Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

BP and AeroVironment Launch First FAA-Approved, Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Operations Over Land and Water; Providing Comprehensive GIS Services

AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced that BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., selected the company to provide mapping, Geographic Information System (GIS) and other commercial information services at its Prudhoe Bay oil field, the largest oil field in North America, for a five-year period.

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology deployed by BP at its Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska with  ...

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology deployed by BP at its Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska with the Puma AE, AeroVironment UAS. Photo courtesy of BP.

The contract marks the first time unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will be performing routine commercial services over land in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

AeroVironment deployed a comprehensive information solution incorporating its proven Puma AE UAS, equipped with either a custom integrated LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) or its standard electro-optical and infrared sensor payload. The sensor payloads produce imagery and data for processing into 3D computerized models of roads, pads and pipelines, and other actionable information, including precision volumetric measurement and topographic analysis of gravel pits at the North Slope field. Commercial UAS operations began on June 8, 2014.

“Thanks to the FAA’s rigorous, safety-focused certification process for UAS, BP and AeroVironment have launched a safer, better and more cost-effective solution for managing critical infrastructure and resources,” said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. “BP’s forward-thinking embrace of UAS technology enabled AeroVironment to deliver a comprehensive approach for generating, processing and converting data collected by portable UAS into actionable information that provides tangible economic and operational advantages. Integrated into BP’s routine operations, this new solution is now helping BP manage its extensive Prudhoe Bay field operations in a way that enhances safety, protects the environment, improves productivity and accomplishes activities never before possible.”

“This is an important achievement for our joint team and for the industry in demonstrating the safe and effective use of our proven UAS technology for commercial applications. Our team has established a model for delivering this flexible and efficient information service, including back office data processing, to a wide variety of customers and industries throughout the world for whom better information, safety and reliability matter.”

AeroVironment's extensive operational track record includes the production and delivery of nearly 25,000 new and replacement small unmanned aircraft with cumulative flight time estimated at more than one million hours. The company has delivered its small UAS to customers in the United States and in more than 30 allied nations.

BP’s IT&S Chief Technology Office pursued the application of unmanned aircraft systems technology to enhance BP’s oil and gas operations. Recent FAA restricted category aircraft type (RCAT) certificates for Puma AE and a larger UAS over water were the first for UAS in the national airspace systems (NAS). BP defined its mapping needs for the Alaska North Slope and issued a request for information in June 2013 to multiple geographic information system (GIS), manned and unmanned aircraft systems companies. BP selected AeroVironment’s response and invited the company to perform a proof-of-concept demonstration.

AeroVironment successfully demonstrated mapping and inspection services incorporating UAS at the Prudhoe Bay field in September 2013 under a public certificate of authorization through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. These services included 3D road mapping, 3D gravel pit volumetric analysis, visual and 3D pipeline analysis, general topography and environmental monitoring services, and demonstrated the ability to support wildlife protection, ice floe monitoring, search and rescue and oil spill response. The team also demonstrated inspection of critical infrastructure, including flare stacks, tanks, bridges and power lines.

As part of a comprehensive data collection, processing and reporting solution, AeroVironment integrated a LiDAR sensor payload into its battery-powered Puma AE UAS. AeroVironment’s expert UAS operators are now performing photogrammetry and LiDAR analysis to survey Prudhoe Bay infrastructure including the gravel roads, pipelines and a gravel pit. The Puma AE’s ability to fly low, at 200 to 400 feet above ground level, and slowly, at less than 40 knots, provides BP with highly accurate location analytics capabilities to help manage its complex. The Puma AE is capable of up to 3.5 hours flight time per battery and has a wingspan of about nine feet.

In one application, surveying the 200 miles of roadways built to support North Slope activities is critical to the effective operation of the Prudhoe Bay field. Drill rigs that traverse the roadways span up to 28 feet wide, 132 feet long and weigh up to 3.5 million pounds, with a driver at each end. The highly accurate LiDAR-produced maps delivered by AeroVironment’s Puma AE, along with precision GPS guidance systems, assist drivers in keeping moving drill rigs centered on the roadways, even in low visibility conditions.

The Puma AE UAS is well suited for operations in highly sensitive ecological areas because of its electric propulsion, low acoustic signature and small operating footprint. AeroVironment’s UAS services will help improve the safety and reliability of BP’s Prudhoe Bay infrastructure and maintenance programs, which accounts for about two-thirds of Alaska oil production.

About AeroVironment

AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, supports and operates an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions. The company’s electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems provide powerful actionable information to military, public safety and commercial personnel around the world through real-time, airborne imaging, sensing and communication. AeroVironment’s electric transportation solutions include a comprehensive suite of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, installation and network services for consumers, automakers, utilities and government agencies, power cycling and test systems for EV developers and industrial electric vehicle charging systems for commercial fleets. More information about AeroVironment is available at

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; our reliance on sales to the U.S. government; changes in the timing and/or amount of government spending; changes in the supply and/or demand and/or prices for our products and services; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on 10-Q. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For additional media and information, please follow us at:

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...