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.
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 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.
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.
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.