R Martin

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About R Martin

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  1. R Martin

    Large drones

    The only people operating something in that weight class are those with a 333. 107 caps at 55 pounds.
  2. I think the most important part of starting a business is understanding your client; the task you are going to have to perform. Not just your current plans but 2-5 years out as well. I think you need to build in room for growth without requiring additional hardware purchases on a grand scale. So if you are planning on flying 20 acres next week but 2 miles of road in a year you might want something that could cover a lot more acreage than 20 acres. Next you need to look at your time. You can pretty much count on a minimum of 3X your flight time in paperwork and planning, so you want to maximize your time in the air and not spend it swapping batteries and sensors. If you have a one hour window to fly you need to be in the air at least 50 minutes of that time. Another way to look at it in a 3D view is altitude. The higher you are with more camera, the more ground you cover in the same amount of time airborne and resolution. Also, if you need to cover a 100 acres then you need the capability to cover 200 acres at a minimum to account for the uh oh factor. Things do go wrong even with the best planning. Don't be in a hurry to pull the trigger and buy a drone. Seriously do your homework on this and buy an aircraft that has the capabilities to fulfill the role you are trying to cover. You are a lot more likely to acquire additional funding if you can deliver what you say you can, and then, when the time comes to upgrade to a more capable unit, the board or directors are more inclined to give you the funding you need.
  3. What is the maximum total area you plan on covering. That will dictate what you should be looking at. What endurance are you going to need? Will a 20mp camera do or do you plan on operating at 400 ft AGL and need one with more resolution to hit a specific GSD? What is your budget? What sensors are you planning on hanging from the aircraft? Will you be performing hot-swaps of sensors in the field to fly multiple taskings for the same real estate? I started with an Inspire 1 with a 12mp camera. It does the job as long as you stick to 90-100 ft AGL on small acreage. It's not the most accurate but you can dial it in with excellent GCPs. It was a cheap solution to get us off the ground. I have recently switched to a VTOL airframe that will cover up to 600 acres a flight in under an hour with a 42mp camera from 400 ft AGL. The sensor packages are hot-swappable and it carries a good mix of RGB, EO, NDVI and NIR/FLIR packages. With a decent camera and base station it starts at about $19,000.00. https://www.birdseyeview.aero/ The Edge claims up to 120 minutes in the air though their sensor options are rather limited. For around $10,000.00....it might be an option. https://www.flightwave.aero/product/edge-uas-bundle/ If you are planning on flying a LiDaR package then the recommendation hands down would be a Pulse Aerospace Vapor 15 or better. My last quote for a PPK mapping solution came in at a little over $60,000.00. http://www.pulseaero.com/ You could also look at the Yuneec H520 as an alternative as well. https://www.yuneec.com/en_GB/camera-drones/h520/overview.html Their Typhoon H is also worth looking at.
  4. R Martin

    Bringing a drone to South Africa

    Why don't you email Laurence Seberini. He lives in south Africa and is a licensed pilot there....laurence@phantomfilmschool.com I apologize for plugging another school here but he knows the laws there.
  5. You can find these articles on the net yourself. There are a ton of them. You might start here before you drop a lot of money. https://www.pix4d.com/blog/rtk-ppk-drones-gcp-comparison https://www.identifiedtech.com/blog/drone-technology/gcps-ppk-rtk-best-receive-fast-accurate-data/ https://www.altavian.com/knowledge-base/use-ppk-drone-not-rtk/ If you are serious about establishing a program I would not limit myself to DJI aircraft. There are more capable aircraft on the market with a comparable price. While the low-cost DJI products are good for making maps, if you want truly accurate surveys you are going to need an aircraft that is capable of delivering that accuracy.
  6. Instead of making this more complicated than necessary, just ask for a wide-area authorization for KAPF's airspace. That has been the trend lately after LAANC went live. The FAA will require you to adhere to the altitude restrictions of the UAS Facilities map they have on the Cloud. You will not be able to fly in any of the zero altitude grids without additional authorization. You will not be able to exceed the posted grid altitude for any reason unless authorized to do so (ie. you will not be able to add the 400' bubble to a tower height). The grid altitude is the absolute limit without additional authorization.
  7. All of my authorizations include the blurb that I be available by cell during the entire flight evolution. I do have UHF and VHF radios I use for crew communication and monitoring the local CTAF though I do not transmit. I don't have an FCC license to do so.
  8. The FAA will send you a form that states the new date and the change authorization. If you don't have it in writing from the governing authority, you don't have it period. It's legal CYA. Example.pdf
  9. I'm good on all of my own through September of 19. My last conversation with someone at FAA left me with the impression that they planned to roll out the remainder of the program and incorporate FCTs into LAANC but they are still in early talks and I do not know how confident they are about the date. Until that date, I am good to fly and in August of 19 I will file for renewal of all my COAs as usual.
  10. If you have a current airspace authorization, thirty days before it is due to expire email 9-AJV-Part107authorizationextensions@faa.gov with the title Part 107 Authorization Extension Request [insert authorization number here ex. 2017-P107-CSA-xxxxx]. Attach a copy of the authorization to the email. In the body of the email state who the responsible party is (full name) State the airport identifier (ex. KDxx) State the length of the extension you are requesting. You should get a reply back quickly (for me it was less than a week). Do not let any authorization expire. Always renew your COAs unless you are absolutely going to retire them.
  11. R Martin

    HAM License for Air Traffic Control Radio?

    I have the same radio you are considering. I never transmit but it is a useful tool. Like Chuck said, common sense goes a long way when you are planning and operating.
  12. R Martin

    HAM License for Air Traffic Control Radio?

    AirBand Radios Airband radios are used for both navigation and communication. AirBand radios use VHF frequencies in the 108 MHz - 137 MHz range. No license is required for individuals. However, aircraft stations do require a license. See the FCC for more details. Use only airband radios for aviation. Aviation radios are not like other VHF radios. Airband radios have specific channel setups and functions used in aviation communications that land-based VHF radios do not have. Since aviation transmissions primarily occur in the air, communication range is much greater for airband radios than land-based VHF radios. So a 5 watt handheld airband radio used in-flight will have a much longer range than a similar 5 watt VHF land-based radio. Panel mounted airband radios, usually 8 watts, have an even greater range. From the air, most airband radios typically have a range of around 200 miles. Airband channels are divided into: COM channels Used for voice communication, US assigned frequencies between 118.000 MHz to 136.975 MHz. These frequencies are split into 200 narrow-band channels of 50kHZ each. NAV channels For navigational assistance, assigned frequencies from 108.000 MHz to 117.95 MHz. The common navigation system used in the US is 'VHF Omnidirectional Range' (VOR). VOR is a system of short-range radio beacons that help pilots determine their position and stay on course. VOR has become a global standard for air navigation, with approximately 3,000 VOR stations worldwide. NOAA Channels Today's airband radios typically have NOAA weather channels and provide NOAA weather alerts. Distress Channel Airband radios also have an emergency communication frequency (known as International Air Distress or IAD). It is assigned to 121.5 MHz. The short answer is that your question should be directed to the Federal Communication Commission. They are the regulatory body governing communication and are the most factual source of information regarding requirements.
  13. My main area is not served by LAANC. I'm still under an FCT in Class D airspace so I'm still filing the old school way. By the time LAANC is added to this airport, I'll be involved in the construction of a new campus in (woot) uncontrolled airspace and I won't have to worry about any stinkin' authorization.
  14. Why not just apply for the authorization and forget the waiver. The authorization is more likely to be approved and a whole lot sooner than a waiver would be. You get the same thing almost; an authorization allows you to operate in the airspace as long as you adhere to the existing regulations whereas a waiver grants you the ability to ignore a written regulation provided that you prove to the FAA you can do it in a safe manner to their satisfaction. I know locally that wide area authorizations are being approved without any problems. Waiver, are another story. For a wide area authorization you are going to have to follow the altitude restrictions on the UAS Facilities map for your airspace. If you want to deviate from those restrictions you are going to need a waiver. If, on the other hand, you just want to fly and the altitudes for each grid are not a problem then by all means, save yourself the grief and apply for airspace authorization.
  15. ...you might find, you fly when you need.