This open-access drone mapping training course is designed to use Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), i.e. UAV or drones to collect remote sensing data for coastal mapping and seagrass conservation. We create this training course for research partners and braoder communities to learn how to fly drone , and perform the data processing in Geographical Information Science (GIS) method. This training course contains topics of flying DJI drones, Preflight & Planning, FAA part 107 examination, Drone2map user guide, and GIS based drone image analyses.
Basic knowledge of Drone, setup and maintenance.
Learn how to fly drone, manual manipulation and auto-pilot.
Learn FAA regulation, sectional chart, and how to take the part 107 exam.
Safety guidlines when flying drone.
Learn to use DJI GS Pro for auto-pilot flying and collecting field data.
In situ measurements guide, collecting field data and Ground Control Points (GCPs).
Use Esri Drone2Map to stitching and geo-referencing the drone images.
Data management and cloud storage of drone imagery
Basic GIS analysis on drone imagery, digitizing, multi-spectral band math, vegetation index and image classification.
20 minutes lecture to drone and basic manipulation.
Read the “Phantom 4 user manual” in the course material and setup the drone.
1.5-hour practice fly with the help of TA, get familiar with drone manipulating, fly around and taking picture/video using the drone.
Open training course for drone mapping: (1/5) Drone unboxing and assemble
Open training course for drone mapping: (2/5) How to setup the software for DJI Phantom 4
Register your drone
In the event that the FAA needs to identify a drone in the United States, they will utilize your FAA registration number to seek information. It only takes about 10 minutes to register, and failure to do so can result in extreme repercussions from the FAA.
“Failure to register with the FAA could result in one or a combination of the following: a civil penalty of up to $27,500; a criminal fine of up to $250,000; imprisonment for up to three years.” - FAA
Directions for Registering Drone with FAA:
Go to https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/
Click “Register” in the same row as “I fly under Part 107 or as a Public Aircraft.”
Enter information and click “Create Account.”
Verify your email address and log in
Make sure that you are in the “Part 107 Dashboard.”
Click “Manage sUAS Inventory.”
Click “Add UAS.”
Fill out the information
Enter your drone’s unique serial number, as found in the battery cavity of the drone:
Go to “Shopping Cart” and click “Checkout.”
Follow prompts for payment
Navigate back to your “FAA Part 107 Dashboard” and click “Manage sUAS Inventory”
Find the drone that you registered and find the “Registration” column.
Mark your drone with the registration number according to the following FAA Parameters:
The unique identifier must be maintained in a condition that is legible.
The unique identifier must be affixed to the small unmanned aircraft by any means necessary to ensure that it will remain affixed for the duration of each operation.
The unique identifier must be legibly displayed on an external surface of the small unmanned aircraft.
2. In-Flight Operation
Before flights, the remote pilot needs to check gloves, eye protection, safety vests, radio, and life jacket if taking off from a boat.
During the flights, wthe UAV needs to remain within visual line of sight of the remote pilot.
The flight is not permitted directly over non-participating people.
Because coastal mapping with drones often includes taking off and landing on a boat, additional procedures and safety concerns were discussed.
Open training course for drone mapping: (3/5) Calibrate the drone and setup the software
Air Space Regulation
all drones are required to be registered with the FAA if they weigh more than 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and less than 55 lbs (25 kg).
When operating a drone, a Remote Pilot-in-Command cannot fly an UAV higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL), unless it’s flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure and does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit.
The minimum distance of the UAS from clouds must be no less than 500 feet below the cloud and 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud.
1-hour lab session for drone2Map data processing.
Note: Drone2Map software package could be downloaded from course material resources folder. Sample data are provided in course folder.
For points on land, we used obvious objects, such as red buckets that could be easily identified in the drone image. For image referencing over the water, we used light-colored buoys with anchors fixed on the water surface to serve as the Ground Control Point (GCP). Using a Garmin R1 GNSS high-performance handheld GPS, we collected about 10 points for each of the sites. The coordinates of the GCPs are included in the mapping software to geo-register the images. By associating features on the scanned image with real-world x and y coordinates, the software can progressively warp the image so it fits other spatial datasets.
Learn the “CSGIS_ ArcGIS based Image Analyses Manual”
1-hour lab session for GIS analysis on drone imagery, digitizing, multi-spectral band math, vegetation index and image classification.
Note: ArcMap software package could be downloaded from course material resources folder. Sample data are provided in course folder.
UAV/dronehigh-resolution 3D fly-through video for Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML)
5. Post-training Self-study
Self-study for FAA UAS Exam
In order to fly drones under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107) in the U.S.A., one must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA (FAA.gov). This certificate demonstrates that the remote pilot understands the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones.
Above training document reviewed content from the course modules as well as additional material necessary to prepare for the drone examination, including airspace concepts, weather sources, radio communications, sectional charts, and drone physics. It also includes additional online resources and sample questions for the examination.