Drones for Surveying

Drone Surveying on Campus: Watch this 3 Minute Case Study

See how students learn drone surveying skills in this 3 minute case study.  Find out how MVCC is giving new meaning to the term Higher Education with their RPAS Program.

Professor Bill Judycki gives MVCC students of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems AAS degree program the opportunity to use drone surveying equipment from Microdrones, gaining valuable experience in the field. Watch them put their education to the test and use the mdMapper1000DG from Microdrones to provide a local golf country club with an updated course map of the 200 acre project- all while dealing with winter weather and new technologies.

Click the image to watch the 3-minute case study

The drone surveyors of tomorrow are the students of today, and Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), with its two-year RPAS degree program, has a lot to teach them. In Utica, New York, “snowmobiling capital of the world,” Professor William Judycki leads a crack team of budding UAV pilots as they battle snow flurries and dodge late-season golf shots on the fairways and greens of the Yahnundasis Golf Club. But they’re not there to play games. For their end-of-year project, this group is delivering an updated map of the 220-acre course, using the mdMapper1000DG from Microdrones.

According to MVCC President Randall Vanwagoner, Professor Judycki brings a lot of energy to the program. That energy is reflected in the faces of his students, Fletcher Heath, Randall Pelton, Kyle Fiske, Cristian Mendoza, and the southpaw Gabreal Catello, as they hone in on their two-year AAS degrees in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. The golf course project represents valuable field experience and gives new meaning to the term ‘higher education’. Frustrated with amateur builds and wanting a more reliable, professional system to work with, Professor Judycki managed to procure drone surveying equipment from Microdrones and his and his students’ feet haven’t touched the ground since.

Set-up is modular, snap-on, and it’s easy to create a mission plan. On flight day, under the watchful eyes of the professor and Golf Course Superintendant Chris Cartini, degree candidates hit the ground running, checking airspace status, setting up the base station, and programming flights. When all is prepared, the drone surveying equipment is ready for lift-off. Cartini wants to create a new map that he can compare to his old drawings from the 1990s. The students, in their wool caps, scarves, and hoodies, cheeks all aglow, pull out SD cards, download files on the fly, see that the data is perfect and predictable, and finally call it a day, rumbling off in one of the coolest golf-cart convoys anyone has ever seen.

Back in the classroom, Professor Judycki walks his students through post-processing, or rather they walk him through it. The mapping data is processed and exported for printing, where the final orthophoto delivers 2cm accuracy. The professor is gratified to announce a home run—all objectives attained—the students have improved their skill sets, they have mapped a 220-acres golf course in a matter of hours, and they have provided great, survey-grade deliverables to the end-user, who is, to say the least, impressed.

For more information on adding drone surveying equipment to your workflow, talk with our sales team.

You can also watch more episodes about drones in education.