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Av8Chuck last won the day on October 13

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  1. That’s why I brought this up. Maximum all up weight for sUAV in the US is under 55 pounds so it can’t be used here commercially without a waiver. Not the end of the world but that could seriously effect sales.
  2. Welcome. Can you share a link to your YouTube Channel?
  3. Can you share pictures and specs? One thing to keep in mind, in the U.S. the all up weight limit is under 55 pounds. If your helicopter can fly for 6 hours without a payload, chances are the fuel is more than 55 pounds.
  4. Welcome. The first question I might ask myself would be is it a good idea starting any business in California? As a CA business owner I’d advise against it. Do you have a part 107? It’s illigal to fly over people and beyond line of site BVLOS. Although not impossible, this fact relagates drone delivery to remote places. Generally although remote areas might actually need or want aerial delivery the limitation on flight time and not being able to fly BVLOS. Aside from the regulatory restrictions and technical limitations the logistics for such an endeavor are so huge I don’t see how anyone could accomplish this and be profitable. When you consider Amazon, UPS or FedEx, they are already successful delivery companies who plan to use UAVs to extend an already profitable logistics chain. Even they have only been able to demonstrate this on a very limited scale in remote places. Also, more fundamentally do customers actually want their food or products delivered by a UAS? I know people will initially say yes, but once the novelty where’s off, what iproblem is this actually solving? Obviously, I have no idea who you are, what experience or technology you have or how much your willing to spend etc., so there’s no way for me to advise you. It’s an interesting topic but my opinion is that the discussions about such an idea have to become a bit more realistic. UAV delivery is probably at least a decade away before the technology and regulations make it possible.
  5. Although we’re not finished, this article closes the loop on what we started more than a year ago. This was written by someone in NAVSEA and is kind of an interesting take on our research. To: Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer From: Mark B. Thompson; T2/IP Coordinator; NSWC PHD – Office of Technology Re: Research on Digital Twins for Modernized In-Service Engineering, and Naval Maintenance Throughout history, the races that the world forever remembers are not necessarily those of a person or vehicle’s speed around a course, but rather those of an entity’s dominance of ingenuity. Think of the Arms Race prior to the outbreak of the First World War, or the Space Race launched under President Kennedy. What the victors of these events have in common is their swift and successful capitalization of emerging technologies on a maximum scale. They who can recognize, harness, and implement the value of such technologies for their cause will accelerate their progress, and ultimately be the victor. One cog in the technological wheel of today’s race is the application of unmanned aerial systems (UASs), and the utilization of their collected data for military uses. The division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center located at Port Hueneme, CA (NSWC PHD) has taken great stridesin the recognition, and effective capitalization, of UAS applications through their efforts with Aerial Alchemy,under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), signed in June of 2018. Aerial Alchemy is a UAS and data collection service company local to the Command, and familiarized with the needs of the Navy through participation in multiple Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) iterations. Their attention to detail in the back-end quality and security of the collected data especially caught the Navy’s attention. NSWC PHD and Aerial Alchemy are now refining their methods of UASdata collection through relevant and increased testing to align with the Command’s Strategic Objective of accelerating deployment of new capabilities to the fleet. In the terminology of the agreement itself, the purpose of the prescribed research is to “investigate the feasibility of utilizing unmanned aerial systems in the realm of naval and shipboard repair, maintenance and special use situations to ensure the readiness of naval and combat systems” (NCRADA-NSWC PHD-18-0004). As a naval facility dedicated to in-service engineering, NSWC PHD seeks effective and efficient methods to reduce maintenance costs and improve maintenance methods. Aerial Alchemy proposed they could producedigital twins of U.S. Navy vessels and assets, using combined aerial and ground (onboard) photogrammetry with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), in such exceptional detail that a 3-D model could be used to view an individual flake of rust. And through repeated ventures aboard the Naval Facilities Engineering Command’s (NAVFAC’s) research and testing vessel the M/V Independence, they have done just that. This form of digital engineering lends itself to Navy preventative maintenance needs by allowing engineers and maintenance personnel to compare scans of a ship and observe corrosion degradation to key combat (or other) systems in unprecedented clarity. Research under the CRADA has insofar shown the notable potential for reduced maintenance costs by producing a resultant data set that can be shared and viewed by multiple experts and inspectors remotely. These experts can potentially call for repairs on a particular system before it degrades to the point of failure without ever having stepped foot on that respective vessel. The procedure also reduces human error and negligence issues that can arise from the repetition and fatigue associated with many manual inspection routines. The accuracy and reliability of any identified and reportedquandary onboard can also be substantiated when accompanied by evidence from the 3-D model. This would stand to reduce miscommunications, and therefore long-term logistical costs for the Navy. Since the summer of 2018, research has largely moved past proving that a UAS survey can be successful, and shifted towards filling other holes in the Navy value chain. The innumerableprofessional applications of such time-based, geotagged,metadata-dense models are only beginning to materialize. Another use for data compiled in the form of a digital twin is in the realm of digital engineering, separate from corrosion monitoring. While blueprints perhaps show what a vessel should be, a scan of the ship its true status, and is thus a more actionable representation of the ship. Prior to entering into the CRADA, the NSWC PHD Office of Research and Technology Application (ORTA) Manager,Mr. Alan Jaeger, personally observed the conduct and results of Aerial Alchemy’s scans of power substationsacross California. It was observed that their team’s process succeeded in beginning to modernize the engineering methods of public utility infrastructure, and it was recognized that the U.S. Navy stands to benefit from a comparable modernization. Digital Engineering was announced as an official Department of Defense (DoD) initiative in June of 2018, the same month this CRADA took effect. The DoD’s subsidiary Office for Research and Engineering recognizes the need to “stay ahead of demands” to “address long-standing challenges associated with complexity, uncertainty, and rapid change in deploying and using U.S. defense systems.” This ongoing work between NSWC PHD and Aerial Alchemy additionally serves to fulfil all five points of the DoD’s Digital Engineering Strategy, most notably, to “formalize the development, integration, and use of models to inform enterprise and program decision making” (Digital Engineering Strategy, 2018). Perhaps the big race of our day is, in fact, the contest of gaining a mastery of the utilization of unmanned systems and their invaluable data. The advantage this gives NSWC PHD, the U.S. Navy, and Department of Defense as a whole has yet to be seen in its entirety, yet the research demonstrated under the CRADA betweenAerial Alchemy and the laboratory of Port Hueneme Division continues to offer a leg-up to the United States by manifesting the beginnings of an effective long-term maintenance system. The unparalleled accuracy of corrosion tracking and digital twin engineering capabilitiesgenerated during this research stand to reducemaintenance costs and be among the most innovative new capabilities to the fleet. In conclusion, consider this quote from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defenseand its relevance to this undertaking: “By providing a more agile and responsive development environment, digital engineering supports engineering excellence and provides a foundation to fight and win the wars of the future.” References: Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering. “Digital Engineering Goals and Focus Areas.” Digital Engineering Strategy, June 2018, https://www.acq.osd.mil/se/initiatives/init_de.html. “Services.” Aerial Alchemy, https://aerialalchemy.com/services/. United States, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Navy Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. NCRADA-NSWC PHD-18-0004, 2018
  6. Sure as long as you don’t turn it into the DoD. What you say about connectors is mostly true, however, is that a problem? We’ve engineered out most of the Chinese and hobby grade components but we have not gone to the canon style plugs the military uses. Too expensive and too heavy, but the plugs we are using seem more than adequate. I say that squeamishly... You bring up another great point about standardization. Every drone manufactured in the US is different, however I’d also point out that so is every Chinese drone. Because of DJI’s market share they are the de facto standard in the consumer market but even there you can’t use a P3 battery in a P4 - very few of their accessories are interchangeable between product lines and that’s within the same company. Standardization is the key to scaling this industry just try to raise money to manufacture hardware in the US!
  7. It seems that UAV Coach continually gives away free passes to most of the commercial UAV type trade shows to people who make a compelling argument on why they deserve to win them. Yet I hardly ever see any followup describing the show, attendance, buzz, etc.. I have seen hardly any feedback from the recent Interdrone or DJI's Airworks and what I have seen make it appear that attendance was pretty sparse and there wasn't much buzz about anything new or innovative. Trade shows can be a great place to see if the hype developers are putting out at trade shows matches user experiences throughout the year. Anyone attend any of these show and are you willing to share your experiences with those of us who couldn't attend?
  8. One other aspect you should consider is availability. I’m assuming you’ve already considered the DJI product line. The only two I think might meet your requirements are the M200 and M600. Your requirements could easily be met with a more powerful quad or small Y6 (hex). But DJI doesn’t offer anything like that. The M200 may not be powerful enough and the M600 is overkill for a 3 pound payload. So it comes down to your threshold for pain dealing with anything that isn’t DJI, UAVs based on Ardupilot/PX4 for example. There are plenty of options available the challenge is that there mostly all “one-offs” This can work depending on your experience. There really aren’t many “off the shelf” alternatives to DJI. I believe https://freeflysystems.com/ is coming out with a quad. Although there focus is on aerial photography they are growing in the industrial inspection market. You might want to consider partnering or contracting with a company that can provide you with a purpose built solution for your application.
  9. Welcome. We all agree UAVs will be here for some time to come. If your mostly interested in commercial (making money) aspect then there a lot of great people on this forum willing to share their experience with you. Most have come to the realization that if you want to make money in the air with a UAV, then you’d better be able to make money on the ground first. If you want to do aerial photography then you should already be making money in photography. The UAV jus enables you to get the camera in the air. Good luck with your venture.
  10. Took a cruise to Alaska. Not a lot of aerial, but lots of planes and ships...
  11. Hi Henry, welcome. thats a great idea, unfortunately it’s difficult to discuss LiDAR as a hobby. Not to say that it can’t be done but it’s expensive. The range of LiDAR that is most often used for engineering is about $100K. There are relatively less expensive models that would enable you to see through the vegetation and are much less acurate but they’re still around $50K. That doesn’t include the UAV. We took a look at some less expensive Flash LiDARs a while back, interesting but nowhere near enough resolution for our application. You might want to research those a bit. As you might imagine any UAV that can lift 15 pounds safely is going to be relatively expensive, $25K and up. I’m guessing that this is not music to your ears. There have been a couple of documentaries about archeologists using LiDAR that are discovering things that have gone unnoticed. Maybe the value of the documentary and the artifacts they found offset the cost enough to make it worth doing. Real Raiders of the Lost Arc kind of stuff..
  12. There are plenty of applications where a 12MP camera is more than adequate, it all depends on how the commercial application is defined. If we confine the discussion to what the Skydio2 is actually capable rather than “Enterprise this and Industrial that” then a better comparison can be made with the MavicPro. If someone is actually using a MavicPro for any kind of Enterprise or industrial inspections then they can add their experiences. I think people might be surprised how little that gets discussed. Im curious how you’d use the tracking technology for producing a property video. Can you create a path for it to follow, give it a POI to focus on and it will nevigate any obstacles in the same way it does following a person? I’m guessing that the algorithm needs the the POI to be moving. Also, I think the point that @Dave Pitman made about the TOS is interesting and will probably impede any potential partnerships with other vendors. If it works and didn’t have licensing issues, I think the adoption of third party tech on a DJI alternative could happen very quickly.