UASUSA team - drone flights in the San Luis Valley

UASUSA flight operations team flying the Blanca Wetlands. Exploring use cases such as seasonal wetlands mapping, habitat management and water management. Thanks to UAS Colorado for your UAS advocacy efforts in the San Luis Valley. This was an incredible opportunity and experience. These are the UASUSA's first project-specific drone flights in the San Luis Valley.

Press Release- For Immediate Release

Contact: Elise Miller- UASUSA, Longmont, Colorado

Blanca Wetlands and Bonanza Mining District, San Luis Valley, CO- October 20th, 2016

UASUSA’s Tempest ( was flown over two locations in the San Luis Valley on October 20th, The Blanca Wetlands and the Bonanza Mining District.  UAS Colorado ( helped organize demonstrations of UAS (unmanned aircraft system) flights offering aerial support to areas in the San Luis Valley. UASUSA flew with various payloads, such as the Headwall Photonics Nano-Hyperspec sensor, Sony a6000 camera, and Micasense RedEdge camera. The Blanca Wetlands, restored in 1965, is a premier ecological habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl and other wildlife and native plants. The Bureau of Land Management can use the data gathered during the Tempest’s 190 acre flight to monitor algae blooms, endangered species and sediment discharge, to quantifying soil properties and to map and count invasive species.

The Bonanza Mining District is part of the mineral belt of Colorado that still contains old mine dumps from years past. Locating and gathering data from these areas can offer critical information to significantly help reduce negative impact on water resources and the environment.

orthomosaic image
An orthomosaic image of the 190 acre target area in the Blanca Wetlands.

"The aerial imagery taken from the Tempest with the different sensors provided the participating federal and state agencies an opportunity to review geographic information in a most revealing way. The layering of hyperspectral, multispectral and RGB imagery opens up a multitude of applications for the Bureau of Land Management." Says Matt Tello, GIS Analyst at UASUSA.

“This was an incredible opportunity and experience for UASUSA. Thank you to UAS Colorado for your efforts in the San Luis Valley and for organizing such an important demonstration.” says Theresa Aubinger, Sales Director at UASUSA.

L to R: Constantin Diehl, Randy Wright, Theresa Aubinger, Dave McKinley, Matt Tello, Rinaldo Brown, Rob Benson, Sean McClung.

UASUSA manufactures, customizes and pilots unmanned aircraft for commercial applications. For the last seven years, UASUSA has been helping communities and businesses locally and around the world solve some of the toughest business, environmental, and scientific challenges.

The Tempest is designed with efficiency in mind. Its endurance, stability, and payload flexibility position it as best-in-class for fixed wing UASs under 55 lbs. It has successfully accomplished many challenging missions, including flying at the edge-of-space with the Naval Research Lab, monitoring rhinos in Africa, and tracking tornados with the University of Colorado.