Engineering firm Cardno has announced a filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office of a patent application in the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry. This is for a remote sensing workflow using UAS and specialized sensors to assess uranium contamination at abandoned uranium mines.

“This technology allows Cardno to increase and improve the accuracy and safety of uranium mine assessment and cleanup operations worldwide,” says Mark Pitchford, area manager, Cardno. “This is the first in a series of planned patent filings within the next several months, establishing Cardno’s leadership in developing UAS applications for use in engineering and environmental arenas.”

Recent advances in UAS technologies allow unique multi-sensor flight packages that greatly increase efficiency, completing what used to take days in the field with a single flight mission. “Packaging gamma sensors, LiDAR, and high resolution imagery provides comprehensive assessment of remote uranium mines and allows coverage of areas that were previously inaccessible. UAS technology can do this work more accurately and more safely than the traditional assessment methods,” says Jim Oliver, Cardno technology advisor.

“Cardno’s patent applications will develop value-added processes to improve accuracy, efficiency, and safety of field operations from forestry through law enforcement,” says Jason Kack, Cardno UAS director.

“Today’s marketplace is being flooded with the introduction of new UAS and UAS technologies. The most successful businesses will leverage their intellectual property to give clients the high quality data that helps improve the management and operation of their business. Cardno is working aggressively in this space and is making strides to stay at the forefront of the UAS industry,” says Pitchford.

Demand for remote sensing services is growing rapidly as more clients seek the ease and relative safety of remote observation and as UAS service providers pursue advanced efficiencies and streamline operations to lower costs and reinforce client satisfaction. Cardno is one of a few professional engineering firms that hold an FAA 333 exemption allowing the firm to legally fly more than 1,150 different UAS platforms nationwide at ground level to 400-foot altitude in unrestricted airspace. Cardno maintains a fleet of UAS, sensors, and a professional pilot team dedicated to safety and accuracy of remote data acquisition.

Headquartered in Australia with offices throughout the world and the United States, Cardno is a professional infrastructure and environmental services company with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. Cardno’s team includes professionals who plan, design, manage and deliver sustainable projects and community programs. For more information, visit