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Department Focus: Aerial Acquisition – Sensor Operators

Sensor operators work within our Aerial Acquisition department, along with our pilots. During flight missions, they are responsible for the operation of one of our nine large-format imagery sensors or one of our three lidar sensors. They also must have a clear understanding of aerial sensor limitations, installations, and calibrations, as well as aircraft position data collections. Each day a mission (flight) is completed, the Acquisition team will ship the day’s data on a drive to Surdex’s office overnight.

Our 11 sensor operators report to our Flight Acquisition Manager, Jason Pohlman, who has been with Surdex for 13 years.

Sensor Operator Colin Smith describes the Acquisition team as a “Tight knit family.” He says: “Spending 2 weeks straight from 6 in the morning to 7 at night, it takes no time for you get really close to these people. You really learn to rely on them.” Colin has already been to 31 different states in his two years at Surdex as a sensor operator.

Photo credit: Fluke Snook, sensor operator.