MVCA Funds Mapping Project

Attendees gather around the Fugro Conquest N441S propeller jet for a picture.


Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is proud to be a funding partner of Eastern Ontario’s Digital Raster Acquisition Project 2014 (DRAPE 2014). Alex Broadbent, Information Technology Supervisor at MVCA, also serves as a member of the Steering Committee, formed to lead the project. Alex coordinates the GIS Technology that is vital to the watershed management programs at the MVCA. GIS stands for Geographic Information System, and is a system that digitally creates and “manipulates” spatial area that may be jurisdictional, purpose or application oriented. At MVCA the aerial imagery captured by Fugro’s sensory technology is used as a background for GIS mapping which is an essential component to all our departments.

CP Dam (2)

Carleton Place Dam as shown in GIS mapping technology.

A group of excited onlookers gathered to see a Fugro Propeller Jet and shake hands with its pilot and Senior Sensory Operator responsible for capturing the high resolution aerial imagery for Eastern Ontario’s Digital Raster Acquisition Project (DRAPE 2014). The event was held last Wednesday at the Innotech-Execaire Shell Aerocentre at the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

DRAPE 2014 will acquire high-resolution aerial imagery for southeastern Ontario, in an effort to update the imagery last taken in 2008.

The meet and greet session was coordinated by Mike Robertson, Imagery Project Manager at the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Fugro team spoke about their experience with projects of this type, answered questions, and showcased the plane and sensor they will be using for DRAPE 2014.

Attendees gathered around the Fugro Jet and listened attentively as Senior Sensory Operator, TJ Smith, and Pilot, William Smelser talked passionately about their work on the project. They explained that Fugro is based out of South Dakota, and its activities are carried out across the world.

Operating a fleet of aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, Fugro Geospatial Services transforms photogrammetric data from a wide range of aerial sensors into spatially accurate map products and GIS datasets. (Taken from

The aircraft being used for the DRAPE 2014 project is known as the Fugro Conquest N441S. It is an extremely efficient propeller jet that was made in the 1970’s. For the DRAPE project, the plane flew at an altitude of approximately 7800 ft., according to Smith who also informed the group that sensory technology has come a long way in recent years.

Smith said the technology has moved from a “pigeon with a camera attached to it during flight, to camera film, then digital, and now operates with state of the art aerial scanning technology.” The camera and associated equipment has an estimated value of $1.5 million.

As the question and answer session wrapped up, the group applauded the Fugro team’s wealth of knowledge on the subject and gathered around to take pictures with the plane. With the conclusion of a captivating speech from the Fugro representatives and the view through the window of a plane taking off, we left, eagerly awaiting the finished product essential to our conservation programs. Domain For Sale For Sale

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