Drone Driver

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Everything posted by Drone Driver

  1. Also for anyone following this direction here is the latest Sky Viper drone which is powered by Ardupilot and would serve as an excellent "testbed" for your code modifications.
  2. @Spitfire76 I am keenly aware of the efforts to improve open source code flight controllers (hardware) and embedded code to control them (firmware). In fact I am a BIG fan of the H520 and 3DR collaboration in the government contractor construction marketplace. So here is a weblink that will hopefully interest any of you so inclined to follow that route to become involved with learning how to build/modify/link and download your own open source software build onto a simulator. I have no financial involvement nor benefits to this program but do believe that it will help anyone interested get started in understanding how to do so. https://www.udemy.com/drone-programming-primer-for-software-development/?couponCode=ARDUFORUM and here is the Ardupilot forum entry which discusses his course and mentions a couple of others that will help you get started. https://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/drone-programming-course/31415/45 Interested parties might also be aware that there seems to be a potential IMU issue in the version of FC that Yuneec is using in their H520 open source flight controller and the Ardupilot forum plus this Yuneec Pilots forum might be worthwhile to look into for additional information. Seems like several have fallen from the sky and that Yuneec is accepting the crashed aircraft in return for replacement with brand new ones so they can look into the hardware problem. Open source is the only way that our drone community will become independent from DJI unless they make all of their aircraft into a similar version of the Mavic Enterprise. But then we will still be beholding to DJI for everything oriented in flying their birds. It is a monopoly at this point with no end in sight!
  3. RW, You have obviously done your home work on this topic. I know of only 2 Part 137 drone operations at this point, and most recently (last week) it was awarded to a guy servicing the mosquito control application. The initial 137 certificate was a part of the FAA IPP program and was awarded to Lee County Florida mosquito control operations who will fly a fixed wing drone. But you are already a State certified applicator so the main certificate remaining is Part 137. This certificate includes an onsite inspection of your operation. Since these regulations are on the books for manned aircraft it depends on your relationship with the local FAA as to how interested they are to buckle down and assist you with granting your certificate for drone use by having to interpret the existing law and apply it to drone use. For instance the law stipulates the aircraft to carry a certain level of fire extinguisher. So getting a bureaucrat to think outside of the box might be an obstacle. My suggestion for you is to look at the several YouTube videos that demonstrate the use of the DJI Agras system. It has been on the market for over a year now. It does an adequate job but is very limited in terms of automated flight programming as it requires you to actually input the perimeter of your field and or delineation of obstacle areas to avoid. This is done by either bringing the actual remote control around your perimeter and clicking the input of a waypoint until you have the entire area input. Or if you choose the RTK option it will still require you to specify the individual waypoint but using a base station and rover instead of the remote control. There are a couple of other non DJI machines available so perform some internet searches too for drone crop dusters or similar. If you have a large DJI reseller near by that actually could provide service if needed then you would be far ahead. Once you focus on the machine you will begin to notice some limiting factors, the most apparent is flight time and cost of additional batteries. It is ideal for spot applications of herbicides versus large acreage needs. I have seen demo flights of the system and if you are in hilly locations, the latest version of the Agras will also provide terrain contour automation for altitude control. If you currently fly a DJI aircraft then you will not be impressed with the flight pattern input, but once you go through the field setup you will be able to save these flights for future missions. Some of the spray nozzle choices might be an issue but I think there is some commonality for adding industry standard alternates depending on your products used and or surfactant added etc. Again your current expertise will be helpful in addressing this issue.
  4. Be sure to read the comments section as there are many clarifications contained.
  5. All pilots that are considering using the H520 for mapping should watch this detailed analysis to determine if the rolling shutter implementation of the Yuneec E90 camera will provide you the accuracy that your customers require.
  6. Most current roof inspections by drone are performed as a result of extensive damage in a large area which has recently been hammered by severe weather. This provides those commercial drone pilots who are affiliated with insurance companies the opportunity to rack up as many in one day as possible. I have heard that these cluster inspections generally pay around $50 each and take about 1 P4P battery per inspection or somewhat less. Would love to hear from pilots who have actually worked these types of scenarios to confirm rates and perhaps share wit us how to become affiliated with these insurance companies.
  7. Here is what some of our elder pilots (me inclusive) might consider a GREAT product to have for summer flying, affordable safety rated sunglasses with reading lens inserts! https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=2+Pairs+Bifocal+Safety+Driving+Sunglasses+with+Reading+Corner+-+Rubber+Grip+Arms+(Diopter+%2B2.00) I thought that I died and went to heaven yesterday when I attended one of our local hardware stores and found similar items for around $10 on the rack. Well I immediately bought a pair as I was becoming used to placing a set of safety glasses on and in front of my prescription glasses. I bought a smoke colored pair off the rack to see if I would be able to read my display in sunlight and yes I could. We all know that some polarized sunglasses can make a display appear irridescent, but the first pair did not, so I bought thes off of Amazon to see if they also would allow for clear reading of my displays. I currently own a CS Ultra Bright, ASUS S3 10in, and an iPAD 6th gen 9.7 model 1954. My testing has begun and I will be sharing additional read ability opinions on these glasses and screen read ability going forward.
  8. @AvatarAir Interesting post, under what particular circumstance are you referring to? Increased control connectivity would seem to me to be a positive aspect of these devices. And these systems do not exceed FCC power emission regulations. The fact that these boosted antennas provide increased control & video signals at extended ranges beyond VLOS is no different than flying beyond VLOS with the factory RC. Please explain the context of your comment for clarification of what the "no no" situation is that you refer to. Thanks
  9. These guys use them..... http://www.huvrdata.com/#about
  10. That is a good question! And here is a video of the mission.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. This my only FAA license, so I was thinking that I would have to re-take the exact same test again.
  14. 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.
  15. Still shots are far safer to take with much less risk involved.
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. @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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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.