What: 3-day workshop. Mapping with Drones 

Who: Natural resource professionals, planning professionals, public safety professionals, agricultural operators, educators, etc. 

Topic: Mapping with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) 

Online Registration

Workshop Summary
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are permeating many sectors of industry, and are increasingly being employed as data collection platforms to support of an array of applications.  Applications span disciplines and industries and can include:  planning, natural resource management, marketing, inspection of structures, agricultural production, permitting, and public safety.  Specific sensors can be used to tailor application needs. Flights can be scheduled and conducted under short notice to accommodate weather, and temporal considerations.  sUAS operations support efficient workflows and provide opportunities for ‘data on demand’.

This 3-day workshop will provide participants with the following: 

  • An understanding of FAA and sUAS lingo;
  • A comprehensive knowledge of current federal commercial sUAS regulations;
  • In-depth discussions of sUAS platforms (fixed wing and multi-rotor), sensors (including true color, NIR, multispectral, thermal), and associated applications;
  • sUAS project workflows, including;
    • Compliance with FAA regulations and safe practices;
    • An overview of sUAS operation planning software, check sheets, and smartphone apps;
    • Demonstrations of fixed wing and multi-rotor aircraft (contingent on weather and other local conditions / regulations) of both autonomous and manual operations, and;
    • A comprehensive presentation and demonstration of image processing software techniques and options (image mosaics, NDVI, etc.).  

Workshop Outcomes
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will: 

  • be prepared to take (and pass) the FAA’s Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (aka Part 107);
  • have the knowledge to be able to identify applications that may be appropriate for sUAS data collection;
  • understand the steps required to conduct a commercial sUAS operations safely and legally;
  • be able to identify suitable platforms and sensors to support their application needs;
  • generate image mosaics, compatible with numerous software applications (including GIS, remote sensing, etc.) using drone imagery. 

This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop.  No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required. Online registration is required and is available here. (major credit cards are accepted). The cost of the Blacksburg workshop is $400, and the other workshops is $ 450. The fee includes instruction, handouts, resources, and lunch (for all 3 days). After registration has been received, you will receive further information about the workshop (exact location, etc.). 

Space is limited. Registration are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Questions associated with the workshop should be directed to John McGee (jmcg@vt.edu) or Daniel Cross (falkus@vt.edu). 

This workshop is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Geospatial Extension Program, in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), the Conservation Management Institute (CMI), and GeoTEd-UAS.

    Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

    If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact John McGee (307C Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA) at (540) 231-2428 /TDD*or jmcg@vt.edu) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations at least 5 days prior to the event.

    *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.