Forensic engineering firm RTI Group LLC says it has been granted a Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
RTI Group says it will use its AerExam ‘aerial examination vehicle’ solution, which applies aerial photography and videography to enable accident response and forensic investigations to be quicker, safer and more affordable.
According to the exemption grant, the company is authorized to fly the DJI Phantom 2 Vision and DJI Inspire 1.
In order to preserve and document accident sites, the AerExam has on-board imaging systems, controlled by the operator on the ground. The operator is able to view a live feed of the footage while maneuvering the AerExam around the object or over the landscape.
Once the data is downloaded from the UAS by the Imaging Sciences Department, software is used to create a 3D point cloud with the imagery and GPS data. The 3D model can then be used to make precise data measurements. Pertinent information can be accessed at any time and can be explored from various angles on an as-needed basis, the company explains.
With origins dating back to 1975, RTI’s forensic engineering services span high-risk industries and transportation operations disciplines, including aviation, marine, rail, utilities, nuclear, explosion and construction.
Only two other forensic engineering firms in the U.S. currently have a commercial UAS exemption.