CONFIRM Flight Operations Begin
Attollo kicked off flight operations with the Coastal and Fire Management (CONFIRM) project on December 11th. Flight crew members consisted of personnel from the Duke University Marine Lab, University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, Camp Lejeune Environmental Management Division and Attollo.
Multiple flights were conducted aboard Camp Lejeune along Onslow Beach for baseline data collection and post storm analysis after Hurricanes Florence and Michael roared through eastern North Carolina a few months ago. While the beach has been surveyed from the ground previously, this marks the first occasion local university scientists have mapped the beach via unmanned aerial systems. Ground control points (GCPs) were also established along the beach to validate the accuracy of aerial collection.
These were the first flights utilizing the Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) waiver granted to the CONFIRM project team utilizing the SenseFly eBee Plus aircraft. There have been very few COTS waivers granted by the DoD due to the complex security problems posed by UAS, however execution of the plans laid out in our waiver did not pose any issues. Integrating into flight operations with military aircraft in restricted airspace and coordinating with Camp Lejeune Range Control proved to be seamless and efficient.