sUAS can reduce the time needed for data capture, measurement, analysis, and compliance inspection from days to hours or even minutes. When paired with Aspen’s existing Geospatial Sciences services, we now offer a complete in-house solution for capturing, managing, and analyzing imagery and spatial data.

Click here to see some recent examples of video taken by our drone at various projects.

Contact Aspen for additional information and to learn more about how your projects can benefit from using Aspen’s new sUAS services.