Aerial Photography - Sacramento Video Industry Professional`s, The

Aerial Photography
Utilizing Multi-Rotor Camera
First Things First….
I am not a lawyer, I don’t play one on TV and I have not
stayed at a Holiday Inn lately….
Any information I provide regarding this subject is
nothing more than my own opinion, and the
experience of several years in this HOBBY.
It is open to interpretation, but under no
circumstances am I advocating you violate Federal,
State, or Local law, and or FAA policies and procedures
in your quest of the ultimate shot.
Exciting and Dynamic Industry
Any technology I mention in this Presentation
no matter how new, will probably change, Be
updated, or completely obsolete by the end of
this presentation.
For example my Flight Controller is a little more
than a year and a half old and it has gone
through 5 software revisions and a brand new
hardware version with more functionality and
Welcome to the Bleeding Edge of Technology
BUZZ KILL Extraordinaire
Commercial operation of any UAV in the
National Air Space, (NAS) without written
authorization from the FAA is in violation of
numerous Policies and may result in Fines and
other nasty things happening to you.
The FAA has tried to classify your Remote
Control Aircraft with a camera system as a Small
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV).
BUZZ KILL Extraordinaire Cont…
The recent court case regarding, Raphael “Trappy”
Pirker of Team Black Sheep DID NOT make it legal to fly
Drones in the NAS, even though that is what the media
and others widely reported. And it is NOT over… The
FAA submitted an emergency appeal and so we are
back at square one with regards to that….
Trappy’s Case was more about reckless operation of
his camera platform, not about commercial operation
of an SUAV. He was fined $10,000 which was for now
overturned, but now with the appeal, we have to wait
and see. However..
BUZZ KILL Extrordenaire Cont…
Trappy’s legal costs will no doubt far outstrip the amount
of the FAA fine. Although some folks might get together to
raise money for his defense in this high profile and
landmark case, do you think they will do the same if the
FAA comes after you?
The FAA has sent in excess of 30 more “Cease and Desist
Letters” to Aerial Photography Companies in the last few
months. They have people combing the Web for cases.
BUZZ KILL Extraordinaire Cont…
YouTube is NOT your friend when it comes to mistakes you
make. In fact YouTube Posts about you making money
could be all they need to start proceedings.
Every post of someone doing something that endangers
lives or property with a SUAV is ammo for the FAA and the
MEDIA, who has sensationalized this industry and driven
the public mad with the fear we are all just aerial Peeping
But Wait… I saw on Gold Rush…
Yes companies are going ahead, claiming ignorance of
the law, using footage they were given or using any
number of excuses. This does not make it legal.
Large production companies and reality TV producers
many times operate in foreign countries, on a closed
set, or remote locations with little or no oversight, and
little chance an accident will injure or kill someone, or
end up in the intake of an Airbus.
But Wait… I saw on
House Hunters International…?
Same thing, production companies willing to take the
risk, or their insurance companies are willing to
underwrite them.
They Contract Out: There are already a ton of small
one or two person companies with no assets to speak
of, hard to sue and if sued the have nothing to loose,
like production equipment, cars, homes, property,
bank accounts, and retirement accounts.
They don’t care why should you?
if they screw up we all loose....
The newest hottest thing.
The Multi-rotor photography hobby is exploding with
hundreds of new platforms being bought each day by
hobbyists from all walks of life.
with Radio Control Aircraft experience, some
with Film and Television Experience and some
with a Clue as to what they should do…. But sadly
most without.
Never Trust Technology
Flying a multirotor camera platform is like
juggling Chainsaws… in other words “not
something you want to screw up”!!!
REMEMBER!!! Just because it flew perfectly last
time is absolutely no guarantee of it doing that
the next time.
Three little words....
Multirotor Layouts
Quad’s: Cheap, and Easy to fly (well sort of…)
Commercial Off the shelf DJI Phantom, Ph2, P2 Vision, P2 Vision
+ (all NAZA controlled)
3DRobotics Iris (Pixhawk controller)
Tarot with choice of controller
Negative of Quads:
–If you have
a Motor or Prop Failure....
three words are Quick, Violent and Permanent
Hexicopters: Are no guarantee but at least have a much better
chance of a controlled decent and landing with one motor out.
Multirotor Layouts
–DJI Flamewheel F450 F550 and
about a thousand others kits
from every corner of the globe.....
Build it you save some money but more important
learn how to fix it when you crash.......and you will
Personally I have
never crashed....
Though I have
my craft”... prior
to “unscheduled
and prolonged
Multirotor Layouts
Multirotor Layouts
Parts of a Multi-Rotor
Frame Materials:
Fiberglass, Metal, Wood, 3D Printed ABS,
injection Molded Thermoplastic, Carbon Fiber.
–Tri-copter, Quad,
Penta, Hex Y-6, Octo, X-8 and
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Flight Controller (FC): An autopilot that monitors the aircraft’s
attitude, altitude and position and compensates by adjusting
each motor independently to maintain stable flight and or
commanded flight attitude.
Many are GPS controlled, and are accurate to a few feet, If
properly set up. And if properly set up and prepared they may
automatically return to home if you command it or if signal is
lost with the transmitter in your hand…..
Or maybe not.... And just because it does.....That does not mean
they think for themselves.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Manufacturers of Flight Controllers:
DJI, the mfr of the NAZA, the Wookong, the A-2, and the ACE.
considered the Gold standard and priced from a few hundred to several thousand
dollars. They are not infallible, but if I were going to risk my reputation and my business on one
Flight Controller, they might be it.
3DR, 3D Robotics utilzes both the APM series board and their own upgraded
version of this open source board that is far more advanced called the
boards come in several variants, and since is an open source board updates and fixes come
at a faster rate and great inovation continues on this FC. It can be used for Fixed Wing or MultiRotor platforms.
is a new and FAR more capable system with more memory and a built in (OSD) and
many other features such as dynamic mode changes and parameter tuning while in flight.
Telemetry is also supported which you can do on APM boards with the Radios, it is just a lot more
cumbersome. Cost varies from $200 to 475 depending on options
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Flight Controllers cont.
–Multi Wii
Another open source board that is popular and has gained wide acceptance
in the hobby community, and some Multi-Rotor Vendors (such as Ready to Fly
Quads) have pre-flashed and tuned these to what could only be considered a
fine edge. Very capable, but probably not up to the level of the PixHawk. Cost
under $100
2.0/2.1 boards.
Developed by Kaptin Kuik and being produced all over the world by the
truckload, this low cost and non GPS capable flight controller none the less
allows stable flight and reliable operation and is great for applications that are
a bit risky and do not require an ability to find it’s way home. Cost under $30
Tuning is a black art and may delete sanity points from some individuals.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
–DC Brushless Motors of every
size are being used from smaller
than your little fingertip to bigger than your fist.
While far more powerful and efficient than the older brushed motors and
speed controllers, they are still power hungry beasts and flight times show it.
Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)
–Translate commands from the Flight Controller (FC) and
Receiver (RX) into speed changes for the motors for
the RC
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Payload: Camera Systems
Pro Hero 2/3, Mobius, Any Action Camera, Board Cameras and such
–Sony NEX-5 NEX-7 and Canon S100 small
point and shoot cameras
–DSLR style
Cameras, Canon 5D Mk3, Black Magic Cinema camera, Small HD
Camcorders and the like…
Very Large:
–RED Epic and
other Cinema Cameras.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Canon S100 and other point and shoot systems.
Canon, Nikon, Sony and other DSLR Cameras
or FLIR Sensors
Tau/Tau2 or Quark, with an onboard recorder system.
–Long wave
uncooled sensors for night vision and thermal detection, Not just
for military anymore, these sensors cost less that a low end production
camera and are very sensitive.
for Search and Rescue.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Payload: Other....
rescue line
Think about a small light line that allows a flood victim to pull a
larger rescue line with harness to them.
Think of this line delivered perfectly right to the victim without
putting a person or a boat in the water.
–A Radio
Give one to someone in the water and their chances of survival
skyrocket. The Coast Guard is considering, but very very slowly,
the idea of doing exactly that.
and Pizza and the movie too?
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
RC Controller Transmits flight and mode commands to your craft.
If it ain’t got sticks on it, don't fly it......
Futaba, Spektrum, JR, FrSKY to name a few
–Frequencies in 2.4ghz common,
5.8ghz on some systems
and 433mhz UHF on some long range system.
–Frequency Hopping
Spread Spectrum reduces the
possibility of interference from other pilots.
NOT go cheap on this component.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Telemetry system
multi-rotor systems have the ability to relay critical
information back via data link. This is a seperate DATA connection
beyond your Remote control link.
Position, Speed, Altitude, Distance from Takeoff Point,
Current drain, Power remaining, Lowest Cell in the stack, Current
Flight mode, how many satellites the GPS sees, RSSI* and a myriad
of other data can be read on either the transmitter itself or on a
laptop setup to receive this info.
is not to be confused with an OSD or On Screen Display which
superimposes some of this info on your Video Link, (yes, yet another
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
On Screen Display (OSD).
Top Gun here we come....
It overlays critical flight and systems
information over your video link so that you
can stay in tune with what your platform is
I Suggest you have it on a switch so you can
clear the screen to concentrate on framing and
other issues.
Anybody see anything wrong here?
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
On Screen Display (OSD).
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Video Link (aka downlink, or FPV video)
ability to see in real time what your camera(s) on your
Multi-Rotor are seeing. Essential for framing shots and insuring
that complex moving shots your trying to accomplish look like
you envision them.
They come in several frequencies (most but not all, legal in U.S.),
900MHZ, 1.2GHZ, 2.4GHZ and 5.8GHZ, with 5.8 being the smallest and
lightest and most popular.
5.8 is also the most prone to interference from trees and other semi
transparent objects.
FYI, technically, TX on 5.8 and some other freq requires a Technician Class
Ham License. (I am just sayin…)
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Video Link
terminate in a Receiver(s), attached to a monitor,
a Monitor with dual diversity receivers built in, or even
Video Goggles.
folks run a small recorder on this system as a
backup to try and read the GPS location in the OSD
before having to “Land OUT” or in the case of a
“Dynamic Dis-Assembly”.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Video Link
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Miscellaneous important bits: Batteries
Lithium Polymer or LiPo batteries come in all sizes and voltages
from 11.1volt 3 Cel, all the way up to 6 or 8 cel batteries that are
used on some larger systems. Each Cel adds 3.7v nominal
voltage. Power per pound is very favorable but it has it's
FIRE HAZZARD…. LiPo Batteries will puff up, POP and catch fire
if mistreated (or even if they think they were). Watch what your
doing and don’t get complacent.
Charge in a SAFE AREA outside your house, on a fireproof
surface. They can and do explode and burn and emit lots of
nasty fowl smelling smoke.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Miscellaneous bits: Batteries
FIRE HAZZARD…. No Really...
Also they make their own oxidizers so any of the standard dry
chemical fire extinguishers will be better than nothing but
minimally effective at best.
Some people charge them in a container with a big baggie of
sand poised above it, or a metal container that will not melt
Personally I keep a welders glove and a metal bucket full of
water nearby to toss it in AFTER Unplugging it from the charger
and the charger from the wall!!
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Battery Safety!!!
FIRE HAZZARD…. LiPo Batteries will puff, POP and catch fire if
mistreated (or even if they think they were). Watch what your doing
and don’t get complacent. Yes I repeated myself.
Use a good quality charger such as HiTec X4AC or other unit with
active safety checking of voltages before charging begins and always
always ALWAYS double check your settings before charging. This will
help but can not in any way guarantee a fire free experience.
Charge in a SAFE AREA outside your house, on a fireproof surface.
They can and do explode and burn and emit lots of nasty fowl smelling
smoke. Yes I repeated myself again.....
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Camera Gimbal:
to stabilize the camera and isolate it from the
movement from the multirotor.
–Price from $20 to $3,500 and
–Servo or
Brushless motors
Servo based systems are very cheap and keeps the camera level (but not very
smooth). Normally controlled both for leveling and pitch controls from
outputs from the flight controller itself, these are bargin basement but have
their uses.
They do not normally have their own control board so you will need to provide control
from your Flight Controller. Choose a FC That has those outputs.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Camera Gimbal:
–Brushless Gimbals generally come with their own
controller card. The come in 2 and 3 axis control.
are MUCH smoother than servo based gimbals and have a
price tag to match.
–Cheaper Gimbals may work well,
but you have to know how to
tune them and re-tune them. Have a spare.
–Higher end
Gimbals may also need tuning. Get it done by a
professional, or at least one who stayed at a Holiday Inn last
night..... Probably cause he was tuning HIS Camera Gimbal.
Parts of a Multi-Rotor cont….
Landing Gear:
or Retractable, Horseshoe or Individual Leg
Keeps your camera out of the dirt…. but not the dirt out of the
Keeps rocks and debris from dinging your lens or your Props.
–Dinged and
Damaged props is one of the leading causes of crashes,
especially on Tri or Quad copters.
Retracts look COOL… and with a 3 axis gimbal they are a must
have feature.
Safe Operation of your MultiRotor…
It ain’t IF…. It’s When…..
Safe Operation of your Multi-Rotor
Some tips…
Never trust your system is going to fly beyond the moment your in,
and prepare for every flight like it is going to plummet from the sky
with a vengeance.
Do this one thing consistently, and you will be safer than 90% of the
guys out there right now.
Know instinctively where your emergency landing point is at ALL
times. Have it in the back of your mind where your going to go, and
how to get there..... Blindfolded...
Remember: Your flying a incredibly complex collection of HOBBY
GRADE components made by a manufacturer in a foreign land who has
no liability, is virtually untouchable from a legal standpoint and has no
stake in the successful outcome of your flight.
Scouting your Location…
Just like scouting a shoot, you need to look over the area your going
to fly, with a very critical eye.
–Your looking for everything from
power lines and other wires, to where your
going to launch and land.
–Any Cellular
or other radio towers close by? They can intermittently emit
signals that partially or totally block your control signals.
–Where are
your Oh S—t landing spots going to be?
–Where are
you going to stand. Can you see your Camera Platform
throughout the entire flight. If not you just sent out an engraved
invitation to Mr. Murphy to visit you.
Scouting your Location cont...
Where is your spotter going to stand? From there can they control
crowds and keep them from your LZ and your OS spots, and still clearly
communicate with you?
not start thinking about caution tape etc.
Scout the location with Google Maps for a good overview before you
Do you have permission to fly there? Private property, National Parks,
No Fly Zones, Local Drone Hunting Club?
Is it worth the risk. Do you have a number of small issues, that may
add up to enough to decide walk away? No shot is not worth injuring
Scouting your Location…
You DON’T want a Bill for this….
No this was not a result of a Multi-rotor crash…
It was a malfunction and fire all on it’s own, but you can
see this being a likely outcome with a LiPo fire.
Safe Operation of your Multi-Rotor
Some tips cont…
Your gonna draw a crowd.
–Get used to
it and prepare for it ahead of time. I don’t care
how empty the park, or parking lot your in is, I promise you
they will come out of the woodwork and stand under your
multi-rotor’s spinning rotors of pain and dismemberment
like lemmings to a ledge.
they are gonna walk over to you and start asking
questions… LOTS of questions.
Safe Operation of your Multi-Rotor
Some tips cont…
Your gonna draw a crowd.
are not thinking about the fact your piloting thousands of
dollars worth of camera equipment, or that a crash could really
hurt someone, it never crosses their mind. Trust me, I know this
is the case cause it happens every time I fly. Be kind, and suggest
you can answer some questions after you land…..
is where your Spotter comes in handy as well. They can get
them out of your face, and keep them out of the LZ and possibly
answer some easy questions, and also watch your back from a
security stand point.
Safe Operation of your Multi-Rotor
Some tips cont…
Fly with a Spotter:
only because the AMA and other organizations suggest it,
but it makes it easier and safer to fly and it is more fun too.
–If your
backing up, and tracking a subject how are you going to
see the tree or power pole or other item your about to hit if your
head is locked onto the monitor.
–If your
flying at a distance and you loose video, your spotter (if
they are paying attention) will be able to point to your rig so you
can bring it back safely without having to depend on an RTL
system that may or may not work every time to your satisfaction.
Safe Operation of your Multi-Rotor
Some tips cont…
Fly with a Spotter cont...
–If your
face is in the goggles, who is watching the several
hundred dollars worth of Batteries tools, Micro SD chips Go Pro
accessories etc in your backpack next to you.
spotter also keeps YOU safe, people are getting mugged
and murdered over a few hundred dollar Smart Phone, wow,
what about a couple grand worth of flying fun!!!
Being an Ambassador to the Hobby
Your gonna draw a crowd.
–Get used
to it and prepare for it ahead of time. USE
the encounter as a way to stump for the industry!
industry is under siege, boneheaded stunts,
sensationalistic media reports and misguided legislators
are rapidly driving us into the dog house.
Being an Ambassador to the Hobby
Your gonna draw a crowd.
Have a planned speech about the positive uses of the technology,
Wildlife Surveys, Agricultural Crop monitoring, Search And Rescue and
a hundred others, because the public is going to go right to the “wow
you can use this to spy on me or my neighbor” line within 5 minutes.
Remind them there are already peeping tom laws on the books and
they can report and file complaints with their local Law Enforcement if
they feel they have been wronged..
Remind them these things are not quite, and most homes do have
curtains. Remind them to be worried about their Smart Phone in their
back pocket and their Computer at home before they start worrying
about this stuff.
Being an Ambassador to the Hobby
Cite the example that the Mounties up north found a car crash
victim who had wandered off in the snow looking for help.
Ground teams and even life flight failed to find him, and the
Mountie found him in 15 minutes, alive, and directed searchers
and paramedics to him. That guy owes his life to a multi-rotor.
Talk about how utilizing near field infrared cameras farmers can
increase their crop yield and farm more efficiently with less
fertilizer and pesticides.
How SUAVs are used to protect game in South Africa and Kenya,
and how these systems allow monitoring wildlife and helping
save the last elephants and Rhino's left in the wild.
Being an Ambassador to the Hobby
If you have a spare battery and have a little extra time, fly a
flight and let them see what you can (and CAN’T) see (and let
them know you cant see thru walls or curtains).
Have a business card, and tell them to call you if they have more
questions. You may make a friend for life or maybe a client when
you can fly legally.
Being and Ambassador to the Hobby
YouTube is NOT your Friend….
Every post of a crash, or an operator doing something unsafe or just
plain stupid is another nail in the coffin of our little cottage industry.
The FAA actively scans YouTube on a regular basis for posts that will
bolster their case for stronger and more restrictive regulation.
State and Local Legislators are also bombarded with links and images
by those who seek to limit or BAN SUAV operations entirely. In their
minds the sky really IS falling. “
Don’t give them the ammunition to shoot you in the foot.
THINK about the big picture before you post.
What Can I do besides that?
Become a Bore.
educate you friends, neighbors and anybody you can strike up
a conversation with.
Drone ON.
them all about the positives and where this technology is going,
How it already is commercially allowed in Europe and Asia, even Down
Step Up.
Organizations such as RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Platform
Association) and the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics)
What Can I do besides that?
Become informed.
Learn what is going on in your state and local community with
respect to this industry.
Speak UP.
The FAA and other agencies will have public comment periods
and we need to have our voices heard.
Fly Safely
We love this hobby, and want to make it a business, but it takes
persistence and practice to keep your skills up so that if things go
wrong, your skills can make the difference between a crash with
damage you can repair, and a tragedy that has repercussions that
are irreparable for the entire industry.
What Can I do besides that?
One that allows you to Practice and even fly on the edge
(in a safe area of course), and learn what can and cant be
done with your model.
Build one you can crash and laugh when you do.
Get on the web and LEARN, and be INSPIRED!!
this case YouTube can be your friend!!!
and YouTube are valuable resources used
At this point the FAA is mostly dealing with
regulations and policy based around the big boys.
$100K 50 Kilogram and up platforms.
Manufacturers of small UAS in the under 2KG range
have asked for exemptions but to date they are not
being told much yet.
The FAA expects any SUAS they authorize to fly in
the NAS is going to have to have a Military style flight
manual, and a testing regime similar to a full Air
Worthiness Certificate. This is not realistic for 99% of
There is talk of SUAV pilots being required to at
LEAST pass a private pilot Ground School to help them
understand the airspace and help deconflict the airspace.
Manufacturers of Flight Controllers are adding Geo
Fencing and Altitude limits as well as geographic self
awareness so that it can not and will not fly into a Class 1
or Class 2 Airspace.
Systems that sense and avoid other aircraft are on the
market, but there are at least two competing systems and
no clear winner in sight.
With the virtual flood of these on the market, the
industry and users are going to have to help define the
standards by which we operate, and do it FAST.
States are all over the map on regulation, from actively
looking for UAV Test programs to come to their states to
outright bans on anything that flies with a camera on it.
In France, your training and license will cost you about
$10,000 but after that you can legally operate a SUAV in
a commercial capacity.
Thanks for Listening, lets go fly.....

similar documents