by Claus KUEPPER

vr-pilot Drone Operations

 24/7 Drone Services



The survey of waterways can be quite difficult to be obtained. Trees and branches are possible obstacles in the river's path which can become a potential threat to the area as floodings could be caused by those. To monitor obstacles in river paths in remote or difficult to reach areas is a vital task for the safety of upstream regions. Drones can deliver images to create overviews of such regions helping authorities to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of floodings. The screenshot of the remote control was taken during such a survey mission.
During an open-door day at a volunteer fire department the use of drones by first responders like fire fighters was demonstrated to the public. A Yuneec Typhoon H Pro drone's live aerial image of its dual low light RGB and thermal camera CGO-ET could be viewed on a large screen. The "search and rescue" of persons and finding of fire sources - represented by the barbecue grill and special explosive fire demonstrations - caught the interest of many visitors. In addition to that a Yuneec H520 demonstrated ad hoc mapping capabilities of drones for generating aerial overview maps for disaster response.
The screenshot shows a thermal live image while flying patterns overhead a corn field for a wild pig search. This year's corn harvest was diminished by the summer's drought. The long enduring sunny period with high temperatures caused the soil to become hard as concrete. This is the probable reason for wild pigs not having caused too much additional damage to the corn plants initially. But as soon as the drought was ended by a series of major rain falls, the wild pigs began entering the corn fields. Thermal imaging helps proving their actual presence inside the fields, which is an important information for hunters.


Solar panel inspection is a good example for efficient use of drones. While the idea of installing photovoltaic on rooftops is great, inspection of those is much more challenging than the ones mounted close to the earth surface. This screenshot of the remote control shows the live thermal image with one isolated panel indicating a higher operating temperature. A technical malfunction is most probably the cause and the panel should be replaced in the near future. The group of warmer panels indicates possible differences in cooling efficiency.


This screenshot shows the remote control display of the Yuneec H520 during a mission close to a soccer game. Due to the large amount of spectators a special exception by the state's authorities required the risk analysis "Specific Operational Risk Assessment" (SORA). All exceptions were granted at the first request which was made possible to a large extend by the lowered "Air Risk Class" for hexacopters. Additionally geofencing was required and altitude limitation had to be obeyed.


Animals and drones. How do they interact? Common sense tells us that animals somehow must fear the unknown noisy bird in the sky, but reality shows different effects: while cows are primarily "interested" and deers react almost indifferent, horses can get quite nervous already from a distance just by the noise. Probably they think of approaching hornets? When using drones for environmental purposes the impact on animals' perception must be studied further...

"Plant Health Map" showing the chlorophyll content of a meadow as of date June 20th. The mown grass has just been put away and what can be seen is the dried out surface after almost 6 weeks with hardly any rain.
This photo shows a "SAR" operation for deer fawns during last spring. The "baby deers" are born and raised initially under the secure covering of the growing grass. But as soon as the mowing season begins, the lives of these little animals get endangered. Thermal live imaging helps finding them before they get harmed.


Newly invented mobile battery charger trolley for recharging batteries on site. Even when leaving the vicinity of the team SUV a continuous charging of drone and remote control batteries can be achieved.


The Yuneec H520 "Business Class Drone" is capable of carrying different kinds of payload. In this picture the payload locking mechanism can be seen because no device is attached. As of now a 20 mega pixels mapping camera, a 58° field of view (close up) inspection camera and a thermal imaging camera can be utilized, all with 360° endless gimbal rotation.

This year's season of deer fawn search and rescue has just begun. A little later than usual because of the extended period of cold weather. Now farmers begin to mow the first meadows and a lot of effort is done to avoid killing those fawns unintentionally. The photo shows a "fawn dummy" during parameter optimization of flight altitude, speed, pattern overlap and level of automation.


In-flight photo of a DJI Phantom 3 Pro equipped with a modified 4K camera producing NDVI imagery for plant health capturing. These images (and videos) contain "RGN"-information, which reveal the Red+Green+Near-Infrared (NIR) components of the light spectrum. High NIR reflectance levels indicate good plant health.


4WD SUV mobility is in many cases of great advantage when working for agriculture, forestries and the construction sector. An onboard charging concept keeps flight batteries ready at the launch site.


Using Pix4Dcapture in conjunction with Phantom 3 Pro. An NDVI-NIR-camera module will be tested this April for agricultural purposes. Plant health of vegetables, crops and forests can be monitored over large areas in a short time period.


End of March 2018: wing flight training with hybrid copter "Convergence VTOL" - equipped with real time video transmission - with probably the last snow on the flight test area for this year.


Orthomosaic and 3D modelling flight pattern for conservation and agricultural purposes. Approx. 400 nadir photos are taken to cover a 125,000 m² (12.5 ha) test area in less than 20 minutes flight time.

Preparing for flight tests at -6 °C outside air temperature. Operating drones below -5 °C OAT require special battery precautions and put system software to a test. Numerous critical flight phases were conducted without problems. The UAS proved to operate safely.


This video is an example for thermal live imaging during a search for pigs in corn fields. It was recorded flying a Typhoon H PRO RS hexacopter with a CGO-ET camera incorporating both, a thermal sensor and a low light FHD camera. Gathering data and images in post production enables detailed analysis.


Early morning "foggy" takeoff preparations on landing pad at - 5 °C. Winter seasonal testing of drone operations. Special attention must be paid to battery temperatures and possible propeller icing.