We spent a lot of time in November and December of last year (2016) developing a coherent strategy for our AirGon business. As you know from prior newsletters, AirGon LLC is our small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) subsidiary. We have been developing technology for the past three years aimed at implementing and improving sUAS (or, more commonly, drone) high accuracy mapping. Our focus has been in four major areas:
- Hardware for RTK/PPK grade geopositioning (the AirGon Sensor Package)
- Software tools for data processing (Topolyst)
- Reckon, our Amazon Web Services (AWS)-hosted data management and delivery portal
- Workflow best practices for project repeatability
- Production Services for customers who do not want to do their own processing
Addressing the sUAS market is a new challenge for us. There is a surprisingly small overlap between our traditional LIDAR/Photogrammetry marketplace and the new drone business. After a few years in the trenches and hundreds of mapping projects, we are rationalizing our business into three different Partner categories. These are delineated by the type of customer:
Technology Partners – These are customers who purchase technology from us to either use for their own internal operations or to offer services. The technology in our portfolio related to sUAS mapping includes:
- PhotoScan and Pix4D point cloud generation software
- Topolyst, our purpose-built point cloud exploitation tool for data from sUAS Laser Scanners (LIDAR) and/or data from dense image matching
- Bring Your Own Drone (BYOD) Mapping Kit, a collection of software that enables serious mapping with a variety of third party drone hardware from low cost DJI Inspires to professional grade senseFly (eBee) fixed wing drones.
- Reckon, our Amazon Web Services-hosted site data collaboration and delivery portal. Reckon is a subscription product that allows web-based collaboration between the service provider and end user (who may be one and the same)
- Various hardware components
- Consulting services, tailored to needs
Network Partners – The AirGon Network program is an emerging part of our AirGon business. It comprises drone mapping services experts who use our technology for data capture, processing and delivery. Network Partners always interact with their AirGon Network client base via Reckon. We offer regular best practices training, exposure to end-use customers and referrals. We can also provide data processing services to those who wish to focus only on flying. This is a program that requires qualification.
Enterprise Partners – These are end use customers of drone mapping services. An AirGon Enterprise Partner can be as small as a single stockpile yard to as large as a multi-national mining company. Enterprise partners generally engage with us via our CONTINUUM concept, a model that allows a customer to tailor a drone mapping solution that exactly fits their desired business model. For customers who wish to do their own data collection, we offer subscription-based back office processing services. For customers who want to outsource data collection and processing, we link Network partners who are the best match for the desired services and locations.
Please get in touch with use (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are serious about high accuracy drone mapping – we would love to work with you!