There is a nice story posted on the TNCC website about the UMS 111 class taught by Geology department head Peter Berquist at TNCC Historic Triangle campus. The story focuses on practical applications of drone usage, The link can be found here.
On Tuesday, the GeoTEd-UAS leadership team flew several UAS missions at the VCU Rice Center to gather data in preparation for the upcoming faculty workshop.
During the workshop, faculty will conduct real UAS missions to support the data collection needs of the Center while expanding their own experience and training in conducting service learning missions. Potential flights for the workshop include an aerial shoreline vegetation mapping, solar panel examination, mapping the entire property, and using side scan sonar from the boat to “image” vegetation to determine vegetation health.
The Virginia Tech GeoTED-UAS Mini Institute will be held May 21-23 at the VCU Rice Center outside of Williamsburg. Workshops in the previous three years have focused on classroom training with basic hands-on learning. This year, the fourth and final session, will be the capstone of GeoTED-UAS. Faculty will gain experience with a series of real-world sUAS operations designed to collect mapping and video data of the wetlands and riverbank habitat on the Rice Center property. The participants will be tasked with all aspects of sUAS missions, from flight planning, to mission execution, and ending with data processing. Throughout the entire process, we will be approaching this course with an eye to the safety application of sUAS technology in all stages of sUAS operation.
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.
Blog post via Kevin Hamed, PhD, VHCC Biology
Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) students had a great experience learning how to utilize small Unmanned Aircraft Systems to collect real world data. A partnership with the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, US Forest Service, and VHCC allowed our students to map critical Golden-winged Warbler habitat. Audubon considers this bird to be the most imperiled species in North America that is not currently designated as “threatened” or “endangered.”
Golden-winged Warblers require a unique blend of habitat including grasses, small shrubs, large shrubs, and mature forest. Managers must constantly work to maintain the ideal states of succession that facilitate successful nesting. Aerial imagery collected will be used to measure and assess habitat.
In addition to learning about sUAS operations and autonomous flights, Jay Martin (Blue Ridge Discovery Center) and former USFS wildlife biologist) gave our students an incredible hands-on presentation focusing on habitat management for Golden-winged Warblers.
Today was a great learning experience for our students and an amazing opportunity to help our natural community. I am grateful to Jay Martin and the GeoTEd team members for their assistance and support to help enrich the education of our students.
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 (email@example.com ).
One of the first participants of the Mountain Empire Community College Unmanned Aerial Systems Program was recently honored by the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council.
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For more information, contact Chris Carter, VSGC Deputy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 757-766-5210.
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.
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.