Engineering Firm Puts New Altavian Mapping Drone to Work Right Away

Michael Baker International, a Pittsburgh-based provider of engineering, planning and consulting services, has expanded its inspection services by purchasing an Altavian Nova unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

The fixed-wing Altavian Nova drone, joining the company’s expanding UAS fleet, offers a new tool for Michael Baker pilots when conducting aerial inspections and mapping of large sites or during inclement weather conditions.

With flight times of 45-90 minutes and the ability to cover 600-800 acres in a single flight, the Altavian Nova can handle winds up to 30 miles per hour, the firm says.

Michael Baker says it is already deploying the new UAS for clients as part of on-call contracts with the Nevada Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Storm Water Division and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. Specifically, the company used the Altavian Nova for an emergency task order in response to major flooding of roads and highways in Pyramid Valley, Nev. Low cloud cover and hazardous conditions made the use of ground crews unsafe, so the company says it deployed the drone to capture, with precise detail, the entire 15-mile section of damaged highway.

“We used our findings from the Nevada DOT project in Nome, Alaska, where a Michael Baker team used the Altavian to map sections of a 34-mile highway that was being washed out yearly by thaw,” elaborates Kevin Pomaski, chief UAS pilot at Michael Baker International. “For both clients and projects, Michael Baker relied on the extended range, durability and precision mapping of the Altavian Nova to deliver unmatched solutions for clients.”

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