A group of people looking at a monitor in a truck.

Disruption from above

AI and Technology
Published On
September 30, 2019

How Pegasus Imagery is turning intelligence into opportunities for disaster response and beyond

The Pegasus team with one of their drones. (L-R): Cole Rosentreter, CEO, Josh Richard, Chief Pilot, Curtis Engerdahl, IT Manager, Stephen Deck, Aircraft Systems Lead Engineer.

Media attention around commercial drone technology may seem like a Silicon Valley-powered future about to flood global skies but for Pegasus Imagery, an Edmonton-based technology company, the hype may be part of the problem.

For Pegasus CEO Cole Rosentreter, “I think we’ve all had a decade to be completely underwhelmed by commercial drones.” Launched last Spring, the company designs, manufactures and deploys long range, high endurance drones to bridge the capability gap between military and consumer drones.

“At the fundamental level, the solution needs to match the scale of the problem to be effective, and for large scale challenges found in Emergency Management and Public Safety, the company is designed specifically for these impossible challenges.” The team is a unique blend of engineering and technical talent combined with highly experienced military veterans and commercial pilots, another unique factor that has helped propel the startup from the garage, to placing first in a Silicon Valley Program, to now, calling the Edmonton International Airport home.

“Regardless whether it’s a firefight or a wildfire, the critical information leaders need to make decisions doesn’t change: What/where is the problem, where are my people, what are my tools and what are my options.”  The company’s long-range aircraft carry a variety of different tools to help: From military-grade infrared sensors delivering live video to thermal and LiDAR mapping cameras which help emergency managers plan with better data, they’re able to deliver this 24 hours a day, even in conditions too dangerous for helicopters.

Advanced drones provide mapping, video and imagery. This shot includes an image of cattle.

Pegasus isn’t doing this alone either, signing a partnership with a major US defense contractor earlier this year and working directly with Transport Canada towards helping shape what future regulations for commercial drones may look like. The company is about to enter production on their next generation of long-range unmanned aircraft, ready for next Spring’s wildfire season in Canada. “We can’t expect to spend billions of dollars over budget every year on wildfires without any innovation and hope that things improve. Business as usual isn’t sustainable.”

The Pegasus Imagery team working in their mobile unit.

Having already completed contracts in Public Safety and the energy sector this year, Pegasus will be joining a select group of technology companies this November invited to Creative Destruction Labs- Rockies, Canada’s premier technology accelerator whose motto is “Build something massive”.

For the growing team at Pegasus, the mission to turn intelligence into opportunities for first responders in high-risk environments is only moving faster towards, as Cole says, “Disruption from above.”