Av8Chuck

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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. Large Print Photomerge

    Postcards? What are these postcards you speak of? There's a market for that?
  2. Drone School

    Are you charging for that class? If so, how much? What kind of drones are you planning on using? What types of drones is this targeted at? Im the skeptic on this forum... If this is targeted at consumers, keeping anyone's attention for more than five minutes is going to be tough. Sorry but Phantoms, MAVIC's, and Spark's fly themselves. Anyone who's played a video game will know how to operate it in less than five minutes. Also, crashing is part of learning. if it's a safety seminar for parents then I don't see why it would take more than an hour. The reason most people break the rules has little to do with flying the drone, the allure is that it has a camera and YouTube is full of idiots trolling for click bait. Unfortunately the more feedback they get on YouTube the more likely consumer drone operators are to take chances. sorry, Alan don't take this the wrong way, but studying for the 107 is boring, but you have to do it. Consumers don't have to take a class to buy a drone and go fly. I'm not sure what sylibus you could use to attract enough customers to be profitable? If it's a non profit then you might consider aligning you corriculum with a high school STEM program or local flying clubs. But if your business model is to attract responsible parents, well that topic probably belongs in a whole different forum.
  3. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    There's nothing wrong with being an optimist, there's also nothing wrong with questioning the validity of these policies. If all there is to getting clearance to fly in the squares of LAANC then why do we need all of this automation? Not like the airspace is changing? So what this has the potential to become is a drone specific chart. What's the big deal? Why do they need to send these publically available "drone" charts the third party vendors when all I have to do as a licensed operator is comply with the chart, the same way a pilot does? Why do I need to get "authorization" from the third party?
  4. You might want to check out Bentley Systems' ContextCapture.
  5. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    I think a bigger potential problem is where do they get their information and would I get the same approval across all platforms. We're on standby to fly the burn areas in Northern California, I logged in to check TFR's, what a clunky antiquated way of presenting data. Something that should be so simple, and I'm sure it is, but I don't have the patience to figure out the bad design of the FAA website. Another pet peeve of mine is that the companies on the FAA ARC committee's should not be allowed to profit from their involvement. These companies are creating policies to regulate out the competition while a lot of "drone" companies who are engineering real solutions to real problems have no say in this process.
  6. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    We're going to maiden our Hybrid drone tomorrow morning. The hope is that it will fly 22lbs AUW for 45-60 minutes.
  7. Ask enough times...

    Let's Move that part of the discussion here:
  8. LAANC Fast-Track Requested by FAA

    Where to start with this mess? As a107 operator, we all want the process of authorization to be as fast as possible. But in this case the FAA is asking to circumnavigate the NPRM process siting their concerns for safety and they are using the only midair with the Blackhawk as justification. The threat drones pose to the NAS is way overstated and the FAA are using this hyperbole to justify policy that isn't necessary. This is a bad precedent and it's one that the FAA uses all too often.
  9. Ask enough times...

    If you can zoom in to the required level of detail on the map, the FAA knows the location of all the airspace, then why does it take so long to get autherization?
  10. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    Not sure what all the benefits will be, one significant benifit is that you don't need to buy expensive batteries and you no longer have to wait to charge them. You just gas-n-go. The longer the drone flies the more efficient it becomes. Managing LiPos can be difficult and dangerous. The power output is more constant in extreme temps compared to batteries. Its generally easier to get fuel on location than it is to get batteries. Especially when the batteries are 10k+ Some of the downsides are: its loud and obnoxious it has an increased fire hazard Vibration can effect the flight controller and the payload Its a bit heavy, weights a little more than a 16k LiPo I can certainly see a place for this type of drone but it's not intended for flying in close proximity to people.
  11. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    They have diesel helicopters?
  12. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    What gimbals are you referring too? I don't know the price on the new FLIR Duo, but if it's an -R, the TOA640 costs more than $5K Do you really want to put that much money on a cheap gimbal? Like I said, you can trigger the camera regardless of the gimbal, the key there is the interface with the camera. Are you planning to offer professional services?
  13. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    Are you talking about this? http://www.flir.com/suas/duopro/ If so, check this out: https://gremsy.com/gremsy-t1/ When you talk about using it with the Pixhawk what do you want it to do? I'm using a GH4 on a Gremsy H3 gimbal and control all aspects of the gimbal by just adding an S-bus Rx. I can also control all aspects of the camera using the Intelli-G and have a cable running from our PX4/Ardupilot based flight controller [Pixhawk] to the camera to trigger the camera flying a survey. There really isn't a need to control the gimbal with the flight controller.
  14. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    Its water cooled and fuel injected. It is pretty cool. We had a great uneventful maiden flight. We have to change out some of the vibration dampers to see if we can isolate a bit of the vibration. Probably won't get it completely sorted before we have to ship it off to the Commercial UAV trade show but I'm sure we'll start endurance testing when we get back.
  15. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    There's a spark plug in there... Oh yeah, it vibrates. We have an isolation mount on the engine and the FC is in the small box on the top and is isolated as well. We designed this drone around the generator, its in its own "container" which is a structural component. We've flown the generator before, but not in this setup.
  16. SiteScan has little to do with any of the analytical software and as best I can tell it doesn't use telemetry information in the generation of the model any more than phone apps like DroneDeploy. We went head to head against 3DR and Autodesk in an evaluation for a large utility and they couldn't come close. Chris actually believes that the Sony QX-11 [or whatever they're calling it as part of SiteScan] is the most accurate camera available for surveys. Its a revamped cell phone camera and it was all that a SOLO could carry. Autodesk is certainly a gorilla, but they aren't the biggest and there's a lot more to this than BIM. Autodesk is just looking for a home for their investment in VR. Measurement is only a part of the issue, even then most people are not nearly accurate enough. But that's not what causes the cost overruns. What this industry is struggling with is the transition from analog to data and 2D to 3D. The volume of physical inspections to identify the required work is overwhelming the capacity to efficiently manage and conduct the necessary analysis. Traditional, ground-based stationary engineering tools cannot efficiently deliver the massive volume of high-resolution multi-dimensional data required to meet this growing demand. That's kind of the promise of BIM. But the real benefits come from the way in which primary contractors can manage and collaborate with designers, subcontractors, etc.. All of this leads to a more distributed workflow. That's what Chris would like everyone to believe. For data to have any real commercial value it has to meet a minimum level of accuracy. Data is a zero-sum game if you scan a ten-acre substation and it's off in part of the model but not others then how can you trust it. If you can't trust the data then there is no value. But if aerial scanning can meet the required spec then what it offers is an order magnitude greater efficiency. Once that happens you won't be able to manufacture the solutions fast enough. So the reason smart devices have not been integrated into construction workflows is that what value does the data they provide have? Seriously, who would put their career on the line using imagery from a cell phone to make decisions that could negatively affect problems worth tens of millions of dollars?
  17. Not sure my crystal ball is better than anyone else's. I'm noticing something a bit different. I've mentioned this in a couple of other threads, the military ban on DJI might be having an interesting effect on the commercial drone industry. We're certainly seeing a lot of interest in finding an alternative to DJI from several utilities, DoT's and telecommunication companies [cell towers]. I don't think any of them want to start their own drone departments even though many of them have their own manned aircraft divisions. Also, they seem to be getting much more sophisticated quickly to the type of data they need. Most customers are now insisting on at least a Sony A7RII [43+MP] camera. They are also beginning to insist on processing that data in-house. Granted most of our customers use Bentley Systems analytical software. But I think the trend that the ban may have started is that not only are our customers evaluating an alternative to DJI, they're evaluating every aspect of the value chain. Things that they might have excepted at face value of DJI's marketing is no longer the case. Chris Andersen is a master of spin, 3DR was the industry leader in the commercial drone market, then they hired a bunch of Ph.D.'s who totally misread the market and launched the SOLO head to head against DJI and got their ass handed to them. Now he's partnered with DJI and he's trying to tell the world he meant to do that. The irony is that about two weeks after they announced the deal with DJI the military bans DJI.
  18. Need DJI Replacement Advice

    We've been working hard to get to that show, but we're not ready so we won't have a booth there. We might have some drones in a couple of booths. We've partnered with one company to develop a Hybrid gas-electric drone that can fly for about 65 minutes and they're working on another model that will fly about 90 minutes. The smaller drone can fly about 22 pounds all up and the larger about 36 pounds so they can carry a payload of about six to ten pounds respectively. I will be there. Anyone else attending the show. Alan, are you buying breakfast again?
  19. Do We Need Competition?

    Most believe that competition in a market is a good thing. Is it? How you define competition has a lot to do with how you define the market. DJI is the $1.5B gorilla in the consumer drone market, I don’t know what overall percentage of market share that is but it must be pretty high. Are they the market leader in the commercial market? Depends on how you define it. The commercial market should not be defined by drone manufacturers, the FAA, or even forums such as this. It is defined by the problems customers need to be solved. By debating the requirements of different commercial applications forums such as this can play an important role in defining and shaping competition. However, if we want to be relevant then we have to be willing to challenge the prerogatives of large companies, the regulatory process, and even other forums. And to do that there needs to be a debate, lots of it. I’m sure that many of you participate in other drone-related forums and have friends on those forums whose opinions you respect, who are serious about making this their vocation and who you think would add value to this debate. Please reach out to them and invite them to start or join conversations here. Also, the Part107 license is only the beginning, let's start discussions about what some of the options or alternatives are to the status quo and create some competition of our own.
  20. Do We Need Competition?

    Again it depends on how we're defining the market. Clearly, DJI is the largest drone manufacturer but I would argue that they are not the market leader in the commercial market. Sure a large number of consumers who wanted to hang out a shingle as a professional use their products, but if your measuring market traction based on the "data" being sold and profitability there are better solutions. Microdrones: https://www.microdrones.com/en/ SenseFly: https://www.sensefly.com/home.html Ascending Technologies: http://www.asctec.de/en/ Kespry: http://www.asctec.de/en/ Leica: http://uas.leica-geosystems.us/uas.html Aeryon: https://www.aeryon.com/ DragonFly: http://www.draganfly.com/ R4Robtics: http://r4robotics.com/ Also, and most importantly, the US Military banned DJI. Two-thirds of the Civil Infrastructure in the US is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers which prohibits the use of any kind of DJI product. Another thing that effects DJI's ability to compete in the commercial market is that professionals want a platform that doesn't require firmware upgrades every month, they NEED to know that the drone will work tomorrow the same that it worked today. They don't want to show up on a location, regardless of where it is and have to "ask" the manufacturer for "permission" to fly before the drone will arm. And large enterprise companies want to know that ALL aspects of the data collected by a mission is secure. Even if the customer is not directly affected by the military ban in the US, large companies, especially those in infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Utilities, for example, are evaluating alternative products first which will affect DJI sales. Off-the-shelf drones are tightly vertically integrated making them more difficult to integrate into already existing engineering workflows. Sure, DJI has an SDK with an army of people developing some cool tools for the drone, it's not clear that a tool developed in an SDK for the Inspire2 will work with the Phantom or the M600, but even giving DJI the benefit of the doubt that they sort out those issues, that SDK doesn't extend to 3rd party payloads, secure communications or advances mission control. All drones that I know of with GPS have RTH, however, often times RTH is not the failsafe you want to use around dangerous or expensive objects like cell towers and power substation. All of our missions are autonomous so we have little or no use for object avoidance. The type of object avoidance on consumer or hobby grade drones does not provide the kind of stand-off capability required for the level of safety necessary for autonomous missions. The SDK for PX4/Ardupilot is DroneCode's-DroneKit. Never really understood why you'd need an SDK for OpenSource software? Q-Ground Control is the successor to Tower. QGC is far superior but its still quirky OpenSource. Intel, Qualcomm, and Insitu (Boeing), and many others are spending millions. You're a software developer and you know methodology is important. The solutions these companies are already demonstrating are orders of magnitude more capable than anything DJI has developed, in part because they are creating open and extensible development platforms that systems integrators, payload manufacturers, and high-end customers can innovate with. This is what they do, they did not start out as toy manufacturers. I'm not saying that DJI will not be a part of the commercial market, but I am saying they are not, nor will they be the market leader. In fact, I'll go a step further and say that the decisions they make regarding the US Military ban could have a profound effect on their consumer market. Less than 10% of their revenue comes from commercial applications, yet the commercial applications seem to be influencing 90% of their development and policies. Every company that loses focus on what got them there goes out of business. I guess it depends on how you define simpler and coming out with new products. DJI is selling the Zenmuse Z30 for $8995. Did they develop it? Take this: http://www.accessories-shops.com/sony-camera-series/sony-fcb-ev7520-new-full-hd-30x-colour-block-camera-module---high-sensitivity.html And mount it on this: https://store.gremsy.com/product/gremsy-t1/ and save yourself about $6000. Take this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1283257-REG/panasonic_dmc_gh5_mirrorless_micro_four.html And mount it on this: https://gremsy.com/gremsy-t3/ You can remove this from the drone and mount it on a jib, car mount handheld, remove the camera from the gimbal and use it any way you like provide far more utilization than an X7
  21. Sheffield UK building my own fixed wing UAV

    Welcome, Kristopher. Although I'm a moderator I don't speak for the forum or anyone else for that matter. I don't want any new member to feel they don't belong here. If your wanting to design and build a fixed wing for commercial applications and the advice you're looking for is related to the application of the fixed wing then this forum is a great resource for that. If you're looking for advice on how to build the fixed wing then there are probably better forums with more interaction from people focused on building aircraft. I'm sure there are people on this forum who are more than qualified to help, but it's been my experience when you get excited about building something the pace at which you can get the information you need can have a profound effect on your success. So I hope you become an active member here, I'm sure everyone would like to hear about your progress.
  22. Aerial in Kenya

    Shot in Kenya before there were Gimbals, GPS, Auto everything, when you had to fly it by hand...
  23. Hi from Western Australia

    Welcome. I'm from Geelong, living in California.
  24. DRONE BUSINESS FINANCIAL RISK

    Kind of depends on the services you have to offer. I'm old school [which just means I'm old] so IT-Solutions probably means something different to me than it does to you. Can you offer your solutions remotely? How would your services help professional drone operators get more business? Would your solutions enable any drone operators who use them to do something different than operators who don't? My email's always screwed up....
  25. Ask enough times...

    The problem with the approach so far is that it's built on a false set of assumptions, both AirMap and B4UFly were launched to solve a problem that didn't exist. They were white boarded by committees of people who knew little to nothing about the issues professional operators would face and they were responding to the hyperbole from two or three years ago that thankfully just didn't happen. There are not "millions" of drones in the air as predicted, until recently there had been no midair collisions and the recent midair resulted in little damage and certainly no serious injury or death. It's ridiculous to think that operators are going to check with B4UFly, AirMap, DJI, and FAA.gov before every flight especially when there's such a potential conflicting information.