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The Quantix hybrid unmanned drone is designed to assess environmental damage. AeroVironment, a leading company in unmanned aircraft systems, announced it will utilize Quantyx to assess the environmental impact of wildfires.

AeroVironment science teams recently used the drone in the Woolsey wildfire in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area of Southern California. In addition to immediate disaster response and damage assessment, data collected will facilitate the development of a long-term environmental recovery and park rebuilding strategy. This according to the company announcement.   

Working in close collaboration with US National Park Service park rangers and scientists, AeroVironment teams have initiated a comprehensive drone-based aerial imaging and environmental impact study to assess fire damage in key areas of the park. Aerial imagery data collected will be used to quantify oak tree mortality and vegetation stress, in addition to documenting the dramatic changes in park visitor experience.

Kirk Filtie, vice president at AeroVironment said that “within hours of receiving National Park Service clearance, our flight operations team began flying Quantix over the affected burn area, collecting invaluable aerial imagery data and providing any support needed to help the park’s disaster assessment and recovery efforts”.   

The Quantix hybrid drone is designed for different applications including precision agriculture, infrastructure and mining operations. Its innovative VTOL technology (vertical take-off and landing) allows it to operate effectively in a variety of conditions, and it can survey up to 400 acres in just 45 minutes. During flight, Quantix integrated sensors capture high-resolution RGB color and multispectral imagery via dual 18MP (mega pixel) cameras. Onboard processing delivers true color and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) maps on the Quantix control tablet as soon as the drone lands, allowing teams to assess potential issues immediately.

For more detailed analysis, the AeroVironment Decision Support System (AV DSS) performs advanced image processing and data analytics including True Color, NDVI, GNDVI, and anomaly detection to gain deeper insights into environmental damage and vegetation health.