Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall-Winter 2018

Fall/Winter 2018 • 15 • Nonskid (not just “slip resistant“ ). • 9 times more durable than paint • Fewer carbon emissions/labor spent/ product placed/locations disrupted/ traffic stalled/streets closed • High visibility • Retroreflective • Pre-mixed…no more “too much of anything“, perfect consistency every time, ready to go right out of the container! • Easy to apply (if you can paint with a roller…you can apply EcoPath) Call Today! 360-668-5700 EcoPath Nonskid Bus and Bike Lane Coatings No Rough Edges! - No Trip Hazards! Ready for Colorado Weather! • • lines, poles, and insulation can be tracked over time. According to Fred- erickson, the challenge is not simply to hand over a hard drive full of data, but to format and organize it in a manner that maximizes its usefulness to the customer. The company has a total of three licensed pilots. Drone services and related engineering services are also available from Golden based Juniper Unmanned, and from ZoZo Marketing Group, among others. Public works contractors like IHC, Castle Rock Construc- tion, Lawrence Construction, and RockSol Consulting Group routinely use drones on their projects, and aerial inspection will also be employed soon on the C-470 widening project. However, Colorado’s drone connection doesn’t end there. Pilot train- ing programs are available in Denver through the Unmanned Safety Insti- tute, which also has facilities in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Orlando. Other local flight schools include Dart Drones, Drone Pilot Training Center, and Unmanned Experts. There is also, of course, the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs – one of the world’s leading schools for pilots of all kinds. USAFA trains pilots for high-end military drones, but these skills are certainly applicable in the civilian world as well. Some states have no flight schools at all, while others have a far more limited selection, so this is certainly an indicator of the demand for drone-related services here in Colorado. Perhaps more importantly, our state is also home to at least a dozen UAS hardware and software manufacturers that supply the industry with sensors, components, and complete aircraft. Fortune 500 aerospace companies like Trimble, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin produce, distribute, and in some cases operate extremely high-end equipment for government, military, and multinational corporate customers, but the real action these days is in the low and mid-range systems that small companies and even individuals can afford. Boulder is home to Freewave Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of affordable, military-grade radio systems for a variety of applications, including UAS and robotics. Boulder also produced ASTRALite, Inc, a manufactuter of drone-based LiDAR systems that are capable of mapping surface topography, including the submerged terrain below the surface of a body of water. Out west, Cedaredge is home to DroneMapper, which produces a suite of mapping software. That’s all well and good, but Colorado also supports a surprising number of manufacturers of complete UAVs, and their associated control systems, packing crates, backup batteries, and other critical hardware. Boulder’s Agribotix provides dronesand drone services for the agriculture industry. Boulder-based BlackSwift technologies makes a $17K fixed-winged drone. Longmont’s UASUSA is another fixed-wing drone manufacturer and service provider. Reference Technologies is a drone manufacturer based in Lafayette. Most interestingly, Denver-based Geotech Environmental Equip- ment, a maker of groundwater inspection systems, recently merged with Leptron Industrial Robotic Helicopters, Inc. (also based in Denver) to create an integrated manufacturer of remote sensing equipment that sells into agriculture, law enforcement and the US military, but has a particular focus on environmental monitoring and environmental engineering companies that do things like scan pipelines for leaks. They don’t have an export license, but they do have customers throughout the US, including several in Colorado. All in all, there has never been a better time to investigate what drones can do for you, your company, and your upcoming projects. Whether you’re in government or industry, agriculture or even academia, there’s a good chance your infrastructure, public works and research endeavors could benefit from drone technologies or services in one way or another. And if that’s the case, you’re almost certainly living in the right state.