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Posts posted by Av8Chuck

  1. It might be pretty difficult depending on what your hoping to accomplish with this program.  I’m certainly open to exploring the opportunity.  I’ve been designing and manufacturing UAVs since 2010.  

    I founded a UAV service company in 2014. Here’s our website: https://aerialalchemy.com

    we Have used drones for just about everything... 

    if there’s anything there your interested in PM you contact info and we can Zoom.




  2. On 5/5/2021 at 3:17 AM, Ariel said:

    I want to make a platform based on a piloted or autonomous drone designed with hardware ports (for communication, power and external attachments) and a user-friendly communication API (using I2C, SPI, etc... for Arduino, python, C, ...) to be expanded with custom functionality very easily.

    On 5/5/2021 at 3:17 AM, Ariel said:

    Do you guys know if something like this already exists?


    Yes this already exists.

    Nothing new here.  We, and others have been doing this since about 2010.  Once you get outside the Chinese toy drone bubble you'll see that just about all commercial drones have this capability.  

    If you scroll about 2/3 down the FreeFly AltaX page you'll see a diagram of the expansion ports:


    I've attached a few slides from one of our presentations which addresses much of what you talk about. 



    On 5/5/2021 at 3:17 AM, Ariel said:

    In addition, do you consider this may be of interest?

    Yes.  Competition is always good and the UAV market has been dominated by DJI for too long.  Industrial inspection requires UAVs that are open and extensible and easily reconfigurable, Chinese off-the-shelf drones are the opposite and too tightly vertically integrated.  I've been in these discussions before, all of the DJI fanboys will point out that DJI has 70% market share, they must be the best.  No they're the most prevalent.  What makes the best drone  is one you can reconfigure to meet your requirements.  If you want to do just about anything with a DJI besides YouTube and Real Estate videos then you have to change your requirements to the limitations of the drone.  Which I think is where your headed with your post.

    So on one hand you could be discouraged to find that there are quite a few UAV developers who have been doing what you suggest for more than ten years.  On the other hand you should be excited that there are a group of companies that understand the real need for a more flexible platform that can accomodate sensors and technology that haven't even been invented yet.  

    On 5/5/2021 at 3:17 AM, Ariel said:

    As an example, imagine you want to develop an AI algorithm that detects if oranges are ready for harvest using a new camera sensor that does not exist in any commercially available drone.

    Depends on how you define "Commercially available drone?"   In 2016 we flew an HSI sensor over a vineyard and could tell you the the sugar content of every grape.  We also Flew the same sensor over a cranberry bog to detect an invasive weed.  Sensing what we were looking for worked great, the challenge was being able to map that information back to the crop with the necessary precision.  We got really close but when it comes to making data actionable close is only good enough for handgrenades...

  3. Some bureaucrat in an office tells you can’t fly a drone!?   And you believe them?  

    is the airspace restricted?  Class B or C?  The only government agency that can regulate airspace is the FAA period.  If the pinhead in the “main” office wants to restrict drones they have to go through the FAAs Public NPRM process.  If they did, the change in airspace would show up in sectionals, KnowB4You fly, AirMap etc. 

    Don’t you find it odd that the only people who seem to think you can’t fly in parks are state “officials?”  If the restrictions were legal they would be posted everywhere and not in some vague sign. 

    Its’s against the law for officials to promulgate rules that are arbitrary and capricious.   The FAA doesn’t have the authority to tell people where they can water ski.  No State employee has the authority to tell you where you can fly a drone.  

  4. This is totally possible on Multirotors just not DJI drones. DJI is tightly vertically integrated, this is intentional, kind of like inkjet printers.  The manufacturer locks you into their ecosystem and makes money on all the accessories.

    Manufacturers started making less expensive purpose built radios because at the time Futaba’s cost more than the drone.  

    If you want to use your RC transmitters then purchase any drone with a PX4/ArduPilot based flight controller. 

  5. 5 hours ago, Rand said:

    Any good illegal advice?

    You probably want legal advice.  Who issued the citations?  What number is the citation and does it state that you were “flying” over private property?  Airspace is national and the only government agency authorized to regulate it is the FAA.  

    I have no idea how much the fine will be for trespassing, maybe it’s not worth fighting this but I’d recommend you find an aviation attorney and have a discussion with them.  Are you a member of AOPA?  

  6. Ok, last one for a while.  Since I'm pretty sure no one will watch or comment on any of the recent videos I posted I'll add this to the collection.  The two places everyone should visit on this planet are New Zealand and Sweden.  Everywhere you look in New Zealand it's a Kodak moment, it's a beautiful country.   Sweden is a country full of beautiful people and everywhere you look it's a Kodak moment.   If your too young to know what a Kodak moment is you might not want to watch this video...


  7. I'm so tired of social distancing, lockdowns and the almost total lack of personal interaction with friends and colleagues.  As I mentioned in an earlier thread this boredom has led to me cleaning up drive space and viewing some older videos.  These four videos are past trade shows, each have some significant relevance to where we are today.

    This first video is from NAB 2015 where 3DR announced the SOLO.  Although NAB is a broadcast show this was "the Year of the Drone" so you'll see a lot of the early players and influencers in the drone industry.  

    While NAB 2015 was where 3DR chose to announce the SOLO, one year later the 2016 NAB was one of the last shows that the SOLO and 3DR made an appearance.  Oddly this is also where Autel made a lot of big announcements.  DJI announced the M600 

    The 2017 XPONENTIAL in Dallas Texas was a fun show (I'm so over shows in Vegas).  Keep in mind that I'm one guy with a camera and I do these videos to share with people who don't have the opportunity to make it to the show. I also show a lot of what happens outside the show to provide a sense of the overall experience.   Something different about this show is that some of the drones have bombs!  You can also see the evolution of our logo...

    The 2017 Commercial UAV show was a small, mostly inconsequential trade show.  It took about 30 minutes to cruise through the floor so I had to figure out how to make this video interesting so I included more "behind the scened" setup etc..  I was also only there for a day so I stole some of the footage from NAB 2016.  The reel fun for me doing this video was editing the music and playing the guitar...


  8. In 2016 we participated in flight training some young college students.  I forgot how much fun this was.

    This video is about the class at VCOE that lead to the flight training.

    I'm sure I've shared these before but I forgot how fun they are, I hope you enjoy them too.

  9. It's Friday and I'm deleting a bunch of older videos to make room for new videos.  

    Here's an oldie but a goody.  Starting in 2016 we spent two seasons measuring humpback whale calves with drones.  At the time I was not allowed to share the footage of the whales so I put together this "travel log" of our time on Maui. 


  10. Sometimes I hear a song and just decide I want to edit something to it,  Classical Gas is a song that brings back a lot of great memories. I also don't like to produce videos that are just aerial, in fact I try and choose aerial that you can't always tell its aerial.  There's a surprising amount of aerial in this video but if all your looking for is aerial you'' be disappointed.

    After this past year I just wanted scenes that appeared franetic, full of life..


  11. Welcome to the forum.  I'd be interested in seeing some of the footage and images from the EVOII.  Which version do you have?  I'm leaning towards the 6K version.  

    I have a an Autel XStar Premium.  Great little drone but you can't get new batteries for them anymore and used ones are about $300 and no way to tell how many cycles are let...  So basically it's a paperweight!  

  12. I think your conflating a couple of issues:

    1. do you need a Part107 if you have a Part61 commercial?   Yes, you do.
    2. do you need a Part107 to unlock your drone?  The need to “unlock” the drone is a DJI requirement, not an FAA requirement. 

    It’s DJI’s lame implementation of geofencing and their NFZ policy.  Fortunately, or unfortunately depending how you look at it, it doesn’t work very well.  I can arm my MavicPro2 and Inspire2 at my hanger.  There are other places where the damn thing thinks it’s in restricted airspace, and it isn’t, so it won’t Arm.   

    Many of the decisions pilots make are based on common sense; the same is true for drones.  If your a quarter mile from the approach to 16R at Van Nays then get a LAANC clearance but if your a quarter of a mile away on the downwind of Santa Paula which has about five planes a day, use common sense and be safe.  

  13. On 4/5/2021 at 5:18 PM, CookiesNCream23 said:

    I've done a bit of research and have looked at the FPV drones, DIY drones, and 'ordinary' drones. I'd prefer to buy an ordinary drone and modify it for our purposes, but I'm open to making my own drone.

    What level of class is this for?  A couple of things to keep in mind. All Chinese manufactured drones are very tightly vertically integrated. You can’t use a P3 battery in a P4, an M200 battery in a M300 etc.. and DJI published a list several months ago sunsetting all products except the Mavic and M300. The Mavic can’t lift much, the FPV camera would not be very resolute for machine vision.  There are a lot of used Inspires but getting new batteries can be difficult and used ones are going for $275 each, you need two per flight and I doubt you could get 50 cycles out of them so you’d be spending more than $10 per flight just for batteries. You can’t take M300 batteries on planes.  This is just batteries, you probably don’t want to hear about firmware update and all of the incompatibility on the same drone.  

    Most of the DIY drones are open source - PX4/ArduPilot. I’d recommend checking out ArduPilot, great user community. PX4 is becoming too commercialized and political.   There’s a bit more of a leaning curve with open source, in part because it’s much better and it gives you a lot more control of your destiny.  

  14. Hi Zacc, who IS the Navy?  Who speaks for the Navy?  Part of what started this wild goose chase was a FOIA which received the logs from those on duty that night.  Its not that "The" Navy doesn't want to disclose the information, they probably don't think there's anything to disclose.  

    A lot of Media organizations want to create notoriety for themselves by generating this kind of clickbait.  I don't have the answer but I sure don't think they were the Chinese spying on us.  They don't need to use drones and if they did where did they launch and recover them from?   How many drones could fly ten miles and then loiter for 90 minutes two years ago? 

    The Drive is really grasping at straws trying to put together some FIOAS to spin this yarn, just like they did with the story about how Rogue Drones Paralyzed Gatwick Airport for More than 20 hours.  Funny think about that, no drones were ever found.  Do you think The Drive made money on that story?  Besides the cover photo isn't even good Photoshop.   

    Do you think any of this is good for the image of commercial drones?  What do you think the Drive is hoping to accomplish?  Maybe create some false interest in this so they can make money?  Do you think we should help them spread this sort of hyperbole?

    This is a video from one of the missions we did for Coast Trident 2018, check out the destroyer as we leave the harbor.  Hmmm.  I'd show you the video from 2019 but I'm afraid the jig would be up...



    • Like 1
  15. 11 minutes ago, Muddychief said:

    1. Stop violating the law
    2. Change the law
    3. Obtain a Land Surveyors' License.

    What law? 

    Where does some standard committee get off telling people that if you shoot aerial with a drone, using a GPS and then stitch together a mosaic of the images that qualifies as a survey?  They have no right to tell anyone any such thing.  They can tell them they aren't authorized to sell the resulting product as a survey but that's it.  

    Also, I don't see it the same way you do.  I don't think the lawsuit is about complaining about what's unfair, its pointing out the overreach of the Board of Supervisors to protect once class of worker versus another.    

    1 hour ago, Muddychief said:

    Where was the outrage when the FAA told you that you have to be licensed to fly it, why isn't that also limiting competition? 

    Where were you?  That outrage that apparently you weren't aware of is what led to Rule107.  Prior to that you had to have a 333 exemption and were required to have a pilot's license and the FAA was pushing the requirement of having a commercial pilot's license.    

    This isn't the first or the last of this type of lawsuit. All of the lawsuits regarding this issue have ended the same way, the board of supervisors and standards committees have lost.  You might want to be careful where you drop that mic.    

  16. For people who enjoy this type of “espionage” have fun with it but don’t confuse anything CNN reports with reality. 

    Every year the federal government exercises the EAP for first responders and for all of the agencies responsible for protecting our deep water ports.  This exercise includes things like smuggling in nuclear material, biohazards, drugs, human trafficking as well as accidents in the harbor that might block shipping or present a hazard to nearby communities.  These are extremely well run experiments that can last up to three months.  Sometimes commercial, naval and coastguard vessels become part of the experiment without any prior notice.  That’s what testing the EAP is all about, determining how well they handle the unknown.  

    Unfortunately as part of the media CNN is informed about these exercises in order to help prevent the public from panicking.  Many of these exercises are conducted within eyesight of the public. Instead of reporting about any of this in a way that benefits the public they choose to report this type of clickbait for the sake of ratings. 

    I’m sure it’s profitable and more fun to misrepresent the situation. After all it could be Chinese drones that could fly in from about 20 miles and hover around for 90 minutes at night around some naval ships, or even better they were aliens.  

    • Like 1
  17. 4 hours ago, Bob Dumon said:

    While this is not as bad as that racist law in Georgia, 

    Seriously!?  Have you ever heard the expression “you never have a second chance to make a good first impression?”  

    3 hours ago, snowshoesurveyor said:

    If the drone operator is providing a ground surface file which elevation contours can be derived from, the operator should be a licensed drone pilot (FAA Part 107) and a licensed surveyor in most states. 

    The trouble is the surveying standards committee is conflating the use of a tool, in this case a drone with the chain of evidence required to certify the accuracy of a survey.  The act of collecting the aerial data and post processing it through an application like Pix4D does not constitute a survey.  That process can be certified but it requires a licensed surveyor to provide the chain of evidence for the ground control points.   

    There are other uses for aerial data other than surveying.  The Game of Thrones used a lot of photogrammetry for scene construction.