Tuesday, September 3

Pre-Conference Workshop: Drone Videography

Full-Day Workshop

11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Track: Cinema and Photo

Speaker: Douglas Spotted Eagle

Learn how to optimize your field production time and build a plan to assure the required shots are captured with confidence. This intensive, 4.5-hour workshop will take you from the planning steps for unique shot styles through to editing techniques for the final video. This session will detail what it is you need for complete aerial storytelling, adding to ground footage and unique elements to best to convey your story and clearly communicate your message.

PART ONE OF THIS SESSION WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

• Creating a flight plan

• Setting up the drone/UAV camera

• Filters (Polarizers, Neutral Density, Gradients)

• Avoiding pitfalls and weather

PART TWO OF THIS SESSION WILL DIVE INTO ADVANCED FLIGHT TECHNIQUES:

• Get these shots and you’ll be set!

PART THREE, WE WILL CLOSE OUT THIS SESSION WITH A FOCUS ON POST-PRODUCTION PRACTICES FOR UAS, INCLUDING:

• Filters, codecs, and stabilization

• Color-correction baselines


Wednesday, September 4

When Gigs Fly: Droning in the Post W-2 World

Class

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Track: Business

Speaker: Shay Roehm

Freelance warriors – or “gig employees” currently comprise nearly one third of the current U.S. workforce. Employers are becoming increasingly dependent on these contractors who are a boon to small businesses and start-ups, saving a multitude of costs, while providing new efficiencies for these organizations. But, along with the upside of the gigsters era comes a bleak downside; lack of contractor loyalty, dilution of organization branding, inconsistent customer service, and loss of service level upsell opportunities. Although it can be difficult to acquire W-2 level of commitment and service via an independent contractor, I will present methods for tackling these issues, including industry specific performance and upsell incentives and brand partnerships and buy-ins. On the flip side, small business droning will be discussed, including methods for improving profitability and career satisfaction in the gig hub of independent drone contracting.


Clinical Research Methods for to Save Lives for Drone Applications: Its not about Usability its About Efficacy

Class

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement |Fire | Emergency and SAR

Speaker: Joe Eyerman

RTI conducted an optimization study in 2018 to identify the best combination of aircraft and sensors to support low-light collision scene reconstruction (LLCSR) by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. This study is part of a series of projects by RTI to use state-of-the-science research methods to facilitate the integration of drones into the public safety and first responder mission. This presentation will demonstrate methods for testing the value of different drone applications using the results of the LLCSR optimization study and describe RTI methods for testing the feasibility, calibration, and efficacy of drones for public safety applications. Other case studies will include search-and-rescue, public health surveillance, and structure fire monitoring. The presentation will also discuss a new project launched by the US Department of Homeland Security to assist first responder organizations with addressing public perceptions and other barriers to their drone programs.


Drone Applications in the Building Industry: Using Thermal Imaging to Assess Building Performance

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Construction

Speakers: Sean Gordon, Christopher N. Grey

In the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, several disciplines have seen how drones can make critical, and sometimes dangerous, tasks more efficient, precise, and accessible. This includes using drones to perform thermal imaging scans to detect air, moisture, and heat leakage from a building enclosure – the glass, concrete, insulation, and other materials separating the inside and outside environments. Leaky buildings can be costly and dangerous, leading to damaged finishes, increased energy costs, and mold growth within walls and roofs. The AEC industry uses infrared thermography as a cost-effective, non-destructive tool for these types of conditions. This technology is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but requires expert interpretation. By using drone technology instead of handheld cameras, AEC professionals can get detailed results to make informed recommendations that address underlying building concerns.

In this session, we will explore how the AEC industry has implemented drone use to conduct thermal imaging scans of buildings and discuss the differences compared to handheld scanning techniques. We will review industry standards and guidelines and share common project challenges and opportunities through a series of case studies.


CREATING A DRONE ECOSYSTEM USING PARROT ANAFI SDK

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Development and Hardware | Business

Speakers: Jermome Bouvard

Parrot has a long track record in giving developers access to their drone platform, and to actively support the open source community. Parrot created the first drone SDK in 2011 for the original A.R. Drone!

For the new ANAFI platform, Parrot engineers rewrote the SDK from the ground up, in order to match closely to developers and industry demands.
In the first part of the session, we will be focusing on all the tools and services that are available for the developers to create a real ecosystem around the ANAFI platform.
We will cover iOS and Android custom Ground Control Station, Video live processing and AI integration, rapid prototyping with python, and real time drone simulation.
In the second part of the session, we will showcase real case example of ANAFI SDK integration by third party companies, and how they integrate the platform into their day to day business, using all the tools provided in the SDK.

Lastly, we will give some perspective on the Parrot open source initiative, and how you can participate to the project.

Advancing Pipeline Safety with Aerial Analytics and UAVs

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Inspection | Energy

Speakers: Todd Knapp, Tobias Kraft

The use of UAS in the energy and oil & gas sectors are pushing the boundaries of traditional inspection methods that require extensive labor, time and resources. Drones increase efficiency, reduce costs and provide increasingly more precise data that improves safety, detects and mitigate hazardous risks, and reduces environmental impact. Today, innovation though cloud platforms, ultra-high spatial resolution aerial imagery, AI and machine learning, predictive analytics and big data are opening up new opportunities and accelerating time to value while removing barriers to adoption. In this session, Hanging H, a pipeline construction company and subsidiary of HUWA Enterprises, and SolSpec, an advanced aerial analytics solution provider will share how the use of drones and advanced data analytics are helping Hanging H detect and address possible vulnerabilities before they become safety hazards. Additionally, they’ll cover common challenges, share tips for overcoming them, and provide best practices for developing a successful UAS program built for scale.


Drones, Thermal Imaging and Emergency Response

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Public Safety | Fire | Emergency and SAR

Speakers: Patrick Sherman, Brian Zvaigzne

The Roswell Flight Test Crew draws on its extensive experience using small, low-cost Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) equipped with thermal imaging cameras to assist firefighters and other first responders in a range of scenarios that include structural and wildland firefighting, search and rescue, as well as hazardous material spills. This session will cover the capabilities and limitations of thermal imaging technology, as well as its specific application in emergency response situations.


Drones, Data, and Civil Liberties: Protecting Lives and Privacy

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement

Speaker: Ryan Bracken

Drones are an increasingly effective tool for law enforcement operations but present extraordinary privacy concerns for many communities. This presentation will articulate best practices for using drones to build trust with community members while helping to address challenging law enforcement scenarios such as large gatherings, natural disasters, and mass casualty events.

Participants will be able to identify and institute key technical, legal, and operational practices that address the privacy needs of their community and maximize the effectiveness of their drone programs.

This presentation will consist of lecture, slides, videos, and other multimedia resources such as images and charts. The author has assembled data and policy information from DHS, The White House and other federal sources, observations from interacting with dozens of law enforcement UAS operators across the nation, and from his own experiences as a former Special Agent in the FBI.


Getting Started with the MAVLink SDK

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speakers: Julian Oes, Jonas Vautherin

The MAVLink SDK is an open source SDK allowing to control PX4, or other MAVLink powered drones, remotely or from a companion computer running onboard the drone. It is available in C++, Swift, Java, Python, Javascript and runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It has been successfully deployed in production, e.g. in 3DR SiteScan, for controlling the Yuneec H520.

For many of today’s use cases of drones, it has become fundamental that flights can be automated. The SDK enables drone flights for different applications and aims to support drone operators to varying automation levels. Surveyors, first responders, or even deliveries have different requirements to sensors and user interfaces.

The SDK has a permissive open source license and is designed from the ground up to be easy to use from different platforms and in different languages. Moreover, it is flexible enough to allow drone/sensor manufacturers to extend it to their needs.

It is an important part of the PX4 ecosystem, allowing drone manufacturers to share the costs of developing and maintaining an SDK; and at the same time it allows companies to write a custom app once which is then compatible with all PX4-powered drones, which means over a million drones. Being the successor of DroneKit, it is the only alternative to the DJI SDK (with the difference that other drone manufacturers cannot benefit from the DJI SDK).

This class is targeting anyone who would want to write software controlling PX4 drones, as well as any drone manufacturer who may want to provide an SDK to its developer community. This presentation is based upon a presentation which was held at Interdrone 2018 but heavily improved and updated to the latest state of the SDK..

Students will be introduced to the SDK and its philosophy, review its features (actions, telemetry, missions, camera, gimbal, offboard) and the lectureres will explain how to use it in different programming languages and on different platforms. Finally, demos will be run on simulated environments (software in the loop, hardware in the loop) using the material presented during the session.


Precision Agriculture Meets the Real-Time World, The Use of NDVI in Agriculture

Class

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Track: Agriculture

Speaker: Charles Malveaux

This presentation will explain how drone based NDVI can take a 5000 acre field, which is virtually impossible to fully survey on foot, and reduce it to the 500 acres that matter in virtual real-time using aerial NDVI mapping. The high temporal and spatial resolution of NIR UAS surveillance far surpasses the capabilities of other remote sensing techniques when it comes to the real-time management of farms.


How Thermal Drones Work

Class

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Inspection

Speaker: Randall Warnas

This session will guide users through an understanding of the key elements of using aerial thermal imaging payloads. It will cover the importance of resolution, how to correctly set the five ingredients for good temperature data, and best practices in being an aerial thermographer. Thermal imaging can be a differentiator for drone services that drives a lot of value if done correctly. This session will also walk through common use-cases for this technology and justify how it is the most promising payload for drones next to the RGB camera.


Lessons from the Field: Learn What Has Worked Well and Not So Well with UAS on the Fire Ground

Class

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Public Safety | Fire

Speaker: Keenan Newton

Your agency has just formed a UAS program, purchased a new drone and sent you to a drone school. Are you ready for your first incident? A lot of talk and discussion in the industry revolves around logistics and strategy but on the scene tactics are just as important to. This session will review proven practices and example use cases that have been used on incidents involving drones by the Lynwood Fire Department as well as other fire agencies. You will learn what went well and what didn’t go so well during various public safety incidents such as structure fires, wildland fires, water rescue and hazardous materials incidents. Key takeaways will include: Support equipment utilized, keeping your equipment in a response ready state, providing UAS awareness to incident commanders and dispatch, and tactics and strategies on the scene.


Getting up to Speed Using the DJI Mobile SDK

Class

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speaker: Godfrey Nolan

In this session we’ll show how to get up and running with a simple iOS app using the DJI Mobile SDK. We’ll also create a real world app that will allow a user to map out an area, fly the drone and then send off the captured images for post processing.Now that we’re comfortable with how everything fits together we’ll go into depth about what you can and can’t do using the SDK and the various DJI drones. Finally we’ll look at the tools available for simulating, debugging and testing your iOS apps on DJI drones.


Managing Drone Data: Choosing the Right Data Service Provider

Class

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: All

Speaker: Colin Snow

Choosing a drone data service means choosing a trusted business partner. With so many choices, it can be hard to know which one you should use. What advantage does one have over another? Unfortunately, the answers are not simple. A lot depends on things like your business model, your target market, what functions you need, and quite frankly how much you are willing to spend. The good news is the current wave of development and innovation in online drone data services is focused on mapping and analytic solutions that drone business service providers and enterprises can use to help solve real world problems – problems like infrastructure decay, crop yields, stockpile inaccuracies, improper construction sequencing, mining site logistics, etc. With that in mind, in this session I’ll outline the important criteria to help you evaluate the various web-based mapping and imaging services for drones.

In this session, you’ll learn:

• Who are the major providers and what’s their focus?

• How to determine the value of the services they provide?

• What questions should you be asking when comparing offerings?

• What’s the best way to integrating a service into your existing workflow so that it simplifies your operations and save costs?


Drone-Based Photogrammetry – Innovative Techniques & Approaches

Class

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Surveying and Mapping

Speakers: Marc Johnson, Abbe Lyle

Mark Johnson and Abbe Lyle use drone-based photogrammetry to produce extraordinary 3D presentations This presentation will highlight and present several innovative techniques they have used as part of their work documenting and analyzing crime scenes, disaster sites and various forensic projects throughout the U.S. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Lyle utilize a wide variety of software and hardware tools with completed projects including video, web and VR-based presentations. The tools and techniques presented in this session will be of interest to any operator wishing to integrate 3D mapping and photogrammetry into their workflow. The session will include case examples and an opportunity to pose questions pertaining to the methodology used.


Starting Your Public Safety UAV Program; focus on Law Enforcement (Two Parts)

Class

2:15 PM – 4:30 AM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement

Moderator: Romeo Durscher

Speakers: Officer Matthew Slawson

The number of public safety departments having implemented a UAV program has doubled annually since 2015. That very first step to get started, is not only the biggest to take, but also the one that has the most impact. This session will guide you through the process of getting your own command structure on board, preparing your departments UAV policy, SOP and training documentation, it will give pointers and back-up documentation for your presentation to your City/County Council for review and approval, getting your needed paperwork and FAA authorization together, and then will dive into how to best train and utilize the technology. This session is meant to provide valuable tips, information and guidance so that your process runs smoother, more effective and to potentially eliminate some of the common mistakes along the way.


Managing the Elevation Shift between Ellipsoid-Based Vertical Reference Systems and Geoid Models When Using RTK Drones

Class

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Track: Surveying and Mapping

Speaker: Jeff Lawrence

World geodetic systems represent vertical height on the earth’s surface as a height above the ellipsoid. As a global reference the ellipsoid performs well and is used by some drone manufacturers as the default vertical reference system.

Geoid based reference systems are more localized and better represent the earth’s surface locally. In the United States surveyors, engineers and other consumers of mapping products are accustomed to using geoid models for elevations.

There are established tools to modify ellipsoid elevations to geoid elevations. NOAA and NGS provide one such site online at www.ngs.noaa.gov/geoid. Drone pilots capturing data, with say a Sensefly eBee Plus or ‘X’, need to convert the elevations from those flights to geoid based elevations, like GEOID 12B for example.

This session will begin with a brief introductory summary of the ellipsoid and geoid vertical coordinate systems. Then the instructor will compare two different approaches for modifying post flight exif elevations captured in ellipsoid height to the relevant geoid height.


The Utilization of sUAS in Coastal Water Rescues

Class

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Track: Public Safety | Emergency and SAR

Speaker: Sam Profitt

Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for over 360,000 deaths annually . In the United States, nearly 58 million people visit the beaches each year and approximately 80,000 are rescued .

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), commonly referred to as drones, are increasingly being used to support the first responder mission. As public safety agencies progress forward to implement sUAS programs, coastal water rescue applications should be considered. In 2018, the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department developed and tested a drone-enabled rescue application for struggling swimmers near the ocean shore. The intent was to test rescue equipment and create a standardize technique to perform drone assisted water rescues with UAVs.

Since the first test in early 2018, the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department has been leading the integration of the public and private sectors for research and development in water rescues. The focus of this presentation will be to review available equipment (including thermal imaging), software, and best practices when considering the utilization of drones for coastal water rescue. In addition, current and future research will be discussed to help attendees understand areas that have been proven to provide benefit in coastal water rescues.


Drone Hardware Reference Design

Class

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speaker: Michael Schäuble

Every established industry has a minimum level of standardization – consumer devices have USB, car tires fit more than one brand. The drone industry is maturing rapidly and has a need for standardization. Pixhawk as open source hardware is ubiquitous in the commercial drone industry and this talk will begin with shedding some light what this semi-standard has achieved for the industry already.

Needs for standardization in flight control are very similar across use cases, and main building blocks are shared amongst diverse hardware designs. The variety of use cases and the attempt to use COTS components with the goal of reducing cost can easily conflict when platforms get smaller or hardware requirements get more demanding, e.g. for certification and mass production. As a result, many manufacturers create custom-made PCB designs with a long list of custom components, pinouts, interfaces, and placements which lead to cost and time intensive evaluation and manufacturing processes that require significant effort to keep up with technological advancements. Knowledge and expertise are rarely shared between vendors and new platforms are engineered from scratch.

In his talk, I will explain why using hardware reference designs is the key to scale and rapid development for a drone manufacturer.

Hardware reference designs guarantee compatibility with upstream open source software and other peripherals. Moreover, sharing hardware design principles ensures compliance with requirements on placement and integration and improves the quality, reliability, and robustness of these components. Hardware reference designs are an excellent choice to create industry-wide standards when faced with a wide variety of products and use cases, reduce the room for error and mistakes when building complex products like drones, and provide a solid foundation when customization and flexibility prevent a one-size-fits-all solution.


Growing Your Drone Service Business: a Market Segment Perspective

After Hours

5:45 PM – 7:00 PM

Track:

Moderator: Anthony Vittone

Speakers: Kathleen “Kat” Swain, Andrew Dennison, Derrick Ward, Tomer Kashi

So you have your drone service business, but how do you grow it? This special after hours event, compromised of segment leaders in the drone service provider market, will discuss their triumphs and lessons learned along the way. You will learn which market segments – from construction and insurance to agriculture and beyond – will take off next, which are the most lucrative now, and where drone service providers are having the most success. Learn about the pitfalls, best practices, and the sure-fire ways of taking your drone business to the next level!


Drone Training: Teaching Avitation to Non-Aviators

After Hours

5:45 PM – 7:00 PM

Track:

Speaker: Patrick Sherman

The first civil drone pilots were early adopters and enthusiasts who had a passion for aviation and a grasp of its fundamentals. However, as the industry continues to grow, new pilots are often mid-career professionals with no aeronautical background or skills — and no particular desire to become aviators, apart from the data they can gather using drones. This represents a profound change for the whole aviation industry, with substantial implications for training.

In this session, award-winning drone instructor Patrick Sherman of the Roswell Flight Test Crew will highlight the gaps that exist, both in knowledge and motivation, between the student pilots of decades past and future drone pilots. What are the biases that conventional flight training programs bring to the instruction of these new aviators, and how do they inhibit their learning? What basic concepts, taken for granted by aviation professionals and enthusiasts, baffle these outsiders who will soon constitute the largest group of certified pilots in the world?


Thursday, September 5

Aerial Photography – Have some Fun with your Imagery

Class

8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Track: Cinema and Photo

Speaker: Romeo Durscher

This class is designed to inspire you to try new and creative ways in aerial photography. Together we will also dig deep into some of the functionalities of the DJI Go4 app and explore many of the camera settings. You will also learn post-production editing tips to create single images, vertical and horizontal aerial panoramas and some additional creative ways of showcasing your art-work. And then there are always the creative third-party solutions that can be a lot of fun too. This workshops is for beginners, intermediates and professionals who would like to be in a creative environment.


Keeping Your Public Safety UAS Program Alive

Class

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: Public Safety | Fire

Speaker: Keenan Newton

A lot of fire agencies have great intentions when developing UAS Programs and look for outside help in getting them started. However, keeping the program going can be challenging as well. When developing a UAS program you have to think about the long haul. This session looks into how an agency can develop and maintain a UAS program that has longevity. You will learn about budgeting, maintenance and in-fire house training proven practices as well as how to properly set UAS response expectations not only within your agency but how to communicate that to other agencies that you provide mutual aid assistance to.


How to Deal with an Older Datum, Such as NAD27, to Create Survey-Grade Maps, Using Drone Imagery, and Survey Targets and Check Points

Class

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: Surveying and Mapping

Speaker: Reza Karamooz

In this session we will carefully review a case study of a project where the customer required us to use NAD27, and for the data to tie-in to this datum. We will also review how to achieve 0.2 foot accuracy or better using drone imagery, survey targets, and survey checkpoints.

Prerequisite Skills or Knowledge:

This session is best suited for the surveyors, architects, and Part 107 drone operators interested in learning how to cope with creating survey-grade topographic maps, when an old datum such as NAD27 is required by the customer.


Scaling an Enterprise Drone Program

Class

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: Business | Construction | Energy | Infrastructure | Surveying and Mapping

Speakers: Assel Ayapova, Jesse Stepler

While the benefits of drone technology in the energy industry are well understood, corporations continue to struggle to move from decentralized, exploratory use to a centralized drone program at scale. Complexity, risk, and lack of oversight are commonly sited as barriers to integrating drones into existing enterprise workflows.

During this session, we will discuss best practices in drone program design, management, and communications to overcome the most common obstacles to scaling a drone program. We will leverage learnings from AES, a Fortune 500 energy company who has grown their drone program to include 170 internal drone pilots and deliver $10M in financial value each year.


Wildfire UAV Deployments: What we did and learned at the Tubbs Fire, Carr Fire & Camp Fire

Class

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Track: Public Safety |Fire

Speaker: Romeo Durscher

What hopefully is not becoming the new norm, several large scale wild fires have caused tremendous devastation to California. This sessions presents the lessons learned from a Public Safety UAV Consortium deployment to 3 large scale events; Santa Rosa (October 2017), Redding (August 2018) and Paradise (November 2019). How over 1,000 UAV flights were coordinated, well over 100,000 images, panoramas, and videos were handled, how impactful various hardware and software technologies were and how important partnerships, standardization, and training really is.


Drones in the Tactical Environment

Class

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement

Speaker: Anthony DeMolina

Tactical sUAS operations offer challenges to the public safety community. These operations are dynamic and volatile. Operators must carefully consider the tactics, techniques, and procedures to successfully accomplish this mission. We will discuss the aircraft requirements, piloting skills, and policy considerations necessary when operating in this environment. This session will focus on: Pre-scripted Mission Sets for Tactical sUAS, Special Equipment and/or Modification Considerations, Training for the Tactical Environment, and Policy considerations for tactical sUAS.  Students will be able to differentiate between using sUAS in an overwatch role and using this tool on point.


5G as a backbone for UTM: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

Class

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Track: Business

Speaker: Mark Edward Davis

The near ubiquity and high capacity of commercial cellular networks has led many to wonder if these might serve as the backbone of UTM, and even in manned aviation (“UTM-inspired ATM”).

The advantage of commercial networks is that they leverage already-installed infrastructure, and are highly efficient in terms of spectrum, capacity, and cost. In technical terms, dedicated aviation systems are relatively inefficient and antiquated. But the main question regulators have is whether networks managed by commercial enterprises, primarily to serve consumers, are sufficiently reliable and safe, and whether mission-critical traffic might co-exist with consumer traffic. There is also much discussion of coming “5G” networks, and how these might change the picture.

This tutorial will cover : What does legacy cellular provide, and what is 5G bringing; How mission-critical communication can co-exist with commercial/consumer users in the same spectrum; Peculiarities of the aerial channel; Business factors and concerns for commercial operators; The “converged tower” trend, and how 5G might serve as a deployment platform for UTM; Avenues and rationale for co-design and convergence of UTM and C2; Spectrum issues for aerial mobile; Standards efforts worldwide – what is working and what is lacking.


Improving Reliability, Verifying Integrity and Certifying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using Advanced Cloud and Deep Learning-Based Analytics of Flight Logs

Class

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speaker: Johannes Brand

Trials for air traffic management of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are currently ongoing in the United States of America as well as in Europe [1, 2]. While air traffic management will enable UASs to operate more safely beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) by implementing important regulatory control, it will also raise the requirements for the integrity of the underlying UAS control software which needs to reliably execute BVLOS operations under external supervision. Manual flight testing and analysis are common approaches to ensure the reliability and integrity of an UAS. However, manual approaches are slow and costly and thus limit the amount of testing and analysis that can be performed. Approaches for automatic flight data analysis on the other hand have the potential to increase reliability of the UAS control software by accelerating development cycles through extended testing and constant monitoring of the UAS in operation. The extended test data collection and analysis also directly facilitates the certification process of an UAV by providing comprehensive automatically generated reports of safety statistics for regulators.

In this session, I will present how cloud-based tools for automatically uploading, monitoring, and analyzing UAV flight data can be employed to increase the reliability of UASs and to verify the integrity of UAS software. I will address the challenges of developing such tools for large varieties of UAV types and models as well as UAS objectives. I will present how deep learning based automatic flight data analysis has improved the reliability of the open source autopilot software PX4 and elaborate on how it has enabled certification processes with the FAA and equivalent European regulators. Finally, I will show how valuable information for regulators can be extracted from the big amount of cloud data uploaded by users and present analysis results for PX4 from this process.

Prerequisite Skills or Knowledge:

This session intends to benefit a wide audience from the UAV industry and targets manufacturers and operators who are interested in improving the reliability of their UAV and certifying their UAV for BVLOS operations. The session requires some basic understanding of the technical problems faced by UAVs and of the certification process. However, it does not require a profound technical experience and can therefore benefit product managers and business leaders as well as engineers.


Friday, September 6

Balancing Commerce and Public Safety, The Counter-Drone Conundrum

Class

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement

Speaker: Anthony DeMolina

Unmanned aircraft systems are emerging as a valuable tool for public safety personnel but can also present a threats to the community. To manage the risk of rogue drones, law enforcement personnel must know the different requirements between commercial and recreational operations to navigate investigations. Federal Aviation Administration guidance on Unmanned Aircraft encounters skirts the edge of constitutional policing. Adding to the danger posed by careless or reckless operation of a small unmanned aircraft (sUAS) to the National Airspace and the non-participating public, criminal factions (including terrorists) are developing methods to exploit drone use for nefarious purposes. This session will address new technology to counter it, regulatory limitations to its use, and how the new FAA Reauthorization Act impacts commercial and recreational operators.


Technical and Operational Considerations for Large Scale Special Event Coverage using sUAS

Class

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Track: Business | Public Safety

Speaker: Ryan Bracken

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) offer unique capabilities for government and security operators covering special events and large gatherings. Effectively employed, these aircraft can complement ground and manned aviation assets but deployments are often met with extraordinary challenges. Common obstacles include large areas of interest, conflict with low-flying manned aircraft, congested radio-frequency networks, darkness, and unpredictable weather conditions.

This presentation will leverage lessons learned from supporting large scale events, including the 2019 NFL Championship Game (aka “Super Bowl”), to help attendees define realistic operational requirements, anticipate technical and operational challenges, and plan for success in an uncertain atmosphere.

This presentation will consist of lecture, slides, videos, and other multimedia resources such as images and charts. The author has assembled data and policy information from DHS, The White House and other federal sources, observations from interacting with dozens of law enforcement UAS operators across the nation, and from his own experiences as a former Special Agent in the FBI.


Adding AI and AR to Your Drone Mobile App

Class

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speaker: Godfrey Nolan

This talk is a hands on guide to adding AI (TensorFlow) and AR (ARCore) to your drone’s mobile app. After a brief overview of machine learning and how to use TensorFlow in Android apps we’ll show how to process the drone video so we can use the AI to identify and count objects. We’ll also look at how to use ARCore to provide context sensitive information such as roads and third party information to help guide your mobile app users to make better decisions.


Traffic Accident Reconstruction in 2D and 3D: Using Terrestrial and Drone Imagery, Calibrated with Precise Laser Measurements!

Class

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Track: Public Safety | Law Enforcement| Business

Speaker: Reza Karamooz

In this session we will review the latest techniques, workflows, and best practices, in capturing drone and ground imagery, and precise laser measurements to create 2D and 3D models of accident scenes. We will also show how these 2D and 3D models can be used to conduct accurate measurements. We will share case studies to demonstrate the required steps.

Prerequisite Skills or Knowledge:

This session is best suited for the law enforcement community, insurance industry representatives, and Part 107 drone operators interested in learning how to conduct highly accurate 2D and 3D models of traffic accident scenes using ground and aerial imagery, coupled with accurate laser measurements.


Drone Hacking for the Newcoming Researcher: OS Attack Vectors

Class

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Track: Development and Hardware

Speaker: Ron Munitz

In this software oriented technical talk, Ron will survey common drone Hardware/Firmware/Software stacks, compare them to other embedded, IoT or mobile industries, and highlight interesting places to research, should one want to identify vulnerabilities that may result in a malfunction, or a drone takeover.

Ron will discuss possible mitigation, and give expert advice in applying Secure Development Lifecycle and hardening techniques when possible, or wisely designing the next product when things are inherently beyond repair.


UAV Remote Sensing for Highway Road Side Embankment Monitoring and Management

Class

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Track: Surveying and Mapping | Inspection | Infrastructure

Speaker: Charles Malveaux

This UAV research utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with multispectral camera systems. This will allow UAV systems to detect soil moisture content as well as areas of subsidence. By detecting areas of subsidence and high soil moisture content in the areas of roadside highway embankments preventative maintenance and repair can be done on roadside areas before actual highway infrastructure damage occurs. This UAS facilitated preventative maintenance can result in significant cost savings in infrastructure repair and also prevent accidents from landslides and other subsidence related events.


Public Actively Tethered UAS – A New Open-Access Tool for First Responders

Class

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Track: Public Safety | Fire | Emergency and SAR

Speaker: Chris McCall

In 2018, the FAA’s 5-year re-authorization bill defined a new class of UAS, the “Public Actively Tethered Unmanned Aircraft System”. This is a new and accessible tool to Public Safety Organizations and this talk will outline the definition, differentiation both technologically and legally from traditional drones, and case study review of real-world use of this new class of UAS over the past 12 months.

HR 302 defines this new class of UAS within the following framework:

– 4.4 lbs. total take-off weight maximum

– Physical attachment to a ground station with a persistently taut, load-rated tether providing continuous power

– Control and retrieval of the UAS is through physical manipulation of the tether

The differences between Public Actively Tethered UAS (PATUAS), free-flying drones, and even traditional tethered UAS is important to understand for any Public Safety organizations looking to use this new available tool in first response applications and this session will outline these differences clearly.

Legally, PATUAS are permitted by the FAA to be used by any Public Safety team member without a pilot license, without a COA, and without airworthiness certifications. This relieves Public Safety organizations from the need to have trained pilots on the scene to gain aerial situational awareness, creating a new open-access class of UAS available to these teams. This session will describe the additional legal parameters around the use of PATUAS in Public operations.

Finally, in-depth case studies on how PATUAS have been deployed across the US in the last 12 months will be presented with a focus on fire and rescue applications, followed by 10 minutes of open Q&A.


Distributed Ledger (Blockchain) Technology’s role in UAS Traffic Management

Class

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Track: Business

Speaker: Rory Houston

Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT or Blockchains) are fundamentally redundant, shared access networks with high fault tolerance. In a world of finite airspace, safe and *secure* interoperability between UTM applications, drone operators large & small plus ANSP’s/regulators is not a nice to have, but a must have. Despite widespread testing and experimentation, it is safe to say this is not the case today. Meanwhile, DLT’s have spawned a new way to produce ‘observable security’ over data flow and transactions between stakeholders. In this talk, Rory will deep dive into blockchain consensus mechanisms and trust architectures and their relevance to autonomous aviation. Via a trusted network that reaches consensus together a highly (byzantine) secure digital airspace can be realised that is effectively immune to data corruption and hacking. We will then look at the current state of interoperability in UTM, and look at how a DLT network can align an industry towards the adoption of a networking protocol that aligns interests without favouring a monopolistic arbiter, enabling the industry in a leaderless and borderless fashion. We will finish with a look at airspace governance citing examples of current blockchain governance experiments from other industries and how stakeholders can and do participate in network governance.

Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge:

A basic to intermediate understanding of current UTM challenges and limitations. No prior blockchain knowledge required.


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