Drones used in the Construction Industry

From the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, USA    

# note that there is a glimpse of architectural art piece in this video by James Turrell, Skyspace, 2013,  courtesy of Landmarks
I originally solicited other construction company users as to their ideas about using drones in the industry and to heat there experiences. This might not be the right venue for that, instead I got responses that mostly was about legalities and professionalism etc.

I just want to mention that I had knowledge and consent from the owner to publish this video, which meets the "non Applicability Sec 423.002 (6) which says it is lawful to capture images with the consent of the owner.  I have full consent from the owner, the Texas State University. And, I am just a employee of a construction company with a simple qaud copter and by no means a professional, so the video is not done to a professional standard. I found it to be quite a challenge to fly FPV in a crowded airspace without losing LOS and still trying to "get the shot"  with FPV sometimes you have to look where you are flying, and not at the subject that you are trying to film. Perhaps that is why there are often many cuts in some pro videos.

     The Quad Copter I used on these video's is a DJI Flamewheel,450 with a NAZA-M controller with the GPS.  I use a EZ-OSD for basic flight info, and I use a Sony CCD wide FOV camera for FPV, transmitted to the ground with a Immersion 600 MW Video Xmitter.

      It is using a 5500 MAH 30C LIPO, and I have the FPV camera rigged to a servo so I can "look" down. I receive the video both on a Fatshark video google and also an immersion DUO receiver that is attached to a 9" LCD monitor that is handheld by my spotter. There is also a Japan FPV DVR for recording the OSD and Flying camera imagery.

     All this is set up to be powered by a 3s LIP0. More info on the video ground station is here   

     The Camera doing the video is a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition and is not using any gimble for stabilization. It is just attached to the frame firmly with without vibration damping. It seems pretty free of jitter, but of course it doesn't track level. I plan to add a gimbal soon. I have a nice brushless gimbal, but it looks like it might fit better on my Ardu Copter.

    So far the owners of the projects I've heard from really like to get the videos and stills because it gives them a much more complete picture than they get just visiting the construction site. Also, its just cool. I haven't found anyone who has prohibited using drones on the site, however as the drone operator, I focus a high level of attention to details in checking out the equipment before and after flights and and awareness of bystanders and subject the entire  process to a critical review of the flight plan, equipment condition and all safety considerations.   I think we have to be our own inspectors and make our own safety rules, we absolutely don't want an accident to mar our record of being a responsible group that can bring value to the construction industry.

note#   comments are turned off, but you can send them to my profile..  Thanks!

   Here are a couple of my flyovers...

And check this story on Constructech.com  



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    Folks have started over there the FAA have said again that the rules will come up for comment before the years end and I suspect they want to get a high profile prosecution through before that happens. After the 90 day comment period it will take a while to formalize but there is a chance recently the FAA updated some of their verbage to say this

    Methods. The methods of operational approval are the issuance of either a COA for public aircraft operations or a Special Airworthiness Certificate for civil operations, provided the aircraft has been issued a type certificate from AIR in accordance with part 21. In the case of public aircraft operations, the operating entity applying to conduct the UAS operation must comply with its own processes, policies, and standards in the following areas, in addition to complying with all applicable safety provisions in all other parts of 14 CFR:
    • Pilot certification,
    • Crew certification,
    • Recent pilot experience (or, currency),
    • Medical certificates, and
    • Airworthiness of public UAS.

    Note: If no established public entity processes, policies, or standards exist, it is highly recommended that the public agency/department apply the specifics outlined in this notice and comply with the provisions of 14 CFR applicable to civil UAS operations.

    Sort of connected with this DHS has said they will not evaluate sUAS with less than 1000 hours of demonstrated flight time. I guess you could get 1000 phantom owners to submit logbooks with 1 hour in but perhaps that's not what they mean.

    Parts of the FAA are still saying not before 2020 other parts are being more optimistic.

    Before anyone trots out the 2015 thing, that has been shot in the foot by the other mandate from congress to sort privacy out first.

    Lets hope I have read the situation completely wrong. 


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