Airborne Sensor Operator

North West Group (Leica) is a leading geomatics firm that specializes in aerial acquisition and processing. We are currently seeking an energetic, self-motivated individual who is located in the U.S. to join our team as an aerial sensor operator.  Sensor operators are an integral part of North West’s aircrew working closely with the pilot in planning and executing any aerial photography mission. Both sensor operators and pilots must be able to work independently and as a team on a flight mission.

Typically, the sensor operator is either a university or technical school graduate with a good understanding and knowledge of electronics and computers.

The sensor operator’s daily duties are summarized as follows:

  • Assess weather conditions and determine where and if the aircraft can fly that day.
  • If suitable weather work with pilot to flight plan that day’s work.
  • Set up and/or start base station equipment for that day’s flight.
  • Start sensor after engines started and ensure systems are operational.
  • Complete flight log of mission.
  • Coordinate with pilot and ATC the sequence of flying planned work.
  • Monitor sensor performance during flight mission and make any weather/reflight calls.
  • On landing shut down sensor and transfer sensor data to data storage device for shipping to office.
  • Note that flights can last for up to +7 hours.
  • Shut down sensor and complete flight log.
  • Shut down base station and transfer base station data to data storage device for shipping to office.
  • Ship data to office with required paperwork.
  • Upload data to company website and upload files for that day’s production.

The process is repeated daily until that work is completed or aircraft is grounded due to weather. When located in Canada, sensor operators can be required to travel by vehicle other than the aircraft (usually trucks) to ensure base stations are properly set up.

The sensor operators can be required to help install and dismantle the sensor for repairs or moving from one aircraft to another.

Sensor operators are required to work in both Canada and the US however international travel for North West’s overseas work is also required. Sensor operator’s work +/-5 weeks in the field followed with 5 weeks off.

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