The best part of the drone industry is finding those organizations, large and small, who are innovating for good in the world. The drone army has proven their willingness to help communities in disaster response, search and rescue, conservation, law enforcement and more. It’s always inspiring, and the Wounded Eagle organization represents some of the best work in the drone community – helping wounded veterans find new careers as drone pilots, and flying for the benefit of other veterans.
Wounded Eagle (WE) is a Los Angeles based non-profit run by Joseph Dorando (USN Ret.) an FAA Part 107 licensed operator. He created Wounded Eagle to provide training for wounded and disabled veterans – helping them to forge new civilian careers in drone services. For qualified students, there’s no cost for the training – and the team provides not only practical skills but mentorship, flight time and direction to allow students to develop their own successful businesses.
It’s a project that has proven successful. Not only is Wounded Eagle working with veterans to teach them to operate drones, they’re flying for other veterans. Read on to hear about how the WE team mapped the Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare (GLAH) in West Los Angeles, California.
The following is a Wounded Eagle press release.
LOS ANGELES, CA, May 29, 2019 – Los Angeles based non-profit, Wounded Eagle (WE) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) completes an aerial photogrammetry survey and map of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare (GLAH) in West Los Angeles, California.
The teams were led by Instructor, Joseph Dorando who is an FAA Part 107 licensed operator and was the remote pilot in charge of sUAS operations. He was assisted by a team of WE veteran students who are small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) operators. They completed an aerial mapping of the 422acre West Los Angeles, Veterans Affairs campus using an sUAS and unmanned aerial mapping software to capture thousands of images and stitched together to make a three zone Orthomosaic Map. WE also created 3D renderings of several historical buildings including the Wadsworth Chapel and Brentwood Theater.
The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare campus is the largest VA campus in the country. In co-operation with their Emergency Management Office (EMO), WE was asked to create high resolution imagery of the entire campus for historical purposes and documentation of existing facilities on the campus grounds. The image collections were divided into three zones with the option to merge all three collections together to make one large orthomosaic photogrammetric map of the campus.
“I am so proud of our students,” said Joseph Dorando, sUAS Instructor. “We gave them a great opportunity to learn how to make their own maps using a sUAS and mapping software which was given to WE by the WLA VA. Our student teams are all disabled veterans and to provide them the capability to learn how to make maps using a sUAS was a real experience for them and gave them the confidence to do more and go beyond, this will be a useful benefit to them going forward and can even assist with possible employment in the UAS industry.”
“The imagery is amazing, it provides high accuracy with a lot of detail which will be very useful for emergency management planning purposes as well as building maintenance,” said Ben Spivey from EMO. “The resolution is .5 cm per pixel and with that, you can zoom in on different buildings and see broken tiles on the roof with the pieces nearby.”
About Wounded Eagle UAS, Inc.
Wounded Eagle UAS Inc. 501c3 is a veteran run, non-profit organization training disabled veterans to become experienced and skilled FAA Part 107 sUAS aka “drone” operators.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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