As the Founder and Co-owner of a landscape restoration and management firm, I began using my aircraft and cameras to conduct much more thorough watershed analysis than was possible from the ground. Particularly with fluvial systems, it is difficult, if not irresponsible, to prescribe a restoration methodology without understanding the forces at work upstream, and potential consequences of these methodologies downstream of the project site. In addition, traditional aerial mapping efforts using large image sensors and high-altitude aircraft were extremely expensive, difficult to schedule and were not capable of providing the resolution we needed to assess river bank stability, ground cover, and bed and bar formations.
With this in mind I designed a vibration-damped vertical camera mount that could accommodate a wide variety of sensors, and which required no alterations to the airframe. The results vastly exceeded my expectations, and within a few years I was able to step down from the restoraiton company and start Kestrel Aerial Services.
Photo by Moe Witschard.