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4 Ways to Keep Your Drone Flight Over the Right Airspace

4 Ways to Keep Your Drone Flight Over the Right Airspace

Every flight with either the senseFly eXom or eBee includes flying within a “Working Area.” This is a user defined cylindrical region for the aircraft to work in. Its purpose is to warn the operator if the aircraft is beyond the working area and to perform automatic procedures to get back in or land.

The working area appears in eMotion and eMotion X as a circle with a wide semi-transparent border ring. Here’s what happens when the UAV interacts with that border ring;

  • If the UAV gets within the border, it will declare “out of working area radius” and immediately try to fly to the home position.
  • If the drone gets beyond the border ring completely,  it will continue to try to get back to the home position but will eventually declare “far outside of working area” and begin descending to auto land.

Tips for Operating with eMotion’s  Working Area

TIP 1: Keep in mind that winds at operating altitude may drastically increase after launch and blow the aircraft outside the working area when it is operating close to the working area ring.

TIP 2: Be very mindful of where the UAV may be if it automatically lands outside of the working area. Based on the prevailing winds that day, it may be on a busy road or a body of water.

Tip 3: Offset your flight plan to be as far away from the edge of the working area as possible so that if the wind does blow you off course a bit it won’t go into the working area border ring. This will decrease the odds of an unexpected landing and will decrease how often you need to resume the mission.

Tip 4: Avoid the temptation to create a very large working area. Technically the aircraft should be visible any time it’s within the working area.

Looking for more tips and insights on drone technology, products, and operations? Check out our other blog posts to see the latest on drone technology and using drones for your business.


January 4, 2016  |  Category:

FAA Postpones New Commercial Small Unmanned Aircraft System Registration Rules until Spring 2016

FAA Postpones New Commercial Small Unmanned Aircraft System Registration Rules until Spring 2016

If you’ve gone through the FAA registration process for your senseFly eBee or eXom , you’ve had to fill out a couple paper forms and get a notary.  You’ve also had to send in that paperwork with a five dollar check and wait 60 days for a response. 
As of December 21, there is a new and much improved system available for hobby and recreational small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) that is proposed to be available in similar form for commercial sUAS technology in Spring 2016.

What are the FAA’s new commercial sUAS rule changes?

Here’s a quick look at what’s proposed for Commercial sUAS registration:

  • One operator’s (business entity) registration number works for all your sUAS products
  • The operator’s registration number must be marked on every sUAS you fly
  • You can register online or via paper
  • You must register before your first flight outdoors, whether it’s a commercial flight or not
  • Registration cost is $5.00

What does this mean for operating small unmanned aircraft systems?

This will streamline sUAS operations relative to the FAA in a few ways. It will no longer be necessary to include every possible “N” number you may fly in your COA request. There will also be no more need for individual paperwork for every sUAS in your fleet, and no more waiting 60 days to register your sUAS.

We will keep you updated as the new registration system for commercial operations comes online, so be sure to follow us on Twitter , LinkedIn or our Blog for updates.


December 28, 2015  |  Category:

Using a senseFly eBee Mapping Drone to Impact Landfill

Using a senseFly eBee Mapping Drone to Impact Landfill

Using technology to simplify job processes is a common practice in this day and age. Technology is being used to make operations more effective and efficient in many industries, from construction to education. The landfill industry is no exception. Drone technology from a senseFly eBee mapping drone offers many benefits for the landfill industry, helping to make everything from land-use planning to meeting regulations easier and more cost-effective.

How do mapping drones improve land-use planning?

Drone mapping can be used for many things, including land-use planning. This is beneficial for landfills because it gives landfill operators a clear idea and layout of the land they have to work with and how they can best utilize it. With advanced technology and high quality image options, a senseFly eBee drone can map out an area of land, record specified data points, and produce a layout of the land with all necessary variables accounted for. Plus, landfills save time and money because they eliminate the necessity of the job being done manually.

Does using drone mapping technology have an environmental impact?

Using a mapping drone helps with environmental preservation because it provides landfills with more detailed information via aerial mapping than could be collected manually. By having a clearer understanding of the land they have to work with, they can better plan how to use it to preserve the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. All stakeholders in the landfill, from employees to community members, will be benefited.

How can drones help manage and measure landfill?

Another type of drone beneficial for landfills is a scanning drone, which can help manage and measure landfill. A scanning drone offers technology such as aerial surveying and aerial photography that can greatly impact landfill operations. Aerial surveying technology allows landfill operators to survey the waste at the landfill. This lets them measure the waste, determine how much land is being occupied, and make informed decisions about how to best manage the waste on their land. Aerial photography also aids in measuring and managing the waste at a landfill by providing clear, high-resolution images of the landfill and all that fills it.

We offer many high-quality drone technology solutions at RDO Integrated Control that will improve your landfill process. Learn more and contact our knowledgeable team with questions. 


December 16, 2015  |  Category:

3 Ways Mining Drones Are Changing the Mining Industry

3 Ways Mining Drones Are Changing the Mining Industry

The mining industry can be very dangerous for many people involved. These days, the features and functionalities offered by drone technology are working to change that. Mining drones not only improve efficiency and mining operations, but also improve the safety of many workers. With features including everything from aerial imaging to surveying to GPS mapping, mining processes are simplified, efficiency is improved, and safety is restored. To learn more, check out the examples below of specific applications and opportunities drones provide the mining industry.

Providing a Real-Time Slope Ratio Analysis

Using drones in quarries or mines gives you the ability to improve material extraction due to 3-D data generation. The drone can analyze the slope ratio of a mine or quarry and provide a realistic, 3-D model of the area you’re working in. This not only allows material to be extracted easier because you’re aware of the surroundings you’re working in, but it also keeps miners safe, giving them a complete view of their worksite and how to approach it.

Showing Surface Mapping and Comparison   

The mapping technology of a mining drone provides the added benefit of mapping out your worksite as well as comparing it to your process plans or other mines you’ve done work in. This allows you to monitor material extraction by knowing what has been extracted, what’s left to be extracted, and if your extraction plans need any changing or altering. This helps keep your project on track without unnecessary setbacks due to problems not easily discovered manually.

Giving You Fast Data Output

Another benefit of drone technology for mining is the ability to extract data from your worksite in many different forms, including point-cloud, HD video, and high resolution still imagery. This gives you flexibility in the data you collect and allows you the option to pass that data on in any form needed for a specific operation or project. You aren’t restricted to gathering limited data because of the technology or expertise you have on hand. With a drone, you have a wide array of possibilities to gather, analyze, and share data.

Visit our website to learn more about the mining drone technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls or reach out to our experienced and knowledgeable staff for more information.


December 9, 2015  |  Category:

How Do Drones Help the Landscaping Industry?

How Do Drones Help the Landscaping Industry?

Gone are the days of traditional manual landscaping processes. These days, drones are positively impacting the landscaping industry. Their ability to capture high-resolution aerial imagery assists service providers with land resource management. And with their ability for vertical take-off, they’re the perfect tool for monitoring large properties as well as small ones of 10 acres or less, or properties in condensed neighborhoods. Read on to learn more about the advantages of using drones for landscaping.

How can drones help improve efficiency for landscaping?

Using drones for landscaping benefits all parts of the process, including the pre-bid analysis. With drone technology, aerial imaging lets you capture real-time imagery of potential project sites. This eliminates the need to send employees out to the site to gather the data needed for the pre-bid analysis. Instead, the drone captures all of the images and measurements you need, including area measurements and plant and tree counting, in real time. This saves time and money for both parties.

What does drone technology offer when it comes to landscaping imagery?

Drone technology allows you to embed high-resolution UAV imagery in your existing GIS programs. This is cost effective because you aren’t required to replace all of your technology. And this also means your projects will stay on track because you don’t have to switch over to new systems. Your process will only be improved with high quality images.

What else does aerial imaging do?

An important part of most landscaping projects is identifying irrigation deficiencies. This is challenging to do effectively when done from the ground manually. Using a drone can greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this part of the project. By using aerial imaging, drones capture aerial photographs, allowing you to easily and safely spot irrigation deficiencies. The images captured also give you the ability to plan for flood mapping, enhancing the overall quality of your project.

Our experts at RDO Integrated Controls are here to answer any of your questions regarding drone technology for the landscaping industry. Check out the products and drone technology we have to offer today.


December 7, 2015  |  Category:

Top 5 Reasons to Use Drones for Disaster Response

Top 5 Reasons to Use Drones for Disaster Response

When a disaster happens, it’s important to assess the situation and gather information as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, with the number of logistics to consider, the process can take longer to complete. This results in putting both those affected and emergency response personnel in greater danger. Thankfully, the advance of drone technology improve and speed up the process. Here are the top reasons anyone involved in disaster response should use an emergency drone for their operations.

1. Real-Time Assessment

One of the major advantages to using drones for disaster response is real-time assessment. Drones allow you to assess damage and complete rapid entry route planning for emergency response personnel in real time. This means emergency personnel reach the disaster quickly and safely – and also means those affected are attended to as soon as possible.

2. Thermal Scan Overlay

Another helpful feature of drone technology is the thermal scan overlay. Thermal scan from a drone overlaid on video and photo helps to quickly identify survivors. The information returned also helps to determine the best rescue plan. This benefits both survivors and emergency personnel involved in a disaster, and improves the overall survival rate.

3. Progress Monitoring and Reporting

Using an emergency drone for disaster response also means real-time progress monitoring and reporting for crisis management. Assessments are safely and quickly taken by the drone. This allows personnel to easily determine how effectively and efficiently the disaster response process is progressing and ultimately helps them make faster decisions if changes are needed.

4. Detection of High Risk Areas

Drones offer the ability to detect and isolate high risk areas within a disaster. This improves the safety of first responders by providing a complete overview of the scene and altering those of high risk areas that could threaten emergency personnel.

5. Damage Assessment Transfer

A damage assessment is a necessary part of disaster response. But it takes time to conduct and distribute between the necessary parties. By using drones, personnel quickly obtain a damage assessment. The assessment can then be quickly and easily transferred to other agencies, insurance interests, and other necessary parties.

To learn more about using emergency drones in disaster response, check out the drone technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls. Our experienced team is here to answer all of your questions.


December 2, 2015  |  Category:

How Mapping & Professional Video Drones are Changing Hollywood

How Mapping & Professional Video Drones are Changing Hollywood

Everyone’s heard about how drone technology is changing the way many industries operate. And when it comes behind-the-scenes for movie and video production, mapping drones are changing much more. With cinematography advancing to include exotic locations and cutting-edge action scenes, filming has not only become wildly expensive, but also increasingly dangerous. By leveraging the technology drones have to offer, production companies can excel their CGI and video methods, while saving money and improving their workers’ safety.

Improving Production without Increasing Cost

Technology has increased over the years, and so have the visual and special effects of movies. Production companies are now spending millions of dollars to get the perfect shot for the films. Often times this includes taking drastic measures, such as using a helicopter or cranes, which can cost a lot of money, use many resources, and take a lot of time.

Using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, allows production companies to fly over various situations to capture what is needed. Using a professional video drone for aerial cinematography means production companies save thousands of dollars in gas, avoid unsafe circumstances for workers, and get back the time that previously had to be set aside for one shot. All is needed is a drone and a pilot. And with the precise technology that drones have to offer, quality for the movie isn’t sacrificed.

Prioritizing Quality As Well As Safety

Making a movie can be dangerous. Directors, producers, and videographers are often forced to shoot in unsafe situations or scenarios in pursuit of the perfect shot. Through the use of drones, cameramen are no longer required to be put in danger for the sake of the movie. Professional video drone technology captures and produces the same material humans once did manually, but in a much safer way.

Because the operator of the drone is not physically tied to the drone, this allows for the drone to be used in a dangerous location while all people are left unharmed. And mapping drones are also able to scan and capture information about an entire area, providing production companies with verified information on whether or not it’s safe to proceed with the original film plans.

Location Shoot Planning

In order to get certain shots for films, the current process includes meshing together several photos that were taken on a standard camera. This is a long and inefficient process to achieve the desired outcome. But with the ability to preplan a drone flight and the orthomosaic results, a drone produces images with GPS location along with videos.  Drones can fly the site prior to shooting and provide data to populate a 3D model of a location shoot.  With that data model the studios can seamlessly plan the shoot from the office.

If you’re ready to improve many aspects of your movie and video production process, learn more about the mapping technology of our movie and production drones. With great options and unmatched expertise, RDO Integrated Controls will help you get the job done quickly, safely, and within budget.


November 30, 2015  |  Category:

5 Ways an Emergency Drone Changes Vehicle Accident Investigations

5 Ways an Emergency Drone Changes Vehicle Accident Investigations

After an accident happens, it’s necessary to conduct an investigation to determine what caused it and what needs to be done in the future to prevent further accidents. These investigations are often expensive, time consuming, and dangerous. However, drone technology is helping change that. Mapping drones will soon replace stationary total stations which will benefit us all, as drivers and as taxpayers. Here are the top 5 ways using an emergency drone is changing vehicle accident investigations.

1. Greater safety
For an accident investigation, the typical process includes having personnel at the accident scene, taking measurements while traffic is passing in nearby lanes. This is both dangerous and time-consuming. An emergency drone eliminates the need to have personnel moving about the accident scene. The operator can launch and land from a safe position near the accident, and never endanger themselves or nearby first responders.

2. Less incorrect or missing data
Accidents are real-time situations, meaning you can only gather data during that time. If your instruments malfunction or you lose data, there’s no option to go back and reshoot. With drones, you can fly over a scene, map thousands of points, and download your data to verify you have everything you need before even leaving the site. This avoids lost or incomplete data and ensures the accident is being thoroughly investigated.

3. Fewer traffic closures
It’s estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation that accidents cost the U.S. approximately $28 billion every year due to lost time. Drones cut the time of an accident investigation down dramatically, especially for a fatal accident that requires a complete map. A drone can collect data and be on its way to the next site before a tow truck can even arrive. Plus, the drone operator is able to go to more accident scenes in one day, freeing up other law enforcement personnel to focus on other duties.

4. Greater accuracy due to no obstructions
When an accident happens and 911 is called, many personnel are called to the scene. On top of the active traffic and bystanders, this causes a very congested scene. Due to the many obstructions, collecting data from a live accident scene can be very difficult. But using drones allows you to accurately collect your data from the air quickly and efficiently.

5. Easier to prepare models
For a more complex accident scene where a stationary laser scan is required, you can combine a drone flight to provide additional points from the air and provide GPS positioning. The data from your drone will export and convert into Autocad and most other software providers. This allow for a higher quality accident model, along with greater efficiency back in the office.

If you’re interesting in learning more about using drone technology in accident investigations, check out the technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls. Our experienced staff is here to answer all of your questions.


November 20, 2015  |  Category:

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Drone for Bridge Inspection

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Drone for Bridge Inspection

Today, technology is continuing to impact many industries by improving processes and increasing safety and efficiency. Drone technology is no exception to this. From construction projects to accident investigations to aerial mapping in Hollywood, drone technology and survey drones have greatly improved how things are done. Check out the top five reasons why anyone involved in bridge inspections should be using drone technology to their advantage.

1. Aids in identifying faults and changes in the bridge disposition.
Detecting bridge faults and changes is very difficult to do manually. It can be time consuming and cause traffic limitations or closures. Due to the time-delayed 3D modeling and change detection features of drones, identification of faults and changes to the bridge disposition has never been easier.

2. Simplifies the inspection process of the underside of the bridge.
Without the use of drones, inspecting the underside of the bridge requires the bridge to be shut down to traffic. This is not only problematic for the bridge traffic, but can also cause a lot of congestion in other areas of town with traffic being rerouted. Conducting drone bridge inspection simplifies the process. Through the use of survey drones, the underside of the bridge can be inspected without upsetting traffic patterns.

3. Improves safety for workers.
When a bridge is inspected without the use of drones, it requires a worker to be suspended under the bridge or to the side of it. This can be extremely dangerous, depending on the size, location, and usage of the bridge being surveyed. By using drones, the need for a worker to be suspended is eliminated, allowing for improved safety and efficiency of the project. 

4. Collects information to create a 3D model of the bridge.
On top of the benefits of improved efficiency and safety. Using drones for drone bridge inspection allows for the creation of a 3D model of the bridge. Having a 3D model of the bridge aids in future development projects for that bridge and other bridge projects.

5. Allows for easy identification of high wear areas.
Identifying high wear areas on bridges is important to preserve the functionality and safety of the bridge. A drone improves this process through the use of thermal analysis. Due to high-resolution sensor systems, the bridge analysis will be very precise and give you detailed information without a manual inspection.

Interested in improving your bridge or structure inspection processes? Learn more about how our drones and other cutting-edge technology will help.


November 18, 2015  |  Category:

Maximize Your Project with a Construction Drone

Maximize Your Project with a Construction Drone

Many individuals in the construction industry are finding that construction drones have the potential to play a vital role in their work. From conducting construction surveying to capturing aerial photography to showing clients an overview of a completed project, drones are changing the way the construction industry runs. Here’s how the latest in drone technology will help your project and team be safer and more successful.

Monitor Your Construction Project from Start to Finish
Using drones in construction streamlines the project process and provides real-time insights.  Sensefly eBee drones use aerial survey and aerial imaging technology so you can survey and monitor all phases of your construction project – from site preparation to project completion.

Construction drones are also easy to manage, portable, and flexible in their ability to quickly obtain information from areas that are otherwise difficult to access. Using a drone with camera technology means you’ll immediately transmit accurate, high-resolution photographs and videos to construction management teams. This accurate cost and time saving process allows teams to review all aspects of the project, manage progress, and make appropriate decisions on the spot.

With the accurate and detailed imagery transmitted by drone technology, plans can be compared with actual construction, and each aspect of construction and assembly inspected for quality control. Plus, materials can be monitored and managed while surveying, mapping and 3D modeling tasks are more quickly and efficiently carried out.

Get the Job Done Safely
Because drones are able to access areas that are otherwise hard or dangerous to reach, you and your team will be able to safely collect the data and information you need. And with aerial survey and aerial imaging technology, construction drones also allow you to check on safe practices and site safety overall.

If you’re ready to have the highest level of accurate information for your construction project, learn more about construction drones. With the best options, expertise, and cutting-edge drone technology from RDO Integrated Controls, we’ll help you get the job done right.


November 9, 2015  |  Category:

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