Monthly Archives: May 2014

FAVNET / Global UTC Unmanned Applications

 Reprinted with permission from Global UTC:

Issue 2 volume 18


Foreign business:


GUTC has relationships with over 20 UAS manufactures, and with over 30 designs thanks to Gene Payson who is known for Troy Built Models and also lead trainer for the Unmanned Vehicle University. The 17 companies that have been evaluated by Gene Payson are eligible for the financing and replacement insurance product of Eagle Capital. This includes the airframes, and sensor technologies carried by these systems. This gives GUTC a pool of resources to meet requirements for prospective opportunities. This week I was able to forward a response for an RFI from an international client, and have the confidence knowing the information came from one of the most knowledgeable experts in the industry with technology and equipment that has been proven in Afghanistan. After passing on information from Drone America I received another ROI from a source representing three Pacific nations. Another source has inquired on autonomous technology that can help locating Malaysian flight 370.


Technology breakthroughs:


I have had inquiries about the ability of UAS to locate mineral deposits in the ground. I couldn’t figure out how to accomplish this, but after the third request I had to do some research. I found a YouTube video of NASA using hyper-spectral imagery from the ASTER. They were actually able to use reflective spectral imagery to detect the presence of gold on the surface near a known gold mine. If a hyper-spectral camera can detect gold from up in the stratosphere, how effective will it be detecting it from a small UAS under 400 feet? I have one of the top optical engineers in the country researching the right technology sensor for this application, and once we have that figured we can determine what system to deploy it with.


Another application for oil and gas exploration using topographical data, and GAMMA reading to help geologists determine the existence of oil deposits under the ground. I was approached about a year ago for this application, but the technology I uncovered weighed over 20 lbs and had to move as slow as 4 to 6 mph. The question again came up, and Michael Creamer of FAVNET was able to locate technology weighing between 8 and 12 lbs. This narrows the field of UAS platforms that can deploy this payload weight, now there needs to be research conducted to determine the altitude and speed that is most optimal for this technology. The ability to combine either LiDAR or photogrammetry with GAMMA readings would give geologists data that can significantly benefit and enhance their ability Sto uncover these valuable energy resources, saving time and money in the process.


New resources for tethered:


I was introduced to a SEAL teammate John Surmont of Softcoast Inc. who was a major player in the development of the Naval Special Warfare UAV program. He now has tethered technology designs for small units for fast deployment, and rapid take down applications. You put it up, see what you need to see then take it down. With the requirement of law enforcement after the Boston Marathon bombing which now require the FBI to have a presence for any public events with more than 50,000 in attendance. This technology will give law enforcement agencies an eye in the sky to monitor and protect the public. There are unique technologies that identify behavioral patterns and anomalies that can identify criminally suspect activities. Combining these technologies is a leap in progress in anti-terrorist protection. Ironhawk Technologies has developed the analytical software that does exactly what I describe.
Then a major border surveillance requirement came to be in an area where the winds pick up to over 40 mph after the sun rises, around 9:00AM until the sun goes down around 8:00PM. Richard Holloman of ElleVision was able to come through with a proposal for a tethered system that has been proven in Afghanistan. It is a good feeling, knowing I can get what it takes to accomplish the mission required by our prospective clients.


The right tools for the job:


In this industry, like the mortgage or insurance and financial planning industry, everyone believes their solution is the only solution. To be effective you need to have the right tools for the job. Instead of trying to fit a square peg into everyone else’s round holes. A true UAS professional would have a fleet of technologies to accomplish the specific missions.




A rotary winged system is what you want. The heavy the payload, the more blades, i.e. an octocopter for heavy loads like a LiDAR system for operations other than corridor or large area mapping, other applications would be TV and movie cameras.


Flying wing:


This design allows for fast, maneuverable flight and for a skilled experienced pilot, the ability to float on and surf a thermal. This makes this design technology ideal for fire-fighting.  Gene Robinson has been using his Spectra UAS for search and rescue for ten years, and he can cut the motor to let his Spectra UAS float on the thermal created at the leading edge of the fire while keeping it in the air longer than there is battery life in the camera.


Twin boom pusher:


This design is able to carry heavy payloads like LiDAR or multi-sensor payloads long distances. The US Army uses the Pioneer, a twin boom pusher UAS to deploy the Orion LiDAR system which weighs 70lbs.


Hand launched, fixed wing:


For light payload long range applications like a GSR set up or range surveying and some photogrammetry applications, a light weight fixed wing like the Cyclops, Hawkeye, and military designs such as the Scan Eagle, Puma and Raven. These systems obviously have applications, and are very popular.


Long Range, long duration fixed wing:


With the  Google acquisition of Titan Aerospace and Facebook’s interest in purchasing Titan for the same reasons, to provide long range communications and connectivity, platforms like Air Ship Technologies Group (AIRSHIPTG) V5 and V9 which have the abilities to maintain flight to up to 30 days. This is a viable utilization for UAS.


We have what you need:


With the relationships GUTC has developed in the industry, with the leasing and financing option through Eagle Capital we offer a buffet of technologies to fulfil any need or requirement for UAS applications. So far, no one company is offering all technology solutions for UAS, but we can help. I see entrepreneurs cropping up across the country offering services regionally for everything from precision agriculture to surveying and surveillance. Getting set up with a command and control vehicle and Rubicon carts from IPS/NexGen or a Little Blue trailer from FAVNET, and line up accounts with a crop science and ag consulting firm, an equipment leasing company for the citrus industry, a college or university, photogrammetry trade organization or surveyor’s association. Offer a subscribership, join RCAPA and post work for commercial UAS pilots and you’re in business.
Reuben Lowing

Fred Bragg

For information call or e-mail Reuben Lowing at (619)313-1073(619)313-107,