It's a bird...It's a plane...It's Unmanned Aerial Systems
Will UAS deliver new efficiencies to your business?

In early December, CEO Jeff Bezos got the country buzzing about unmanned aerial systems (UAS) when he announced on the 60 Minutes news show that his company was testing them for package delivery. Until recently, UAS technology was the purview of the military and law enforcement, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced six sites across the country to tackle safety standards and address privacy issues associated with UAS in anticipation of the technology moving toward commercial applications. The FAA is planning to have one test site in each state by the first half of 2014.

The announcement represents a major milestone toward the goal of having 7,500 UAS in air by 2020, in what is projected to become a multi-billion dollar industry. The use of drones for commercial purposes is currently all but banned, with just a few exceptions. Flights are already being conducted in the Arctic by energy companies looking to drill and monitor their facilities and equipment, and drones are also used in remote locations for precision agriculture. When you couple UAS technology with remote sensing and GIS capabilities and geospatial software like ENVI, the possibilities for companies to increase efficiencies and save time and money expand exponentially.

Image courtesy of WorldView-2
  Oil Spill Detection and Mitigation

Oil spills can be an unfortunate consequence of drilling for oil in marine settings. When an oil spill occurs, an immediate and effective operational response is imperative to avoid environmental damage as well as damage to the company's public image and bottom line. There simply isn’t enough time to characterize the spill at sea – it must be done using imagery. When imagery is utilized, it enables mitigation operations to be deployed quickly and efficiently.

Using ENVI software and imagery collected from UAS, impacted areas can be immediately extracted using classification and feature extraction techniques. The SPEAR Relative Water Depth workflow in ENVI enables the characterization of regions. Using remote sensing and ENVI processing, the extent of the oil spill's impact can be quickly characterized and clean up resources can be applied with maximum effectiveness and near real-time situational awareness.

Here we've used satellite-collected imagery with ENVI supervised classification, feature extraction, and relative water depth workflows to target and characterize affected areas. These advanced image analytics allow mitigation efforts to be launched as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Pipeline Monitoring
Image courtesy of RadarSAT

Now it is possible to find and assess changes in a pipeline over time by using accurate elevation data from multi-temporal LiDAR collects. These data can also identify other associated anomalies in the surrounding landscape. When these information products are coupled with geographic layers, such as spatial analysis products from ArcGIS, field crews can deploy to the affected pipeline locations for further inspection and to initiate maintenance operations. In addition to the LiDAR data ingest with multiple GIS layers, ENVI enables multimodal data analytics to include multispectral and hyperspectral data to the information stack. Using these additional data layers helps to identify problem areas, such as potential gas leaks, by exploiting information that is not visible to the eye.

The use of LiDAR, multispectral, hyperspectral, and GIS data, along with analysis tools such as ENVI and ArcGIS, provide a powerful complete solution that incorporates remote sensing data analytics and geoprocessing for UAS technology.

  LiDAR and hyperspectral data allow Oil and Gas ground resources to operate more efficiently. ENVI LiDAR data import, hyperspectral tools, and measurement tools can be combined with ArcGIS to identify gas leaks.

These are some of the scenarios we are considering that exploit remote sensing and GIS capabilities and UAS technologies. Join the conversation at LinkedIn to let us know what possibilities you foresee arriving on the horizon along with UAS. And be sure to check out our latest blog post on this topic.

Increase Your Productivity with ENVI 5.1

Join us for a Webinar to learn how to get more from your image analysis with new features and functionality available in the latest release of ENVI, version 5.1. Discover how you can define and manage ROIs with the new Regions of Interest Tool. ENVI 5.1 also features:

  • A new Seamless Mosaic Workflow that lets you easily mosaic your images
  • New HDF5 Datasets dialog so you can build raster files from a combination of 2D and 3D components
  • New and updated sensor support
  • New display tools, such as the new Spectral Profile tool, and enhancements to existing functionality to improve the overall user experience

       Singapore - Wednesday, February 19, 11AM
       Paris - Thursday, February 20, 3PM
       New York - Thursday, February 20 2PM

Going to Esri Fed GIS?
Imagine that. So are we.

Be sure to visit the Exelis booth (#407) at the 2014 Esri Federal GIS conference in Washington, D.C. February 10 - 11, to see how you can you can visualize, analyze, and stream video and imagery on the desktop or in the cloud to enhance your GIS.

Looking for an image analysis solution fully integrated with ArcGIS?
With ENVI for ArcGIS, anyone in your organization can easily analyze imagery, LiDAR, and SAR data on the desktop or in the cloud. This flexibility allows you to implement scientifically proven ENVI image analysis without having to change existing workflows.

How could your whole organization benefit from sharing geospatial knowledge?
ENVI for ArcGIS – Services Edition enables you to quickly access advanced image analytics in ArcGIS for Server. Now everyone in your organization has the online, on-demand access needed to use image analysis tools and models to help make better decisions.

What could your organization do with real-time situational awareness?
Use Jagwire to stream, manage, and play back video for your GIS. Jagwire reduces the time from data collection to decision making through a flexible platform that can be accessed from desktops, mobile devices, and the cloud.

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See us at these upcoming trade shows:

AMS Annual Meeting
February 2-6, 2014
Atlanta, GA

Esri Federal GIS Conference
February 10-11, 2014
Washington, D.C.

International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF)
February 17-19, 2014
Denver, CO

AUSA Winter Symposium and Exposition
February 19-21, 2014
Huntsville, AL


Join us for a Webinar to learn how to get more from your image analysis with new features and functionality available in the latest release of ENVI, version 5.1.

Asia - February 19, 2014
Europe - February 20, 2014
US - February 20, 2014


Learn about ENVI and IDL applications and functionality with these videos:

Atmospheric Correction
This webinar looks at the different types of Atmospheric Correction tools available in ENVI. It starts with a look at what Atmospheric Correction is used for, and when you do and don't need to apply it.

ENVI Services Engine: What is it?
This webinar takes a very basic look at ENVI capabilities at the server level. It shows diagrams depicting how web based analysis works, and shows some examples of JavaScript clients calling the ENVI Services Engine.

IDL for the Non-Programmer
This webinar highlights some of the tools available to ENVI and IDL users, which allow them to analyze data and extend ENVI.

View all recorded web seminars.


Imagery Speaks
Using LiDAR to Determine Ideal Solar Panel Placement

Research, Education, and the Enterprise: Getting the Right Blend of Ingredients

Meeting the Challenge of Extreme Weather & Climate Monitoring


See all Exelis events and training.

Working with Landsat 8 Data within ENVI
February 10, 2014 - Boulder CO

Extracting Information from LiDAR Data
February 20, 2014 - Boulder CO

Exploring ENVI
February 25, 2014 - Herndon VA

Exploring ENVI
March 4, 2014 - Milan, Italy

Exploring ENVI
March 5, 2014 - Bracknell, UK

Extending ENVI with IDL
March 11, 2014 - Milan, Italy

Vegetation Analysis with ENVI
March 11, 2014 - Boulder CO

Introduction to IDL
March 12, 2014 - Bracknell, UK

La télédétection avec ENVI
March 17, 2014 - Paris, France

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