Drone Driver

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Everything posted by Drone Driver

  1. Any Inspire 2 pilots experiencing dropped video or control links? Not at all or never? Sometimes high interference encountered when in high use 2.4GHz areas can become a problem. Most often the best use of the 2.4 or 5.8 freq and band settings capability of the I2 + Go 4 app for tuning your optimum connectivity as shown in this video will help cure the problem. https://youtu.be/wdhkNbIx6c8 However if you want the very best in connectivity and absolutely no flying within VLOS autonomously initiated RTH scenarios, then these boosted antennas, the Cyclone or Atlas, from Titan Drones Inc. are providing excellent results on DJI drones. Just wondering if anyone has some time spent using these with the Inspire 2? I'm considering getting one of these antennas and will keep you all posted if/when I do this controller upgrade.
  2. Falcon 8 - Asctech (Anyone currently using)

    These guys use them..... http://www.huvrdata.com/#about
  3. live high voltage power line inspection

    That is a good question! And here is a video of the mission.
  4. Anyone flying a drone within 4 feet of live high voltage power transmission lines?
  5. Drones with up to 2 hours of flight wo a charge

    I wish you the Best Of Luck with your project!
  6. First of all please be aware that the Drone Ground School has an excellent overview guideline article on Tower Inspection mission planning and execution! https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/tower-surveying/ I will be attending a class in Ft. Collins, Co Mar 22 & 23, that provides training on using drones on cell tower inspection missions. Some of what Steve Fleming offers in this course includes drone flight simulator time and actual hands on flight time taking inspection pictures and video of his own 100 foot tower which has numerous different antenna and equipment installed. Digital copies of all your images and videos taken are provided for you use as marketing material as you pursue future paid inspection jobs. Steve is a member of the National Association of Tower Erectors and also a committee member working to establish industry guidelines for drone tower inspection training and safety concerns. He has over 30 years experience as a tower climber and installation worker plus he has developed techniques and is a certified tower emergency rescue expert and also trains others in this skill. He is also a licensed aircraft pilot as well as part 107 pilot. The 16 hour training course offers students, who successfully pass, both an OSHA – ANSI – NATE compliant certification training on “Authorized Tower Person or Climber” AND “Tower Inspection Drone Pilot” certifications with ID cards. http://technicalrescuesystems.net/tower-structure-inspection-osha-authorized-climber/ Of additional interest is that he is working with a tower inspection company that is developing applications for automated drone flight missions that are targeted for both wind farm and communications flight missions. One of their primary features is to include collision avoidance capabilities in their drone flight applications. The company is Red Mountain Scientific and additional information on their products can be found here. https://redmountainscientific.com/ I expect that this training will provide me a better chance of getting my start in the field of providing aerial communication tower inspection services and getting paid too. Here is a link to the recently completed NATE guidelines for using drones to complete safe communication tower inspections. https://natehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UAS-Operations-Document-2nd-Edition-Jan-2017-E-FILE.pdf
  7. Radio Tower Modelling

    Back to profitability statement again. This is my concern as for some customers the stills and or video product is satisfactory. But for others the 3D point cloud is a requirement. So my question then becomes who pays for the significant difference in time and fees for post processing software and or computer time to create the 3D point cloud? Pix4D has the option of either local processing if you have enough computer to accomplish or cloud processing. Either is time consuming and adds a cost premium to the data acquisition equation. Can a pilot who gets paid for collecting the images also charge the added costs for providing a 3D point cloud with photogrammetric precision to the customer? Again I suspect that Av8Chuck would correctly state in a reply - that is a customers choice or preference. Then I would ask if his company has a Bentely Systems (or Pix4D) license plus the expertise to digitally edit and or align these images for premier accuracy output, then process the images into a deliverable 3D point cloud? The bottom line to me is that I wish to know what is the potential for adding profit to a set of images which you collect as the drone pilot if you produce the 3D point cloud? I have some initial budget estimates put together for a fast deskside computer and costs of software applications as well as cloud computing license costs, it is difficult for me to make this comparison.
  8. Part 107 Renewals

    This my only FAA license, so I was thinking that I would have to re-take the exact same test again.
  9. Inspire 2 Propellers

    Still shots are far safer to take with much less risk involved.
  10. The link below is to a white paper After Action Review co-authored and written by Coitt Kessler, Program Manager, Austin Fire Department Robotic Emergency Deployment (RED) Team, and Gene Robinson, the Chief Pilot for the Wimberley, TX, Fire Department. The event was the flooding associated with the Blanco River in S. Central Texas just about 30-40 mile South of Austin Texas on May 23rd-24th, 2015. The Blanco rose at a rate of 17.5 feet in 1/2 hour and at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the stage was 32.4 ft., flood stage is 13 ft. The river level crested at 43 feet early Sunday morning, flowing at a rate of 223,000 cubic feet per second — 2.5 times the flow of Niagra Falls. The white paper details the efforts of all participants in the SAR missions including the many hobbyist drone pilots (pre-part 107 days). There are details included about the dangers of self initiated drone flights and their interaction with the many Coast Guard and private fleet of heli-copters all flying low altitude SAR sorties. It becomes evident that one of the biggest issues is that the coordinated efforts of the SAR professionals was with not being able to communicate and coordinate flight activities with the drone privateers. There is ample information contained for anyone who chooses to offer their free services in coordination with the local authorities during disasters and or more typical SAR missions. It is a noble calling to assist in SAR functions, but more than just a willingness to help, it is necessary to become an asset to the mission so as not to endanger others. The only way to safely integrate yourself into this activity is through training and taking the time to meet your local SAR professionals prior to these events. This will help you know who you will be working with and how they operate as well as them getting to know you, your equipment and capabilities. Coitt Kessler - http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Fire/Wildfire/RescueRobotics/bios.pdf Gene Robinson - http://susbexpo.com/gene-robinson/ The White Paper - https://www.suasnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Texas-Memorial-Day-Floods-A-White-Paper.pdf
  11. Jay Manley has the credentials and offers a really informative lecture covering all aspect of part 107 involvement in SAR activities. The series of topics includes suggestions on how to get free training and certificates so that you to learn what terminology and procedures are required for the Part 107 pilot to ease into structured SAR missions being conducted by officials and public servant members. This information is crucial for you to understand and to gain acceptance into the group by working in harmony with their efforts. These people have "been there, done that" and would welcome your offer to provide free services of value to your local community as long as you are able to work within their framework of standard operating procedures. Jay Manley has a long history of search and rescue participation, including actual mission “Finds”. Jay is a 18-year member of the Civil Air Patrol, with the rank of Lt. Col., has over 600 hours of flying and over 150 actual mission hours of flying. But besides the flying aspects, Jay is also a certified Incident Commander and actively helps train other members in search and rescue activities. He is also a Life member of the AMA and has been operating a UAS business for almost a year now. Recently he has taken it upon himself to extend the training that he has had in search and rescue with CAP into the area of UAS operations. This course is a collection of that knowledge and training. https://courses.droneproacademy.com/courses/search-and-rescue-with-jay-manley
  12. dh has a very simplified approach to pre-flight mission planning and automation. The Graphical User Interface is easy to use on an Android touch screen tablet the download onto your aircraft. One of it's strong features is that it allows you to pre-define "no-fly" zones in both horizontal and vertical dimensions so that you can prevent your aircraft from collisions in adjacent airspace. Also of significance is the interactive 3D flight path analysis tool which allows you to have an interactive interface with your mission design to verify dimensions of your flight path prior to takeoff. The app also offers free flight profiles for your use with plans to have users share their own flight profiles as well as dh working to increase their own offerings. Plans for desktop support are underway as is support for the Crystal Sky display. At this point in it's life cycle the app is in BETA mode and offered for free use. There are some tutorial videos on their home website as well as some early users who have published their own on youtube. Also the app offer the pilot the ability to link flight data into Airdata for creating flight reports and keeping track of information required by the FAA for flight and maintenance log records. And partnered with Bentley Systems. www.http://droneharmony.com/#home
  13. Drones with up to 2 hours of flight wo a charge

    @ArchAngel You might wish to consider http://www.droneamerica.com/ Their Savant Hybrid VTOL drone up to 2 hours, their Huginnair VTOL up to 8.5 hours and their fixed wing Phoebus up 7 hours. Of course their payload specs would have to be worked out with you to meet your contract demands. Hope this helps - Michael
  14. For (dji professional) pilots

    Yes but not yet integrated into their flagship Android platform the Crystal Sky and or the P4P+ display. So for users of these displays you are only able to use the GO 4 app.
  15. Local Drone Laws/Ordinances

    Here is a webpage that has a great amount of information pertaining to all drone laws beginning at the Federal level including individual federal agencies regulations and extending to the state level laws. https://jrupprechtlaw.com/drone-laws
  16. Best Tablet To Use with P4P

    Full review with brightness rating detailed measurements Asus 3s 10" https://www.notebookcheck.net/Asus-ZenPad-3s-10-Z500M-1H006A-Tablet-Review.189693.0.html
  17. Best Tablet To Use with P4P

    ASUS Zen Pad 3s 10" = 426 nits
  18. Best Tablet To Use with P4P

    P4Pro + is your best choice for visibility which is effectively a Crystal Sky display. That list shared above is a nice guideline but no conclusive. As stated in prior comments DJI Android factory support is currently limited to DJI Go 4. If your goal is to produce high quality pics & vids then your first criteria should be a bright display esp. when flying in bright daylight or totally rely on auto camera settings. If you cannot see the screen very well how will you know which camera settings to adjust. Or shoot raw full time and spend time in post process editing. But then you still have to be able to center your target to get the best framing. That puts the CS display at the head of the class, but not yet proven to be stable in high heat environment. Many failures reported so far and not even summer yet. One Android tablet that gets high marks for screen brightness is the Asus 3s 10" but it is still only rated at near 500 nits. However non DJI Android displays do support 3rd party aps = tradeoffs! BTW - I do love my CS Ultra! Just hope it does not burn up any time soon. I plan to buy the Asus tablet for my back up plan.
  19. Radio Tower Modelling

    More info with this reply from Av8Chuck posted in my PM inbox - Thanks for your time clarifying and adding the details of what you are providing this service for your clients. I agree that Talon is attempting to drive the data acquisition price point into the ground and make it not worthwhile to get involved. However time will tell as to just how many towers they get inspected and inserted into their database. The text below is from Av8Chuck: I understood your post and I see what Talon is claiming to do. We have done scans for both American Tower and Crown Castle, two of the largest cell tower companies in the US and they have paid us, depending on location about $1000 per tower. The reason for the discrepancy in the price between what Talon is claiming and what we're charging is because what they are offering doesn't work. This is not an IT problem its a problem of being able to meet the data requirements of the customer. If you can't then there's no value in the data. There are too many variables that don't get accounted for when using a P4 to provide the level of accuracy required. Don't get me wrong, if they want to try that business model I wish them well. But we don't go after that business because we don't even want to do it for $1000 per tower. By the time you add in all the insurance, cost of equipment, travel expenses, etc, even at a $1000 per tower the margins are really thin. Would you travel 25 miles to scan a tower for $100? Plus the overwhelming percentage of phantom owners would have no experience at doing this. There's no way Talon is going to get enough qualified operators with good enough equipment no matter what they claim on their website. Besides, American Tower and Crown Castle want LiDAR which costs about $60K for one that meets their requirements. There's quite a few companies trying to get the price down for Flash LiDAR but even then there's no way anyone could afford to provide scanning services for $100. Here's a video of one of the towers we did: http://iplayerhd.com/player/82da4bbd-3097-4c0a-ad99-a94680b70139
  20. Radio Tower Modelling

    @Av8Chuck Reread my post, no where is it stated that a $100 drone is provided or used. The $100 information is the total gross payrate to the pilot per each tower inspection. The only comments relative to equipment are 20M pixel camera, P4P, I1 and I2, we all know those machines cost more than $100 and no one sells a 20M pixel camera plus gimbal for a drone for $100. Sorry if I gave anyone the impression that Talon was providing, selling or using $100 drones as part of these jobs. Just search out Talon Aerolytics, near West Point, Ga and you will see that they focus on creating the 3D point cloud as a deliverable to their clients. That is where they make their big money. As such is their business model, they will drive the payscale to pilots for data acquisition flights into the ground. At $100/tower flight mission, the pilot would be doing good to net $60 as ALL insurance, logistics cost and or lodging/food are the responsibility of the pilot. So if you were able to get this work from their pilot provider subcontractor, you must have a multi-tower opportunity for towers which are close to each other and fly 5-6 per day. My intended pearl of wisdom is that if all the tower owner/operators are able to get 3D point clouds for all of their towers, then the need to fly towers will be greatly dimminished. Once you acquire that level of data on each tower, it only requires an update at a much reduced interval.
  21. Radio Tower Modelling

    Talon Aerolytics provides a service to it's major tower customers here in the US that includes creating 3D point cloud surveys to load into the owner's database. They host you for a 3 day training session ($185) so you can become adept at capturing the images they require. Once you meet their training certification you then are enlisted as a qualified pilot in their subcontractor's pilot network and available for callouts based on your location and travel radius preferences. One tower inspection with their program takes about 30-45 minutes for completion, 1.5 P4P batteries. Their only camera requirement is 20M pixel camera. When taking images for photogrametric purposes a global shutter is often better than a rolling shutter. POI images with a full 360 degree orbit of the top of the tower kept in the middle of the frame is one flight requirement. So if anyone is planning to use I2 then X4S is the better camera choice and something like Litchi will help with the POI orbit requirement. Oh the going rate for a single tower mission is $100. Many of their pilots are using P4P or I1 with several extra batteries or remote battery recharge capability. The bottom line is that once each of the towers has it's own digitized photogrammetric data set created, the need for UAS pilots to fly the towers is greatly reduced to post storm damage assessment, periodic maintenance interval inspection and or new installs of towers or new equipment added to a tower. So if you plan on making money flying towers get good quickly and hit it hard fast as the competition is ramping up and the need to fly them will diminish over time. That is my 2 cents worth of conventional wisdom, worth almost as much as what you paid for it.
  22. live high voltage power line inspection

    It is for a business oportunity that I am not at liberty to discuss in detail. Rest assured that it will be in response to a mission profile sanctioned and permitted by the operator with any and all training plus certifications specified by the operator. This is commercial part 107 business and will be conducted within all flight safety parameters possible. Here is what I can reveal, we are planning to fly either M600 or Wind 8 machines with RTK. There will be one visible camera included for visual acuity and FPV links so the pilot in charge will be able to fly the mission with the most accurate vision possible. We hope that the precision flying requirements will be capable with best of class aircraft and positioning technology with Crystal Sky displays and GPS mode is preferred. I am getting familiar with some of the energy emissions eminating from the powerlines and their realtime power profiles. At this point I am less concerned with interrupting the 2.4 and 5.8 freqs but more concerned with the GPS continuity. I am also aware of some actual flight testing of drones being performed but public disemmination of the results is costly. I am also aware of anecdotal evidence of both intentional and unintentional reports documented via YouTube. This is a very real business opportunity and a serious inquiry. Thanks in advance for any sharing of the community wisdom.
  23. Intrinsically Safe?

    Try looking into either sky-futures or cyberhawk as they both fly o&g inspections some offshore facility inspections and flares too He is looking for drone equipment which will not produce a source of ignition in an industrial environment.
  24. Interview with CEO of Cyberhawk

    Very well shielded and with onboard cpu capability. Intel + Movidius AI machine vision chips is the wave of the future and inside the $100 Telo. These components will make vast improvements in machine vision and have a dramatic improvement in close proximity positioning systems. Also listen to his broadcast with head of Intel drone technology Anil Nanduri
  25. Cell tower EMR surveys

    @josh_drone Any information yet?