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Hi Folks -- I passed the FAA test way back in Feb. 2017 but my workplace has just started getting around to finding the funding for a Phantom 4.  So, I have yet to do any flying.  I work for the regional planning agency on the island of Martha's Vineyard and one thing we'd like to do with the Phantom is observe traffic and pedestrian circulation patterns at key locations around the island.  So, how do I do this per 107 regulations?  Is it just a matter of finding the sweet spot to hover the drone over no cars or people and then angle the camera to record the intersection I'm interested in?

Thanks for any insights you may have.

-Chris

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14 minutes ago, clseidel said:

Hi Folks -- I passed the FAA test way back in Feb. 2017 but my workplace has just started getting around to finding the funding for a Phantom 4.  So, I have yet to do any flying.  I work for the regional planning agency on the island of Martha's Vineyard and one thing we'd like to do with the Phantom is observe traffic and pedestrian circulation patterns at key locations around the island.  So, how do I do this per 107 regulations?  Is it just a matter of finding the sweet spot to hover the drone over no cars or people and then angle the camera to record the intersection I'm interested in?

Thanks for any insights you may have.

-Chris

I would imagine that you would want to record the traffic patterns for a complete day in which case that's a lot battery changes with a P4. Sounds like you would be better of with a "tethered drone" where power and video is transmitted via a cable. 

Edited by Spitfire76

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4 hours ago, clseidel said:

Thanks for the advice.  Any specific recommendations for a tethered drone?

I don't have any first hand experience with tethered drones so can't really make any recommendations. They do seem to be a logical choice if you simply want to have the drone hover in the same locations for a long period of time. This article from SUASnews might help.

https://www.suasnews.com/2017/01/powerline-tethered-drone-1-ru-gcu/

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Aside from the possibility of using a tethered drone...  To NOT fly over people or vehicles, is there a horizontal distance specified anywhere within Part 107 as to how far the sUAS needs to be from people &/or vehicles?

Thank you.

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Not really.  

We did a project where we flew a tethered drone at an international airport and we used the tether as the constraint.  We were restricted to flying lower than the hanger next to us, approximately 50’, and we couldn’t fly closer than 50’ to the taxiway so we placed the base of the tether 100’ from the closest taxiway. 

There are quite a few camera systems designed for doing this sort of thing that are usually attached to overpasses, poles etc..  If you work for a municipality the bar for mitigating risk is going to end up being pretty high which is why the instruments are mounted the way they are.  Putting them in the air is a whole other level of risk and tethering is probably a good start at mitigating the risk.  

Do you  have any idea how high you will need to fly?  

This is a video edited to music with the outtakes from the project we produced.  This was intended to give to the crew to show their friends what they did with their weekend.  There’s no narrative, it’s not commercial and it was too long,  but you can see how we used the tether just getting up, down and over shots.  

 

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