WATCH: Freefly Astro Prime inspects world’s largest tree

First-ever drone scan of Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman seeks to identify and document effects of bark beetles, climate change. Doodle Labs Mesh Rider Radios provide resilient datalink for operation in delicate environment.

2 minute read

In May, the US National Park Service, Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition and other groups coordinated a first-of-its-kind health check-up for Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman, the world’s largest known living tree.

Volunteers scaled the tree by rope, observed satellite imagery and, for the very first time, utilized an industrial-grade drone to inspect the tree for signs of damage from a native bark beetle that’s damaged and destroyed other trees in the area under duress caused by climate change and extended drought.

A drone used in the inspection was Freefly Systems‘ Astro Prime, a new NDAA-compliant and Blue UAS-approved version of its workhorse commercial UAS platform. The drone used various swappable payloads, including a Lidar scanner and HD video camera, to quickly and safely examine all 275 feet of the ancient sequoia, which is more than 2,200 years old.

The Astro Prime calls on Doodle Labs Mesh Rider Radios to establish a resilient datalink, maintain connectivity and full control of the drone in an off-grid environment and reliably send high-bandwidth data back to the ground.

The capabilities of the Astro prime and its NDAA-compliant status will enable the US Forest Service and other Department of Interior groups to call on the platform for continued use in land mapping and inspection much faster than older manual processes.

The commercial use cases for drones unlock new possibilities to complete tasks quicker, safer, more efficiently and on a much larger scale.

Watch now:

For more on Doodle Labs’ solutions for connected teams, visit

About Doodle Labs

For over 20 years, Doodle Labs has been at the forefront of developing long-range broadband communication technologies used for deploying private wireless networks. Our products have been used by Fortune 100 companies in the most demanding environments on earth. Doodle Labs’ design philosophy is focused on achieving best-in-class performance while requiring minimal integration effort, thereby allowing customers to go to market faster with better performing products at a lower overall cost.

Want to Learn More?

Speak with our technical sales team to discuss your unique application requirements and find the best communication solution to meet your needs.