Pix4D Public Safety Workshop – Idaho Falls

Description

Kickstart your public safety workflow by learning about Pix4D’s recommended best practices when capturing and processing aerial and terrestrial images. This is a technical workshop organized in partnership with Pix4D for public safety professionals using drones to document vehicular collisions. The workshop will introduce you to creating accurate reconstructions and improving final results.

By registering for this workshop you are eligible to receive a 50% discount on the Pix4D Certification Exam.

Each day will start at 8:30am and finish by 5:00pm.

Level

Audience: Law enforcement or public safety professionals who are beginning to leverage drones and digital imaging for mapping and 3D modeling work.

Content: We will cover topics of basic to intermediate level and explain how to get the best results using the available processing options in Pix4Dmapper.

Workshop Content

Day 1 – Fundamental Concepts and General Processing Workflow w/GCPs

Lecture

  • The Theory and Science of Photogrammetry
  • Aerial Mapping RGB Image Acquisition: Best Practices
  • Georeferencing, Project Accuracy, and Ground Control: Best Practices
    • Acceptable – Image Geotags
    • Good- Scale Constraints
    • Better- Total Station, Local Coordinate systems
    • Best – Differential GPS/GNSS
  • Hardware specification recommendations
  • Project/scene accuracy verification

Lab Exercises

  • Creating a New Project in Pix4Dmapper Pro
  • Step 1: Initial Processing, Image Geotags only
    • Creating a Processing Area
    • Project measurement check
    • Reoptimizing the Project
    • Step 2: Point Cloud and Mesh
    • Working in the rayCloud
    • Classifying the Point Cloud
    • Using the Point Cloud Editor
    • Volume Calculations
    • Generating a 3D Mesh
  • Step 3: DSM, and Orthomosaic
    • Working in the Mosaic Editor
    • Generating an Orthomosaic, DSM and DTM
    • Contours and Outputs

Day 2 – Advanced Processing Techniques & Quality Report Review

Lecture

  • Review of Exercise 1 workflow/process
  • Review of a project quality report
  • Review of Pix4D processing options
  • Image acquisition of vertical structures: Best Practices
  • Terrestrial & mapping indoors: Best Practices
  • Pix4Dcapture

Lab Exercises

  • 3D Reconstruction of Vertical Structures
    • Applying Scale and Orientation Constraints
    • Making linear, area & volume measurements
    • Advanced Point Cloud Editing
    • Masking Images using Image Annotation
    • Applying the Clipping Box
    • Generating Video Animations
  • Merging Oblique and Nadir Imagery with Manual Tie Points

Day 3 – Instructor guided scene capture and project processing

Mission Planning

  • Scene Location scouting/size up (Secure location selected & provided by requesting Agency)
  • Establish project Georeferencing plan, leveraging available agency hardware.
    • Acceptable – Image Geotags
    • Good- Scale Constraints
    • Better- Total Station, Arbitrary/Local Coordinate system
    • Best – Differential GPS/GNSS with defined coordinate system
  • Review potential scene challenges & suggested workarounds
  • Image Acquisition of aerial & terrestrial data
    • Aerial Images
    • Terrestrial Images
    • Terrestrial video
  • Mapping Indoors: Best Practices (Optional in place of outdoor data collection)

Project Processing

  • Step 1, Automatic Tie Points & initial quality report generation
  • Applying georeferencing or Scale and Orientation Constraints
  • Merging Aerial and Terrestrial data
    • Establish Manual Tie Points across projects to be merged
    • Project Reoptimization
    • Create Merged Project
    • Review initial results
  • Point Cloud Editing
    • Clipping Box
    • Image Annotation
    • Point Cloud Classification
  • Pix4Dmapper outputs
    • Dense Point Cloud
    • 3D Mesh
    • Digital Surface Model
    • Orthomosaic
    • Contour Lines
    • Vector data extraction

FAQs

Q: What is a Pix4D User Workshop?
A: A Pix4D User Workshop is geared towards those who are getting started with Pix4D. We will address best practices for data acquisition, basic processing options, and workflows.

If you consider yourself an advanced user and you are interested in learning more about Pix4D software, please consider requesting a quote for a personal training.

Q: Should I bring my laptop?
A: Yes, Please ensure that you bring a laptop computer with the latest version of Pix4Dmapper installed to the User Workshop so that you may follow along during the hands-on exercises. Computers will not be provided on the day of the workshop.

We recommend that your computer is equipped with Windows, has at least 16 GB of RAM, 20 GB of free hard drive space, and a GPU that supports OpenGL 3.2. We also suggest that you bring a computer mouse to facilitate 3D navigation in the software. Computers running Mac OS are not supported at this time.

Q: Should I bring my drone?
A: Please DO NOT bring your drone to the workshop. This is a workshop about software. Under no circumstances will drones be permitted to fly during the workshop. DO NOT fly your drone at or around the workshop venue.

Q: Do I need a Pix4D software license to attend the workshop?
A: It is not necessary that you own a Pix4D software license to attend the workshop. If you do not own a license, you will be provided with a temporary one for the duration of the workshop.

Q: Is food provided at the Pix4D User Workshop?
A: Lunch, coffee/tea, snacks, and water will be provided onsite during the workshop.

Q: Can I attend the workshop remotely by WebEx, phone, or conference call?
A: The workshop must be attended in person and is not available for remote attendance.

Q: Are discounts available for educational institutions or non-profit organizations?
A: Educational discounts are available, please contact the Pix4D training team at training@pix4d.com for more information.

Q: What is the refund policy?
A: Orders may not be changed, modified, converted, or refunded once an order has been confirmed.

Q: How can I contact the workshop organizer if I have other questions?
A: Click “Contact” below, and send us an email. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

*By registering to the workshop, you accept the General Terms and Conditions of Sale of Pix4D and submit your information to the workshop organizer, who will use it to communicate with you regarding this event.

By | June 11th, 2019|0 Comments

Night (Drone) CSI Demonstration/training with FoxFury & Pix4D – Idaho Falls

This FREE EVENT is brought to you by:                                

FoxFury and Sundance Media Group will demonstrate how to achieve a forensic scene capture in the dark, with a drone, capable of 2D and 3D mapping and modelling.

These same techniques may be applied to virtually any type of night scene capture.

The team will set up a crime scene and will fly the scene with both night-vision and standard RGB cameras to demonstrate the viability of wide-variety of non-specialized cameras in dark crime scene capture environments.

Once the scene has been photographed by the drone, the team will process the data captured with Pix4D software live on-site, for rapid verification of image capture and area integrity.

Please register so that we are best able to accommodate the attendees on site.

Cameras are permitted. Please; no photography during drone flights.

By | June 10th, 2019|0 Comments

Idaho UAS Symposium – Boise, ID

Sundance Media Group is excited to be a small part of the coming UAS Symposium in Boise, ID.

Idaho UAS Situational Awareness Workshop being hosted by the Idaho Transportation Department and Idaho Office of Emergency Management.

SMG will be participating in round-table discussions and Douglas Spotted Eagle will moderate a discussion focused on Private Sector UAS Operational Concepts and Uses.

The SMG A.V.O.C will also be onsite for walk thrus and Douglas and James Spear will be on hand for equipment demonstrations.

 

Please contact us if you’d like a personal walk through of the AVOC while we’re in the area – we’ll be driving from Boise, ID to Idaho Falls June 6th!

 

Many thanks to our sponsors for helping to make this possible:

      

By | June 5th, 2019|0 Comments

sUAS Roadshow – Pasco County, FL

REGISTER HERE

WestWind Unmanned and Sundance Media Group have partnered together to showcase sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems) in Public Safety. This unique roadshow is designed to educate agencies (law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other first responders) on the value of a turnkey drone program and how implementing drones into the workflow can decrease costs and personnel risks and increase efficiencies. This free introduction to “sUAS as a Tool” will showcase the Yuneec H520 hexacopter and the DataPilot mapping program, the new Autel EVO as well as other accessories and technologies that create a turnkey sUAS solution for a variety of public safety applications.

  • Search and Rescue
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Crime Scene Mapping
  • Crowd Control
  • Active Shooter Scenarios
  • Intelligence-gathering
  • Photographing Remote Crash Sites
  • Airborne communication Repeater Platforms
  • Terrain Mapping
  • Crash/Disaster Site Monitoring
  • Enhance Safety at a Contaminated Scene
  • Fire Scene Management Tools with Thermal Imaging & Resource Management
  • Value of a birdseye view of operations on a large scene

Our presenter will also showcase Brother AirScouter SystemFoxFury Lighting SolutionsVenom Power, and Hoodman USA accessories.

Join us for a two hour presentation and a flight demonstration.

Seating is limited, so please register early.

If you have any questions about the roadshow or its location, please email rsvp@sundancemediagroup.com.

Be sure to bring all your drone / UAV / sUAS questions with you!

Aerial Overview

Fire & H520

By | April 18th, 2019|0 Comments

ISC West 2019 & Unmanned Security Expo 2019

SMG BOOTH NUMBER:  3139

ISC West Show Schedule Info

ISC West is THE largest converged security industry trade show in the U.S. At ISC West, you will have the chance to network with over 30,000 security professionals through New Products & Technologies encompassing everything from access control to drones & robotics from over 1,000 Exhibitors & Brands.

Join us at ISC West, largest converged security industry trade show in the U.S. Experience 3 days packed full with networking opportunities, education and new technologies revolutionizing the security industry. Drive your business into a brighter and safer future by exploring new products and meeting new security industry professionals. Enhance your professional skills by attending world-class educational sessions.

Register Now

If you fall into any of these categories, ISC West is the right fit for you!

  • Physical Security:
    • Dealers
    • Integrators
    • Installers
    • End-Users from various vertical markets including Healthcare, Education, Finance, Retail, Transportation/Public Safety, Hospitality & Entertainment, Oil/Gas/Utilities and more.
    • Consultants/Specifiers
    • Architects & Engineers
    • Central Station
    • And More
  • IT Security:
    • IT Integrators
    • IT Vars
    • CISO’s, CIOs & Directors of Cyber & Information Security
    • CTOs
    • Risk & Compliance
    • And More

 

ALSO at ISC West:

Unmanned Safety and Security@ISC West

Unmanned Security Expo @ ISC West returns this year focusing on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Ground Robotics & Vehicles (UGVs), counter-drone solutions and the various software and applications that support them. The market growth for unmanned technologies being used for security & safety benefits is progressing at a rapid pace, with the number of both commercial and consumer drones registering with the FAA causing an urgent concern for air space security. Unmanned Security Expo addresses the opportunities to improve security & safety functionality with the use of UAVs & UGVs, the threats that counter-drone technologies can address to ensure public & defense safety, and policy & regulation progress and key trends.

Located right on the ISC West exhibit floor, Unmanned Security Expo ensures that participants interact with and reap all the benefits of the complete ISC West audience. Unmanned Security Expo will include exhibits and a dedicated education theater, as well as demos of the best UAV, UGV and autonomous systems on the market.

By | April 9th, 2019|0 Comments

sUAS Roadshow – Quad City Metro Area – Iowa

REGISTER HEREs

WestWind Unmanned and Sundance Media Group have partnered together to showcase sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems) in Public Safety. This unique roadshow is designed to educate agencies (law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other first responders) on the value of a turnkey drone program and how implementing drones into the workflow can decrease costs and personnel risks and increase efficiencies. This free introduction to “sUAS as a Tool” will showcase the Yuneec H520 hexacopter and the DataPilot mapping program, the new Autel EVO as well as other accessories and technologies that create a turnkey sUAS solution for a variety of public safety applications.

  • Search and Rescue
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Crime Scene Mapping
  • Crowd Control
  • Active Shooter Scenarios
  • Intelligence-gathering
  • Photographing Remote Crash Sites
  • Airborne communication Repeater Platforms
  • Terrain Mapping
  • Crash/Disaster Site Monitoring
  • Enhance Safety at a Contaminated Scene
  • Fire Scene Management Tools with Thermal Imaging & Resource Management
  • Value of a birdseye view of operations on a large scene

Our presenters will also showcase Brother AirScouter SystemFoxFury Lighting SolutionsVenom Power, and Hoodman USA accessories.

Join us for a two hour presentation and a flight demonstration.

Seating is limited, so please register early.

If you have any questions about the roadshow or its location, please email rsvp@sundancemediagroup.com.

Be sure to bring all your drone / UAV / sUAS questions with you!

Aerial Overview

Fire & H520

By | March 15th, 2019|0 Comments

sUAS Roadshow – Chicago, Il

REGISTER HERE

WestWind Unmanned and Sundance Media Group have partnered together to showcase sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems) in Public Safety. This unique roadshow is designed to educate agencies (law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other first responders) on the value of a turnkey drone program and how implementing drones into the workflow can decrease costs and personnel risks and increase efficiencies. This free introduction to “sUAS as a Tool” will showcase the Yuneec H520 hexacopter and the DataPilot mapping program, the new Autel EVO as well as other accessories and technologies that create a turnkey sUAS solution for a variety of public safety applications.

  • Search and Rescue
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Crime Scene Mapping
  • Crowd Control
  • Active Shooter Scenarios
  • Intelligence-gathering
  • Photographing Remote Crash Sites
  • Airborne communication Repeater Platforms
  • Terrain Mapping
  • Crash/Disaster Site Monitoring
  • Enhance Safety at a Contaminated Scene
  • Fire Scene Management Tools with Thermal Imaging & Resource Management
  • Value of a birdseye view of operations on a large scene

Our presenters will also showcase Brother AirScouter SystemFoxFury Lighting SolutionsVenom Power, and Hoodman USA accessories.

Join us for a two hour presentation and a flight demonstration.

Seating is limited, so please register early.

If you have any questions about the roadshow or its location, please email rsvp@sundancemediagroup.com.

Be sure to bring all your drone / UAV / sUAS questions with you!

Aerial Overview

Fire & H520

By | March 14th, 2019|0 Comments

FoxFury High CRI Rugo Lighting Instruments

Last week I acquired a set of the new high CRI FoxFury Rugo 2’s. Although I was first introduced to the Rugo as a tool for UAS flight and photography, these new hi CRI Rugo 2 units captured my  interest and excitement. I’ve purchased several sets of the older Rugos (5700k) units, and they’re terrific for drones or basic, backfill, accent, or action cam lighting. They’re a bit too cool for scene lighting without corrective gel or filters. The CRI rating of the Rugo 2 is 92, which displays color more accurately and naturally than other LED lights.

Having access to these new Rugo 2 lights with the high CRI was exciting, as they represented yet another “shrink” in my portable imaging kit.  The size is the perfect tool for keeping on the camera full-time, whether shooting video or photos. Flashes aren’t always optimal for size, space, nor balance and the Rugo 2 allows everything to come together for the ideal compact system.

My first experience with the high CRI Rugo 2 instruments was in setting up a product shot and I was immediately knocked out at how quickly the shot came together. Before I laid out my plans for a product shot, I tested the Rugo 2’s on a toy that has a broad dynamic range (seen below in the unedited Pixel 3-captured images). One aspect that greatly impressed me was that regardless of battery status, the color did not shift (as common with most low-cost LED systems). The lights also run very cool to the touch, even after being powered up for three hours.

Liking what I saw in the final test images I decided to try them on a video interview, and again, impressed with the final result of the evaluation.

The lights pictured below are supported by very inexpensive, extremely lightweight flash stands typically found in a photographer’s kit, vs a videographer’s kit. They are essentially disposable at a cost of around $15.00 each, but are easy to pack on a plane. The Rugo is sitting on a ball swivel, the same type one might put a flash head.  This allows the Rugo 2 to tilt and angle.

 

 

LENSES

One of the features that makes the Rugo 2 so flexible is that the Rugo 2 has three lenses, aka “Tri-Lens®” technology. These three lens positions allow for a tightly-focused spot light, diffused, and flood light from one instrument. The lens may also be removed for situations where control isn’t critical. Removing the lens also offers a slightly more powerful light beam.

BATTERIES

When the battery is expired, the Rugo 2 has a clip/lever that allows the battery pack to be removed, and a fresh battery connected. This ensures wait-free production. For me, this was a huge step up, given the other battery powered instruments I’d worked with all have internal batteries, which required re-charging before use.  Batteries are inexpensive, and I recommend having a few spares on hand if the shoot is expected to go beyond three hours. Additionally, the Rugo’s flash for purposes of anti-collision lighting on a drone/UAS system.  Battery life is dependent on intensity, but generally runs in the 3, 2, 1 hour lifespan. On the lowest setting, the batteries may last as long as 6 hours. Recharges take approximately 2.5 hours, but charge faster when using upgraded USB charging systems and cables.

MOUNTS

The Rugo 2comes with a standard quarter/20 mount, as well as a Go-Pro style mount. Additional mounts are available for various kinds of drones, bikes, etc.

FLEXIBLE

The high CRI Rugo 2 also has a new power button; (look for the orange switch) this means that the instrument not only provides strobing, but also can be put in 60 feet of water, making it ideal for the underwater photography or underwater accent lighting kit. They are so small, I carry a couple in my day-to-day backpack for accent lighting, primary lighting when shooting with my mobile phone, and for when I need a flashlight.

For years, we drove around a production van similar to this one from my friends at New York Rentals. Essentially a five-light kit, three cameras/tripods, and sound kit, this required a van filled to the roof with gear. We also had a 6K lighting system that carried in a 14′ box truck with distribution and lunchboxes. With the Rugo2, those days are long gone.

Image result for production, grip equipment, van

These new Rugo 2’s from FoxFury enable me to carry essentially the same amount of lighting power and flexibility in a small case that can be carried on to any airplane, or carried on my back as a backpack, with a similar five lights, four-channel audio kit, three cameras/tripods, and a few assorted gels, C47’s, and small accessories in one kit/case.

While I was in New York teaching a class on drone imagery, it was fun to meet one of the Fire Department New York staff photographers, and I noticed on her belt, a Rugo 2 light as well.

Comparing notes, we both found how much we appreciated the small size, long battery life, and multi-lens, multi-intensity options of this new lighting instrument. She commented on the durability noting “I dropped this thing down a 75′ elevator shaft, and it didn’t miss a beat, and even provided some interesting back lighting while I was shooting.” It’s true the Rugo 2 light, like all FoxFury products, are made for durability.

SUMMARY

  • Warm color 
  •  Interchangeable Battery
  • Up to 6 hours battery life
  • Lightweight/small/cool running
  • Three lens options
  • Stand-ready
  • Virtually indestructible/Waterproof (60′)
  • No color shift (CRI 92)
  • Affordable

For the corporate producer, these lights are ideal for small in-office interviews, headshots, product shots, underwater glamour, and many other creative spaces. I simply cannot imagine going back to large-package light kits weighing over 80lbs when I can carry five FoxFury Rugo 2 instruments, and five stands in a backpack weighing less than 10lbs while achieving not only the same amount of illumination, but more valuable are the greater options with the lenses, intensities, and swappable battery packs.

FoxFury High CRI Rugo 2 LED light compared to older PhotoFlex halogen

Watch for a video coming soon on the video viability of the FoxFury high CRI Rugo lights!

Here are some photos from a recent Photowalk I did with the WPPI folks, with all lighting from the Rugo 2’s.

Mobile Phone grabs from a by-stander (apologies for out of focus areas, I didn’t shoot these, they are courtesy of someone on the photowalk

 

 

By | November 7th, 2018|Production, Technology, Training, Uncategorized, Video|0 Comments

BATTERY MANAGEMENT for sUAS

Batteries, Fuel, power, energy, no matter how the cells powering UAS are referred to, are components of the Unmanned Aerial SYSTEM that are frequently ignored, often to operational peril.

During this hot summer season we’ve had multiple agencies and individuals reach out with battery questions. In a few situations, fuel cells have been ignored for so long that the batteries are beyond recovery.

This issue is not limited, of course, to only UAS batteries. Laptops, mobile phones, radios, MP3 players, etc all run the risk of battery failure/damage if mismanaged.

HELP YOURSELF AVOID THIS ISSUE.

First and foremost, always store batteries at less than half-charge. Generally, batteries should be stored at 30-40% of charge. Yes, this may create some inconveniences for emergency services, and there are other ways around this issue. Proper battery maintenance means having a battery charging, logging, discharging, and storage strategy beyond the scope of this article.

Use a professional charging solution.

Manufacturers rarely provide quality charging systems. This means agencies and users must step outside the manufacturer ecosystem and purchase a third party charger. For example, Vertical Partners West manufactures a line of chargers branded as “Venom,” which fits into the low-midrange agency/organization price point and strategy. They also manufacture a high-end commercial charger with a subscription system, ensuring all-time battery optimization, monitored at the user location and/or their own servers in Idaho.

Note the “Cycle/Store” button options; these are critical for proper battery maintenance. Batteries that will not be used for some time should use the Storage feature to reduce the battery cells to 3.85 volts. This sort of system chargers at least 1.5X faster than manufacturer systems, so bringing a battery to full charge is a relatively fast process. These fan-cooled systems may live in the back of a patrol truck or command center; the key is keeping the battery cool.

Image courtesy Michael Panco

 

STAY CHILL!

One frequent cause of fuel failure stems from a fully-charged battery being kept in a black case in direct sunlight, a vehicle trunk, or other hot area. This will virtually always cause any battery to “gas off” and become puffy.  Some“gassing off” is normal of LiPo batteries, gassing off QUICKLY is not.

 

Some batteries are foil-wrapped and have air in the foil, vs the cell being truly puffed. These batteries should be disposed of for safety reasons, even though they may appear to be fully charged and operating properly.

Proper battery maintenance will USUALLY prevent this swelling from occurring. ** It’s important to note that battery life is reduced in extreme heat and extreme cold!

 

 

HANDLE WITH CARE

Next to overheating/over charging, the next biggest killer of LiPo batteries is from being dropped on the ground. Batteries are flammable, may explode in the perfect scenario, and should be handled with care at all times. We recommend storing them in cool, dry metal boxes or LiPo pouches. Surplus ammo cans are ideal. LiPo pouches, stored in a food cooler is another efficient means of storage.

Organizations with fleets of UAS are likely already using fleet management software, such as KittyHawk, Skyward, or similar. Fuel systems are often an afterthought. But what if the fleet management software could interface with the charging solution, ensuring accuracy and notification occur with battery management?

This is where a product like the Venom Commercial Battery Management System brings great value to the table. Fireproof drawers for charging batteries, intelligent interface that monitors battery health, cycles, temps, voltage, depth of discharge and more are possible. The system will also notify users of failing batteries. According to the VPW website, they also custom-build charging trays to user specification.

CHARGING ON-SITE

NEVER place a freshly-depleted/warm battery into a charger. Allow the battery time to cool off prior to re-charging.

USAGE TIP!

A common practice in many production houses is to place charged batteries on the prep table in the face-up position, or put a strip of green tape on the top of the battery. Depleted/ready to charge batteries are placed face-down/upside down on the charging table, sometimes with a strip of red tape on the bottom. Green/face up indicates a ready-to-go battery, while red indicates a depleted battery. Some houses go so far as to write battery cycles per-project on the tape so that batteries may be properly logged following production. These techniques help ensure fresh, fully functioning batteries on every project.

IN SUMMARY:

  • Store batteries at 30% of full charge
  • Store batteries in a cool, dark area
  • Log battery charge cycles. Replace batteries at 300 cycles (or follow manufacturer direction. For those in the USA, logging batteries is a maintenance requirement per AC107-2)
  • Replace/Dispose of swollen/puffy batteries
  • Use a professional-grade charging solution as opposed to manufacturer-included charging solutions

 

Douglas Spotted Eagle has been active in UAS aviation since 2010, and active in general aviation for nearly 20 years. He is a 25-year veteran of the Subject Matter Guru team, and a co-founder of Sundance Media Group (SMG), with a deep focus on sUAS for Public Safety, Construction, and Inspection verticals. As the co-author of five books on the topic of sUAS for specific uses, he continues to push the envelope in sUAS implementation.
Douglas welcomes input from readers.

By | July 22nd, 2018|sUAS Regulation, UAV Maintenance|0 Comments