Michael W. Piasecki founded Dragonfly Pictures, Inc. (DPI), in 1992 to develop new image acquisition tools. At the time, he was working in the technical side of the film industry where he specialized in remotely controlling and stabilizing cameras on moving platforms. Along with other prestigious cameramen, he worked with Garrett Brown, the inventor of the SteadyCam*, which was used in blockbuster movies such as Rocky and Star Wars.
Combining his expertise in image stabilization with his work in aviation and aerial mapping, Piasecki designed new cutting-edge image acquisition tools. These tools were designed for lower cost tactical applications that required more timely geo-referenced imaging capabilities for people on the ground. The tools included camera stabilization techniques for unmanned helicopters for use in near-earth environments and complex terrain. Complex terrain includes such environments as urban, jungle, and mountainous terrain where the oblique perspective is required.
After demonstrating landmark UAV imaging technology to over 200 military observers from around the world, Piasecki and his team designed other successful UAV systems and subsystems. With unique UAV requirements — long range, high endurance, low cost, fully stabilized — Piasecki also developed a unique, extensive, world-class test infrastructure for unmanned aircraft.
Under his leadership, DPI has designed, tested, and/or built aircraft systems and subsystems for customers who have included the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, DARPA, U.S. Marine Corps, Boeing, SAIC, L3, AAI, Northrop Grumman, HARRIS and many other well-known aviation system and subsystem vendors, designers, and specialty shops.
Under Piasecki’s leadership, DPI has become the industry leader in rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the U.S. DPI UAV have successfully flown thousands of hours,and are ideal for missions where precision flight, precision imagery, long endurance, high payload capacity, and life and safety are a priority.