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Aerial Applications: Disaster Recovery with Drone-based Digital Asset Management
Joe Sullivan, CEO
Hurricane Irma has been one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded; it crippled essential infrastructure and caused billions of dollars’ worth of property damage. One of the many companies that were affected, Comcast—the largest cable TV company and ISP in the US—approached Philadelphia based Aerial Applications to identify cable faults in and around the affected areas to restore and enhance its service. Aerial Applications’ 2D mapping and 3D aerial modeling solution scanned and mapped 400 square miles of affected area in just 48 hours, with the first map data starting to stream in less than 24 hours.
The Aerial Applications software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provides drone-based digital asset management, making it easy to view store and share photos and videos from drones. This helps keep infrastructuremanagers informed in routine operations, with significant advantages during time-sensitive operations. That organization and speed is critical during disaster recovery efforts. Aerial Applicationsperforms Wide-Area Damage Assessments (WADA) by using images and videos from drones to construct models and maps, which are put through visual recognition software for damage detection and assessment.
Our software is capable of highly accurate measurements, and provided clients use high-resolution cameras on the drones, the resulting measurements can be made accurate down to a few centimeters
“Although there are a wide range of industries and use-case scenarios for our solution, our primary focus is on telecommunications, and critical infrastructure,” says Joe Sullivan, CEO of Aerial Applications. While there indeed are others present in the market that operate on a similar business model, Aerial Applications' quick turnaround time for large-scale projects and the life-like models and photo-realistic maps it generates sets the company apart. The solution that the firm has developed is capable of highly accurate measurements and provided clients use high-resolution cameras on drones, the resulting measurements can be made accurate down to a few centimeters. Sullivan says that the solution can potentially work with any technology that leverages visual information.
The cloud-based SaaS platform offers a full range of features to make drone data more useful. All that Aerial needs to get to work is for the customers to send in images (JPEG) or video (MP4) file of the area that requires mapping. The firm works closely with its customers to build use cases, which can function as different modules, to supplement the out-of-the-box, solution on offer. These modules can be customized with custom fields to meet a client's specific needs.
“Our team has a host of talented individuals doing groundbreaking work on a daily basis. We are trying to address what we think is one of the more pivotal technologies in our lifetime," explains Sullivan. Aerial Applications is focused on developing the software necessary to make drones simple and easy to use. They provide high resolution, ultra realistic models, supported with visual recognitionto quickly and easily sort through information.
When mapping Irma-affected areas for Comcast, the firm went through terabytes of data that was crunched, processed and sorted in a matter of hours. And, that is what the firm sees as its future: Being able to help customers organize and sort through large volumes visual data in a meaningful and sustained way in the least time possible.