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Image: OSCE/Athanasios Kaltsis

ASOG 2022 Focus Area: Career Management

Posted By: ASOG Career Center

ASOG Members,

“This Short Notice – Short Response Time” job announcement came into the ASOG in-box last night. This is US focused, but your country (if a participant in the OSCE) might have a similar job opening in the OSCE. If you miss this opportunity, keep checking for another opening in the future.

--------PAE-REACT Announcement

PAE-REACT is seeking US citizen candidates for nomination to the following seconded position at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the security sector. Please apply for and/or circulate the following vacancies to your professional network(s) at the earliest time.  

EXTENDED! The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is seeking (2) Technical Monitoring Officers / UAV Operators (OPE000009), a senior professional with a first-level university degree in a relevant field, 6+ years of progressively responsible professional experience, including 1+ year in the field of civilian or military aviation strongly preferred.

The position requires: experience piloting military or civilian manned aircrafts (helicopters or planes); experience operating small to large multi-rotor or fixed-wing UAVs in a military, law enforcement or commercial setting; experience in planning aerial operations, or on projects related to unmanned aviation; experience working in a demanding and constantly changing operational environment; sound organizational skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and concisely and work to tight deadlines under minimum supervision; strong diplomatic skills, cultural sensitivity and political judgement; strong analytical and report writing skills; gender awareness and sensitivity, as well as the ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities; ability to cope with physical hardship and willingness to work extra hours and in an environment with limited infrastructure; proven resilience to high stress environments; ability to work as a member of a team, with people of different cultures, religions, genders, and political views.

Desirable: current UAV or remotely piloted aircraft system license provided by national aviation authorities or internationally recognized UAV training centers; working knowledge of Russian and/or Ukrainian language(s); experience in utilizing image and video editing software; experience in analyzing aerial images and in identifying military equipment; experience in using Geographic Information System (GIS) applications; possession of 'C' driving license. The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce. Qualified US citizens are invited to apply for this OSCE seconded post ASAP, but no later than 11:59pm (GMT -5) Wednesday, 26 January 2022 at

In order to receive full consideration, interested applicants are advised to:

  • Review the full vacancy notice located at the OSCE website and accessible via the PAE-REACT link next to the relevant post at;
  • Create (or revise) an online PAE-REACT application and enter the relevant vacancy number at: by 11:59pm (GMT -5) 26 January 2022; and
  • Ensure that the cover letter entered in the application addresses the requirements of the post noted in the full vacancy notice; and that the applicant’s work history fields of the application address the responsibilities of the post.
  • Only US citizens are eligible to apply. Only finalists will be contacted. PAE-REACT will interview short-listed candidates to make nominations by the OSCE closing date.


Thanks and kind regards,




  1. +1-703-717-6047

1320 N. Courthouse Rd. Suite 700

Arlington, VA 22201

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ASOG 2022 Focus Area: News & Information

Shared By: George DeCock

Hey everyone, this might be of interest to some of you. Below is an article that compares the new 8K video format against the present 4K – and puts the 8K ‘advantages’ in perspective based on viewing the video on the ground.  For airborne operations these ground conditions don’t apply (very large screen size, operator-to-screen distance, etc),  except for the ability to have greater digital zoom.  But for post-mission analysis, via 8K recording or air-ground RF transmission, this may open up some more ‘visibility’ into target images. (GIZMODO, By Daniel Kolitz, 3 Jan 2022)


Can You Really Tell the Difference Between 4K and 8K?

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ASOG Article of the Month: January 2022

ASOG Author: Patrick Ryan

More than a Pilot, you are the person expected (or should be expected) on a flight crew to know how the invisible and visible world of energy affects a wide range of things in a single flight or mission, i.e., sensor operations, data links, and even inflight smartphone usage. So, where are you on the map of understanding the basics of the Electromagnetic Spectrum?


Without saying, the word "Airborne Sensor Operator" projects you're the high-tech expert to others. But, especially when it comes to collection systems and aspects of what is going on in your particular Aerial Work flight operation. If you didn't perceive this sense, you need to "pickup your game" to help improve your working knowledge and aerial collection efforts.

So with that, what is the electromagnetic spectrum and its importance to you as an ASO?


At its core, The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is the scale of all types of EM radiation. Radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes – the visible light that comes from a lamp in your house and the radio waves that come from a radio station are two types of electromagnetic radiation. The other kinds of EM radiation that make up the electromagnetic spectrum are microwaves, infrared light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma-rays. (NASA CILab, 2016)


Electromagnetic radiation can be described as a stream of mass-less particles, called photons, each traveling in a wave-like pattern at the speed of light. Each photon contains a certain amount of energy. The different types of radiation are defined by the amount of energy found in the photons. For example, radio waves have photons with low energies, and microwave photons have a little more energy than radio waves, infrared photons have still more, then visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, and, the most energetic of all, gamma-rays. (NASA GSFC, 2013)


ASOs who choose to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum not only gain the skills needed to understand complex sensors and systems (e.g., EO/IR, LiDAR, SAR, etc.) but come away with strong analytical and troubleshooting skills, as well as technical understanding necessary to succeed in the ASO world. In fact, having a basic understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum can be helpful for professionals in all industries, not just in aviation and remote-sensing.


Here's a look at several advantages of learning about the electromagnetic spectrum and how it can benefit your aerial remote sensing organization, flight crew, and career:

  • You'll Expand Your Vocabulary - Whether it's wavelength, hertz, or reflection, learning about the electromagnetic spectrum will give you confidence in fundamental terms needed to understand how systems operate and their relationship to the environment. Even if you don't use these words often in your current role, learning about these spectrum terms and principles will give you a better understanding of operational dynamics as a whole and how they apply to your work. Plus, depending on where you work, it will help you better communicate with clients, supervisors, and other co-workers.
  • You'll Put New Knowledge into Practice - Electromagnetic spectrum isn't just learning a fancy set of terms and numbers; it's actually using them to understand, explain or manage the electronic sensors and systems you operate. When you understand this science, you can use principles and frameworks to assess situations and make a variety of operational decisions, e.g., whether to operate a LiDAR system in high sun angles and reflection conditions or the best ways to maximize an EO/IR sensor during certain kinds of conditions and environments.
  • You'll Improve Your Career Prospects – Learning about the electromagnetic spectrum can improve your employability in various aerial remote sensing industry sectors. For example, here are a few job requirements taken from several different job posting which requires a candidate to have a good or excellent understanding of the spectrum:
    • “Experience and understanding of Remote Sensing”
    • “In-aircraft equipment alignment, calibration, and testing”
    • “Operating airborne LiDAR, digital imaging systems, and GPS instruments”
    • “Monitor the quality of GPS, image data performance”
    • “Routine maintenance and troubleshooting of laser sensor, GPS equipment, and other in-flight equipment”


There are many routes available for those looking to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum. Depending on your personal and professional goals, your current stage in life, and other important factors, you can learn about the spectrum from the comfort of your smartphone to taking a course at a local college.

So, if you are itching to get started to learn or just want to refresh yourself on the basics of the electromagnetic spectrum, here are a few sources that I think are perfect for the job:

Whether you're new to the Airborne Sensor Operator world or an experienced ASO, having a thorough understanding of how radiation energy affects your job is essential to success.



Read more…

ASOG 2022 Focus Area: Industry Support

Posted By: ASOG Desk Editor

It’s an honor to have a new corporate supporter who’s goal is to improve the Aerial Fire Fighting sector and to ensure our communities are safe from the devastating effects of wildfires. We are beyond delighted to announce - FireFlight Technologies Pty. Ltd – is now a new ASOG Corporate Supporter.

If you didn’t know, FireFlight Technologies provides real time wildfire intelligence using thermal sensors mounted on manned aircraft and UAVs. The FireFlight system comprises thermal imaging sensors; high precision GPS; flight management software; real time image processing algorithms; and web-delivery technology. The system delivers geospatially accurate fire maps to users in real time.

If you want to learn more about FireFlight Technologies and their products, check them out on the ASOG Corporate Supporter page (clicking their Logo). – OR - You can "Friend" David Bradshaw (Operations Manager at FireFlight Technologies) and send him a message via the ASOG e-mail service.

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ASOG 2021 Focus Area: Career Management

Shared By: Sophie Nunn

Position Description: APEM Position Descriptions - Aerial Survey Task Specialist (UK)  ,  Airborne Sensor Operator (USA)

ASOG Members,

Sophie Nunn (ASOG LinkedIn Connection) sent us two new job opportunities. One ASO position is in the UK and the other is in the USA. If you are interested, review the job descriptions and contact APEM accordingly or network with Sophie Nunn (


ASOG Career Center

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ASOG 2022 Focus Area: News & Information

Shared By: AVBuyer, 23rd December 2021, Astrid Ayling

Have you ever thought you could have a large, hazardous pipeline underneath or near your neighbourhood? If so, you probably wondered “How is the pipeline industry keeping these pipes safe?” AVBuyer ‘unearths’ the truth of how one part of this industry, the Pipeline Patrol and ASOs of Aerial Work aviation, is part of that safety net, ensuring those critical lines are safe and effective.

Discover the Pipeline Monitors of Aerial Work Aviation

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ASOG 2022 Focus Area: News & Information

Source: PictureCorrect, August 21st, 2017, Paul Schlismann

If you are interested in breaking into the ASO career field of Aerial Photography, here is a good article from a veteran professional Aerial Photographer. Paul provides many sensible tips and best practices when it comes to taking images from a moving aircraft.


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New ASOG Corporate Supporter – FLYSIGHT

ASOG 2021 Focus Area: Industry Support

Posted By: ASOG Desk Editor

Once again, It's great to see industry recognize the ASO profession and our group's efforts. We are happy to announce another new ASOG Corporate Supporter this week and the start of the New Year – FLYSIGHT.

FlySight S.r.l., as a part of the Flyby Group, is the subsidiary company dedicated to the defence and security sector. This specific company was born exploiting the years of Flyby experience in satellite remote sensing and data analytics.

FlySight team is specialized in designing and developing cutting-edge software in the field of C4ISR systems (Command, Control, Computer, Communication for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance).

If you want to learn more about FlySight and their products, check them out on the ASOG Corporate Supporter page (clicking their Logo). Also, you can "Friend" Andrea Masini (CTO at FlySight Srl & Board of Director at Flyby Srl at FlySight) and send him a message via the ASOG e-mail service.

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ASOG Article of the Month: December 2021

ASOG Author: Patrick Ryan

How do professional Airborne Sensor Operators (ASO) keep from making errors regarding operating sensors and aircraft systems? Plus, how do they backup other crew members during flight operations? The answer is professional ASOs use the "Checklist."


As I've said many times before, many actions, procedures, and responsibilities are not on the shoulders of one crew member, i.e., the pilot. Everyone on a flight crew, be it rated crewmembers to non-rated, should be applying the same practices, methods, and techniques. In this case, it's Checklist Discipline.

In aviation, a checklist is a list of tasks that aircrew should perform during all phases of flight. Specifically, aircrew use checklists for normal and non-normal operations, be it the aircraft or specialized systems (e.g., sensors, mission management systems, data links, etc.): for routine situations, landings, take-offs, collection operations, malfunctions, and emergencies.

There are many ways to ensure critical and non-critical tasks are accomplished regarding any flight operation. However, one method heavily used by many aircrews (manned and unmanned aircraft) in aviation is the "Flow-Check" method. This method is based on an aircrew member training and gaining experience with a particular aircraft or remote-sensor system to quickly and correctly accomplish all critical tasks required for flight and the mission.

The "Flow – Check" Method

First, a checklist means you use the list to check things. It's not meant to be a to-do-list. If you use a checklist as a to-do-list, you only have one opportunity to catch an error. If you have a preflight sensor flow followed by a checklist review, you have two chances to catch a mistake.


The flow part of this method consists of conducting actions from memory in a logical direction, say from left to right or up and down in the cockpit, crew compartment, or drone operation area. A preflight flow, for example, typically involves checking nearly every switch and system as well as circuit breakers and emergency equipment. Subsequent flows are typically shorter but nearly always follow a logical order.

One technique used to help with remembering what to check and in what order to flow is a mnemonic device. A mnemonic device is a simple acronym that breaks down a particular checklist into hunks and chunks. Here is an example of such an aviation mnemonic device:




Regarding checking, there is also a discipline in using checklists. Checklists are usually printed on a card or kneeboard size page, sometimes laminated, and often folded vertically or lengthways. A single page is divided into many separate checklists. Additionally, checklists are presented electronically on a screen with newer aircraft, though a hard copy is always available.

Disruptions are the most common form of checklist mistakes. Some practices to apply to be sure the checklist gets continued to accomplishment is to recall your place or you can keep your finger on the point where you stopped. Can't remember where you left off? Just start over if you are not sure.

Professional aircrew members also use various techniques to ensure they don't forget to do a checklist. Usually, they leave the checklist in a prominent place (i.e., in front of a sensor operator workstation screen or on a kneeboard) to not be forgotten. There are numerous ways to cover your tail when using checklist, and different aircraft require different disciplines.

Improving Your Discipline

As a non-rated aircrew member, you don't need the same level of knowledge or experience as rated crewmembers when flying the aircraft. However, what makes a true professional non-rated aircrew member or Airborne Sensor Operator is having a baseline knowledge of the task for each phase of flight.

One technique is to learn aviation mnemonic devices for each phase of flight. With this general level of knowledge, one can back up the pilot(s) or assist in accomplishing these tasks. Additionally, running these acronyms in your head will improve your Situational Awareness (SA) and keep you "ahead-of-the-jet."

Another technique, and depending on the type of aircraft you fly and your crew position, you can support the pilot or UAS operator by reading aloud in a "challenge/response format" items on the checklist. Basically, you read the checklist task, and the pilot calls out the completion of the task. By doing this, you improve your knowledge while you ensure your flight runs safely and smoothly.

Checklist Complete

As you can tell, using a checklist is a critical practice to ensure that mistakes like damaging a million-dollar sensor or landing gear-up don't happen. However, checklist discipline doesn't have to be complicated or a nuisance. Instead, applying some basic methods, techniques, and practices can be a quick, correct, and reassuring process.

So, the next time you're scheduled to fly, take a few minutes, review your crew position checklist, and see if you can improve on them. Additionally, to grow as a professional non-rated aircrew member or ASO, stretch yourself and learn about other crew position checklist and task with an eye on safety, SA, and teamwork.

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ASOG 2021 Focus Area: News & Information

Posted By: ASOG Desk Editor

If we had an ASOG video of the month showing what our members do and what our profession is about, this would definitely be the winner for this month. One of our core ASOG members (Ax Verhij) is the clip's star. According to Ax remarks on LinkedIn:

"A short promotional video originally intended for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard website, explaining what a Sensor Operator does and what the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard Dash 8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft is capable of in terms of SAR and Counter Drug Operations in the Caribbean.

This video is in Dutch since it's mainly focused on the local Dutch viewers but still contains interesting footage that's probably recognizable to most of my fellow followers/colleagues in the ISR Aviation industry."

If you want to know more, you can "Friend" Ax here on the ASOG homepage and PM him on the ASOG e-mail service.

"Great job Ax! Keep up the Great Work!"

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Season’s Greetings & Happy New Year

Dear ASOG Members & Visitors,

Best Wishes this Holiday Season! We pause to say thank you and wish you a joyous holiday with peace and prosperity in the New Year. With that, get out there and “Kick the Tires and Light the Fires.”

Again, Best Wishes and Enjoy Life!


Patrick Ryan | ASOG Managing Director

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Is this a New ASO Job?

ASOG 2021 Focus Area: News & Information

Posted By: ASOG Desk Editor | Mark Pomerleau, C4ISRNET, Dec 16, 2021

I thought this was an interesting article to share with the group. I came across this article published by C4ISRNET – "US Air Force cyber team demonstrates first-ever in-flight mission." It highlights the demonstration of cyber warfare teams conducting in-flight operations. That's a first for me. It's great to see the Airborne Sensor Operator profession and EW world innovating and expanding, i.e., the Airborne Sensor Operator career field continues to thrive and grow.

US Air Force cyber team demonstrates first-ever in-flight mission

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Call for Inputs - ASOG 2022 Focus Areas

ASOG 2021 Focus Area: General ASOG Management

Posted By: Patrick Ryan

ASOG Members,

Like the previous years, it's time as a group to review, adjust and prioritize ASOG's focus areas for 2022. The due date for inputs is 15 Jan 2022. The main Categories are:

  • General ASOG Management
  • Networking
  • Information & News
  • Advocacy
  • Professional Standards
  • Training & Education
  • Certifications
  • Individual Career Support
  • Industry Support

Below this note, you can review each category's specifics (goals and objectives). Then, as members, you can recommend changes or additions. The rationale of the ASOG Focus Areas is to help manage everyone's interest and efforts regarding individuals' and corporate supporters' participation and end-states.

Again, ASOG is an open platform/network for professional individuals (like you) to share their experiences and knowledge to help individual career efforts, advance aircrew operations, and improve the aerial remote-sensing profession.

If you have an input, you can quickly respond here on the blog page or send me a separate message no later than 15 Jan 2022.  Again, like last year, I'm looking forward to your inputs and recommendations. Plus, I hope everyone has a safe and festive Holiday and New Year!

Best Regards,


Patrick Ryan | ASOG Managing Director |


--------------------- Draft ASOG 2022 Focus Areas

ASOG 2022 Focus Areas


1. General ASOG Management

Goal: Enhance the operational functions of the Airborne Sensor Operators Group (ASOG).


  • Improve and expand administrative processes and capabilities.
  • Enhance individual membership and corporate supporter management processes, services, and capabilities.
  • Upgrade information, communication, and social media technologies & capabilities, e.g., webpage, feedback platforms, messaging, chat, etc.

2. Networking

Goal: Promote, support, and provide the means for individual members and corporate supporters to network professionally.


  • Provide a virtual networking platform and encourage meetups.
  • Highlight events and support local or regional in-person social networking meetups.
  • Organize local or regional in-person social networking meetups.
  • Develop a framework for regional in-person conference events.
  • Formulate an international virtual conference event.

3. Information & News

Goal: Provide and support disseminating relevant information regarding the ASO profession, manned & unmanned aviation, and aerial remote sensing (IA/GIS), e.g., new technologies & services, trends, best practices, career management, safety topics, industry developments, etc.


  • Produce and publish regular articles.
  • Share a post, news, press releases, and content articles.
  • Support and publish articles from individual members and corporate supporters.
  • Conduct and publish surveys, polls, and quizzes.
  • Produce and publish a monthly newsletter.

4. Advocacy

Goal: Promote and advocate the ASO profession.


  • Promote the inclusion of the ASO profession in academic, media, and industry publications.
  • Advocate the inclusion of ASO roles and responsibilities in global civil aviation regulatory guidance.

5. Professional Standards

Goal: Identify, promote, and advocate professional standards that enhance ASO skills, knowledge, and performance that result in excellent practices and support professional growth.


  • Identify and formalize basic standards for the ASO profession/career field.
  • Promote and advocate standards for the ASO profession/career field.
  • Develop and publish Specialized ASO Standard Guides

6. Training & Education

Goal: Identify, promote, and advocate training and education standards and opportunities.


  • Promote and advocate specialized training and education programs for the ASO profession/career field.
  • Share or Post ASO profession/career field training and education opportunities.
  • Support, Partner, or Sponsor educational courses, webinars, podcasts, etc., related to the ASO profession/career field.

7. Certifications

Goal: Identify, promote, and advocate professional certifications that validate ASO skills, knowledge, and performance.


  • Share or Post specialized certification Opportunities related to the ASO profession/career field.
  • Develop a framework for implementing civil ASO certifications.

8. Individual Career Support

Goal: Support individual members' career development and job placement.


  • Share or Post Career Management Information.
  • Share or Post Job Opportunities.
  • Encourage Mentoring and Career Coaching.
  • Provide individual members and industry a platform to be seen and connected.

9. Industry Support

Goal: Support corporate supporters' business development and operational requirements.


  • Provide corporate directory information.
  • Share Press Releases and surveys.
  • Provide individual members and industry a platform to be seen and connected.
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ASOG Focus Area 2021: News & Information

Shared By: Astrid Ayling

This article came in from one of our members (Astrid Ayling). Astrid thought it would be informative and educational for the community.

What does a rescue helicopter sound like to a victim when approaching? “Joy, Reassurance, Hope?” Suppose you want to know how Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters bring relief to victims and their families. In that case, one of ASOGs Corporate Supports highlights the unique elements of this critical lifesaving operation and how the helicopter gets the job done.

The Leading Edge of Search & Rescue Operations: Aerial Work Helicopters

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ASOG 2021 Focus Area: Career Management

Shared By: Luke Aspinall

Position DescriptionSYPAQ Position Description - Aerial Sensor Operator - ISP.pdf

Hi guys, 
Just a heads up we’re starting to look for a few full time and casual - Australian based (east coast preference) sensor operator to conduct aerial patrols of linear utility corridors using camera pods and AI enabled camera systems, 
Further internal opportunities will extend to field service rep opportunities in the unmanned systems space with government and defence customers for the right crews. 
If anyone from the group is interested, more than happy for them to contact me directly to discuss. 
Luke Aspinall 
Head of Flight Operations 
SYPAQ Systems Pty Ltd 
Level 1, 53 Burswood Rd 
Burswood, WA 
Australia 6100 
t: +61 3 9867 2565 | m: +61 409 084 758 


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ASOG Article of the Month: November 2021

ASOG Author: Patrick Ryan

As of today, the ASO profession, in general, is not recognized or formalized by many civil aviation authorities around the world. Why is this, and what can be done to professionalize this aircrew position and improve Aviation Safety?


Aviation Safety concerns are the most relevant in all aviation sectors, be it GA, Airlines, and Aerial Work aviation. This is because so many human lives are always at stake, making it worth all the right reasons to improve on it. Additionally, in the civil aviation sector (especially in the Aerial Work aviation community), the economic effect of an accident or regulatory violation can be a disaster regarding staying in business for many medium and small companies.

One of the primary reasons accidents & violations happen is due to human error in the cockpit and between the various crew members. The fuel that usually feeds human error is a lack of professionalism, skills, and a poor safety mindset at different levels within the various career fields that make up the aviation community.

So, What do I Mean by "Missing Link."

The "Link "that I'm talking about is the civil non-rated Airborne Sensor Operator (ASO) career field. This profession is a global group of highly skilled technical individuals focused, along with rated pilots, on collecting information or data from an aircraft for critical governments and commercial-type applications. For instance:

  • Aerial Surveying & Mapping
  • Aerial Photography
  • Aerial Cinematography
  • Aerial Videography
  • Flight Inspection
  • Aerial Agriculture
  • Aerial Firefighting
  • Aerial Maritime Patrol
  • Aerial Search & Rescue
  • Airborne Law Enforcement
  • Airborne Command & Control
  • Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
  • Airborne Electronic Warfare
  • And more….

Since the beginning of man flight, ASOs have directly participated as crew members in civil and military aerial remote sensing operations. Today, hundreds and even thousands of individuals operate as ASOs on and off-board a manned or unmanned aircraft worldwide and across the spectrum of Aerial Work aviation. To highlight this point, search the internet and what you'll find are many job postings for:

  • Airborne Sensor Operator
  • Payload Operator
  • Aerial Survey Operator
  • Aerial Photographer
  • Tactical Flight Officer
  • Aerial cinematographer
  • And many more…

However, ASO's have been overlooked or ignored by the global aviation community regarding standards, training, and developing a safety mindset equal to rated Pilots, Flight Dispatchers, and Flight Engineers. Again, search the internet, and you'll find very little regarding specific civil aviation regulations or non-government organizations producing or promoting standards for this profession, i.e., the Civil Aviation Authorities, industry, and the aviation world, in general, are not "closing the link."  

Bottomline - The aviation sector is failing not to recognize and take action to mitigate a source of risk.

Passenger vs. Aircrew Member

When it comes to the question of what is an ASO, one would argue that there is no safety "Missing Link" because the Airborne Sensor Operator is just a:

  • "Passenger"
  • The "Guy in Back" (GIB)
  • "Self-Loading Luggage"
  • Some person who babysits a sensor on a tethered Aerostat
  • "The Dude standing next to me operating the camera on my drone"

Additionally, others would argue that individual civil ASO's are not in direct control of the aircraft like a Pilot or Flight Engineer, which mitigates them as a link in the risk management process. Therefore, no need to establish and enforce standards for this aircrew profession.

Plus, others would say civil ASO's should informally mirror pilot & remote pilot standards and best practices to meet the job's critical safety & task expectations. But, in general, it should not bother the established civil aviation community with another area of improvement. Or industry should hire from the various militaries worldwide for well-trained ASO's.

The counter-argument to this is the true intent of Civil Aviation Safety – "Mitigate Risk." The means of mitigating this risk is to identify areas of improvement and apply the appropriate actions or efforts in a rigorous & standardized manner. 

In this case – Airborne Sensor Operators. Allowing a group of professionals to participate in flight activities without universal guidance and oversight is a formula for trouble. Developing and implementing mechanisms to professionalize the ASO aircrew position, the civil aviation community will shave off accident percentages, ASOs will improve their skills, and commercial firms will protect their bottom-line.

Closing the Missing Link

Like with any problem, there is a solution. In this case, the solution is no different than the qualification process used for rated crewmembers, i.e., standards, training, and certification.


The first step is to establish and publish standards. This action consists of civil aviation authorities (ICAO, CAA, FAA, EASA, etc.) to recognize this aircrew position and establish basic operating standards. Doing so will provide an authoritative framework for non-government organizations (Associations, Aviation Societies, Industry, etc.) to refine & improve specific non-rated ASO/flight crew safety and qualification programs, i.e., Professionalize with safety and improvement mindset.


The second step is to establish ASO training programs focused on airmanship and remote-sensing knowledge linked to the above civil aviation and industry standards. To achieve this training, non-governmental organizations (Flight Schools, etc.) would develop and offer dedicated training courses for ASO crewmembers beyond what is offered today.

Formal ASO training for ASO's will educate a group of active flying participants who lacked access to such training in the past. Without a doubt, this approach will help expand the expertise within manned and unmanned flight operations and diminish some of the risks associated with flying.


The third and final step is to establish professional Certifications to formally validate an individual ASO's level of knowledge and experience. Like with other aviation professions establishing a global certification system will enhance the professionalism of the ASO/Aircrew member career field while providing commercial & non-commercial entities the means to mitigate risk by hiring quickly & correctly with a standard qualification criterion.


Again, It appears the aviation community has a "Missing Link" in its safety perspective. The link is related to a particular highly skilled aviation group, in this case, the Airborne Sensor Operator.

As of today, the ASO profession, in general, is not recognized or formalized by many civil aviation authorities around the world. Because of this, the ASO profession lacks the formalization to guide participants to the next level of professionalism & a safety mindset equal to other critical aviation careers fields. By incrementally formalizing this profession through standards, training, and certification programs, the aviation community as a whole, as it should, can improve its safety margins!

However, today, the aviation industry sector is failing not to recognize and take action to mitigate a source of risk. It doesn't make sense. Why the non-action?

Read more…

Mobile Phone as an Emergency Beacon

ASOG 2021 Focus Area: News & Information

Shared By: Astrid Ayling

Are you keeping up with technology and how it plays in your aircrew life? Articles and white papers from companies are one of the best sources of information regarding new technology or the application of technology in the ASO world.

Here’s an article posted in AVBuyer magazine Multi-Mission / Aerial Work aviation section, i.e., how mobile phones are used as emergency beacons in Search & Rescue operations. It provides a simple overview of how the technology works and one type system on the market today.

If you want to learn more about this technology, one of our ASOG members (Peter Myers) is a Subject Matter Expert (SME), i.e., just reach out to him via the ASOG web mail service with your questions.

Mobile Phone as an Emergency Beacon

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ASOG 2021 Focus Area: Networking

Posted By: Patrick Ryan

As the Managing Director of ASOG, I saw that many ASOG members and Corporate Supporters were heading to the European Rotor Show & Conference. So, with that, I booked a plane ticket and headed to Cologne, Germany, this week. As I expected, it was a blast connecting with both new and old members and connecting them. Plus, networking with future members and Corporate Supporters.

One of the positive side effects of this is that the management of the European Rotor event would like our community to shape and recommend an ASO plan for next year's event. The idea is to have informative, or training topics focused on the ASO or non-rated Aircrew members who fly manned or unmanned rotor aircraft.

So, at some point in time, we'll reach out to you, the core members, for your inputs…plus, we'll work on getting a discount for the core ASOG members so that you can attend. So, with that, and if you are reading this post with interest but not a core ASOG member, click the "Sign-Up" button and complete your professional profile (plus, profile picture).

Before I sign-off, I would like to recognize some of the current members, future members, and corporate supporters that I encountered and for their hospitality, networking, and interest in ASOG:

Individuals / Companies

  • Astrid Ayling – AVBuyer
  • Ian Sheppard – AVBuyer
  • Mike Rogers – L3 Harris
  • Richard Turner – Adams Aviation
  • Peter Myers – ARTEMIS
  • Thomas Unger – Airborne Technologies
  • Manuel Hellerschmid – Airborne Technologies
  • Eugen Maier – HENSOLDT Sensors
  • Frank Liemandt – European Rotors
  • Volker K. Thomalla – Aero
  • Héctor Coloma - Lifeseeker
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During the week of October 25th, Sentient Vision Systems and Diamond Special Mission Aircraft were carrying out a series of demonstrations of the new ViDAR equipped DA42 MPP with North Sea Aviation Services (NSAS) at Ostend in Belgium.

After a busy start to the week with successful demos finding dummies in the water for the Belgian Coastguard and carrying out a number of flights things took a change on Wednesday 27th. As the presentations to the attendees started, a call came in from the Belgian MRCC to see if we would be able to support a live mission. They had received a ditress call from a migrant boat with 24 people on board that had been aimlessly floating in the North Sea for 48 hours with the health of the passengers deteriorating quickly. The only information that they were able to provide was that they could see a wind turbine. Taking into account that there are thousands of wind turbines 30nm off the coast of Belgium this was not giving an accurate location.

The MRCC were unable to get a helicopter airborne as none were available so the call came to NSAS to see if we could get ViDAR on the DA42 MPP to help. It was only 10 minutes after receiving the call that the aircraft was airborne and it headed out with ViDAR operating to scan the area. 20 minutes later the boat was detected by ViDAR approx 50km off the shore. The DA42 then proceeded to carry out overwatch of the situation while a helicopter was able to get to the area some time later. The Police, Navy and Coastguard were also given the coordinates of the boat and they were able to carry out a rescue and all 24 passengers were brought to saftey.

The sensor operator on board (Gavin Edwards) is not a trained sensor operator and this was in fact only the 4th time he had flown with ViDAR. The ease of use of the CarteNav AIMS mission system with the ViDAR plug in, the ability for ViDAR to detect non-radar reflective objects, the ability to quickly get airborne in the DA42 all led to a successful mission.





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Aerial Thermographic Sensor Operator

  • Position Title                : Sensor Operator
  • Company/Organization  : Action Air Environment 
  • Job Location                 : France
  • Brief Description of Position: Aerial Thermographic data capture over France during next winter. 3rd Jan 2022 till 31st March 2022
  • Instruction on How Candidate should Respond : Email resume to
  • Requirements : Minimum of three years experience as an ASO
  • Link to Full Job Posting
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