It has been a few weeks of lock-down now and we hope that all our readers are doing well during these uncertain times. If you haven’t seen our post with links to assist small businesses, resources for laid-off workers and key ways we all can save and use our downtime, check it out here.
Our team has been busy re-focusing our training time on creating content for our clients and keeping conversations going on the importance of training as we prepare for the shutdown(s) to open up.
Next week (May 21), we’re offering a WEBINAR on Urban Turbulence and Micro-Climates – there’s still time to register!
The new Mach 4 (TM) from AEE is now shipping. This heavy-hauler sUAS is positioned for commercial use. Its durable construction and ease of use is geared for the Professional Drone Pilot looking to do inspections and use within public safety applications. Check out AEE’s two newly released videos showcasing inspections and within public safety uses.
We’ve had an opportunity to share our first thoughts on the Autel EVO II overall and our Youtube video showcasing the unboxing of the EVO II PRO. We have even shared first impressions on the new Autel EVO II Mission Planner software.
In the mean time, be sure to check out the video from Autel showcasing the commercial use cases for this new unmanned system. Soon there will be oodles more information on commercial applications with this Unmanned Aircraft, designed with Commercial and Enterprise users in mind.
Autel Evo™ II Dual is ideal for:
Autel Evo™ II Pro is ideal for:
Autel Evo™ II is ideal for:
Recent Blogs of Interest
These higher resolutions are applicable to “computer vision,” benefiting mapping, 3D modeling, and other similar applications. Generally speaking, more pixels equals greater smoothness and geometry. As technology moves deeper into Artificial Intelligence, higher resolutions with more efficient codecs become yet even more important. Imagine an UAS equipped with an 8K camera inspecting a communications tower.
From our Partners:
These awards honoring outstanding achievements, by women, in the drone industry. If you know of a woman run business, or cutting edge trail-blazer within the UAS industry, be sure to submit your nomination for the 2020 Women And Drones Global Awards. This year there are INDIVIDUAL categories as well as TEAM categories.
The individual award is designed to acknowledge and inspire women who are driving change and shaping the drone industry. Categories include:
- Public Safety
In creating this recognition, we aim to raise the profile of women doing amazing work in UAS, UAM and UTM technology arenas.
The two team awards acknowledge organizations that in their pursuit of excellence embrace diversity and have a culture of inclusiveness where women are engaged in key or leadership roles within their team.
If you missed the announcement from our friends at InterDrone, InterDrone 2020 will now be held in Dallas, Texas December 15 – 17, 2020. Our team will be there offering our Night UAV Flight Workshop – be sure to register early and save!
Thanks for reading – be sure to sign up for our eNewsletter and/or subscribe to our Youtube channel to keep in touch with all the Sundance Media Group activities. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well!
Douglas Spotted Eagle and Brady Reisch headed into the field to collect aerial construction data over fourteen weeks with three different drones. Their goal was to determine which drone was best for the construction job site.
They used three popular aircraft for the comparisons and the results were pretty surprising. Read all about it in their published article with Commercial UAV NEWS.
## PRESS RELEASE ##
Mike Kahn email@example.com
RELEASE DATE: 10.24.2019
HIGH-INTENSITY SPOTLIGHT FOR AEE MACH™ 4 sUAS
Transformative lighting for unmanned aircraft now available
Dateline: [Las Vegas NV 10.25.2019] — Powered by FoxFury, AEE announces a 4-degree spotlight created for the AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft, providing users with a lighting system similar to helicopter-mounted spotlighting systems.
“This new lighting system powered by FoxFury is far beyond anything currently available in the unmanned industry,” said
Mike Kahn, CMO-AEE. “We are excited at the power, battery life, and the unmatched intensity of this new focused spotlight system.”
The 5000 lumen, 790 gram light is built from 6061-T6 aluminum with an IPX7 rating, and offers three intensities and a strobe function. The AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft is capable of approximately 30 minute flight with the spotlight powered by the airframe power supply due to high power efficiency.
“Our intent is to re-create the experience of a helicopter-mounted spotlight while taking into consideration the payload and power capability of an sUAS system” said Mario Cugini of FoxFury. “AEE is the first sUAS system to deploy this platform-agnostic spotlight product designed for virtually any midsized sUAS.”
The AEE Mach™ 4 sUAS system is manufactured for Public Safety, EMS, and inspection purposes, priced at $6499 with a standard 4K camera and $7499.00 with a 10X optical zoom camera. The Spotlight system is $799.00. The AEE Mach™ 4 is a point-to-point secure system with a military-grade ground station control, offering long flight time and/or heavy payload capability with retractable landing gear and
Douglas Spotted Eagle (Sundance Media Group) Director of Education says “Currently there is no product from any manufacturer which offers the intensity, battery life, and viability of in-air scene lighting for public safety, night inspection, or security purposes. We have had opportunity to beta-test this system and are exceptionally impressed with the Mach™ 4 platform carrying the FoxFury Spotlight. The focus, distance/intensity, ultra-efficient battery consumption, and heat dissipation goes well beyond anything we’ve seen in the unmanned industry.”
The AEE platform and FoxFury lighting system may be seen in action at CommUAV Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 29/30, and during the Night Flight programming from Sundance Media Group in the same week.
AEE Aviation Technology Ltd., has been a leader in developing and manufacturing professional, advanced and reliable recording equipment since 1999. This includes UAV drone systems, action cameras such as the MagicCam and police recording equipment. A pioneer in combining wireless audio and video transmission as well as image and processing and intelligent control technologies, AEE products are proudly distributed worldwide in more than 55 countries and regions across major retail chain outlets. AEE Aviation Technology, Ltd., is based in Shenzhen, China with offices in Munich, Germany and Walnut, California, USA.
Since 2003, FoxFury leads the world in cutting edge LED lighting solutions for enterprise use. The FoxFury Xtremium™ products focus on durability and speed, providing unique solutions and possibilities for first responders, unmanned pilots, enterprise professionals, and videographers in over 65 countries, distributed through the world’s largest distribution centers. FoxFury is a proud US company, with offices in Oceanside, CA.
Every year, Sundance Media Group sits with it’s employees and takes a moment to debrief the past year. What’s worked, what challenges we’ve faced, and what we’d like to see implemented in the days/months/years to come. Given the amazing team we have, it should be no surprise that the team wanted to find even more ways available to them to share our expertise with the public. Thus was born the idea of an SMG Podcast.
First we had to decide on a venue for hosting Podcasts. As a team, we agreed that to take our extra office space and set it up as our Podcast studio; ready to roll at a drop of a hat.
After a hectic first two quarters of tradeshows, travelling, and training, the Las Vegas team came together for our introduction Podcast, but we officially launched this new channel on May 21st and we haven’t looked back.
So why do YOU care? Well, we’re a different type of Podcast, we’re affectionately calling them “Podbites” or “Pod-snacks”as we aim to keep our content short, sweet, and to the point. We know just how busy you are in the field and our goal is to share bits of information with our audience in segments of 5-10 minutes and for subjects that may take more time, we’ll break it into multiple sections so that it is easier to digest.
Drop by our Youtube channel and subscribe to keep current with us, or find our playlist and simple let it run through the episodes available. We have a lot of great content on Youtube available including product reviews, tips and tricks, and our LIVE From playlist where you might have a snippet from us in the field, in the office, or at a tradeshow showcasing something new from the industry. Be sure to check them all out and welcome to more insights from the SMG team.
Of course, we expect to hear from you too! Drop us a note and let us know if you have any topics that you would like us to zero in on for future Podcasts.
Organizations looking to hire a Drone Services Provider/contractor (DSP) or training provider are faced with so many choices (and questions), it’s understandable when confusion clouds the process. To help with details that will smooth some of the edges in the interview process, here are a few tips for hiring a Drone Service or Training provider.
1) Request their Remote Pilot Certificate. Many refer to this as a “license,” but it is a certificate issued by the FAA to persons that have passed their written Part 107 testing examination. DSPs and training personnel should both be able to produce this carded document on demand. We have discovered several “trainers” instructing without holding this certification, which could potentially create legal issues for the hiring agency, and there are many DSP’s who do not hold this certificate.
Be aware that having this certificate offers no evidence whatsoever that the certificate holder has any skill, and does not demonstrate their hours of flight time nor flight experience.
It is important to note that hiring a non-certificated pilot carries large fines for the hiring agency/individual. Do not hire a non-certificated sUAS operator.
2) Ask to see a certificate (proof) of insurance. Some DSP and instructors hold full-time insurance, while less professional operations purchase insurance per flight. They should hold at minimum, a million dollar liability policy. Ensure their insurance is written by a known company. There are a few inexpensive, fly-by-night insurance companies available to DSP’s. A professional, business-focused DSP should be able to immediately provide proof of insurance or Certificate of Insurance. Things can go wrong with any project; ensure your company, property, and business are protected by the DSP’s insurance policy. This is often one of the most overlooked aspect of an operation, and if the pilot does not have insurance, the person or organization hiring the pilot is at risk. Many/most DSP and training organizations will have hull insurance to replace their aircraft in the event of an incident, while many “wing it” without liability coverage. It’s not uncommon for large companies or event management to require a certificate of insurance that specifically names them as a beneficiary of the insurance in the event of a claim. Without liability insurance, we recommend the training or service provider not be hired, or if hired, an understanding that risk exists.
3) Peruse their website. Are the images seen on their website relevant to the job to be flown? More importantly, is the DSP the source of the images? It’s common for low-experience DSP to liberally “borrow” from other websites, presenting images as intimated evidence of their work. The difficulty is knowing whether they captured the images themselves (or not). One quick method of determining a photo’s origins is to right click the image and choose “Search Google for this Image.” Click the image to see how many results come up in a search.
In this particular example (as presented on several sites intimating the DSP is active in Public Safety), the image was not captured by a sUAS, but rather a hillside shot from a well-known AP photographer (image courtesy Associated Press).
Following Hurricane Irma for example, disaster images popped up across the web, with unqualified DSP’s intimating they captured the images and have the FEMA qualifications for disaster or insurance-related work when in practice, they do not.
It’s much easier to hire someone for real estate imaging than for a construction site capture that will be stitched into an orthogrammatic image, just as it’s more difficult to find a DSP that has knowledge of flare stack inspections vs finding someone to document a community marathon or event. Ensure the DSP has knowledge surrounding specific needs to guarantee everyone’s happiness at the end of the flight. This is also a safety issue. Having a photo on a website should not be an indicator of activity nor proficiency.
4) View a reel of their work. This isn’t necessary when selecting a training organization, but is critical if the work being hired involves images, video, or data analysis output. Try to determine if they are the organization that captured the video or if the video has been “borrowed” from other websites similar to the example above.
Are they proficient in shooting quality video or photos? Are they able to properly use tools such as Pix4D, AgiSoft, DroneDeploy for final output and data evaluation?
If using an aggregator, ask if the DSP has skills specific to the area where they’ll be working. Many drone pilots are very capable of shooting nice photos, but have little to no training/skill for specific tasks such as real estate or inspection images.
5) Does the DSP hold any active operational waivers? This is critical if flight beyond sunset or prior to sunrise is required, and needed for flight over people, altitudes beyond 400’, flight in clouds, and other regulated activity. Without these, certain classifications of flight may not be accessible to the DSP nor the client.
If images like this one are seen on the website, it’s clear that the pilot does not observe FAA regulation, placing both the client and the pilot at risk for regulatory response by the FAA.
(image courtesy of ABC)
5) Who owns the original images/video? Spell this out in a Work for Hire contract if the client wants to own the source material. Most DSP’s will charge an additional fee if they do not retain rights to the original work. Determine how the work data will be kept secure in any event. Copyright nearly always belongs to the photographer/person who captured the images unless a signed Work for Hire agreement is part of the discussion.
6) If seeking a training provider, ask about their curriculum, training materials, and area of training. When it comes to flight, online-training is effectively useless, and practical flight programs require clear objectives with pre-test and post-training flight evaluations. One of the most valuable experiences a pilot or pilot’s organization can have is to be evaluated by a qualified third party. Look for providers that embrace the Part 141 training pathway.
Look for any specialized certifications such as ISO audits, AUVSI’s TOP program certification, FAA certifications, or certifications from an other aviation-related training organization. Generally speaking, there is a significant difference between an instructor who teaches sUAS with risk-mitigation, and a super-hot, great sUAS pilot.
Ask about documentation that the pilot candidate will be taking with them post-instruction.
Identify what sort of post-training re-certification or recurrent training is recommended or required. Having a certificate from a reputable flight school will generally aid in applying for operational waivers and in some cases, may inspire an insurance provider to offer a discount based on training documents.
Hiring a DSP or training services provider/contractor in the world of Aviation isn’t quite as straightforward as it might seem. It’s not terribly different than the facade buildings of the 19th century; something looks great on the surface, but in actuality, the backside is found wanting.
UAS are regulated by federal law, and any organization wants to take steps to ensure their services and education fall within all parameters of regulations. Following the above steps should help any organization avoid pitfalls related to safety and quality work.
PRESS RELEASE: Global Security Exchange X-Learning Stages to Address Intersection of Security and Technology
FOR RELEASE: September 18, 2018
AERIAL VEHICLE OPERATIONS CENTER/AVOC to be on display at GSX, demonstrating present and future technologies for sUAS in Security Operations
Alexandria, VA – September 15, 2018 Security is an ever-evolving landscape and sUAS (Drones) are an undeniable, significant component of future security operations. sUAS are disrupting virtually every corner of the security, law enforcement, and event management industries.
Sundance Media Group (SMG) and their AVOC will be center stage at the Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference being held Sept 23-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In the first year of its rebrand following a 63-year history as the ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, GSX is expected to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors for the industry’s flagship event. ASIS International is the world’s largest association for security management professionals.
“The AVOC is a game-changer in event security and security operations demonstration,” said Jennifer Pidgen, COO of SMG, “The technology and ability have already demonstrated their value in a post 10/1 environment. “ Coupling aerial robotics with automated perimeter security, 360 video, and a low-profile, controlled environment makes for a cost-effective, low profile presence for outdoor venue security and perimeter monitoring. Attendees of the GSX conference will have opportunity to walk through the AVOC, see the latest technology in simulated use, speak with sUAS experts in the security and law enforcement sectors, and gain a deeper understanding of how sUAS are currently being implemented, and how security organizations may implement sUAS in the future near and far.
Douglas Spotted Eagle, Director of Educational Programming said, “we are thrilled to be a part of the GSX experience, demonstrating security and forensic applications of sUAS for both day and night functions, controlled through our AVOC, as well as outside the AVOC for smaller events. The computer horsepower, display systems, and aircraft combine for a near invisible presence in the skies as overwatch and perimeter security, and we believe attendees of the GSX event will be surprised and enthusiastic about the opportunity to know more about drones in this changing environment.”
At GSX, the exhibit hall will be transformed into a learning lab environment featuring thousands of security products, technologies and service solutions, as well as immersive learning opportunities designed to connect the current threat landscape, as well as emerging risks, with leading solutions available in the marketplace. New features available on this year’s show floor include:
X Stage—features leading-edge technologies and their impacts across the industry, examining innovations like blockchain and cryptocurrencies, AI, drones and robotics, social media and the digital self;
Xcelerated Exchange Stage—provides a forum for the critical discussions that need to take place between practitioners and solution providers to proactively address the current and future security landscape; and
Xperience Stage—showcases case studies and other tried-and-true best practices that address security challenges facing practitioners across all industry sectors, including active shooter scenarios, bullying in the healthcare industry, and the risks associated with hosting a public event at cultural institutions.
Career HQ, with new career fair and enhanced career center:
Job seekers will have access to resume reviews, a headshot studio, career coaching, professional development sessions and networking opportunities with employers and peers—all free. The new career fair will have top companies looking to hire talent, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Apple.
D3 Xperience (Drones, Droids, Defense):
Supported by Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), D3 will deliver an immersive learning experience focused on the impact of Unmanned Systems on the security industry. Education and demos will showcase the emerging technology around the use of drones, droids and counter-UAV defense systems.
Innovative Product Awards (IPAs) Showcase:
The 2018 Innovative Product Awards highlights the new products and services on the GSX show floor that are poised to disrupt the security marketplace. The submission deadline is August 3.
In addition to these features, the exhibit floor will house an International Trade Center and the ASIS Hub, which includes access to ASIS Council representatives, live streaming interviews, and fireside chats.
“We have completely re-engineered GSX to provide more opportunities for security practitioners, solution providers, students, military and first responders. From Career HQ and the International Trade Center to our three unique theaters of education and live demos, attendees and exhibitors will find tremendous value in our immersive, engaging, and informative expo hall,” said Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, 2018 president, ASIS International. “There is no other event that compares to what GSX is offering this year, and we’re just getting started. We will continue to evolve and grow GSX in the years ahead as a part of our new brand promise to unite the full spectrum of security professionals to create the only global “must attend” security event.”
GSX brings together attendees, speakers, exhibitors and press from more than 100 countries. To learn more and to register, visit www.GSX.org/register. Members of the press are eligible to receive a free all-access pass, including keynote presentations, education sessions, and the show floor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your media credentials to register.
About Global Security Exchange
Entering its 64th year, Global Security Exchange (formerly the ASIS International Annual Seminar & Exhibits) is the world’s most comprehensive event for security professionals worldwide, dedicated to addressing fast-paced changes across the industry with a focus on immersive learning, revitalized networking, and a reimagined exhibit floor.
Attendance at GSX directly supports scholarship programs and the development of education, certification, and standards and guidelines year-round. ASIS International remains dedicated to expanding and enriching knowledge sharing, best practices, and peer-to-peer connections so security professionals across disciplines—and at all stages of their career—can get access to the information and resources they need to succeed. For information, visit www.GSX.org.
About Sundance Media Group
Founded in 1996, Sundance Media Group/SMG began as a training organization focused on cameras, codecs, and post-production technology. In 2004, the company began training in aviation technology, adding sUAS in 2011. In 2012, SMG produced the world’s first UAS training conference at the National Association of Broadcasters Post Production World Conference and is an ISO-compliant organization.
With experts in Public Safety, Construction, Vertical Inspection, Real Estate, and Cinematography, SMG instructors may be found speaking at technical, aviation, and UAS conferences around the globe. For more information on SMG, please visit www.sundancemediagroup.com
Our partners within the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada Highway Patrol have issued a Press Release for the guided tour of the Sundance Media Group A.V.O.C. (Aerial Vehicle Operations Center) this coming Thursday – August 30th. JOIN US for a guided walk-through at 1:30pm.
Read their full Press Release here: AVOC guided tour at NHP Socom
Mobile command post first of its kind in the South West
Las Vegas, NV, February 6, 2018: Sundance Media Group (SMG) announces the Aerial Vehicle Operations Center (AVOC) for unmanned aerial operations. “We’re very excited about the AVOC, as it not only brings our operations to a more broad level, but also allows us to expand our operational ability,” says James Spear, pilot/instructor at SMG. “The cooled, large interior operating space with multiple computer stations and operational components designed for night flight allow us to support Search and Rescue missions, overwatch, and other support activities in addition to our more common UAV activities in construction site data, real estate image capture, and training operations.”
The mobile operations center is self-contained with shore, generator, or battery power ability. In addition to supporting up to four UAS operators at one time, the AVOC is capable of delivering data in real-time to any organization requiring live video, photo, thermal image or data transfer.
“Combined with our Class B and Class B night operations waivers, SMG is able to satisfy virtually any client requirement, says Jennifer Pidgen, COO of SMG. “Our waivers, the AVOC, our many pilots that are certificated Airman, Instructor/Examiners, Advanced, Ground Instructors added to our 22 years of technology-focused training leave no doubt that we are the premiere training and post-production offering in the Southwest.”
The AVOC is the core of the field-training component of the SMG instructor/examiner program which trains UAS pilots to also be instructors, generating in-house training programs for corporations and organizations intending to field a fleet of UAS.
“Our training organization is quite different from the majority of training programs in the US,” explains Douglas Spotted Eagle, Director of Educational Programming at SMG, “Rather than simply being pilots that decided to teach, we have implemented aviation standards and training requirements that at the core, are about educational excellence first, risk mitigation-training second, and UAS operations third. Anyone can fly a drone. Yet few 107 pilots have aviation backgrounds and culture, in addition to understanding ISO risk mitigation practices. We offer that background, and that’s why we have so many State, Local, and Federal clients pass through our doors.”
For Release August 21, 2018
Sundance Media Group Contact: Jennifer Pidgen Ph: 801.231.4911 Email: email@example.com