My name is Joe Werner, I am a new member to ASOG and represent Spur Aviation Services, LC. I have been given the opportunity to begin and drive our newest business endeavor in ISR. I'm writing today in hopes to gain knowledge, advice, connections, and/or direction to grow our program and find work opportunities. Below is a little about our company, who I am, and what I hope to achieve.
Spur Aviation Services, LC is a Part 135 aviation company located in Twin Falls, ID. Spur has been around since 2002 and has served as one of the largest "Air Attack" companies in the US, contracting aircraft with the BLM, USFS, and BIA for wildland fire operations. These aircraft serve as the main communications platforms over an active fire, giving SA to ground troops and fellow aircraft operating in the TFR (SEATS, LATS, etc.).
With the advancement of technology and its availability for the consumer market, the call for sophisticated systems such as LiDAR, IR Cameras, Line Scanners, ATG data transfer, etc. have been presented by the fire agencies. The fire agencies have been steering towards more sophisticated systems to enhance communication and intelligence over the fires, with the hopes of improving current wildland fire operations. While fire aviation has been really good to us, we feel the future of our company is not solely in the fire world. Procurement of these systems and the right platform has been challenging, and we believe we have come up with a pretty good airship for ISR work. With this idea in mind, we believe we have something that can be offered not to just fire agencies, but other agencies that could utilize our platform.
We are offering a PC-12/47 equipped with a Star SAPHIRE 380-HD (Teledyne FLIR) combined with a TK-7 imager (Overwatch Imaging), with a possible third sensor being a LiDAR unit (installation/need – pending). Additionally, we are working on solutions for SATCOM and ATG data transfer. We plan to have this platform fully online by the end of this year.
I am new to the world of Airborne Sensor Operators and the affiliating industry sectors, however I am quick to learn and eager to see where this path goes. I have completed a handful of flights being trained on the TK-7 with Overwatch and on the 380-HD from a buddy of mine who was Aerial Mission Systems Operator / Site Lead for MAG Aerospace. Much of the classroom information, I have yet to learn, but I am comfortable with the overall operations of the systems.
By embarking on this mission to start our ISR Division, I hope to gain more knowledge of this industry and in turn experience. While reaching out and talking with the ASOG group, I hope to develop good solid and lasting connections that I also hope will lead me on the path to finding work opportunities for our company. We intend to continue working in fire aviation, but also hope to be able to work in other fields. With our camera ship, we would enjoy the opportunity to work with other agencies such as the DOD, DOS, Border Patrol, etc.
I look forward to hearing from you and any information or advice you may provide. I am excited to be a part of ASOG and for what the future may bring!