Internationally acclaimed universities praise Latvia-developed drone software UgCS

27 / 04 / 2018

Riga, Latvia - April 27, 2018 - Such internationally acclaimed research centres and universities as Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Aurora Research Institute have studied, tested, and used in their work the drone control software UgCS (Unmanned Ground Control Software), developed by Latvian company SPH Engineering. The software was used to study coral reefs, snow depth, and species diversity as drone flights could be pre-planned and adapted to highly specific requirements of each research project. The cooperation partners of SPH Engineering have a high opinion of UgCS, emphasizing the stability and irreplaceability of the software.

At Stanford University in the United States, UgCS is used in education. Under the supervision of Professor of Earth Sciences Robert B Dunbar, the Latvian software has so far been used at two locations employing DJI Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro+. Preprogrammed missions were flown to teach the students about mission design, autonomous flight, and imaging control, that is suitable for repeat data collection. Pre-planned drone flight missions using UgCS helped students learn more about and monitor coral reef ecology and health. A specific data processing software was then used to produce 3D point cloud and textured models of the reef.

“We have found that in clear water, the drone imagery can resolve individual coral branches and bathymetry down to depths of 5-8 meters so it is quite a useful tool. The advantage of using pre-planned and saved missions in UgCS is the opportunity to fly repeat missions that can be used to establish trajectories of change on shallow coral reef tracts,” explains Professor Dunbar.

Aurora Research Institute in Canada has successfully used UgCS with DJI Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 Pro drones to capture photogrammetric data of snow fall and detect snow depth variations at temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius.

Aurora Research Institute’s web application and database developer Eric Cheyne says that, during the summer of 2017, the institute travelled to the northwest end of Banks Island, a remote location without internet or telephone access, to test several apps with photogrammetric software. “These applications failed to complete preset mission. The apps suffered software issues, required further updates, internet access, and constant troubleshooting,” explains Cheyne. However, the institute was able to setup pre-planned missions with UgCS before arriving at the remote location, and complete multiple missions without any need for internet access, troubleshooting, or software issues. “It simply worked,” Cheyne says laconically.

In the meantime, Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States uses UgCS software to, for instance, create a flight plan that keeps the drone a certain distance off rooftops and always perpendicular to the roof it faces. “We have written Python and Matlab scripts to generate the XML that we then import into UgCS, upload to the platform, and then execute these custom missions,” says Professor Carl Salvaggio from Rochester Institute of Technology. He describes the UgCS code as “invaluable”.

Over the past two years, SPH Engineering has signed 103 cooperation agreements with different universities and colleges in 30 countries, where students are also taught to pilot drones and use different research methodologies. The education partners use UgCS software in practical research as well as in planning and flying different drone missions.


Let's MEET at XPONENTIAL Booth #822

02 / 04 / 2018

Visit SPH Engineering's | UgCS booth #822, to attend live demo sessions of centralized drone management system UgCS for Command Centres to learn how UgCS enables drone implementation in existing environment of law enforcement and first response operations!

During the expo SPH Engineering:

 - will be looking forward to discussing collaboration on UAV related projects

 - inform on newest features and updates of UgCS - the mission planning software for drone surveys

 - present centralized drone management system UgCS for Command Centres for efficient drone implementation in law enforcement and first response operations

 - introduce the upgraded UgCS DDC that enables to create truly breath-catching drone swarm shows

 - present AirMast the innovative sky mast for communication and surveillance - an easy and quick-to-deploy way to bring sensors to the sky.


AirMast / UgCS presentation at the MiliPol 2017, Paris #stand R060

16 / 10 / 2017

At the MiliPol 2017 taking place in Paris from 21-24 November SPH Engineering at #stand R060 will:

 - present AirMast the innovative sky mast for communication and surveillance - easy and quickly deployable mean to bring sensors in the sky

 - will be looking forward to discuss collaboration on UAV related projects

 - demonstrate newest features and updates of UgCS - the ground control software for drones.

To set up a meeting, please write:


AirMast - innovative sky mast for communication and surveillance

07 / 12 / 2016

SPH Engineering presents new addition to continuously evolving drone market - a ready-to-fly tethered drone system AirMast. Compared to some conventional mast systems AirMast is easy and quickly deployable mean to bring up sensors in the sky, not requiring operators specific technical knowledge. AirMast can provide significant support for most search and rescue, environment protection, telecommunication and video surveillance activities.

AirMast consists of ground module with intelligent winch system and a drone with lightweight 100 meter tether, consisting of cables for power and data transmission. Powered from ground by any type of power generator, the drone can stay in the air for extended period of time with no reliance on drone-batteries. AirMast is operated with UgCS’s ground-based command control software run on a durable tablet.

Compared to some conventional mast and tower systems, AirMast can be deployed by a single person in less than 5minutes. AirMast is capable of carrying payload of up to 1,5kg from video camera, to diverse sensing devices or mesh network extenders. High-bandwidth data channel is a part of the tether, which enables high-resolution video or other data transmission from the drone to the ground system.

According to the payload the AirMast can be used by private business or governmental organisation, ranging from perimeter control, event management, communication and cellular applications for strategic facilities, oil & gas pipelines and rigs, traffic control, emergency response, firefighting, mines, forests and national parks, disaster areas and mass events like a virtual mast.

“Paired with a Rajant BreadCrumb drone module, it can quickly deploy a network ‘tower’ for as long as necessary, all the while being mobile, too. Together with UgCS, this setup allows for the deployment and management of a mesh network of drones. In addition, flight data as well as video streams from multiple drone operators in the field can be quickly sent to a UgCS ground station operator, allowing to scan a large area in a short amount of time using drones, something that is very useful for search and rescue operations, photogrammetry and other fields,” said Janis Kuze, Sales Director at SPH Engineering.

“Rajant has married the latest innovations in flight with a communication network capable of taking drones greater distances, and for longer periods of time,” said Bob Schena, Chairman and CEO of Rajant. “Drone operators have been faced with weak radio systems and little payload versatility – until now. The AirMast Tether System with our BreadCrumb module gives companies and governments an easy way to establish a broadband network for their drones. With Rajant’s wireless nodes, they have a secure system that can scale with various payloads, giving them true mobility. In kinetic mesh, everything is constantly moving, including the infrastructure, allowing an expansive network footprint.”

Current ground-based version of the AirMast system uses a popular drone platform that is widely available, flight-tested and reliable - DJI S900 together with Elistair SAFE-T powering system. More info:

SPH Engineering currently is developing mobile version of the AirMast. This will enable AirMast being used on a moving platform such as a truck or a ship. While retaining all of the before mentioned functionality, this will give the freedom of movement, opening opportunities to use the system non-stop.


SPH Engineering has become a member of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

18 / 01 / 2016
Based on the number of its members, LCCI is the largest non-governmental organisation of businessmen, which unites individual companies, industry associations, city business clubs, and other businessmen unions.
LCCI represents the interests of entrepreneurs in state and regional institutions, as well as offers services so as to ensure Latvia has excellent companies in an excellent business environment.
LCCI works in three areas:
  1. Business environment
  2. Competitiveness of the companies
  3. Export


Visit us at the Dubai Airshow

02 / 11 / 2015

We will be exhibiting at Dubai Airshow next week. The exhibition will take place from 8 – 12. November.

Feel free to drop by and have a chat with us, see what we're up to.

The newest version of UgCS 2.6 will be presented which features mission planning for DJI Inspire 1 and DJI Phantom 3.

Along with that we will present the Lockheed Martin Indago VTOL drone as well as our tethered drone and pipeline monitoring solutions.

We will be waiting for you at stand #2245


SPH Engineering is at ISAF Security Expo in Istanbul Turkey

17 / 09 / 2015
Our company attends the Istanbul Fair for Security, Fire, Emergency and Search-Rescue 2015.

SPH Engineering and Sagetech partnership

03 / 06 / 2015

We're proud to announce our partnership with Sagetech. We are one of the official Sagetech flight computer integration partners. For any custom integration projects/ideas with ADS-B on UAVs, feel free to contact us at and we will make it work.


How it is made" 3DR Pixhawk and Sagetech ADS-B integration

23 / 04 / 2015

In January we published news that we completed test integration of 3DR copter with Sagetech XPS-TR transponder.

Please read on on how we actually made this possible:


Controlling the speed of automated missions in real time

17 / 04 / 2015

We have modified the firmware based on ArduCopter v3.2 firmware for it to allow us to control the speed of the vehicle in an automated mission in real time through the throttle channel on the RC remote.

To read the whole story, please visit


DroneShowSoftware - the software behind choreographed Drone light shows

15 / 11 / 2018

Riga, Latvia - April 20, 2018 - Latest upgrades of the SPH Engineering’s drone swarm management software Drone Show Software enables almost any drone and entertainment industry professionals to set up a drone swarm show in weeks. The Drone Show Software provides tools to incorporate drones equipped lights and other show elements into stunning outdoor shows synced to music or live performances.

Drone Show Software is developed to manage a swarm of drones equipped with lights, fireworks, smoke generators or other payloads for astonishing shows. The drone choreography can be planned in 3D animation software, transformed to drone flight paths via a plugin and managed from a single computer equipped with Drone Show Software.

“It is marvellous to see a swarm of drones smoothly dancing pre-planned flight formations synchronised with music, displaying 3D shapes, brand logos or messages. The diverse payload options add the WOW effect to any show - smoke generators for daytime shows or LED-lights and fireworks for night shows,” says Janis Kuze, Sales Director of SPH Engineering. “Making this software available for UAV and entertainment industry will enrich spectators experience at events like we have already experienced it at the openings of National Football Leagues or the Olympic Games and music festivals.”

For Drone Show Software drone shows SPH Engineering has designed the drones “from the shelf” parts equipped with Pixhawk (open-source) and RTK GPS units, RGB LED modules and Wi-Fi adapters. The choreography of the drone is planned in a 3D animation software, like Blender (open-source) and transformed to flight paths for UgCS. The integrated Art-Net protocol enables a smooth drone swarm incorporation to outdoor shows, as addition to lasers, beams and other fixtures. One drone operator can manage up to a hundred drones from a single computer equipped with Drone Show Software.

See the Drone Show Software in action:

  • Video “The Running Man” demo flight
  • Video of “Letters and Shapes” demo flight
  • List of videos with diverse payloads from demo-flights and integrated shows in USA and Poland:

Discover Drone Show Software in detail:


About SPH Engineering / UgCS

UgCS is a complete platform developed by SPH Engineering to plan and fly professional drone missions, supporting all popular UAV platforms. Drone Show Software is developed to manage drone swarms equipped with lights and other payloads for entertainment outdoor shows. SPH Engineering offers unmanned systems integration services: building, acquiring and consulting on the selection of airframes, autopilots, payloads for a particular application and performing proof of concept projects and software development. More:

image Interview with Janis Kuze, SPH's Director of Sales

15 / 11 / 2018

SPH Engineering software supports drones like DJI, Yuneec and MavLink compatibles along with many other big players in the industry, even Lockheed Martin. UgCS (Unmanned Ground Control Software) allows units to be utilized in surveying, as tethered drones and has been taken one step further, supplying the software ready to go as part of their AirMast system, currently built on the DJI S900. We spoke with Janis Kuze, SPH’s Director of Sales, to dive deeper into AirMast, UgCS and where the company sees the application of their sophisticated software expanding the potential of the drone industry.

Read full interview in DroneBelow >>>



07 / 04 / 2017

During the expo SPH Engineering:

 - will be looking forward to discuss collaboration on UAV related projects

 - demonstrate newest features and updates of UgCS - the ground control software for drones

 - present AirMast the innovative sky mast for communication and surveillance - easy and quickly deployable mean to bring sensors in the sky

 - introduce software for drone shows UgCS Drone Dance Controller

To set up a meeting, please write:


Visit our booth at ISAF 2016 expo in Istanbul

21 / 09 / 2016

Let’s meet SPH Engineering representatives at booth B-450 during the ISAF 2016 expo in Istanbul, Turkey from September 29 until October 2 for presentation of newest updates of the UAV ground control software UgCS and introducing innovative tethered drone powering system that enables unlimited flight time.


One of many applications for the tether drone system is showed in the video - communication capabilities extension using Rajant Kinetic Mesh® network working together with UgCS.


How to hack a drone? SPH presented at Data Security Conference

06 / 01 / 2016

Our colleague Jānis Dzērve presented his insights about Drone Hacking on the DSS ITSEC 2015 conference in Riga.


Attending the 2015 Commercial UAV Show in London

06 / 01 / 2016

SPH Engineering will participate the Commercial UAV Show in London, taking place from October 20 until October 21, 2015.


The newest version 2.6 of the UAV ground station software UgCS will be presented along with Lockheed Martin Indago and the Tethered Drone project.


Come visit us and see what we're up to at stand 1b!

SPH Engineering offers a hands-on introduction course to unmanned vehicles

04 / 06 / 2015

With many new businesses entering the field of UAV technology and the industry growing rapidly, it could be hard for someone new to quickly get a grasp of this new technology. This is why SPH Engineering has developed this intensive course. This is a course which takes place at the historic Spilve Airfield in the beautiful city of Riga, capital of Latvia, conveniently accessible from any major airport in Europe.

Gaining experience with the most popular multirotor systems is your best investment to find out which system fits your needs!

During the course the participants will be introduced to the components of unmanned aircraft and different types of autopilot systems. All of the most popular platforms will be covered, starting from the most simple up to the more advanced. After introduction to the basics of operating multicopters the participants will be provided a hands-on experience with UAV systems, planning automated routes for UAVs with different tools and flying missions for required applications.

The course will consist of the following:

- Getting to know different types of aircraft from different manufacturers including:

  • Lockheed Martin Indago
  • 3D Robotics (APM, Pixhawk)
    DJI (S900/1000 (Wookong-M/A2), Phantom V2 (Naza-M V2)
  • Mikrodrones
  • - Route planning specifics
    - Practical flying lessons in manual and automatic modes
  • - Pros and Cons of each system
  • - Introduction to different applications of UAVs

For more information about this course please contact us.

SPH Engineering


Phone: +371 25453422


Power Line Monitoring with UgCS

06 / 01 / 2016

Inspection of power lines using UAVs is getting more popular and widespread as conventional means are either expensive and risky (using piloted aircraft) or taking lot of time and not having all the necessary angles (inspection from ground).

Lot of companies are now experimenting with UAVs for this purpose as it is versatile platform giving lot of hope for future.

Read more on sUAS News


UgCS at Unmanned Systems 2015 in AtlantaUgCS at Unmanned Systems 2015 in Atlanta

06 / 01 / 2016

We will be attending AUVSI`s Unmanned Systems 2015 in Atlanta, GA. Come meet us, have a chat and see what we`re up to.

We will be waiting for you at booth #3144.

UgCS Team


Presenting UgCS to highest policy makers of EU in conference on RPAS

06 / 01 / 2016

We were presenting UgCS to highest policy makers of European Union in conference on RPAS in Riga:

During presentation of UgCS we discussed how systems as UgCS can be used to help ensure safe flights according existing and upcoming air traffic rules.

Including automatized confirmation of UAV flight routes and ensuring knowledge of authorities who and with what is flying to strengthen safety and find new, comfortable and paperless approach to legalize UAV operations.

UgCS Team