First Civil Aviation Drone Test Flight this Summer in Nevada

nevadadronetestBeginning this summer, the skies in rural Nevada will be filled with identifiable flying objects. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles will take flight in Nevada as part of the FAA’s effort of testing the new technology.

“Nevada’s FAA test sites are officially open for business,” said Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which has spearheaded the state’s efforts to become a test site, the first step in gradually opening U.S. airspace to unmanned aerial vehicles.

The ASPRS UAS Technical Symposium and Demonstration  is a UAS conference that will integrate an FAA designated test site into its program.

Story and Photo Courtesy of sUAS NEWS

Nevada Gets a Head Start on Drone Technology

nevadaheadstartThe state of Nevada has a head start over most areas in the country. The expected $900 billion dollar UAS industry could create thousands of jobs.

“David Strohm is the director of operations for Sensurion. The company makes unmanned-aerial vehicles or UAV’s, commonly referred to as drones. The unmanned-aerial system is the natural evolution, and we have to embrace it,” Strohm said, “Detect and avoid is something the FAA wants.”

Dozens of companies have already lined up to participate in testing for the FAA and hundreds more are interested. “The goal is to make Nevada the cornerstone of the UAV industry, and we are well on our way to doing that,” said James Fleitz from Bowhead.

The ASPRS UAS Technical Symposium and Demonstration  is a UAS conference that will integrate an FAA designated test site into its program.

Story and Photo Courtesy of  sUAS News

Nevada Test Site

FAAFact Sheet – FAA UAS Test Site Program

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving steadily ahead to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the largest, most complex air traffic systems in the world. The agency’s activities must address the needs of a diverse aviation community while ensuring current users both in the air and on the ground remain safe.

The FAA has selected six UAS test site operators that will allow the agency to develop research findings and operational experiences to help ensure the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace as we transition to a system featuring NextGen technologies and procedures.

While the selection of these test sites will not allow immediate access to the national airspace system for commercial and civil purposes, data and other information related to the operation of UAS that is generated by the six test site operators will help the FAA answer key research questions such as solutions for “sense and avoid,” command and control, ground control station standards and human factors, airworthiness, lost link procedures and the interface with the air traffic control system. This data will help the FAA to develop regulations and operational procedures for future commercial and civil use of the NAS.


In the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Congress directed the FAA to establish a test site program to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System. In selecting the test sites, the legislation mandated that the FAA, in consultation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense, consider geographic diversity, climatic diversity, location of ground infrastructure and research needs in choosing the sites.

The FAA solicited public input on how to select the sites. In March 2012, the FAA published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register, and in April, the FAA hosted two webinars to solicit additional public input. This outreach effort helped to develop the process.

On February 14, 2013, the agency solicited proposals from public entities, including state and local governments and eligible universities interested in operating the test sites. The FAA received complete submissions from 25 entities in 24 states.

State of Nevada Test Site

Nevada’s project objectives concentrate on UAS standards and operations as well as operator standards and certification requirements. The applicant’s research will also include a concentrated look at how air traffic control procedures will evolve with the introduction of UAS into the civil environment and how these aircraft will be integrated with NextGen.  Nevada’s selection contributes to geographic and climatic diversity.

More info available through the FAA Website


asprslogoWhat is ASPRS?

Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.

ASPRS: The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) has officially incorporated the tag line “The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society,” as part of the ASPRS identity. This tagline is representative of the Society’s “New Vision,” as it makes the changes necessary to better position its focus for the future.

In announcing this action, ASPRS President Tom Lillesand pointed out that, “Our Board of Directors took unanimous action to adopt a tag line on March 31, 1998 at the Society’s annual meeting. Subsequent to the annual meeting, the Board thoroughly considered alternatives and explored the legal implications of this action. The intent is to preserve the legal name of the Society while providing a better expression of who we are and what we do as an organization.”

“We are extremely proud of our historical roots in imaging science and technology in the form of photogrammetry and remote sensing, and we intend to maintain and build upon our emphasis in this area. However, our membership is focused on imaging not only in the sense of primary data acquisition, but also with respect to the extraction of information from image data in a decision support context,” said Lillesand. “We want to make clear that ASPRS represents a scientific and professional home for a broad array of individuals whose interests span the entire spectrum of geospatial information sciences, technologies, and applications.”

Lillesand stated that “The new tag line is an important expression of ASPRS’s vision for the future. We are attempting to move geospatial information science, technology, and application forward as a holistic enterprise – one that recognizes the interdependence among the academic, public, and private sectors in this whole arena. We want to simultaneously maximize the scientific, societal, and commercial benefits to be realized from geospatial information into the next century. We believe our new tag line helps express the breadth of this vision.”

Who are our members?

ASPRS members-individuals from private industry, the government, and academia are analysts/specialists, educators, engineers, managers/administrators, manufacturers/product developers, operators, technicians, trainees, marketers, and scientists/researchers. Employed in the disciplines of the mapping sciences, our members work in the fields of Agriculture/Soils, Archeology, Biology, Cartography, Ecology, Environment, Forestry/Range, Geodesy, Geography, Geology, Hydrology/water Resources, Land Appraisal/Real Estate, Medicine, Transportation, and Urban Planning/Development.


  • 12-month subscription to Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS), the official peer-reviewed journal of ASPRS
  • Professional Certification
  • Networking Opportunities
  • 25%-40% Discounts on ASPRS Publications
  • Discounts on all ASPRS Conferences (Annual and Specialty)
  • Access to National Job Fairs
  • Invitations to Technical Committee and Division Meetings
  • Invitations to Region specialty conferences, technical tours, workshops, and social activities
  • Eligibility for over $18,000 in National and Regional awards, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • Opportunity to enroll in group insurance programs (Life Insurance, Dental Plan and Cancer Expense Plan).


Photogrammetry is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment, through processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting images and patterns of electromagnetic radiant energy and other phenomena.

Remote Sensing techniques are used to gather and process information about an object without direct physical contact.

Geographic Information System (GIS) is an information system able to encode, store, transform, analyze, and display geospatial information.

To find out more about ASPRS, contact us at:

ASPRS: The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society
5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 210
Bethesda MD 20814-2160

tel: 301-493-0290;
fax: 301-493-0208;

or visit our home page at


Hotel Information

Experience Luxury at Downtown Reno’s Resort Casino Eldorado Reno!

Relax in one the newly remodeled luxurious hotel rooms and suites. New Rooms feature sleek, high-quality furniture in rich, dark woods; all new eye-catching lighting to brighten the overall ambience; new carpet in a striking black and gold pattern that adds a modern flair; and plush side chairs to add an extra touch of warmth to the fresh new style. King rooms now have a sleeper sofa for added comfort and convenience. The rooms also feature fine linen bedding with triple sheeting, HD televisions and ergonomically designed desks with a convenient data port for charging personal electronic devices.

Experience timeless luxury and friendly, personal service in the heart of Downtown Reno. Escape to the Eldorado Resort Casino, named “Best Rooms and Suites” by Casino Player Magazine, where every detail has been considered in order to provide you with the stay of a lifetime. Lose yourself in the nonstop excitement and elegance of the luxurious Reno resort casino. Choose from nine award-winning Reno restaurants, including the world-renowned La Strada and Roxy. Dine on homemade pasta from the in house pasta shop, delicious baked goods made fresh daily in the bakery or checkout a Broadway-style performance in the heart of Downtown Reno in the showroom.

Conference Rates

Room Type Sun 10/19 Mon 10/20 Tues 10/21 Wed 10/22
Tower/Deluxe Room Rate $55.99 $55.99 $55.99 $55.99
Luxury Room Rate $65.99 $65.99 $65.99 $65.99

To receive the discounted conference rate, please call the Eldorado’s group reservations department at 800-648-5966 and use the special group code YASPRS.

Please book by midnight on Friday, September 19,2014. Reservations received after this date will only be accepted on a space and rate availability basis.

Hotel Location

The Eldorado Resort Casino is located just minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

From I80:

  • Take exit 13 toward Downtown Reno
  • Turn south on N Virginia St

From From the Reno-Tahoe International Airport:

  • Take US-395 N towards I-80/Reno/Sparks/Truckee
  • Merge onto I-80 W
  • Take exit 13 toward Downtown Reno
  • Turn south on N Virginia St


Conference Program


Exhibition Setup Noon 5:00 PM Reno Ballroom
Registration Noon 5:00 PM Reno Ballroom
Workshops El Dorado Hotel. Multi-vendor user groups and workshops (unlimited space)
Welcoming Reception BuBinga Lounge (El Dorado hotel)
Registration 7:00 PM 5:00 PM Registration
Lewis Graham of GeoCue – Master of Ceremonies
Welcoming remarks from State/Reno Officials
Mike Hauck, ASPRS Executive Director Keynote introduction to ASPRS – “Whats at Stake?”
Stewart Walker, ASPRS President Words from the ASPRS President – Role of ASPRS in UAV
Pierrele Roux, ASPRS Division Director ASPRS Division Activities and Call for participation
KEYNOTE 9:00 AM 9:45 AM
Keynote Speaker – To be Announced Talk focused on “why now?” Why are drones suddenly so popular when flying model aircraft have been around for 75 years? Is it the advent of micro-INS that allows an autopilot on a multi-copter? Is it miniaturized cameras? Certainly for our field of geometrically accurate mapping, the development of Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithms has totally changed the market….
Break & Exhit Time 9:45 AM 10:30 AM Break/Exhibits
OVERVIEW 10:30 AM 11:30 AM
Invited speaker from the Nevada Test Site – to be announced UAS testing at the NV Test Site/FAA Regulations/What’s coming up at the test site?
Introductory talk – speaker to be announced Introductory talk on the complete workflow from mission planning
to creating products.
Invited speaker – to be announced Overview of the economics. What does flying a stockpile with a sUAS do to
the price point for this work? Is this really an economic game changer? What are the practical limits of a sUAS project – when is a project just too big?
LUNCH & Exhibits 11:30 AM 1:00 PM Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
PANEL 1 – Vehicles 1:00 PM 1:45 PM
Various panelists – to be announced Panel discussion on the pros and cons of various vehicle types from the
perspective of mapping missions – Fixed wing gliders, flying wings and multirotors.
Buses to Stead Airport 3:00 PM 5:00 PM Live Demonstrations of UAS in flight at the Stead Airport, north of Reno
Buses from Stead to Hotel 5:00 PM 5:30 PM
Networking Social 6:00 PM 7:30 PM Exhibit Hall
Registration 7:00 AM 10:00 AM Registration
Breakfast in Exhibit Hall 7:00 AM 8:30 AM Exhibit Hall
PANEL 2 – Sensors 8:30 AM 9:15 AM
Various panelist – to be announced Panel discussing the merits/tradeoffs of cameras and sensors for sUAS. Is a NEX better than a Canon S100? Is there any true advantage of using a metric camera? Some realities of processing when one might subsample
images to have point matching run in a reasonable time and does this affect camera choice? Building an NIR camera from a consumer Canon for less than $1,000 and so forth.
SESSION: DATA COLLECTION (MISSION PLANNING, GROUND CONTROL, FLYING THE MISSION) Speakers to be announced 9:15 AM 10:00 AM Series of three papers – mission planning, flying the mission, field checking
Break 10:00 AM 10:30 AM
SESSION: DATA PROCESSING AND ACCURACY ASSESSMENT Speakers to be announced 10:30 AM 11:15 AM Series of three papers – Processing workflow/Sfm/QC and Accuracy Assessment
PANEL 3: EMERGING TRENDS-UNIVERSITIES University participants to be announced 11:15 AM 12:00 PM Emerging research in UAS
Lunch (on own) 12:00 PM 1:00 PM
Precision Agriculture New and Emerging Development in Precision Ag
Mining New and Emerging Development in Mining
Fire Fighting NASA Ames, USFS
Overseas Opportunities Invited Speakers – to be announced
Invited High Tech Co. Speaker – to be announced 2:30 PM 3:15 PM What can we expect from the use of drones from the Hi-Tech industry?
Break 3:15 PM 3:45 PM
SESSION: LIVE DEMO RESULTS Results from the Live Demo flights
Exhibit Tear-down 5:00 PM 7:00 PM (Extended to next day – Tear down Wednesday 8:00 AM – Noon)