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ASOG “Supporters” Press Room Review

If you’re interested to see what some of the ASOG’s supporters are up to, walk through their website news rooms and find out. All our supporters have a link to the ASO profession, i.e., sensors, training, flight ops services etc. Check them out!


ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick)

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ASOG Members,

Based on ASOG’s 2019 Focus Areas – Training, are you interested in attending a Basic Sensor Operator Course? In coordination with L-3 WESCAM Training Team (plus, one of their trainers is an ASOGer), "they’ll schedule a course for ASOG members", i.e., a class dedicated to ASOG. If we have 6+ members interested in attending the course, L-3 WESCAM will give a group discount to each individual ASOG member attending, i.e., a member of

If your interested, here’s the soft plan and info:

Time: Late Summer / Early Fall
Location: L3 WESCAM Air Ops Facility in Loveland, Colorado U.S.A. (+ possible hotel discount)
Course Info.: Training & Simulation – In-Flight Course  
Price: TBD based on the level of interest

FYI - Since ASOG began back in 2016, many connections and members have asked the question of where they can get hands-on EO/IR basic operator training without joining the military or other organizations. Well, here’s an opportunity for individual members to leverage group power to add more skills and experience to their resume.

So, if you’re interested, please send me a message (, and I’ll add you to the list. Also, if you know of someone who would be interested, please have them join ASOG at “Sign-Up.” 

Thank you, everyone!

ASOG Desk Editor - Patrick

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One of the areas the group recommended as a 2019 ASOG Focus Area is “Lessons Learned.” Here’s a good article in the Point of Beginning (POB) regarding hard-learned lessons in Drone Photogrammetry. I think the main points are relevant to many aspects of the ASO job (manned & unmanned), i.e., airmanship, sensor ops to data processing. If you come across a good Lessons Learned article, post or video, send it to me and I’ll get it on the net.

Hard-Learned Lessons in Drone Photogrammetry

February 25, 2019
Logan Campbell and Daniel Katz

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It’s great to see ASOG Supporters like Aero Enterprise add new knowledge and capabilities to the aerial remote-sensing industry and the importance of the ASO profession. Aero Enterprise received Horizon2020 EU Funding to innovate with ‘disrupting technology’ solutions for the inspection of vertical objects, in particular wind turbines with unmanned aerial systems. If you want to know more or just say Congrats, checkout their press release link.

Aero Enterprise receives Horizon 2020 EU Funding

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#Training, #Trending ASO Technology

As you might have notice, ASOG is sticking to the 2019 Focus Areas. One of our members wanted us to share his trip report in-regard-to #aso, #aviation, #training, #simulation, #trending.

“I recently visited Momentum Aerospace Group (MAG) and Radiance Technologies at their Huntsville offices. Radiance Technologies makes the Operator Procedural Trainer (OPT | GPT) using MetaVR software. MAG bought several OPT’s to train their Sensor Operators (SO). The US Army also uses the OPT to train their SO’s.
MetaVR was able to show MAG leadership some impressive geospecific terrain and the detail it provides for a realistic sim experience. I was able to talk with Matt Schleich, Director of Manned Aviation, and SO Instructors: Chris Smith, Daniel Kang, and Jeremy Long. I received good feedback on how they use the OPT.
Wes Hawkins, Radiance Technologies- Intelligence Systems Operations, introduced me to his team. The OPT is a great tool; it cuts actual flight training time down, which is an awesome cost benefit, as it reduces maintenance on the aircraft. It allows the SO to be trained at various levels, from beginner to advanced. Coordinating a JTAC on the ground, then other attack aircraft to all be available and fly on the same day, weather permitting, is a challenge. Working a scenario in a sim allows for all that to occur with ease.”

Danial Horgan

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Here’s another source of information for professional ASOs, especially if you’re in the aerial fire fighting sector. The Air Attack magazine is a relatively new magazine that highlights current events and trends. The most current issue (link below) has several articles related to accidents and the growing trend of leveraging sensors. Besides publishing Air Attack, the publisher also produces “Heliops” and “Heliops Frontline,” i.e., information that links with the type of work Airborne Sensor Operators do.

FYI - I’ve added this site to the ASOG Link Libaray: Aerial Fire Fighting – News & Articles shelf.

Air Attack Magazine


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From an ASOG perspective, there’s not enough recognition or support for specific ASOs across the aerial remote-sensing spectrum (commercial, public safety, defense). However, the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) does. They’re currently calling out for nominations regarding several awards and scholarships. One of the awards is for a Tactical Flight Officer (a.k.a ASO). If you know of a TFO who went “Above & Beyond”, review the requirements on the APSA homepage (click the link below) and nominate that individual.

Airborne Public Safety Association

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Is this New Platform a Game Changer?

Since our group is growing with many subject-matter-experts, it would be fun to do an informal group eval of new technology trends (plus, it’s part of our 2019 Focus Areas, “New Equipment & Systems - Trends). So, the first one for 2019…is NG Firebird a Game Changer?

ASOG Desk Editor

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Is my pilot safe? – Part 2 and 3

Here’ s Part 2 and 3 of Douglas Glover (Aviation Photographer) series on “Is my pilot safe?” It’s a great read regarding Airborne Sensor Operator CRM best practices and lessons learned, i.e., across all sectors manned/unmanned, commercial, public safety and defense. Is there anything you can add?

Is my pilot safe? - Part 2

Is my pilot Safe? - Part 3


ASOG Desk Editor

Image: Wikicommons (U.S. Navy Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Bradley Sapp)


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Education vs. Experience

OK, I'm about to open a can of worms. Education or Experience? Perhaps a bit of background on why this has percolated to the top of my things to complain about. While continuing on my ever widening job search for something Sensor Op related, I have perused many a job posting where there is a requirement for a post secondary education along with experience, and this has led me to ask why. 

Lets look at my own example. I have no post secondary education. There are no letters after my name, yet I have 30 years experience in Sensor Operation, mission planning, mission management, instruction, standards and aviation in general. When does one outstrip the other? When can one say that education is worth more than experience OR vice versa? Don't get me wrong theres lots of other things going against me getting suitable employment in a field that I have loved for the past three decades, most notably of which is that I have three extra decades worth of life under my belt, which in a lot of situations would enable me hors de combat in the job competitivness department. I understand that most employers want someone who can work for them quite possibly for an entire career and I dont qualify on that count, so the needs of a company who wants someone for the long haul means that their experience levels are much lower than "us of a certain age", therefore the shortfall has to be made up with education, right? Or does it?

While I begrudge no one a career as an ASO, as I loved it for every one of those 30 years, we have to look at the way a lot of businesses run these days. A lot of companies are looking to change the demographic of their workforce in the future. The emphasis has begun to move away from "career" workers and start shifting towards contract or term workers. What employers are looking for then is someone who can parachute in, grab a desk (or hammer, wrench, torch or workstation) and do the job with a minimum of fuss or training. As the labor market constricts, as I see it, older workers will have more say in choosing the kind of  jobs they do, when, and how they work.

This blog doesn't even cover that argument that us old guys are taking jobs away from the youngsters while we should be off enjoying our retirement. There's a whole 'nother discussion to be had  about that which I won't cover here. Suffice to say that people want to stay in the workforce for two major reasons. The mental engagement and the income. People are living longer, healthier lives, still want to contribute to society and don't want to outlive their money. Sixty is the new fifty and all that.......

So the kids have longevity on their side and us seasoned guys don't, which brings me back to my initial point of Education vs. Experience. What do we bring to the fight then? There's a lot to be said for age. While the young guy has the benefit of post secondary education which may or may not be in a related field, I have the added perk of being out there in the work force and have lived life. Sort of a "been there, done that" perk that the kids dont have in their pocket. Most of us also have the ability to use critical thinking, have strong decision making skills, a good work ethic and outside the box thinking skills. We also tend to be highly trained, self-managed, short on ego and willing to put in a full day’s work. Most of us are also ready and willing to work part time instead of full time.  Throw in efficient, organized, honest, punctual and dedicated and you give employers a lot of options. Put all this into a box and label it "life experience". 

Now I'm not saying that younger and more educated people than I arent all of what I described in the previous paragraph, in fact a lot of them have all of the attributed I described, which then brings me back to does the employer want education or does he want experience in a worker? 

It would seem from looking at job posts that companies are lookng for education, and that something I like to call "education creep" is rearing it head. Much like mission creep that all of us who have a military background lived and loathed, education creep is moving the goalposts ever farther to the side of requiring higher and higher education. I have noticed job posts that have a requirement of a baccalaureate degree and an "it would be nice" listing of a post graduate level degree like a masters.  It seems we are over-qualifying the needs that an ASO required to do their job.  Like I said I lived this in the military. When I was a youngster most day to day decisions could be made by a corporal or a lieutenant. those very same decisions now require a Sgt-Major or a full Colonel.

In other words, decisions made today take someone with more experience than education. Kinda seems like a circular argument doesn't it?

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Job Announcement: Sensor Operator (USA)

Outstanding…the networking side of ASOG is starting to kick-in. We just got another direct request from an ASOG connection to highlight a Sensor Operator job with Woolpert Inc in the USA. In a nut-shell, this position is primarily responsible for flight planning, sensor operation, data processing and reporting for airborne mapping missions. The chosen individual will be a core member of Woolpert’s field and R&D operations team and as such must be willing to travel, both domestically and internationally. Take a look at the job requirement and engage them directly.

Sensor Operator, Geospatial Technicians, SENSO02098

Cheers Mates!

ASOG Career Center (Patrick)

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Chief Airborne Sensor Operator

Airborne Technologies, a global aerospace system engineering, and geospatial services industry leader, is seeking a Chief Airborne Sensor Operator in Wiener Neustadt, Austria facility to be part of our highly successful flight crew and geo-data-acquisition team. The chosen candidate will have the chance to work for one of the fastest growing aerospace companies in Europe and with the latest remote sensing technology. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to train in a variety of skill-set areas, including GPS surveying, airborne trajectory processing and remote sensing utilizing aerial film, digital imaging, and LiDAR sensors and help lead a highly motivated group of aerial data acquisition professionals.

Job Description:

• Airborne Technologies is seeking a full-time “Chief Airborne Sensor Operator” for geo-data acquisition operations in the European region or abroad.
• Frequent travel and working on-board single and twin-engine aircraft.
• Additional duties include flight operations/crew management, training, project development engineering, sensor management/maintenance and data processing support.

Job Responsibilities:

• Flight and sensor planning
• Sensor Installation, testing & maintenance
• Flight & crew management
• Collection management
• Sensor Operations
• Quality Control (QC) of acquired data
• Processing, exploitation, and dissemination of acquired data
• Training & mentoring

Required Qualifications:

• EU Citizen or EU work permit.
• English (fluent); German (Basic).
• Technical education or background in the field of GIS or Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science.

Desired Qualifications:

• Higher education in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science.
• 100 flight hours as an Aerial Survey, Mapping or Photography Aircrew Member/Airborne Sensor Operator.
• Experience in managing and conducting operations internationally.
• Valid flight medical exam certificate.

Desired Skills & Attributes:

• Subject-matter expertise
• Systems & sensors knowledge
• Aeronautical knowledge
• Analytical methodologies
• Critical-thinking skills
• Customer-service ethic
• Communication skills
• Information sharing and collaboration abilities
• Information handling and processing skills
• Computer and technical literacy
• Objectivity, integrity, and intellectual honesty

Additional Information:

• We provide training depending on your qualifications and experience.
• Your annual gross salary will be based on applicable collective agreement and your qualifications.

If you’re looking for a new challenge and taking on more responsibility in your career, Airborne Technology has a spot in our team for you. If you’re interested in this position, we look forward to your application stating your possible date of entry, photo and salary expectations. Please send your application to:


Airborne Technologies GmbH.
Z.H. Ms. Teresa Mancevski
Viktor Lang Street 8
2700 Wiener Neustadt

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We offer a permanent full-time position as camera operator at our base in Münster/Osnabrück airport in Germany. Weser Airborne Sensing GmbH is operating 4 aircrafts in Europe, and belongs to the AVT Group based in Imst, Austria. As an airborne sensor operator, you will be working with large format cameras of type Vexcel UltraCam on board our aircrafts and assist in the pre- and post-flight tasks on projects in all Europe.

Responsibilities: Aerial flight coordination, flight planning and management; - Acquire airborne data using optical cameras; - Work directly with the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) during all aspects of in-flight mission. - Ensure safe and secure use of company equipment and instrumentation; - Maintain and develop quality ensuring workflows for aerial survey tasks; - Data processing (image preparation, inertial data processing, trajectory calculation);

Education / qualification: A bachelor’s degree and 2 year experience (or technical/electrical background and 5 year experience) in GIS, Remote Sensing, Earth Sciences or related field; - Working knowledge of flight planning software, GIS, trajectory calculations; - Computer proficiency; - Interest in Photogrammetry, Cartography, Remote Sensing;

Experience: Experience in (airborne) data acquisition and data handling and multi-sensor platform integration will be an advantage; - Relevant international experience; - Language skills: English (fluent speaking and writing), German (basic).

Personal skills: Team working; - Flexibility to travel and work during early mornings, weekends and national holidays; - Strong analytical and data management skills; - Good communication and organizing.

We offer flexible working hours and will provide training depending on the qualification and experience. Please send your application to: Markus Boekhaus (

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2019 Trends

One thing I learned in my career (plus life) is to keep one-eye on what is trending. The article below is a good example of Geospatial trends. What trends do you see in your sector, e.g., EO/IR, SAR, LiDAR, Acoustics, Aerial Surveying, Airborne Law Enforcement, C4ISR, RPA, Manned Aircraft, Aerial Fire Fighting, Maritime Patrol, Training, etc.?

The Geospatial Trends of 2019  

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019, | Author: Qassim Abdullah


ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick)

Image: Terabass, Wikimedia commons

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2019/2020 Aerial Survey Conferences

Some of you in the group might be interested in these conferences around the world, i.e., professional development. The focus of some of these academic conferences is on Aerial Surveying, and Aero photogrammetry + other sensors/problem sets. Look at the list below and see if something is interesting. For me, once my Gulfstream G-5 is out of phase MX, I’ll fly around the world and attend a few…especially the conferences in Bali ;)

Open Science Research Excellence - Aerial Surveys and Aero Photogrammetry

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How to speak ASO like a pro!

I remember as a new aircrew member being overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar things I had to learn. There were so many procedures and systems to keep track of, and people and departments to memorize! Every day I heard a new term, jargon or acronym and had to ask someone "O.K. what does that mean?" or try to figure it out from the context in which the unfamiliar term was used.

Here are 21 Terms, Jargon and Acronym links that relate to the 101 of our profession (Aviation and Remote-Sensing) and to specific ASO professional sectors (Commercial, Public Safety, and Defense) to help you speak like a professional ASO in your industry domain. There are many more, however, if you know of other sites that offer useful terms, jargon, and acronyms that other professionals can learn from, please share. Once the list is complete, I’ll post them in the “Link Library.”

Aviation: / Reference - Glossary

Wiktionary / Appendix: Glossary of Aviation, Aerospace and Aeronautics

CFG / Aviation Jargon: 45 Terms Aviation Enthusiasts Should Know

FPV Quadcopter Acronyms, Terminology, Glossary


Ideo Columbia Education / Remote Sensing Glossary

Canadian GIS and Geospatial Resources / Geomatics Acronyms and Abbreviations

Civil/Commercial – Aerial Photography:

Find Aerial Photography / Glossary

Digital Photography School / Photography Terminology: A Glossary of 71 Photographic Terms

B&H / A Glossary of Digital Photography Terms

Civil/Commercial – Aerial Surveying:

Wiki.GIS.Com / GIS Glossary

Remote Aerial Surveys / Glossary

Public Safety – Airborne Law Enforcement:

Wikipedia / Law Enforcement Jargon / Glossary

Public Safety – Aerial Search & Rescue:

Greater Philadelphia Search And Rescue / Search and Rescue Glossary and Acronyms

Fire Service Information / Basic Glossary Of Fire Fighting and Rescue Terms

Public Safety – Aerial Firefighting:

Fire Fighter Exam / Fire Service Acronyms and Terms

USDA Forest Service / Fire Terminology

Defense – Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance:

Military.Com / Military Terms and Jargon

Wiktionary / Appendix: Glossary of U.S. Navy slang

Wikipedia / RAF Slang

Defense – Electronic Warfare:

ATI / Glossary of Electronic Warfare Terms


ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick Ryan)

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