Get the lowdown on our high flying UAV school
A quarry on the outskirts of Melbourne proved to be the perfect location for the UPG Flight School to show off its stuff for a series of stunning videos.
Created by the team from SUDDEN.ly (formerly News Corp Studios Qld), the videos and stills have been used for social media posts as well as on the UPG drone’s pages.
The aim of the videos was to convey just what the school can do for clients, in the areas of hardware, software and training.
UPG distributes both DJI and senseFly drones – industry leaders in their respective categories.
“As the multi-rotor industry leader, DJI has developed one of the strongest brand names in the market,” Chief remote pilot and instructor, Lorenzo Forte said.
“With a wide product offering and ongoing development, easy to learn and operate equipment, and a variety of operational methods from manual to fully automated, DJI has a solution that should be considered for any client’s needs.”
The range includes: Phantom 4 Pro - Entry level drone for surveying or video inspection; Inspire 2 - High performance system surveying or inspection; and Matrice 200 Series - Professional grade range for surveying, video, thermal or zoom inspection.
SenseFly is one of the leading manufacturers of fixed wing drones and are the go-to for survey or agricultural mapping work.
Lightweight, with long endurance and a highly intuitive operating system, senseFly ebee aircraft can produce data with real world absolute accuracy, safely and more easily
The range includes: eBee standard - Mainstay survey aircraft for use with ground control points; eBee X - High performance survey aircraft - uses ground control or RTK/PPK workflow. Interchangeable multispectral or thermal cameras; and eBee SQ - Agricultural mapping aircraft.
“UPG Flight School is a training organisation approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Clients are able to purchase the drone and complete all the required training within UPG facilities and services,” Lorenzo said
“The major difference from other training providers is that UPG focuses mainly on professionals and corporate clients. The course covers the compulsory CASA syllabus and offers additional assistance in integrating drone operations in mining, surveying and assets management workflows.
“UPG Flight School gives access to a wealth of knowledge provided by our numerous specialists in photogrammetry software, surveying and the aviation industry. Usually, clients enjoy long-term relationship with our staff who assist them in various aspect of their operation from field support to data processing.”
Lorenzo said UPG offers a variety of photogrammetry and survey software to meet all customer needs.
“The most powerful solution is Trimble Business Centre with the Aerial Photogrammetry Module (UAS Master),” he said.
“UAS Master integrates with Trimble Business Centre and offers leading-edge tools to analyse your data. It provides full control on the data processing workflow and allows the creation of advanced outputs.
“Pix4D Mapper Pro is the mid-level photogrammetry software which offers a user-friendly interface and allows the creation of basic photogrammetry outputs and data analysis.”
Lorenzo said Trimble Stratus was the latest software offering from Trimble delivered in partnership with Propeller Aero.
“Stratus allows to effectively share your data within your organisation and clients while relieving surveyors and operators of data processing downtime,” he said.
“Its powerful web-based data analysis tool allows a quick assessment of stockpiles, road gradient and comparison between the profile design and bulk earthwork.
“There is a solution for every application and need within the surveying and asset management industry.”
The shoot has been exciting but also challenging for both parties, Lorenzo said.
“The UPG team did not have any previous experience creating professional videos and working in front of a camera.
“Other challenges such as the limited daylight and cold temperature kept the crews on their toes.”
UPG Technical Consultant and Instructor, Kieran Dinuzzo, said he enjoyed the experience.
“Cameraman Michael Sloane kept the camera rolling, following us around like in a film set. He worked relentlessly to stay on schedule and collect great footage,” he said.
UPG Flight School collected aerial images to build 3D maps and models of the site. At the same time, they explained the process and their products by conducting interviews on site.
“It was challenging to collect aerial data with multiple drones while capturing photos and videos. Michael made us feel like professional actors when he set up an interview on the edge of the quarry,” laughed Kieran.
The footage and stills were collected in less than six hours while the UPG crew flew drones to capture the site.
“We could not be happier with the result. I understand that it is always difficult to summarise complex workflows in a minute-long film, however, the videos achieved that goal exceptionally well,” Lorenzo said.
SUDDEN.ly journalist and cameraman Michael Sloane said it had been a shoot to remember.
“I'd never seen a fixed wing drone before, nor any kind of UAV taking a programmed flight path for aerial distance readings, so it was interesting to see how these went up and their different strengths in the air,” he said.
The shoot didn’t come without its challenges, Michael said.
“Of course, shooting small drones in the sky hundreds of metres away from the camera was difficult, but I was given the chance to use the controls of the on-board camera of one of the drones to capture another in mid-flight,” he said.
“That might be the closest thing I get to being a jet co-pilot in a dogfight!”
You can see the end results at the flight school’s YouTube channel here https://bit.ly/2nFLFes
To learn more about UPG Flight School, visit its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UPGFlightSchool