Mock crash at the New London - Spicer High School

Fire trucks, state patrol, local police and even the Life Link III helicopter today participated in a mock car crash for the students of the New London - Spicer High School.  

Speakiing with the emergency personnel they felt that especially around the time of prom and graduation it was so important for high schoolers to see the potential consequences of bad decisions. 

It was quite impressive. 


Solar farms

I recently spent a week doing thermal (IR) scans of solar fields looking for faulty panels and connections.  

At the end of the week though it was time to pull out the regular camera and get an overview photo. I especially liked the tree that was left at the edge of this field. 



 A big part of my business is inspections. Whether visual with a regular camera or thermal with the IR camera, a drone can often get to places that people cannot.  

Today's example comes from a drainage ditch. While not quite Cirque d'Soleil in excitement factor, flying this ditch for inspection is worlds faster and more efficient that having a team of people walk each side. And my drone doesn't get stuck in the mud out in the middle of the field.

Other inspections I've done include concrete 150' above ground, windows to check for the seal integrity between the double panes, roofs to look for storm damage and thermal inspections of electrical equipment to look for signs of inefficiency or failure.

Local Business

Copart Inc. in Avon needed a quick overview of their property. Not a marketing photo, but more of a snapshot of exactly how it looked today.

With a drone I was able to quickly capture views from several angles, a top down survey and a few fly-over videos. Exactly what they needed.

As well as the flying, one of the parts of this job that I really enjoy is the chance to learn about different companies and industries. I have a new appreciation for what happens to cars after they are declared "totaled" by an insurance agency.

500 acre property

A client recently needed an aerial photo of a 500 acre property. He wanted it to look like Google Maps, but be current, and also to be printable at 48" x 48".  

While drones are almost always a better solution for aerial photography, here a high-res camera and a Cessna provided a more economical solution. 

Using a 35mm lens to avoid distortion we climbed up to about 11,000 feet with a 42mp camera to capture this photo. 


Clearwater / Hwy 24 Bridge Progress

A few clips showing the progress of the new bridge over the Mississippi on Highway 24 near Clearwater, MN.

These are taken looking north, so you can see the pylons are done all across the river and they have just started laying down the beams that are the start of the road surface on one section.

This is a narrow two lane bridge - I always want to see how construction is going, but can't take my eyes off the road to look. I thought others out there might appreciate the view as well.

Thermal Camera Inspections

Although one might initially confuse this for a bad Instagram filter, it is a thermal image of a solar farm taken with a drone.

You can see the silo and buildings of another farm in the distance, but more importantly one can see a small section of panels on the right that are a different temperature.

Fixing these will save at least a few thousand dollars a year, and with the camera on a drone it took minutes instead of days to spot.

Roofing leaks, window leaks, bad insulation - having this type of camera on a drone is going to be great for inspections.




Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train is in its 18th year - raising money, food and awareness for local food banks and food shelves.

This photo was taken recently when it was pulling into Annandale, Mn. Despite temps in the teens a big crowd turned out to hear the live music and help out with the food shelf needs.

The lights of the train were quite impressive lighting up the fresh snow when seen from 100' up.

Ice crystal halo

So this morning I was flying by a ski hill that was making snow. This led to lots of ice crystals in the air.

Ice crystals typically refract visible light 22 degrees, which leads to the halo that one can often see around the moon or sun.

This was one of the better such halos I'd ever seen. Aerial photography let me put the camera up 400' above the ground to really capture the full view.

Just after this, with the temp at -4F and the wind chills at -25F I returned to the warmth of the car - boy it was chilly!