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RDO INTEGRATED CONTROLS BLOG - November, 2017


Hybrid Positioning: The No Compromise Solution

Hybrid Positioning: The No Compromise Solution

Robotic total station systems are valuable tools to leverage in field management projects, but with a small addition, you can turn them in to a powerful, no compromise solution. By adding a small GNSS receiver, you can leverage hybrid positioning and get the job done faster and more accurately.

What does it take to switch to a hybrid positioning system?

Switching to a complete hybrid positioning system is a simple process. It only requires you to add a small GNSS receiver to your robotic setup or using your robotic system with your GNSS rover.  During a hybrid positioning session, the system maintains automatic communication to both the robotic total station and the GNSS receiver on top. This helps improve accuracy while working in project conditions that frequently change.

What are the benefits of using hybrid positioning?
There are many benefits to hybrid positioning for many industries, including geopositioning and construction. First and foremost, it performs faster field work than standalone robotic systems. This improves the progress of your project from start to finish, eliminating the guess work and providing you with accurate data quickly and efficiently. It also helps you easily determine safe and convenient locations for your project from GNSS measurements.

Other benefits of hybrid positioning technology offered through RDO Integrated Controls include:
• Faster field work than standalone robotic/GNSS solutions
• Combination of fully robotic system with lightweight GNSS receiver
• Hybrid lock of rapid prism acquisition in dense areas
• Hybrid switch with single screen tap to bounce between optical and GNSS measurements
• Hybrid resection to start production at locations that are safe and convenient
• Compatibility with all Topcon robotic total station systems

For more information on hybrid positioning and how to take your robotic system to the next level, contact our team at RDO Integrated Controls today.

 

February 8, 2016  |  Category:

Commercial Drone Compliance with Part 107

Commercial Drone Compliance with Part 107

The FAA is moving closer to delivering on it promise to “provide a framework for integrating new technology safely into our airspace.” The FAA Modernization Act of 2012, mandates a standardized and permanent system for governing commercial sUAS (small unmanned aerial vehicle system) in the national airspace. The FAA Part 107 rules will be a new option other than the 333 Exemption which is the only current system for commercial sUAS compliance. There are plenty of rumors about what Part 107 compliance will entail and all we have to go on are the proposed rules from the FAA. 

Let’s first identify some key differences between proposed Part 107 and the 333 Exemption based on the FAA publication; Overview of Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking http://1.usa.gov/1nXowSI

What’s different about Part 107?

No need for previously licensed FAA pilot as operator. The Part 107 aeronautical knowledge test contains only segments from the Private Pilot test that are relevant to sUAS operations and nothing more.

An extra VO (Visual Observer) is not required for flights. One operator is the only individual responsible for the flight and the location of the sUAS. This relieves the burden of having to employ a two man team but it does require a much more observant operator who is both watching the computer and the sUAS at all times.

No need for Air Traffic Control clearance in class G airspace. This is a big deal. In summary it means that uncontrolled airspace up to 500 feet is available to you. This would negate the need for a COA (certificate of authorization) unless you intend to fly near airports (A,B,C,D airspace) or in otherwise restricted spaces.

Proposed Part 107 Operator requirements

  • Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center. This would likely be your local flight school location
  • Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires).
  • Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.
  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for inspection or testing, and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the proposed rule.
  • Report an accident to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in injury or property damage.
  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is safe for operation.

Next Steps

When to expect Part 107 available and how to prepare; The estimates range from Spring of 2016 to Late 2016 but of the five FSDO’s (Flight Standards District Offices) we’ve spoken too, four of them expect to see the roll out in June of 2016.

The FAA has not yet released curriculum or study material for the Part 107 knowledge test. Meanwhile it would be a good idea to look into Private Pilot training literature from sources like your local student pilot program or online sources like AOPA.com, flight school sites, and Wikipedia. Get to know the airspace classifications (A,B,C,D,E,G), basic meteorology, air traffic control communications, and basic center of gravity calculations. RDOIC will keep you up to date as the FAA releases more details about Part 107 training opportunities.

 

February 3, 2016  |  Category:

Get Ready for the Season with RDO’s Winter Service Specials

Get Ready for the Season with RDO’s Winter Service Specials

Taking care of your machines and equipment with routine maintenance is important in order to extend and enhance their lifespans. Servicing your equipment in the downtime of the winter months will save you valuable time later by ensuring that your machines are running at tip-top shade when your busy time rolls around.  At RDO Integrated Controls, we’re here to help you get the maintenance done. And we’ve got some great specials to make it easier.

Machine Control, GPS, and Laser and Optical Services and Specials

Our first promotion is for machine control, GPS, and laser and optical winter services, available only in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This special includes:

  • 15% off your entire purchase on scheduled on-site machine control winter maintenance
  • Early Bird Special: 12% off your entire purchase
  • After December 31st: 7% off all parts and labor
  • 5% off lath in pallet quantities
  • Marking paint -$2.98/can

Check out more details on these great deals on our website.

GPS and Optical Services and Specials

Our second promotion is for GPS and optical winter service, available only in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This special includes:

  • $50 off your purchase when you spend $200 on in-store supplies
  • Early Bird Special: 12% off your entire purchase
  • After December 31st:: 7% off all parts and labor
  • 5% off lath in pallet quantities
  • Marking paint -$2.98/can

Learn more about these great offers on our website.

Calibration, Asphalt Paver Controls, and Marking Paint Services and Specials

If you’re in Arizona or California, we have great deals for you as well. This special includes:

  • All calibrations for lasers and autolevels - $95
  • Asphalt paver controls update and service - $500
  • Marking paint - $2.98/can

Read on about these great promotions by visiting our website.

To take advantage of any or all of our Winter Service specials, contact our team at RDO Integrated Controls today. We’re here to answer questions, share expertise, and get you the services you need to prepare for the seasons ahead.

 

January 18, 2016  |  Category:

4 Key Benefits of Using Snow Plow Lasers

4 Key Benefits of Using Snow Plow Lasers

With large machinery and low visibility, snow plowing can be very dangerous. It can also result in costly property damage. New technology, such as snow plow lasers, helps reduce these problems. For example, with a snow plow laser, plow drivers are able to see their wing plow trailing edge location before they get there. This allows them to adjust their path to avoid injury or damage to people and property.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, snow plow lasers provide many other advantages. Read on to learn about four of the key benefits.

1. Safety.
The number-one advantage of a snow plow laser is increased safety, of both property and people. Using an ultra-bright green laser spot, a snow plow laser will map out the plow’s trailing edge before the plow even gets there. This gives plow operators enhanced visibility and allows them to correct their path before it’s too late. In turn, this protects nearby property and passersby.

2. Training.
With every new plow driver comes many hours of training for the machine. A snow plow laser is the perfect tool for new-comer drivers to use during their training sessions and beyond. It helps show them the pathway of their plow, allowing trainees to regularly see and learn the path of the plow. Plus, with the increased efficiency snow plow lasers offer, training time is better spent.

3. Return on investment.
While a snow plow laser may seem like a large investment up front, it saves thousands of dollars throughout its lifespan. By reducing the amount of property damaged by snow plows, money is saved on legal fees, insurance costs, and replacing or repairing damaged property. These savings outweigh the initial investment of the snow plow laser.

Plus, lasers such as the GL3000PMC Guidance Laser are made for both warm and cold weather operations. This means the technology can be used by trucks for projects in warmer weather months, such as paint striping.

4. Efficiency.
Providing plow operators with enhanced visibility of their plow pathway allows them to have more efficiently and safely finish their route. It takes the guesswork out of driving, giving them a more straightforward and efficient path to make the job faster and easier. Plus, a snow plow laser shows them the best and safest route to take before they even get there. Knowing the safe path means less property damage. And less property damages means less stopping and paperwork, which means a more efficient plow route and work experience for everyone.

Snow plow lasers are a great tool to equip your plow operators with to increase safety, training processes, return on investment, and efficiency. Learn more about the snow plow lasers offered at RDO Integrated Controls and how they can be used in other applications.
 

 

January 13, 2016  |  Category:

How the RDO Integrated Controls Solutions and Fleet Shield can Support Your UAV Technology

How the RDO Integrated Controls Solutions and Fleet Shield can Support Your UAV Technology

RDO Integrated Controls Solutions Center is a technology support group dedicated to assisting and supporting our customers.  Recently, we have expanded resources to assist with a growing client base investing in our new, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions.

UAV Fleet Shield is a key component in RDOIC’s available support offerings for your UAV purchase.

What are the UAV Solutions Center and Fleet Shield?

UAV technology is diverse, and can offer end users multiple applications within many industries. Training and continual education with these products has become crucial, and is an important objective within the UAV Solutions Center as it ensures our customers are successful with their purchases. RDO has four dedicated UAV technical support specialists customizing workflows, troubleshooting product and offering solutions on how to best conduct flight missions and generate data with UAV clientele.
UAV Fleet Shield is a specific UAV product support package for RDOIC UAV customers.

Some features include;

  • Data Preparation and Processing
  • Mission Planning and data output consulting
  • Certified senseFly UAV technical support specialists
  • RDO Market Place discounts for online UAV accessory purchasing
  • 50% Customer trainings both on-site and via webinar
  • Access to our UAV loaner fleet
  • One, free annual inspection with one of our certified UAV service technicians.

What are the benefits of the UAV Solutions Center and UAV Fleet Shield?

Every UAV operation has its own goals and challenges. The Solution Center is your partner in working towards best practices for your operation, workflow improvements, technical advice and productivity enhancements.  UAV Fleet Shield participants have an extra edge with knowledgeable advice, and quick support just a phone call or email away.

 

January 7, 2016  |  Category:

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:

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