AEVEX Aerospace, a full-spectrum provider of innovative aircraft, remote sensing, and analysis solutions to government and commercial clients, announced today that it has received two awards under the General Services Administration (GSA) 10-year ASTRO contract. This contract has a $2B ceiling and is administered through GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) Center.

“As a company that performs end-to-end aircraft and sensor system design, provision, integration, operations, sustainment, and data analysis – packaged or as a service anywhere in the world – ASTRO provides our clients a superb vehicle to support their requirements,” said Brian Raduenz, AEVEX’s Chief Executive Officer, “Key support on this contract includes leveraging the AEVEX Test & Training Range in New Mexico, our AS9100 rapid prototyping services, and FAA/EASA/TCCA Part 145 certified repair station for design, engineering, and integration of sensors and special mission aircraft, manned and unmanned.”

“We are extremely excited to add this best-in-class contract vehicle to our portfolio as it will significantly improve our ability to support innovative R&D and data management efforts across aviation for our warfighters operating in all domains” added Brian.

Clients can access ASTRO through GSA FEDSIM and any GSA Office of Assisted Acquisition Services Contracting Officer granted a Delegation of Procurement Authority.

About AEVEX Aerospace

AEVEX Aerospace, headquartered in Solana Beach, California, supports the U.S. national security mission and partner nation needs around the world by providing full-spectrum aviation, remote sensing, and analysis solutions.  The company’s capabilities include custom design and engineering, sensor integration and sustainment, aircraft modification and certification, mission operations services, advanced intelligence data processing, exploitation, and dissemination solutions, and tailored hardware and software mission-system tools.  AEVEX uses agile and customized approaches to rapidly define, develop, and deliver specialized solutions for airborne special mission needs for the US Government, partner nations, and commercial businesses.  AEVEX has major offices in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Contacts

Calais LeBlanc

Marketing Business Manager

(858) 704-4125

Understanding the Role and Impact of Each on your UAV-LiDAR Missions

This blog (second in a two-part series) continues our explanation of the variables which influence boresight calibration and strip alignment when flying drone-based LiDAR missions. If you missed the first part of this series, we recommend you check it out before continuing with this blog.

LiDAR boresight calibration aims to calibrate the LiDAR boresight angle, as demonstrated in Figure 1 below. Boresight calibration addresses the issue of alignment of the LiDAR and the IMU body frames – the correlation between the LiDAR boresight angles and the INS attitude. Some specialized third-party software can decorrelate these two error sources and estimate/calibrate the LiDAR boresight angles. However, some software developers list these capabilities but simply lump all errors together and employ automated algorithms to align the point clouds.

Figure 1. LiDAR boresight calibration – before (left) and after (right

Figure 1. LiDAR boresight calibration – before (left) and after (right

Strip alignment (also known as strip adjustment) can help improve the consistency between several adjacent UAV-LiDAR flight lines. Strip alignment workflows utilize algorithms which align the LiDAR point clouds from one strip to another without necessarily knowing the source of the error. Certain LiDAR post-processing software options will have built-in capabilities for strip alignment. These ensure alignment of the point cloud based on common features captured in overlapping data sections and computing the geometric transformation between these datasets. Addressing boresight error is typically the first step in the strip alignment workflow.

Strip alignment procedures can be used if the system has undergone boresight calibration but there are remaining residual discrepancies in overlapping areas that cannot be explained by other sources of error. In other words, strip alignment is only necessary if there are still minor misalignments noticeable after the LiDAR point cloud has been georeferenced. Factors such as flight altitude profile, manual flight, wind or other environmental conditions can impact the flight trajectory in subtle ways that keep the point clouds from aligning as intended.

As another example, let’s consider flying a Geo-MMS LiDAR payload over a construction site. We fly the mission, collect and process the data and visualize it in our 3D point cloud viewer. Upon visual inspection, we see two lines in the point cloud for a feature we know should only be represented by one line (e.g., edge of a building roof). This may have been the result of poor flight planning and execution, inexperienced piloting or flying in harsh weather conditions. If you are on a tight schedule, strip alignment software can make a positive difference by offering different options to improve the consistency between flight lines. Different algorithms can correct the position and angles of the drone across the mission duration to align the data as it was intended to be collected originally. Post-processing the data in this fashion can save time by avoiding a repeat mission.

Figure 2. Misalignment of adjacent LiDAR strips intersecting a feature of interest (left) and with automated strip alignment algorithms employed (right).

Figure 2. Misalignment of adjacent LiDAR strips intersecting a feature of interest (left) and with automated strip alignment algorithms employed (right).

In the example described above, the alternative to owning strip alignment software would be a repeat mission (correct planning and execution in better flying conditions). Repeating a mission as a one-off is fine, but users who regularly have to re-fly missions may stand to benefit from a dedicated point cloud strip adjustment software.

Software such as BayesStripAlign from BayesMap Solutions focus on automated strip alignment for LiDAR point cloud data from UAVs and manned aircraft. If correct flight planning and execution are adhered to, it is rarely necessary to add this level of capability to UAV-LiDAR post-processing, given the onboard INS is of the highest quality. Specialized software can be useful when performing work at high altitudes from manned aircraft with long-range sensors such as the Teledyne Optech CL-360XR. For LiDAR pilots who are forced to operate in harsh conditions (something we advise against), a strip alignment software can help correct for the environmental impacts exerted on your data collection methods. However, most software have limited support for UAV-LiDAR operations. The most practical approach is to avoid operating the system in harsh weather, in which all sources of the aforementioned error sources will exceed normal ranges. To counter this, Geodetics developed a set of algorithms that can adaptively adjust the boresight angles for each individual LiDAR strip, eventually aligning all strips together. The figure below demonstrates system operation from aligning two sets of overlapping point clouds based on adjustment of the boresight angles. The algorithm converges rapidly and estimates accurate misalignment angles. Future developments will extend this algorithm to more generic cases of data collection scenarios in which the AOI is primarily featureless terrain.

Figure 3. Example taken from Geodetics’ boresight angle adaption software.

Figure 3. Example is taken from Geodetics’ boresight angle adaption software.

Geo-MMS customers can rest assured knowing that the proprietary Defense-grade inertial navigation technology developed by our navigation scientists and engineers is amongst the highest quality in the industry.

Originally published by Geodetics 

Understanding Two Critical Principles of LiDAR Data Acquisition

If you are familiar with any type of LiDAR data acquisition, you have likely stumbled across terms including ‘boresight calibration’ and ‘strip alignment’ (or strip adjustment). These terms relate to separate strategies for adjusting and aligning adjacent strips of aerial LiDAR data. In this blog (first in a two-part series), we will address why boresight calibration and strip alignment are important considerations for UAV-LiDAR missions. In part two of this series, we will provide practical information to the LiDAR end-user which further addresses and explains the points raised in this blog.

Boresight calibration and strip alignment are particularly prevalent for UAV-based LiDAR solutions such as Geo-MMS LiDAR. UAV-LiDAR is acquired through many parallel ‘strips’ of LiDAR which overlap adjacent strips slightly (< 10%). The purpose of boresight calibration is to correct for minute misalignments between adjacent strips noticeable in the raw point cloud.

Figure 1. Flat terrain, captured across seven parallel UAV-LiDAR flight lines.

The main concerns for the LiDAR end-user are:

  • Do we need data processing procedures to adjust our point clouds for possible misalignments?
  • Is additional software needed to make these adjustments?

But first, we should address what causes these misalignments in the first place. Once the error sources are identified, we can better understand the principles behind LiDAR boresight calibration and strip alignment. When looking at the error budget of any aerial LiDAR system, we experience both systematic and random errors. With correct system calibration, systematic errors are removed and random errors are minimized.

Systematic errors result in the systematic deviation of laser footprint coordinates. Integration of Geo-MMS LiDARor Point&Pixel payloads on your drone requires the axis of the scanning reference coordinate system and inertial platform reference coordinate system to be parallel. While physically mounting the payload to the UAV, it is not guaranteed that they will be parallel (human hands are not precision instruments). This results in what we term boresight error.

Figure 2 below summarizes the geometry of different components in the Geo-MMS system in a simplified vector-based visual. Once the LiDAR sensor fires a pulse measuring the range from the laser to the scanned feature, , we need three more observations to georeference the captured point:

  • The position, provided by the GPS () and represented in the PPK solution
  • The leverarm offset to transform the GPS position to the IMU center, marked as ()
  • The boresight shift to transfer the position from the IMU center to the LiDAR sensor center, marked as ()

Figure 2. Direct georeferencing geometry

From vector geometry, the global position of the point, can be determined by adding the sequences of four vectors:

In this geometry reconstruction, we consider the translation between the components. Besides translations, the rotation between these components is critical. Considering the rotational influence at different sensor frames, Equation (1) can be rewritten as:

  • represents the rotation matrix, reconstructed based on the roll, pitch, and yaw of Geodetics’ Navigator (INS)
  • represents the rotation matrix from the IMU to the LiDAR, represented as the LiDAR boresight angle

Now that we have covered the basic geometry, we can highlight the main contributory points that direct georeferencing has on practical LiDAR usage:

  • refers to the GPS-to-IMU leverarm This is a known calibrated value and is pre-configured with your Geo-MMS system.
  • refers to the IMU-to-LiDAR offset or LiDAR boresight shift. This too is a known calibrated value and is pre-configured with your Geo-MMS system.
  • refers to the LiDAR boresight angle. This too is pre-configured with your Geo-MMS system.
  • refers to the PPK solution of the GPS antenna.
  • refers to the INS-based rotation. This is determined by the INS (roll, pitch, yaw) and its accuracy is typically a function of the IMU grade, dual-GPS based heading and filter-tuning procedures.

The boresight error between the LiDAR sensor and the onboard GPS/INS coordinate system is the largest systematic error source in UAV-LiDAR. The laser footprint error produced as a result of boresight error is also impacted by flight altitude (AGL) and scan angle.

The main purpose of this geometry breakdown is to highlight the five most important variables which directly impact the quality of the LiDAR data generated. Among these variables, two cannot be pre-calibrated: PPK solution and INS attitude. Several algorithms are implemented in Geodetics’ LiDARTool software to improve the PPK and INS solutions including forward-backward PPK smoothing and rounding point coordinate values to fine resolution grids. However, leftover errors can still impact point cloud reconstruction quality in harsh environments.

In part two of this series, we will more closely examine the questions posed at the beginning of this blog, pertaining to the two main concerns of the LiDAR end-user.

Originally posted by Geodetics 

AEVEX Aerospace, a full-spectrum provider of innovative aircraft, remote sensing, and analysis solutions to government and commercial clients, announced today that the company has received a prime contract award on the Navy’s 10-year, $5B SeaPort Next Generation (NxG) contract.

“This award creates an additional avenue for clients within the U.S Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps to access the wide range of services AEVEX offers,” said Brian Raduenz, AEVEX’s Chief Executive Officer. “Key support accessible on Seaport NxG includes use of the AEVEX Test & Training Range in New Mexico, our AS9100 rapid prototyping services, and FAA/EASA/TCCA Part 145 certified repair station for design, engineering, and integration of sensors and special mission aircraft, manned and unmanned. Our clients are diverse both geographically and in terms of their requirements. SeaPort NxG will allow us to meet our clients where they operate using this highly efficient solicitation process.”

SeaPort NxG spans 23 functional disciplines, allowing clients a rapid mechanism to reach AEVEX services either directly or using electronic procurement processes management through the highly efficient SeaPort Acquisition Portal at www.seaport.navy.mil.

Contracting Officers from across the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Command, Naval Supply Systems Command, Military Sealift command, Strategic Systems Programs, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Office of Naval Research, and the United States Marine Corps are now authorized to place orders under this IDIQ contract.

About AEVEX Aerospace

AEVEX Aerospace, headquartered in Solana Beach, California, supports the U.S. national security mission and partner nation needs around the world by providing full-spectrum aviation, remote sensing, and analysis solutions. The company’s capabilities include custom design and engineering, sensor integration and sustainment, aircraft modification and certification, mission operations services, advanced intelligence data processing, exploitation, and dissemination solutions, and tailored hardware and software mission-system tools. AEVEX uses agile and customized approaches to rapidly define, develop, and deliver specialized solutions for airborne special mission needs for the US Government, partner nations, and commercial businesses. AEVEX has major offices in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Contacts
Calais LeBlanc
Marketing Business Manager
(858) 704-4125

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Viasat, Inc.
Nov 02, 2021, 08:00 ET

CARLSBAD and SOLANA BEACH, Calif., Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, and AEVEX Aerospace, an industry leader in aerial intelligence solutions, are working together to deliver real-time fire surveillance and situational awareness to the U.S. Forest Service and regional Orange County Fire Authority to aid in their fights against deadly wildfires. AEVEX’s 3D mission management software, coupled with Viasat’s high-speed, high-capacity satellite communications (SATCOM) system, is currently outfitted on multiple aircraft to help wildfire-prone communities with mitigation management and data-driven firefighting insight.

AEVEX’s GeoFOCIS software suite offers a moving map display with a geospatial database to provide 3D situational awareness for wildfire management. GeoFOCIS is used to generate products to include fire perimeters and STANAG 4609 video files. The technology offers a common operating picture, using various data sources that can be transmitted from an aircraft in real-time to aid firefighters in their mission to fight and manage dangerous situations. All associated data is transmitted over the powerful Viasat SATCOM network.

Viasat’s advanced Ka-band satellite service and airborne SATCOM terminal, the Global Aero Terminal-5518, support the real-time delivery of bandwidth-intensive full motion video (FMV) and fire perimeters of active wildfires to command centers. This type of data could previously only be collected from ground stations located near the fires or retrieved from aircraft after they landed, which added critical delays to the process. Gaining access to real-time FMV and data provides firefighting management personnel with the vital information they need to effectively position critical personnel and assets as well as re-position endangered personnel and civilians out of harm’s way.

“The AEVEX technology integrates multiple sensor information into useable products to help wildfire management personnel make better, more efficient, and more effective decisions that reduce loss of life and damage to property or infrastructure,” said Manan Patel, Chief Technology Officer at AEVEX Aerospace. “We have worked with Viasat on prior projects to integrate their technology and services on aircraft supporting ISR missions, and we believe the Viasat high-capacity SATCOM network has the broadest range of capabilities to ensure firefighting personnel are mission-ready and fully aware of the dynamic environment associated with a wildfire.”

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

On Saturday, October 2, 2021 an oil pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA failed, causing 126,000 gallons of crude oil to spill into the waters just south of Los Angeles. As the race began to contain the 8,320-acre spill, it quickly became apparent that a key component of incident mitigation would be mapping and tracking the path of the spill.

As an industry leader in aerial real-time intelligence solutions, AEVEX Aerospace quickly established perimeter mapping within hours of the initial incident report. Our dedicated fixed-wing aircraft equipped with specialized sensors allowed us to quickly provide enhanced incident awareness and assessment (IAA) along with situational awareness software. This single platform solution effectively supports commanders and decision makers in critical response initiatives.

“Our goal is to establish and rapidly distribute data during the initial response, allowing for a fast and targeted response to the incident,” said Brian Raduenz, CEO of AEVEX Aerospace. “We were able to provide full motion video in real-time and generate an incident perimeter shortly after aircraft arrival at the site.”

Connected by pipeline to an offshore oil platform, the spill sent oil across an area spanning Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Talbert Marsh, a 25-acre wetland preserve that is home to 80 species of birds. Immediate damage control became critical as fish, birds, and beaches were threatened.

“I have serious concerns about the environmental impacts of the spill and applaud the workers who are doing their best to prevent the oil from hitting sensitive wetlands,” said Orange County Representative Michelle Steel.1

The Coast Guard received an initial report of the oil spill on Saturday morning and established a unified command along with Beta Offshore and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response. AEVEX helped to provide real-time data input to define the ever-changing situation and allow decision makers to flex their containment strategies. With USCG, NOAA, FEMA, Cal OES, and the Orange County Fire Authority tracking the spill, timely information was critical to managing multiple moving parts. AEVEX products were pulled and distributed throughout the various agencies and individuals involved.

“We are not only dedicated to serving our customers and partners, but also the communities in which we live and work,” said Raduenz. “Tracking this spill and providing evolving data is a priority for us, and we will continue to utilize our technology and expertise to help mitigate this to benefit the southern California coast and the environment that makes it so unique.”

ABOUT AEVEX AEROSPACE
AEVEX Aerospace, headquartered in Solana Beach, California, supports defense and commercial clients around the world by providing full-spectrum aviation, remote sensing, and analysis solutions.  The company’s capabilities include custom design and engineering, sensor integration and sustainment, aircraft modification, test and certification, mission operations services, advanced intelligence data processing, exploitation, and dissemination solutions, and tailored hardware and software mission-system tools, including assured precision navigation systems.  AEVEX uses agile and customized approaches to rapidly define, develop, and deliver specialized solutions for airborne special mission needs for the US Government, partner nations, and commercial businesses.  AEVEX has major offices in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. www.aevex.com.

1 https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-10-02/coast-guard-rushes-to-contain-newport-beach-oil-slick

 

Solana Beach, CA, September 29, 2021  AEVEX Aerospace, a full-spectrum provider of innovative aircraft, remote sensing, and analysis solutions to government and commercial clients, has announced that the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved a new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) allowing installation of a 250 Amp High-Flow Starter Generator in DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. “Previously approved as FAA STC SA02730LA, this new approval expands the market of our 250A High-Flow Starter Generator; we are able to increase mission capabilities, provide increased additional value and new revenue opportunities.” states Mr. John A. Zublin, Vice President of Advanced Solutions. “EASA’s STC validation helps operators with aircraft capabilities well beyond the DHC-6’s original starter generator capability. Our 250A High-Flow Starter Generator upgrade is the first fully approved Starter Generator for the DHC-6 Twin Otter series able to provide aircraft with a full 500 Amps of 28 VDC power while in flight. AEVEX’s IKHANA is pleased that we are able to continue growing our list of regulatory approvals bringing availability of this option to Twin Otter operators.”

With this STC, the DHC-6 Twin Otter’s original 200 Amp Starter Generators are replaced with upgraded design generators featuring cast aluminum high-flow axial fans with enhanced cooling ducts, the latest high temperature insulating materials for longer life, improved drive shaft and damper design along with other enhanced components. Straight-forward design provides higher power within the same form and fit envelope as the original units, with no need to remove engines for installation. Scott Starkey, Director of Engineering at IKHANA had this to say about their newest FAA STC approval: “Having this STC approval allows us to bring a much needed product to the worldwide Twin Otter DHC-6 market. In today’s aviation industry, meeting the electrical power need can be challenging. Our 250A High-Flow Starter Generator provides a solution that Twin Otter clients have been asking for and we are happy to deliver 500 AMPS!”

About AEVEX Aerospace

AEVEX Aerospace, headquartered in Solana Beach, California, supports the U.S. national security mission and partner nation needs around the world by providing full-spectrum aviation, remote sensing, and analysis solutions.  The company’s capabilities include custom design and engineering, sensor integration and sustainment, aircraft modification and certification, mission operations services, advanced intelligence data processing, exploitation, and dissemination solutions, and tailored hardware and software mission-system tools.  AEVEX uses agile and customized approaches to rapidly define, develop, and deliver specialized solutions for airborne special mission needs for the US Government, partner nations, and commercial businesses.  AEVEX has major offices in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Solana Beach, California – August 3, 2021AEVEX Aerospace, a full-spectrum provider of innovative aircraft, remote sensing, and analysis solutions to government and commercial clients, announced today that Skip Arny has joined the company as Vice President of Technology Solutions. In this role he will leverage his foreign military sales, DoD strategy, and naval operations experience to drive domestic and international business.

In the first half of his 30-year military career, Skip led strike fighter tactics development, operational test, and aircraft carrier-borne combat operations, culminating in his command of Navy Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific. Later, as the U.S. Naval Attaché in Poland and then in France, he led diplomatic and maritime cooperation with allies and partner nations. He returned to the U.S. to serve as Director, Strategic Actions Group for the Chief of Naval Operations. Skip came to AEVEX from the Navy International Program Office where he was the Director of Security Cooperation for the Americas, Africa, and Europe and managed over $40 billion in record sales for 142 countries. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Skip holds multiple degrees, including an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

“Skip is a tremendous asset to our team as AEVEX continues to grow rapidly,” said AEVEX Chief Growth Officer Gretchen Idsinga. “His stellar combination of unique career experiences and agile thinking will supercharge AEVEX’s transformative trajectory, bringing focus to our clients’ most difficult challenges.”

Skip added, “I’m honored to become part of AEVEX and to continue supporting U.S. national security needs with the best that American innovation has to offer.”

About AEVEX Aerospace

AEVEX Aerospace, headquartered in Solana Beach, California, supports the U.S. national security mission and partner nation needs around the world by providing full-spectrum aviation, remote sensing, and analysis solutions. The company’s capabilities include custom design and engineering, sensor integration and sustainment, aircraft modification and certification, mission operations services, advanced intelligence data processing, exploitation, and dissemination solutions, and tailored hardware and software mission-system tools. AEVEX uses agile and customized approaches to rapidly define, develop, and deliver specialized solutions for airborne special mission needs for the US Government, partner nations, and commercial businesses. AEVEX has major offices in California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

BUSINESS WIRE

Roswell, New Mexico is now home to a prestigious aerospace training center.