Mapping with Drones

In partnership with the GeoTEd-UAS project, the College of Natural Resources and Environment and the Virginia Geospatial Extension program at Virginia Tech recently coordinated and offered two workshops.

The Mapping with Drones workshops helped attendees learn how to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).  This 3-day workshop offered in Blacksburg, VA and Richmond, VA attracted 28 participants from four states.  The participants represented an array of organizations including educational institutions (precollege and higher education), state agencies, research institutes, planning district commissions (PDC’s), and the private sector.

 

Mapping with Drones workshop included instruction on the legal and safe operations of sUAS in support of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) remote pilot knowledge test.  Discussions and presentations associated with sUAS applications and data collection sensors and platforms (both fixed wing and rotor) were provided.  Participants acquired valuable information to streamline data collection in the field, maintain equipment, and enhance collected data through image processing options to facilitate spatially enhanced decision-making.

 

Additional sUAS workshops are being scheduled in January 2019 (Blacksburg) and spring 2019 (Richmond and Tidewater).

More info on these workshops can be viewed here, https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2018/09/cnre-dronemappingworkshop.html.  For additional information, please visit https://www.virginiaview.cnre.vt.edu/workshops_MappingUAS or contact Daniel Cross (cxcross@vt.edu ).

                                                                                                              
 

Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Survey

GeoTEd-UAS and partners are collecting data to help inform future workforce development and education programs to train the unmanned andautonomous systems (UMAS) workforce (air, land, sea). This should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMASsurvey

 

We ask that you complete this survey to help define and quantify your organization’s current and projected workforce needs. Please submit your response by 10/5/18, but all data collected in the near future will be used to inform future programs.

For more information, contact Chris Carter, VSGC Deputy Director at cxcarter@odu.eduor 757-766-5210.

New Workshops for Fall 2018: Mapping with Drones

What: Three-day workshop,  Mapping with Drones
Who: Natural resource managers, planning professionals, public safety officials, agricultural producers, inspectors, educators, etc.
Topic: Mapping with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)  (aka ‘drones’)
When and Where: October 2 – 4 (Blacksburg), and October 15 – 17 (Richmond)
Cost: $400 (includes three days of instruction, materials/supplies, and lunches during the workshop).
Information & registration: www.virginiaview.net/workshops_MappingUAS
 
Workshop Summary 
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are permeating many sectors of industry, and are increasingly being employed as data collection platforms to support of an array of applications. Applications span disciplines and industries and can include:  planning, natural resource management, marketing, inspection of structures, agricultural production, permitting, and public safety. Specific sensors can be used to tailor application needs. Flights can be scheduled and conducted under short notice to accommodate weather, and temporal considerations. sUAS operations support efficient workflows and provide opportunities for ‘data on demand.’
This 3-day workshop will provide participants with the following:
  • An understanding of FAA and sUAS lingo;
  • A comprehensive knowledge of current federal commercial sUAS regulations;
  • In-depth discussions of sUAS platforms (fixed wing and multi-rotor), sensors (including true color, NIR, multispectral, thermal), and associated applications;
  • sUAS project workflows, including;
    • Compliance with FAA regulations and safe practices;
    • An overview of sUAS operation planning software, check sheets, and smartphone apps;
    • Demonstrations of fixed wing and multi-rotor aircraft (contingent on weather and other local conditions / regulations) of both autonomous and manual operations, and;
    • A comprehensive presentation and demonstration of image processing software techniques and options (image mosaics, NDVI, etc.).
Workshop Outcomes
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will:
  • be prepared to take (and pass) the FAA’s Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (aka Part 107);
  • have the knowledge to be able to identify applications that may be appropriate for sUAS data collection; 
  • understand the steps required to conduct a commercial sUAS operations safely and legally;
  • be able to identify suitable platforms and sensors to support their application needs;
  • generate image mosaics, compatible with numerous software applications (including GIS, remote sensing, etc.) using drone imagery.
Registration
This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop. No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required. 
Online registration is required is available via https://tinyurl.com/UASMapping (major credit cards are accepted).
The cost of the workshop is $400. This includes instruction, handouts and resources, and lunch (for all 3 days).
After registration is received, you will receive further information about the workshop (exact location, etc.).
Space is limited. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Questions associated with the workshop should be directed to John McGee (jmcg@vt.edu) or Daniel Cross (falkus@vt.edu).
This workshop is sponsored by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program in partnership with the Geospatial Extension Program at Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), the Conservation Management Institute (CMI), and GeoTEd-UAS.

Blacksburg High School Teacher Commands First UAS Flyover at Lane Stadium

On June 21, 2018 a small unmanned aircraft went whizzing over Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium. Daniel Kuhar, a student at Blacksburg High School and member of the BHS Drone Club stood on the field, eyes fixed on the small craft as it zipped its way overhead, fingers twitching slight adjustments to its path on the remote controls.

Veronica Spradlin stood close by, monitoring the drone’s progress on a phone plugged into the control console, ready to take command should need arise. An Engineering teacher at Blacksburg high, Spradlin was the remote pilot in command for this mission, responsible for the safe completion of the first ever drone flyover of Lane Stadium.

Continue reading “Blacksburg High School Teacher Commands First UAS Flyover at Lane Stadium”

Community College Faculty Receive Training in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Bring Back to the Classroom

 

Photographs from the 2017 GeoTEd-UAS Faculty Institute.

 

Funded by the NSF and administered by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), the Geospatial Technician Education-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (GeoTEd-UAS) project is providing professional development and training in UAS for educators. On May 20-25, the second UAS Faculty Professional Development Institute will be hosted by Virginia Tech.
Media are invited to attend. Please see attached press release for more information.

The First 3 Students to Complete sUAS Pathway in Virginia!

Pictured are students at Thomas Nelson Community College learning to repair and maintain drones in the UMS 177 (Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Components and Maintenance) class. The UMS 177 class is one of three courses that lead to a Career Studies Certificate in sUAS Flight Operations Technician. Thomas Nelson is the first community college in the Commonwealth to have three students complete a pathway in sUAS.

GeoTEd-UAS helps to Map TNC Nature Trail Project in Community of Oyster

On Friday, April 20 the GeoTEd-UAS team led by Virginia Space Grant Consortium and faculty and students from Thomas Nelson and Eastern Shore Community will participate in student service learning UAS mission to support a community project. Students and faculty with gain hands-on experience mapping with drones and the use of a thermal imagery camera while conducting some missions on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Students from UAS and GIS classes will participate.

 The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Virginia Coast Reserve and the community of Oyster are working together to design, implement and maintain a shoreline nature trail along the eastern tip of the village. The Eastern Shore Community Foundation is providing funding for the trail, which will allow public access and recreation with unobstructed views of southern barrier islands off the Virginia Coast. The trail project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018.

The student service learning project is part of the GeoTEd-UAS project in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

GeoTEd-UAS pre-college programs

M-STEM, 2017 was held at Thomas Nelson Community College.

GeoTEd-UAS is primarily directed towards the institution of UAS courses and career pathways in Virginia’s Community College System (VCCS).

That said, it is essential that a UAS pipeline of pre-college students be established to to ensure a continued interest in UAS at community colleges throughout Virginia.

In response to this need, GeoTEd-UAS has conducted many pre-college UAS events at partnering colleges, and supported student scholarships and internships in unmanned systems.

We are also establishing dual-enrollment, transfer, and articulation agreements with several four year universities. GeoTEd has sponsored and conducted several events designed for pre-college students and their teachers.

These events typically include a discussion of UAS applications, UAS data collection, assembling a drone kit, and hands-on flying instruction that generally culminates in a tournament involving flying drones through an obstacle course.

Participants of these events have ranged from middle school students to high school faculty. GeoTEd-UAS has worked with the Greater Peninsula Governor’s STEM Academy, the Hampton Roads Cyber Alliance, Materials Conference (M-STEM) led by the NSF-funded National Materials Center, and many other organizations.


 

Thomas Nelson Community College Offering Flight Technician Career Studies Certificate

This certificate is designed to prepare participants to skillfully fly and maintain an sUAS and to earn the FAA Part 107 certificate. Knowledge of the safe and legal operation of an unmanned aircraft (drone) and the collection of imagery for customers is on the forefront of employer demand for many new and emerging fields. This program develops these competencies and allows participants to succeed in this challenging and demanding field.

Flight_Technician_CSC_TNCC