Topcon Positioning Systems has received a national exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows for operation of its unmanned aerial system (UAS) in the United States. The exemption covers the operation of the Sirius Basic and Sirius Pro for aerial data collection.
In early April, the FAA issued 30 more commercial exemptions, bringing the total to 99. That number has since grown to 235.
The Sirius Pro and Sirius Basic systems are designed to produce accurate solutions for the automated mapping of a wide range of sites — regardless of terrain — including construction sites, mines and quarries. The UAS are designed for land surveying, transmission line and pipeline inspection, and agricultural operations such as field mapping and livestock management. With the Sirius Pro model, Topcon eliminates the need for ground-control points by combining real-time kinematic (RTK) GNSS solutions with precision timing technology to provide accurate mapping results, Topcon said.
“This exemption is exciting news for the U.S. marketplace,” said Eduardo Falcon, executive vice president and general manager of the Topcon GeoPositioning Solutions Group. “It allows Topcon to be a resource for end-users and provide UAS demonstrations and training. Aerial data collection has a strong impending impact on all the industries we serve, and the possibilities for survey, construction, and agricultural applications are seemingly limitless.
“Building on the success the Sirius models have already seen in the European and Australian markets, this exemption allows Topcon to expand on that momentum in the U.S.,” Falcon said.