Drone flying at an airport?!?!?

Two weeks ago I was involved in International Drone Day which was hosted at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (KJGG).  KJGG is a small uncontrolled private airport situated just northwest of my house in Poquoson.  I flew the Inspire for a demonstration (we even had FAA approval for simultaneous GA / drone ops – how cool is that?) and took a few photos of the airport.

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Case Analysis Effectiveness

For this final blog assignment for ASCI 638, we’re to assess the effectiveness of the Case Analysis Tool used in this and other Embry Riddle Aeronautical University courses:

As you last blog post for ASCI 638, discuss the effectiveness of the Case Analysis tool in this course. Focus specifically on the utility of Case Analysis as a tool for decision making and how it has (or does not have) utility in your current line of work, future anticipated career, or past experiences (identify at least two examples). Provide any recommendations for how the process or project (e.g., requirements, format, group interaction, topical focus, etc.) could be improved to better support building and expanding student experience for the eventual or further development of their careers.

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First attempt at an orthophoto

I’ve been working on all the cool things you can do with the Inspire 1, Drone Deploy, and Agisoft Photoscan.  For those unaware, an orthophoto is a series of aerial images that are stitched together and georeferenced in post production with special software that uses either ground control points (GCP) or the geotags on the photos themselves.  While you can use an RTK GPS to get extremely accurate photo positions without GCPs, RTK GPS equipped drones are crazy expensive.

So anyway, the below photo is a low resolution stitch of 72 photos that I took of my AMA flying field.


Processing this bad boy took about all my little MacBook could handle, mainly because photoscan seems to be geared toward making 3D models before getting to where it can make the ortho.  I’m sure there’s a way to bypass all the computational heavy lifting and go straight to orthophoto, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

The Future of UAS

For the final blog post of UNSY 637, we’re to wax philosophic about an article on the future of UAS in the next 5-10 years, plus the article has to have a regulatory component so we can share some thoughts on that too.  Lucky for me articles fitting this description are published just about daily, especially with the 2016 FAA Authorization Act bouncing in and out of committee like me trying to land my Vortex racer in Acro mode while only wearing FPV goggles (meaning boing boing boing splat).

So at any rate…

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Using a DJI Phantom 3 for Farming

Online news site cincinnati.com recently posted an article and video about farmer Stuart Ferguson’s use of a UAS as part of his daily chores.  The 60-year old uses a DJI Phantom 3 multirotor for a variety of farming tasks like checking on his livestock, ensuring the feeders are adequately stocked with hay, and generally surveying his 300 acre property.  One thing that stood out about this article and accompanying media clip was that it was a very positive “drone story” — a pleasant change from most of the yellow journalism associated with small UAS that has dominated the media since 2014.

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