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DOGAMI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology is an increasingly essential tool for mapping geologic resources and hazards, monitoring in-progress hazards like active landslides, and rapidly assessing damage in order to respond and recover from disasters.

Drones and other UAS technologies have greatly enhanced DOGAMI’s ability to efficiently and cost-effectively:

  • Visualize hard to access geologic features, such as vertical or overhanging rock outcrops, during geologic field mapping.
  • Gather information about impacts and damages following earthquakes, floods, landslides and other disasters.
  • Monitor changing geologic conditions, such as coastal erosion and accretion.
  • Monitor active geologic events, such as determining movement of active landslides.
  • Conduct geothermal exploration mapping through the use of a UAS mounted with thermal infrared imaging technology.
  • Use thermal infrared imaging technology for geothermal exploration mapping or imaging faults.
  • Create 3-dimensional maps, particularly of areas that lack lidar coverage, for geologic and natural hazard analysis.

Our Pilots and Aircraft

UAS are considered aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). DOGAMI operates UAS technology in accordance with FAA rules and regulations. All DOGAMI staff flying UAS hold a remote pilot certificate from the FAA.

DOGAMI Registered Aircraft

Two DJI Matrice 100 quadcopters with DJI Zenmuse XS Optical Camera

One DJI S900 Spreading Wings hexacopter with Sony Alpha A7 Optical Camera r

UAS and Privacy

DOGAMI adheres to all privacy rules set forth by the state and federal government for the use of UAS technology. Before the mission begins, UAS operations are reviewed by DOGAMI’s UAS Coordinator to ensure privacy requirements are met. DOGAMI does not operate UAS aircraft over any areas of private property without first obtaining permission from the property owner and does not operate over persons not directly participating in the UAS flight, except when those persons are under a covered structure or inside a covered stationary vehicle. DOGAMI also does not operate any UAS aircraft outside of a visual line of sight of the Pilot-in-Command or a designated visual observer, and does not operate aircraft at night. All data collected by UAS is subject to state and federal laws and regulations governing the storage of private information.

Note: The FAA may grant a waiver allowing operation of UAS over persons, or operation of UAS at night. DOGAMI’s practice is to plan operations so that such waivers are not necessary.

(page last updated 12/23/2019)