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The Yurok Tribe and Condor Aviation Soaring to New Heights with RIEGL

Utilizing Airborne LiDAR in Effort to Heal the Natural World

The Yurok Tribe & Condor Aviation’s maiden flight of the RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S integrated into their new Cessna Grand Caravan EX



The RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S is flying high aboard the Condor Wings of the Yurok Tribe’s new aircraft with Condor Aviation.

Condor Aviation, a partnership between the Yurok Tribe’s Fisheries Department and Yurok Tribe Construction Corporation, acquired a RIEGL LiDAR sensor to collect data that will inform natural resources management decisions and environmental restoration projects on tribal land and across the western United States. RIEGL Airborne LiDAR was selected to help the Yurok Tribe achieve its mission to collect a large magnitude of high-resolution topographic data needed to support their suite of projects and partners.

” We are extremely proud to support the Yurok Tribe with remote sensing technologies that are being used in such a meaningful way to map, analyze and manage their lands and natural environments,” said Michael Sitar, Airborne Division Manager for RIEGL USA.

Soaring Into the Renewal of the Planet

The Yurok Fisheries Department and Yurok Tribe Construction Corporation plan, design and implement large-scale river restoration projects on the West Coast. Condor Aviation owns and operates a growing fleet of aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with a wide range of remote sensing technologies. The RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S was recently installed in the tribal entity’s new Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft. The top-of-the-line LiDAR sensor, coupled with high-resolution aerial imaging equipment, will be employed to accumulate a diverse range of information regarding terrestrial and aquatic environments. The topographic and imagery data will help drive the design of the fish and wildlife habitat restoration projects, inform long-term natural resources management decisions and quantify the impact of climate change. The laser mapping system will also be used to document changes that occur on the Klamath River — California’s second longest salmon stream — after four dams are removed next year in what is considered the largest salmon habitat restoration project in world history. Condor Aviation also offers airborne data collection services to support other tribal, federal, state, and local partners in the Klamath Basin and throughout the Western U.S.

“Integration team while onsite with Yurok Tribe and Condor Aviation for the



Creating a Culture of Preservation for Generations to Come

The RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S by way of Condor Aviation and the Yurok Tribe’s extensive restoration toolkit is providing autonomy and positively impacting the prosperity of the Yurok Tribe. Not only are they establishing themselves as a voice in the realm of natural resources management, but they are protecting and restoring the environment for generations to come. Condor Aviation is training young Yurok citizens to use cutting-edge laser scanners and participate in the active management of their resources.

“The acquisition of RIEGL’s premier airborne laser scanning system represents the next evolution in the Yurok Tribe’s effort to transform severely degraded ecosystems into biologically diverse environments for fish and wildlife,” said Yurok Tribe Vice Chairman Frankie Myers. “The cutting-edge technology will also help us expand our restoration-based economy, enabling us to collect ultra-precise data on forest growth, snowpack, wildfires and much more for our partners across the region.”

The Yurok Tribe received a five-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce – Economic Development Agency to procure this custom-built aircraft and RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S Airborne LiDAR System.


About the RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S:

RIEGL’s VQ-1560 II-S wide area mapping sensor is a dual-channel hybrid laser and imaging system that features a unique “cross-fire” scan geometry for maximum canopy penetration and improved vertical detail often required for urban, forestry and corridor applications. The system is typically equipped with a gyro-stabilized mount and an internally integrated 150-megapixel RGB or 4-Band metric camera system to enable the co-collection of high-resolution imagery and high-density LiDAR data for maximum application success.

About RIEGL:

RIEGL is an international leading provider of cutting-edge technology in airborne, mobile, terrestrial, industrial and unmanned laser scanning solutions for applications in surveying.

RIEGL has been producing LiDAR systems commercially for over 40 years and focuses on pulsed time-of-flight laser radar technology in multiple wavelengths.

RIEGL’s core Smart-Waveform technologies provide pure digital LiDAR signal processing, unique methodologies for resolving range ambiguities, multiple targets per laser shots, optimum distribution of measurements, calibrated amplitudes and reflectance estimates, as well as the seamless integration and calibration of systems.

RIEGL’s Ultimate LiDARTM 3D scanners offer a wide array of performance characteristics and serve as a platform for continuing Innovation in 3D for the LiDAR industry.

From the first inquiry, to purchase and integration of the system, as well as training and support, RIEGL maintains an outstanding history of reliability and support to their customers.

Worldwide sales, training, support and services are delivered from RIEGL’s headquarters in Austria and in the USA; main offices in, Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the UK; and a worldwide network of representatives.

About Condor Aviation and the Yurok Tribe Located in far Northern California, the Yurok Tribe is the most populous federally recognized tribe in the state. Together, the Tribe’s Fisheries Department, Yurok Tribe Construction Corporation and Condor Aviation represent one of the largest and most diversely skilled restoration organizations on the West Coast. Informed by Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the best available Western Science, the Yurok Tribe’s award-winning Fisheries Department’s multidisciplinary restoration team is comprised of more than 60 experts in the following fields: fisheries biology, fish genetics, engineering, botany, wetland ecology, hydrology, geomorphology and LiDAR/aerial imagery data collection and analysis. Condor Aviation and the Yurok Tribe Construction Corporation employ multiple unmanned aerial vehicles and conventional aircraft pilots.


Media Contacts

RIEGL USA Abby Clark (321)-245-2303

Yurok Tribe Matt Mais (707) 954-0976


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