I am an Engineering Geologist and as an Engineering Geologist I've worked extensively with site assessment, project development and design, and construction monitoring.
That begs the question: Why would being a geologist be a qualification for aerial imaging?
As an Engineering Geologist, one of my primary tasks is site assessment and characterization which involves detailing a project through photos and video, and over the years I have gained considerable experience in this respect. Photos are the way we annotate our reports, they are the way we give our clients an understanding of the issues relevant to a given project. The only difference now is that the camera is mounted to an aerial platform. A drone is essentially a flying camera, and flying is only a small part of the equation. Knowing what to photograph and how to photograph is really the name of the game.
As for mapping, I know the importance of plans and maps. I have spent my career making maps, studying maps, and interpreting maps. Now, being able to make aerial maps in real time gives me the ability to offer a valuable commodity to a project developer and/or construction manager who wants or needs real-time data such as site progress, asset inventory, or just improvement of situational awareness. What my mapping background gives me is not just the ability to mechanically fly a drone back and forth over a project site but the knowledge of what features are important to the client. In addition, I have experience with CAD, GIS and photogrammetry.
Safety is always the most important part of any mission. I'm FAA part 107 certified, and I follow FAA guidelines as well as an in-house SOP. All drones are kept on an in-house maintenance schedule that is above and beyond the manufacturer's recommendations. Situational awareness is maintained by utilizing pre-flight and post-flight checklists, as well as employment of a visual observer on large project sites or sites with difficult hazards such as power lines. Go/no-go decisions are made based on conditions on the day of the flight with weather and other factors such as TFRs being monitored continuously.
My goal is to provide aerial imaging solutions to clients that are accurate, cost-effective and safe.