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About Me

Found 6 results

  1. Hi Guys, I'm looking to get a camera to use on my matrice 600 to use for inspections and photogrammetry, and would appreciate some recommendations on what global shutter cameras are suitable and economical. Cheers, J
  2. Is This Legal? This thread is intended to develop and discuss key points on whats needed to provide data to surveyors and engineers. The Nuts and Bolts of the question "Land surveyor license needed?" I've been involved in the thread "Licensed Surveyor License Needed" and my personal intro thread that discussed integrating drones into my day to day duties as a Survey Tech. I use an Inspire 1 Pro with an X3 camera with an Ipad Pro and have employed it on over 60 projects from 1 acre plots to a 21 mile by 2000' corridor project over the past year with great success. On my intro thread, I stated that if anyone had any questions regarding drones and surveying, to drop me a line or call me and I'd share any and all info I've accumulated over the past several years of experience as a drone pilot in the survey industry. That still stands and I am eager to help where I can. It turns out that a lot of you are interested in generating survey/engineering deliverable/products and have questions about all aspects of the process. Lately, I've received questions from several guys asking the same questions and I want to take the time to clear the air and give some input on the most common and most important questions I've fielded over the past year. Its also worth noting that everyone thats contacted me regarding this topic was not a licensed surveyor or a licensed photogrammetrist. Just regular guys trying to figure this out. Also worth noting, I am not a lawyer and my thoughts and opinions stated hereon are intended to be for reference only and is not intended to be legal advice. I'm wading through the same struggles that you are, I'm just a few years ahead of most and have a lot of insider experience. I tell the guys that call me, "if you want to live on the bleeding edge of technology, your going to bleed". I am no exception to that saying and hope this thread can be your proverbial band-aid to some of your issues. In order to accomplish this task (producing products for surveyors and engineers) and maintain clients and grow your business, you must have a great understanding of state law, FAA Regulations and Authorizations, UAS Piloting, Weather Conditions, AutoCad, Photogrammetric Methods, and the most fun, Geodesy and Map Projections. Sure you can buy a Phantom, take some pictures, upload them to a cloud based processing firm, and deliver that, but I'm here to tell you that you're going to fall short and your data will be unreliable and not reproducible, which is a deal breaker for surveyors. Cloud based processing firms can serve as a useful tool for some products, but the products that pays the bills will come from in-house processing. Personally, I use a fire breathing processing machine and Pix4d to produce 100% of my deliverable. I'm just going to jump right in with the most important question you need to ask yourself. Q: Is it legal to produce data for surveyors and engineers? A: This is a loaded question that does not have one answer. It depends on which state you intend on working. You need to research your states statutes and determine if there is a Photogrammetry license in your state. I live in Idaho and there is no such license. But, there is a Photogrammetry license in Oregon. This means that in Oregon, if you're caught producing "photogrammetric data that is intended to be used for measurements" (orthos, ortho-planes, contours, volumes, etc.), you can get sued for providing a professional service without being licensed. If you get sued, your drone insurance is not going to cover it. You need professional liability insurance, which is not available unless you are licensed by the state. So, first look up your state laws on photogrammetry and if you find nothing, look up the laws for surveying. In Idaho, the word "photo" is only mentioned a few times in the state code for surveying. A couple times for photo ID and once for photogrammetry. The one mention of photogrammetry basically says that surveyors can employing a variety of methods to generate measurements, one of which being photogrammetry. That's it. This means that there are no state laws that prohibits or restricts what Billy Bob's Drone Services can provide, or to whom he can provide them to. Oregon on the other hand is very different. This varies greatly from state to state, so do your due diligence. In the more strict states, the key phrasing that you need to be looking for is "responsible charge". The best way of explaining this is to run a scenario. The field guys that work for a PLS are "under the responsible charge" of the PLS because they are employees of the PLS. If you're providing a service or product that measurements are intended to be generated from as an independent contractor, your business, by nature, is not directly overseen by the responsible charge of a PLS, unless you have one on staff. In which case, you'd be providing a stamped product. But 99% of you are not licensed nor have a PLS on staff. That's why we're talking about this. If you find yourself trying to conduct business in a state where photogrammetry is blanketed by the survey license or a photogrammetry license, you've found yourself between a legal rock and a hard place. I am in a unique positions as I work for a PLS and am eligible to become licensed, as of last April. But for the vast majority of you, you are not a PLS and have no intent on becoming such. You might be saying, "well if I'm generating survey grade data, I'm going to be working very closely with the surveyor and he's going to be deeply involved in what I'm doing". That doesn't cut it in terms of the law. Its my understanding that by virtue of the fact that you are conducting business as an independent contractor, you are not under the responsible charge of the clients PLS. The only way I can see this working is if you become a temporary employee of the PLS. In essence, the PLS would be hiring you as a specialist field crew member that has all the authorizations and FAA requirements dealt with and has his own equipment to collect data for a specific project. Once the product has been developed, the terms of your employment would end. So... First things first. Is it legal to do what you want to do in your state? This is the most important question you can ask yourself before you develop a business plan for your drone business. I look forward to continuing this thread with anyone thats interested in voicing their opinions and questions. Its my goal for this thread to cover specific questions as it pertains to this profession. As more questions arise, I intend on heading each question topic with a big, bold header like I've done on this on. (Is This Legal) As always, I'm available and willing to talk to any and all regarding drones and surveying. Feel free to drop me a line. And above all, Safe Flying! Best regards, Dan Inloes
  3. Hi all, Daniel Lench here from Gessner Engineering. Having flown RC helicopters and FPV drones in my personally life, and bringing the idea of using drones to add to our company's offerings, I've been the ground crew, trainer and data processor since we started our fleet in May 2015. We now have 2 eBee and 1 DJI Phantom 4 and while all of our survey crew has been certified to fly commercially for a while, I was simply unable to attend the training at the time. We are so busy now that I must be able to be the PIC on independent missions so here I am. The site was a recommendation of Sally French aka Drone Girl and I'm happy to see an active community behind it. At Gessner Engineering I am the CAD and BIM manager along with handling the processing of our collected drone data. I manage all of our AutoCAD templates, standards and training and specialize in extreme site grading using AutoCAD Civil3D. For BIM, using Navisworks, I am able to bring models from different disciplines to detect clashes in design and offer suggestions to remedy them. You can find me at the Gessner Engineering Main office in College Station. We have satellite offices in San Antonio, Fort Worth with two material testing labs located in College Station and Brenham. Our services include Civil Engineering (that's where I'll be ;), Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Surveying and Construction Materials Testing in our AASHTO Certified labs. Best to all and hit me up if you're in the area or have a project we can work together on a project. Dan
  4. cbecker301

    Tarot 680 Build

    Hello everyone! I am undergoing a new build using the Tarot 680 Pro frame as my base....however I ordered the Tarot Iron Man 680 kit instead of the 680 Pro kit. Does anyone know if I can just swap the center boards/integrated PCB board from the 680 Pro kit with the stock Iron Man 680 kit? That way I don't have to buy a second kit. Secondly, has anyone had experience using a Canon S110 or S120? I'm planning on using this as my imaging sensor. Finally, does anyone know where to find inexpensive gimbals or gimbal kits that will support the size of an S110/120 or any other digital camera for that matter? I greatly appreciate the help in advance!! -Cody
  5. Hello, My name is Robert. I am a recently retired geologist from the energy industry and have just ordered a new drone - Phantom 4 Pro. I had a Phantom 2 for several years and really enjoyed flying and making cool videos. I love mapping and recently attended a workshop where I found out about numerous possibilities for using a drone commercially. I have decided to try and get my FAA certificate and then I intend to practice and improve my drone flying skills while watching for opportunities to make some money in this endeavor. I hope to learn and improve my chances from this web site and forum.
  6. Hi Everybody, My name is Scott Lashmit, and i am a drone pilot! I live in MA and have begun my own business called Remotely Possible LLC. (@DronePossible & We are presently in the vacuum of waiting for the 333 exemption from the FAA, but should be on track for April-June for acceptance! We do photo and video for events, and venues, as well as photogrammetry for 3d models and volumetrics. We are also actively looking into multiple spectrum analysis to partner with research universities and colleges, for in depth environmental analysis. In addition to my drone work i am a full time High school science teacher, who is passionate about STEAM education and advancing our public education system into the 21st century. We offer professional development to schools, teachers, and universities, as well as develop standard aligned curricula. We have developed a course for high schools to teach engaged students in a hands on way how to safely, legally, and professionally (in a professional manner) fly drones and develop novel uses for them in industry. We already have one school that will be running the course next year, and are looking to reach more schools. That is a "short" intro to who we are, thanks to Alan and all of the wonderful people at UAVcoach for putting together a wonderful and vibrant community of like minded droners!