R Martin

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Everything posted by R Martin

  1. Early in the program we agreed, in partnership with the local tower to contact them 15 minutes prior to flight and immediately on the termination of the flight. This is in addition to filing a NOTAM via the ENII system. Recently, there was a change in personnel at the tower and they decided we didn't need to call them any more because we were filing a NOTAM and they were comfortable with us operating in their airspace. Are you required to notify ATC? No. Is it the responsible thing to do? Yes. At a minimum get set up on the ENII site and file a NOTAM. You might want to open a dialog with your local airport and figure out what they are comfortable with as well. Most that I have dealt with have been receptive and easy to work with. A few have been less so. https://notams.aim.faa.gov/en2/ in case you don't have it.
  2. To further complicate the issue, if you require a COA within controlled airspace, the altitude stated on the UAS Facilities site is your "maximum" and there is no longer any leeway (at least that is how my COA is set up. So if you encounter a building that is 450 FT tall, you either can fly around it or not fly. The specific wording is as follows: "Operations under this certificate of authorization are limited to the maximum altitude listed below. This altitude is an absolute value and it shall not be added to the height of any structures. At of Below: Altitudes in accordance with the published UAS Facilities Map (UASFM)" Tell your 'friend' good luck and may his number of landings always equal his number of takeoffs.
  3. When did B&H tell you they quit offering the TB48?
  4. Telemetry is data collected that is transmitted and received for remotely monitoring, in this case, the aircraft. A transmitter and receiver are the electronic devices that transmit and receive the data.
  5. To get around that and solve other problems, I added a portable generator. Powers the GCS, the battery charger, the fans, lights if needed, ect... of course that is another 50# I have to cart around.....
  6. Personally I would go with the Toughbook. I was using an Apple device and it doesn't do well at all in the heat without and lot of babying. Another consideration is weight. I don't know how you operate but we have to pack stuff into remote and limited access sites occasionally and carrying a lot of equipment through the brush is a real pain. Finally, will it work with the aircraft you fly? Can you link it on the job site easily or is the process cumbersome. Last point: power consumption. I know everything has a battery that will work forever under adverse conditions....I've got a few of those too. The fact of the matter is heat and cold change all that and are you going to need a power source to run your stuff when the battery fails in 100°+ heat after two hours?
  7. OK, lets try pulling teeth. Mapping? Survey? Ag? Construction site monitoring? I am a GIS pro too and we mainly use it for construction and mapping. The other side of the house uses it to support research in various departments with sensors from visible to IR, Lidar, ect. So think of my question this way. What kind of map do you want, and reject any answer that is vague or cloudy. What specifically do you want out of it and that answer will drive how many thousands of dollars you are going to need to spend to get there.
  8. Depends on what you are going to use it for. You need to be a whole lot more specific if you expect an answer that fits your situation.
  9. I am 107 but with the dismemberment of 336 and the tightening up of recreational flight regs, it would serve you well too.
  10. I personally use a Toughbook to run my flight control software. It rugged, self-contained, sealed against the weather and fairly reasonable in price. Choosing a GCS based upon looks alone is really short-sighted. Without any specs for your above choices, no-one can offer an informed opinion that means anything.
  11. If the flight is indoors the airspace does not matter. But for a flight inside, the pilot needs the experience flying without all the normal safety nets in place. It's going to be a manual flight in every sense of the word.
  12. A year ago I would have said absolutely. At least open a dialogue with the airport manager and see if you can work something out to ensure that you are communicating and operating safely. Recent experience with untowered airports in Class G airspace have seriously tempered my thoughts. I always file a NOTAM to ensure the word gets out of where I am operating and when. I have a great relationship with the local Class D airport and staff. I recently had to operate outside my norm in Class G twice and in both instances, experienced sub-professional behaviour from the both of the airport managers. In the future, I think I am going to be filing my NOTAMs as before via Center and that is going to be the only notification they receive. So best advice; reach out and test the waters. It never hurts to try.
  13. I think it is possible to see the beginnings of service in the next year if the regs are changed to allow it. I still have a lot of reservations as to the practicality of the flights. I think this, in the near future, is going to be more of a marketing event rather than a practical application due to technical limitations of UAVs
  14. I don't think this is valid any longer. The dissolution of 336 changed the way recreational flight is handled. The Cliff notes can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
  15. That request should be made through https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/home Response times vary but my last took 5 business days.
  16. https://skyvector.com/ https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c2e4406710048e19806ebf6a06754ad I prefer going to the most accurate information available...the source. That is part of the reason preflight planning is so important.
  17. Yes, the test results are your proof that you are current. Nothing else is going to be sent to you.
  18. Look at the Firefly 6 Pro made by BirdsEyeView Aerobotics. The aircraft has a good selection of sensors that are hot-swappable as the mission changes. It is fully capable to perform RTK mapping with an RTK base station that is sold with the aircraft. There are infrared, FLIR, FLIR/RBG, and three mapping cameras configured to work without any modification. Our aircraft uses an RTK base station with a long-range video link and carries a Sony RX1R II 42MPixel camera. We've been having very good results gathering large datasets quickly (typically about a 20 mile linear flightpath in under 35 minutes (not to be confused with 20 miles from the pilot)).
  19. I use Trimble products though we rejected the UX11. I started with a DJI Inspire and moved up to a Firefly 6 Pro for large mapping operations. I do use Aeropoints though we do our own processing in-house. The Aeropoints are robust and reliable under a large range of conditions. Their accuracy is spot-on. We set a hotspot up in the office and the units automatically upload the data they collect as soon as they are in range of the hotspot. A few clicks on the desktop and I normally have numbers and a quality report within 60 minutes. We use Pix4D for imagery processing. I think the package was roughly about $8600.00 with a $600.00 yearly maintenance contract. Don't forget the cost of a workstation that will process the imagery in-house if you go that route...$4500.00 is reasonable for a fast machine. Trimble Business Center (TBC) will run you around $10,000.00 less modules plus a yearly maintenance contract for support and service. We are still using Pathfinder Office to process our GPS data with and have not made that jump. You'll need to determine which mapping software that company prefers; either CAD or GIS. Both will do the job. LiDaR is really accurate with the right unit. It's also expensive and requires a lot of processing and storage power to work with the data. That is probably not something that you can economically farm out (IMHO).
  20. First thing you need to decide is what will the computer do? Run GIS software or process imagery. Those are two completely different task that require different solutions. Next, increase the budget five-fold at a minimum. Depending upon the software you plan on processing the imagery on the GPU will need to be compliant on either OpenGL or OpenCL and the GPU alone will run about $400.00 bucks. You also need a CPU that is going to run the operation, because that is where most of the operation runs. A multi-core processor (8 to 16) cores with 16-32 threads (AMD Threadripper) will handle mid- to large processing jobs. You probably need to look into an SSD drive (1TB) and a 7200rpm internal (2TB) for larger jobs. Run the processing on a local drive. (we made the mistake of using a network drive and that proved to be a huge bottleneck on large datasets). Don't forget the RAM too. That factors heavily in the processing and will be a big limiter if you do not have enough allocated. As far as a GIS machine, you can pretty much buy off-the-shelf. A mid-range machine will be more than enough to handle a small business operation. You can always go to a dedicated server if you outgrow your system.
  21. The only people operating something in that weight class are those with a 333. 107 caps at 55 pounds.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.