SmarTopo Harvest Creates Obstacle Detection, Database for Drones

Posted by Betsy Lillian on March 30, 2015 No Comments

Rapid Imaging Software Inc. is rolling out its latest obstacle-detection system for commercial drones – the SmarTopo Harvest.

According to the company, the software provides a fast and efficient method to detect undocumented obstacles and adds them to a database.

“SmarTopo Harvest is the key for small commercial drones to operate safely in urban areas,” notes Mike Abernathy, director of development. “This technology allows companies to create and maintain an obstacle database for their drone operations.”

Rapid Imaging Software says an analyst using SmarTopo Harvest recently identified 52 undocumented obstacles of 200 feet or more in a study area of six square miles around the Los Angeles International Airport, for example.

The new technology is integrated into the SmarTopo obstacle-management system, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a level 1B.

SmarTopo Harvest does the following tasks:

  • Searches for obstacles, with the height of search set by the analyst;
  • May compare detected objects or structures to the FAA obstacle database;
  • Estimates height of the objects or structures; and
  • Creates new obstacle for a proprietary database.


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