News Article

Drone startup wins permission to fly over Ohio farms
Date: Mar 15, 2015
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: 3D Aerial Solutions LLC of Dayton, OH

A local drone startup has been granted permission to fly over farm fields.

Dayton-based 3D Aerial Solutions LLC, which provides data processing and flight services for unmanned systems in the area, has been granted a Section 333 waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The firm's five co-owners, including Brandon Youngblood, Mike Gilkey, Tom Hughes, Rob Subr and Bret Givens, have a variety of experiences with UAS associated technology fields.

"This is going to be big for us," said Youngblood, who worked with UAS in the military. "We'll be able to use the tech commercially."

With the waiver, it will be able to request flights over agriculture fields, and Youngblood said its biggest use will be in crop monitoring -- using the drones to study crop density, stock count, potential weed growth and other data that will be useful to the farmer.

The startup joins a handful of other companies around the state with permission to operate unmanned craft -- an industry Dayton groups are hoping to capture. Beavercreek-based Woolpert Inc. has permission to use them too, for infrastructure monitoring in rural Ohio.

3D Aerial Solutions recently partnered with Wright State Research Institute. The FAA granted them a certificate of authorization -- Wright State's first -- to fly at Wilmington Air Park with an eBee unmanned aerial system, produced by Swiss company SenseFly.

With WSRI, 3D Aerial will use photographs to build virtual simulations that will allow for testing of unmanned systems in the virtual realm. Those kinds of simulations will help researchers develop autonomy and other technologies for UAS.