Read about Matt Poe’s transition from hobbyist to business owner. Poe received his remote pilot’s license after taking classes at Virginia Highlands Community College. The story from fastforward.com can be found here.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
One of the first participants of the Mountain Empire Community College Unmanned Aerial Systems Program was recently honored by the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council.
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.’
- 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.).
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.
This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop. No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required.
Through a partnership with Liberty University, three unmanned systems (UMS) courses offered at any Virginia community college can now transfer to Liberty as equivalent UAS courses in their B.S. in Aeronautics–Unmanned Aerial Systems Cognate degree program.
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 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.
There are a few good tutorials from AmericaView here. The titles include: Understanding the use of sUAS to Assess Rainwater Harvesting Potential for Urban Multi-family Housing: Introduction and Rainwater Harvesting (RH), Geotagging Images from the 3DR Solo, and Mastering the Aeronautical Chart-An Introduction to VFR Sectionals.
An article from DroneDeploy reports that users had mapped more than 10 million acres across across seven continents and 160 countries. Download the full report here.