InterDrone 2020 Night Flight Workshop


This hands-on training is provided by Sundance Media Group at InterDrone 2020.  It is an excellent opportunity to dive in to using drones as a tool…at NIGHT!

This practical Night UAV flight training course is designed to equip remote pilots with the knowledge, skills and confidence to pilot drones at night safely, efficiently and effectively.

Greater than 70 percent of our flying information comes through the eye and the eye is easily fooled at night. This is compounded by the inexperienced pilot alternating views between a tabled/lighted display and the position of the UAV in the sky. Night flying has a higher accident rate than identical day flying, both in UAV and manned aviation. Why? Depth perception is severely distorted, as is reaction time. There are also visual illusions that need to be recognized and mitigated. This session will provide information that will allow pilots to sidestep these challenges, while properly assessing and managing the risks associated with night flight (as waived per Part 107.29). You’ll also learn the foundation of applying for a COW/COA for night flight from an experienced night-flight pilot.

Theoretical (Classroom) Training (2.5 – 3 hours)

The workshop will begin with a comprehensive theory session classroom style, then we head out to the night flight location for some practical experience. Topics to be covered during the classroom portion: 

  • FAA rules of night UAV flight  (What is a 107.29 waiver?)
  • Different types of visual illusions that commonly occur at night
  • Autokinesis and night landing Illusions and how to avoid them
  • Equipment setup
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Importance of acclimating your eye for night flight & avoid light contamination
  • Foundation of applying for a COW/COA for night flight from an experienced night-flight pilot

After a comprehensive theory session, we will travel to a nearby night flight location for some practical field experience. We’ll present different types of visual illusions that commonly occur at night. In this practical hands-on class, we will discuss visual illusions as well as best practices for night flying. We will cover Autokinesis and Night Landing Illusions and how to avoid them. We will also discuss acclimating your eye for night flight. We will also cover the use of lights to illuminate our subjects and how to avoid “light contamination” in our eyes.

     

  • Practical Flight Training (2.5 – 3 hours)  (In the field!) SMG will provide aircraft equipped with required FAA lighting for night flights
    • Every attendee will receive:

 

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

 

Should you have any additional questions, please contact the SMG team.

By | December 16th, 2020|0 Comments

sUAS Instructor Certification Workshop – September 2020

Join us for the SMG sUAS Instructor course 2020

During this week-long workshop, attendees will be exposed to and absorb Purpose/Assessment, Planning/Preparation, Presentation/Facilitation, and Performance/Evaluation.

The SMG Instructor Course uses best-practices and current techniques in delivery of training methods.   New instructors will be exposed to critical training skills and seasoned trainers will be introduced to new approaches for delivering powerful training.  Grounded in the real world, trainers are trained for, evaluated, and scored in mock scenarios using specific learning objective exercises.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

sUAS instructor candidates must have the following qualifications:

  • Must have a valid 107/RPIC certification
  • A minimum of 200 logged sUAS flight hours
  • Some teaching or public speaking experience is highly recommended
  • Current resume showcasing sUAS projects and a list of aircraft flown
  • Candidates must also schedule an advance interview with the Instructor Examiner to ensure alignment within the Sundance Media Group expectation of professional, world-class instruction.

 

Download our PDF summary of the  Instructor Certification course

TO REGISTER:

Send an email to Joanne Leming or Jennifer Pidgen with your (1) resume and (2) summary of unmanned hours flown.  All qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview.  Payment will not be processed until candidates are confirmed.  Register early and save 15%.

 

PRICING:

$1795 for 5-day training program

By | September 21st, 2020|0 Comments

LIVE WEBINAR – Two-Day Intensive 107 Training Workshop

REGISTER HERE

This two-day training course will cover the major areas of the FAA Part 107 Aeronautical Knowledge Test. Course will cover Regulations, National Airspace System (NAS), Weather, Loading and Performance, and Operations.

Each participant will be introduced to the ASA prep-test manual (details below on where to find this training tool) and will have an opportunity to work with aeronautical charts and learn to identify location, airspaces, restricted areas, military operation areas and other special use airspaces. Each participant will understand the regulations with UAV operations including distance from clouds, registering aircraft, weight limits and more. Upon completion of this course, attendees will be well prepared with required knowledge and resources to complete the Part 107 Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Test.

Included in this course we will discuss real-world situations for commercial UAV pilots and mitigation of challenging situations. Examples are drones in the agricultural workflow, public safety applications, property owners, other UAV pilots, and state/federal government representatives.

Additional Learning Objectives:

  • Establishing your Pre-Flight/Post-Flight procedures
  • Follow-on testing material (online)
  • Best UAS Practices
  • FAA changes and directions
  • Low Altitude Authorization Network Coordination (LAANC)
  • Radio procedures

PLEASE NOTE:  It is highly recommended that attendees purchase the ASA Test Prep Remote Pilot 2020 book as this will be used as an aid for the course.  ASA - Test Prep Remote Pilot 2020 | ASA-TP-UAS-20

Some of our favorite vendors to purchase this tool:

Pilot Gear Online:  $12.95

Pilots HQ:  $12.95

Amazon:  $16.95

REGISTER HERE FOR THE 107 Training Workshop

By | June 24th, 2020|0 Comments

Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

Agreement Provides Certified Drone Training to Government Agencies and Organizations Across the U.S.

Las Vegas June 3, 2020 Sundance Media Group (SMG) today announced an agreement with  SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE: SNX), a leadingbusiness process services company, to provide certified drone training to government agencies and organizations across the U.S.

SMG specializes in assisting police, fire and private corporations seeking to stand up new small Unmanned Aircraft System drone programs or add sUAS workflows into their existing drone programs. SMG offers drone training programs across the U.S. as well as the filing of Certificates of Authorization and/or waivers with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. SMG also creates and assists in the implementation of Policy, Procedures and Operations manuals for ISO-compliant municipalities and organizations.

“Training is a vital component to a viable, safe and effective drone program. This agreement with Sundance Media Group enables us to offer a B2B turnkey solution within the unmanned aircraft industry,” said Ed Somers, Vice President, Public Sector and Vertical Markets, SYNNEX. “The addition of SMG safety-first training methodology services to our own product offerings elevates our complete technology solutions.”

SMG has a 19-year history working in aviation and crime scene investigation and has developed training missions for Major Incident Response Teams, CSI, traffic homicide, night-time forensic missions, and crowd overwatch with and without tethering components.  Drones offer an aerial vantage point and are a significant force multiplier. Operations may be initiated faster with fewer persons involved. As a force multiplier, nothing compares to sUAS with regard to cost, safety, speed and capturing/recording /archiving information that may be passed up or down the chain of command.

SMG’s training, now available through SYNNEX, include 107 offerings from prep, introduction to practical flight and advanced applied to vertical-focused flight training and post-processing training.

“We look forward to bringing our standard of excellence for various segments within the UA industry to SYNNEX and its customers,” said Jennifer Pidgen, Chief Operating Officer of Sundance Media Group, now celebrating 26 years in training. “SYNNEX focuses on helping their business partners grow and the SMG culture is to ensure that every client gets white-glove services. We identify the clients’ specific sUAS needsand we build out our training programs to meet those needs to ensure they are successful in their adaptation of this new technology.”

 

 

 

About Sundance Media Group

Founded in 1994, 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 NAB/P|PW Conference and is vendor neutral, where we collaborate with manufacturers, service providers, and software developer to find the best solution for our clients’ needs.

With instructors from 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 or via email at requests@sundancemediagroup.com

About SYNNEX Corporation

SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE: SNX) is a Fortune 200 corporation and a leading business process services company, providing a comprehensive range of distribution, logistics and integration services for the technology industry and providing outsourced services focused on customer engagement to a broad range of enterprises.  SYNNEX distributes a broad range of information technology systems and products, and also provides systems design and integration solutions. Founded in 1980, SYNNEX Corporation operates in numerous countries throughout North and South America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Additional information about SYNNEX may be found online at synnex.com.

SYNNEX, the SYNNEX Logo, and all other SYNNEX company, product and services names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of SYNNEX Corporation. SYNNEX, the SYNNEX Logo, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Other names and marks are the property of their respective owners.

By | June 3rd, 2020|Drone, Drone Safety, Inspection, Law Enforcement, Mapping, Night Flight, Public Safety, sUAS, sUAS, sUAS Safety, Technology, Training, UAV, UAV Maintenance|Comments Off on Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

WEBINAR – Urban Turbulence & Micro Climates with your UAS

Regular Pricing19.95 USD
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Have you ever had a situation in the field where your sUAS seemed to have a mind of its own?  In this 90 minute webinar, we’ll discuss how wind flow patterns offer predictability if one is able to read the environment.   We’ll explore how seemingly unpredictable sUAS behavior can be predicted based on understanding micro climates and urban turbulence.

Environmental concerns play a significant role in capturing data with a drone, particularly when 3D modeling is the goal, or when accurate measurements are required. In this 90 minute session, we will discuss and demonstrate the impacts of winds and environment on stable, safe, and useful sUAS flight. We’ll also diagram why common types of sUAS incidents occur, helping pilots to understand how to avoid the seemingly unavoidable crashes in urban environments.   Last, we’ll have an interactive discussion on how to identify and read micro climates in the urban environment.

Pilots both manned and unmanned admit they haven’t considered some of these factors in the past, and now have a better understanding of why drones crash into buildings, seemingly without pilot input.  Join us to learn more in this fresh topic in UA operation.   It is particularly applicable to working in cityscapes, but does also delve into forests, communication towers, etc.

Join Joanne Leming and Douglas Spotted Eagle for this LIVE 90 min session is created for anyone flying sUAS for mapping, modeling, forensic capture, or environmental data gathering purposes.

Once you have registered, we will send you a login for the webinar.  We look forward to training with you!

 

Regular Pricing19.95 USD
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

By | April 24th, 2020|0 Comments

PVCC – 4th Annual Public Safety UAS Conference – Crozet, VA

We look forward to being a part of this conference where the SMG crew will demonstrate tools, techniques, and equipment for public safety and EMS use.

More information can be found at:

4th Annual Public Safety UAS Conference

Be sure to check out their very active Facebook page as well!

 

 

By | March 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

PVCC Night UAV Flight Workshop 2020

Regular Pricing250.00 USDRegular Registration
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Many thanks to PVCC for bringing the Sundance Media Group (SMG) Night UAV Flight workshop to their conference offerings.  At the 4th Annual Public Safety UAS Conference hosted in Crozet, VA.
SMG will offer practical Night UAV flight training course to equip public safety UAV pilots with the knowledge, skills and confidence to pilot your UAV at night safely, efficiently and effectively.
 
Schedule: 
  • Theoretical Training (2 hours)
  • Night UAV Flight Test (30 min)
  • DINNER (45 min)
  • Sunset: 6:10pm
  • Night Flight begins: 6:45pm
  • In-field flight time (~2 hours)
 
Every attendee will receive:
– A Night UAV Flight Handbook
– Light Dinner & drinks before heading out to the field for practical training
– A red flashlight
– Post-Class, a certificate of completion*
 
Cost $250 (subsidized by PVCC)
 
Seats are VERY limited – please register early. 

If you have additional questions, please email workshops@sundancemediagroup.com

Register Directly VIA PayPal:

Regular Pricing250.00 USDRegular Registration
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

 

We look forward to training with you!

By | March 1st, 2020|0 Comments

Night sUAS (Drone) CSI Demonstration – Shot Show 2020

 

FoxFurySundance Media GroupPix4D, and public safety personnel have created a demonstration workflow for aerial capture of virtually any type of night forensic scene.  This team will setup a mock crime scene investigation, by creating a forensic scene in the parking lot at Charleston and Grand Central, a 10 min trip from the Westgate.

The purpose of this FREE demonstration is to showcase how drones (UAVs / sUAS) are used to capture forensic evidence at the scene, in the dark, and use the data captured to create a map in 2D and 3D for law enforcement use.

FoxFury CRI Lighting Solutions will be used to illuminate the surrounding area to aid with photo and video capture of the crime scene.  The SMG team will pilot an Autel Evo and a Yuneec H520 to capture color-correct aerial images to be processed in Pix4Dmapper LIVE onsite into a 2D map.  The SMG team will share how the placement and level of lighting are key components to the workflow as well as using Ground Control Points, from Hoodman, to assist in accuracy for the post-production process in Pix4D.

 

This workflow is relevant for virtually any type of night scene capture.

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

We will also be showcasing the new AEE Mach 4 aircraft with a mounted FoxFury prime light.  This new sUAS solution will be a great addition to the Public Safety toolkit.

With special thanks to the LVMPD for their continued support of our #NightCSI demonstrations.

 

REGISTER HERE: http://bit.ly/SS2020_CSI

By | January 22nd, 2020|0 Comments

Pix4D Training (Las Vegas December 2019)

Description

Pix4D software allows users that do not possess specialized GIS-grade equipment to rapidly create relatively accurate models. This Pix4Dmapper workshop focused on an sUAS (drone) capture workflow, will introduce key Pix4Dmapper workflows and output.  This two-day session will showcase optimal camera settings, flight planning techniques, MTP identification, placement, safety considerations, and application-specific best practices.  Ultimately, you will learn how to best capturing RGB images and creating, managing, analyzing, and sharing 2D and 3D representations of reality.  A series of hands-on exercises will demonstrate how to effectively work with the Pix4Dmapper solution.

Expect some time in the field as we will put aircraft up and capture images/data from a local scene, and then stitch the data together in the classroom to best demonstrate best practices and procedures for optimal Pix4D output and delivery.

Attendees bring their own computers, and we’ll provide the Pix4D licenses for the duration of the training.

Please do not bring your own drone, we will have one for use with the class.

 

Objectives

  • sUAS setup for producing data for stitching
  • Produce accurate 2D and 3D georeferenced representations of reality, including orthomosaics and 3D models
  • Acquire accurate measurements
  • Using Manual Tie Points/MTP  and Ground Control Points (GCPs) for great accuracy
  • Share your deliverables with stakeholders

Agenda

  1. Introduction
  2. Multi-ray photogrammetry
  3. Collecting ground control points
  4. Planning a drone flight with the Pix4Dcapture mobile application
  5. Creating, processing, and measuring in a Pix4Dmapper Desktop project
  6. Creating, processing, and measuring in a Pix4Dmapper Cloud project
  7. Sharing Pix4Dmapper Desktop and Pix4Dmapper Cloud deliverables

 

This is a two-day workshop.

By | December 19th, 2019|0 Comments

IS THE UAS INDUSTRY PREPARED FOR 8K? DO WE WANT 8K?

In 2004, Sony released the world’s first low-cost HD camera, known as the HVR-Z1U. The camera featured a standard 1/3” imager, squeezing 1440×1080 pixels (anamorphic/non-square) pixels on to the sensor. This was also the world’s first pro-sumer camera using the MPEG2 compression scheme, with a color sample of 4:2:0, and using a GOP method of frame progression, this new technology set the stage for much higher resolutions and eventually, greater frame rates.

It’s “father,” was the CineAlta HDWF900, which offered three 2/3” CCDs, which was the industry standard for filmmaking for several years, capturing big hits such as the “Star Wars Prequel Trilogy”, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, “Real Steel”, “Tomorrowland”, “Avatar”, “Spykids” (1 & 2), and so many others.  The newer HDV format spawned from similar technology found in the HDWF900, and set the stage for extremely high end camera tech to trickle down into the pro-sumer space.

Overtime, camera engineers identified methods of co-siting more pixels on small imagers, binning pixels, or using other techniques to increase the capture resolution on small surfaces. Compression engineers have developed new compression schemes which brought forward AVC (h.263), MP4(h.264), and now HEVC/High Efficiency Video Codec(h.265), and still others soon to be revealed. 

Which brings us to the present.

We have to roughly quadruple megapixels to double resolution, so the jump from SD to HD makes sense, while the jump from HD to UHD/4K makes even more sense. Following that theme, jumping to 6K makes sense, while jumping to 8K is perfect theory, and nears the maximum of the human eye’s ability to resolve information.

At NAB 2018, Sony and Blackmagic Design both revealed 8K cameras and in that time frame others have followed suit.

During CommUAV and InterDrone, several folks asked for my opinion on 6 and 8K resolutions. Nearly all were shocked as I expressed enthusiasm for the format.

    “It’s impossible to edit.”

    “The files are huge.”

    “No computer can manage it.”

    “There is no where to show 8K footage.”

    “Human eyes can’t resolve that resolution unless sitting very far away from the screen.”

    “Data cards aren’t fast enough.”

And….so on.

These are all the same comments heard as we predicted the tempo of the camera industry transitioning from SD to HD, and from HD to 4K.  In other words, we’ve been here before.

Video cameras are acquisition devices. For the same reasons major motion pictures are acquired at the highest possible resolutions, and for the same reasons photographers get very excited as resolutions on-camera increase, so should UAS photographers. Greater resolution doesn’t always mean higher grade images. Nor does larger sensor sizes increase quality of images. On the whole, higher resolution systems usually does translate into higher quality images.

Sensor sizes are somewhat important to this discussion, yet not entirely critical. The camera industry has been packing more and more pixels into the same physical space for nearly two decades, without the feared increase in noise. Additionally, better noise-sampling/reduction algorithms, particularly from OEM’s like Sony and Ambarella, have allowed far greater reduction in noise compared to the past. Cameras such as the Sony A7RIV and earlier offer nearly noise-free ISO of 32,000!

Sensor sizes vary of course, but we’ll find most UAS utilize the 1/2.3, or the 1” sensor. (Light Blue and Turquoise sizes respectively, as seen below). 


“Imagine an UAS equipped with an 8K camera inspecting a communications tower. Resolution is high, so small specs of rust, pitting, spalling, or other damage which might be missed with lower resolutions or the human eye become apparent with a greater resolution.”


Why Does Higher Resolution Translate to a Superior Finished Product?

Generally, we’re downsampling video or photos to smaller delivery vehicles, for but one reason. In broadcast, 4:2:2 uncompressed color schemes were the grail (no longer). Yet, most UAS cameras capture a 4:2:0 color sample.  However, a 4K capture, downsampled to 1080 at delivery, offers videographers the same “grail” color schema of 4:2:2!

As we move into 6 or 8K, similar results occur. We gain the ability to crop for post editing/delivery to recompose images without fear of losing resolution. This means that although the aircraft may shoot a wide shot, the image may be recomposed to a tighter image in post, so long as the delivery is smaller than the source/acquisition capture. For example, shooting 4K for 1080 delivery means that up to 75% of the image may be cropped without resolution loss.

 

As the image above demonstrates, it’s quite possible to edit 8K HEVC streams on a newer laptop. Performance is not optimal without a great deal of RAM and a good video card, as HEVC requires a fair amount of horsepower to decode. The greater point, is that we can edit images with deep recomposition. Moreover, we have more pixels to work with, providing greater color correction, color timing, and depth/saturation.

For public safety, this is priceless. An 8K capture provides great ability to zoom/crop deeply into a scene and deliver much greater detail in HD or 4K delivery.

The same can be said for inspections, construction progress reports, etc. Users can capture at a high resolution and deliver in a lower resolution.

Another benefit of 6 and 8K resolutions is the increase in dynamic range. While small sensors only provide a small increase in dynamic range, a small increase is preferable to no increase. 

To address other statements about 6K and 8K resolutions; They human eye has the ability to see around 40megapixels, age-dependent. 8K is approximately 33megapixels. However, the human eye doesn’t see equal resolutions across the surface. The center of our eye sees approximately 8megapixels, where the outer edges are not as deep. High resolution does provide greater smoothing across the spectrum, therefore our eyes see smoother moving pictures.

BEYOND THE HUMAN EYE

Going well-beyond the human eye, 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. Resolution is high, so small specs of rust or other damage which might be missed with lower resolutions or the human eye become more visible with a greater resolution. Now imagine that greater resolution providing input to an AI-aided inspection report that might notify the operator or manager of any problem. Our technology is moving beyond the resolution of the human eye for good reason.

DATA STORAGE

Files from a 6 or 8K camera are relatively small, particularly when compared to uncompressed 8K content (9.62TB per hour). Compression formats, known as “Codecs” have been improving for years, steadily moving forward. For example, when compressions first debuted in physical form, we saw Hollywood movies delivered on DVD. Then we saw HD delivered on Blu-ray. Disc formats are dead, but now we’ve moved through MPG2, AVC, AVCHD, H.264, and now H.265/HEVC. In the near future we’ll see yet even more compression schemes benefitting our workflows. VVC or “Versatile Video Codec” will be the next big thing in codecs for 8K, scheduled to launch early 2022.

Unconventional h.264 and H.265/HEVC are currently being used as delivery codecs for compressed 6 and 8K streams. 8K has been successfully broadcast (in testing environments) at rates as low as 35Mbps for VOD, while NHK has set the standard at 100Mbps for conventional delivery.

Using these codecs, downconverting streams to view OTA/Over The Air to tablets, smartphones, or ground station controllers is already possible.  It’s unlikely we’ll see 8K streaming from the UAS to the GSC. 

U3 Datacards are certainly prepared for 6 and 8K resolutions/datastreams; compression is what makes this possible.  The KenDao 8K and Insta 8K 360 cameras both are recording to U3 cards available in the market today.

It will be some time before the average consumer will be seeing 8K on screens in their homes. However, 8K delivered for advertising, trying to match large format footage being shot on Weapon, Monstro, Helium or other camera formats may be less time-consuming when using 8K, even from a smaller camera format carried on an UAS (these cameras may easily be carried on heavy-lift UAS).

Professional UAS pilots will benefit greatly from 5, 6, or 8K cameras, and should not be shy about testing the format. Yes, it’s yet another paradigm shift in an always-fluid era of aerial and visual technology.  There can be no doubt that these higher resolutions provide higher quality in any final product. Be prepared; 2020 is the year of 5, 6, and 8K cameras on the flying tripods we’re using for our professional and personal endeavors, and I for one, am looking forward to it with great enthusiasm.

 

*Want to know more about codecs, compression/decompression, optimizing capture and data for streaming, or a greater understanding of how to create the best visual images without all the hype and mystery? Ask about training and classes in “Cracking the Camera Code” seminars found online, in our training facility, or in your offices.

 

By | November 25th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on IS THE UAS INDUSTRY PREPARED FOR 8K? DO WE WANT 8K?