Training CoursesAerial Surveys and 3D Modeling with Drones

Welcome to the age of Data on Demand.

Actionable aerial data for logistics, planning and inspections.

CloudD8ta can train your team on best practices for collecting, processing and analyzing drone data.  Produce aerial reports on your industries work sites quickly and efficiently.  Aerial surveys and 3D modeling from drone data provide a completely new way to objectively observe our job sites.

Day 1

  •   part 107 Rules and Regulations
  •   Drone Physics
  •   Flight Mechanics
  •   Flight Training

Day 2

  •   Flight Training
  •   Data Processing and Quality Control

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the safety concerns, laws and ethics related to unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Identify and understand the function of each component part of the drone.
  • Understand flight dynamics; lift, drag, thrust, weight, roll, pitch, yaw, altitude, heading and velocity.
  • Conduct a successful preflight checklist.
  • Safely fly and land the drone.
  • Mission planning the drone.
  • Plan autonomous missions.
  • Use the Pix4D Capture app for nadir, oblique and free flight missions.
  • Understand the basics of Pix4D Mapper to convert image data into georeferenced maps and models.

The information provided below will be covered in the workshop, however understanding these concepts will improve your ability to follow along and move quickly through the drills.

FAA part 107 Rules and Regulations

Who can Fly

Recreational or hobby UAS use is flying for enjoyment and not for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire. In the FAA’s Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, the FAA relied on the ordinary, dictionary definition of these terms. UAS use for hobby is a “pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”

There are three ways to fly a UAS for work, business, or non-recreational reasons:

  • Following the requirements in the Small UAS rule (Part 107)
  • Following the rules in your Section 333 grant of exemption
  • Obtain an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft

Following the requirements in the Small UAS rule (Part 107):

  • The person responsible for the flight of a small UA (Unmanned aircraft), the remote-pilot in command (PIC), must hold a remote pilot airman certificate.
  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Read, write and speak English
  • Pass the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) knowledge test.
  • Be vetted by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).

Remote-PIC responsibilities:

  • The remote-PIC is solely responsible and has final authority over the flight.
  • Determines the entire flight crew is physically and mentally fit for the operation.
  • Discontinuing the flight if any unsafe conditions occurs.
  • Ensuring that the aircraft poses no threat to any person or property in the event of loss of control for any reason.
  • Ensuring the aircraft is not operated carelessly or recklessly.

What can they Fly

  • Must be less than 55 lbs.
  • Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs. (online)
  • Must undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS is in condition for safe operation

Where can they Fly

Just like you would use a map to understand how to get from point A to point B, the FAA uses a map to divide and classify all of the vertical space, starting from just above the ground to 18,000 ft and higher.

Classifying types of airspace helps us understand whether airplanes or other vehicles might be occupying the same airspace as us. Understanding types of airspace and the rules that apply helps us avoid interfering with any other aircraft.

Of course with UAVs, we care most about airspace at the lowest altitudes, specifically 0-500ft Above Ground Level (AGL). If you recall, sUAVs are not permitted to fly above 400ft. This guide focuses on airspaces relevant to sUAS operations, those present closes to the ground and at low altitudes

Airspace is 3 dimensional, a chart isn’t. There’s usually (always) several layers of airspace over your head. Pay special note to this with Class B and C show this is similar ways, only the color differs.

The floor and ceiling of the airspace are shown (top and bottom), in hundreds of feet, above Sea Level (AMSL).

Here, the class B starts at 3,000 feet, and ends at 11,000 feet. Because the airspace starts well above where you would normally be flying, it should not be a concern to a sUAS operator.

Here, the class B starts at the surface (SFC), and ends at 11, 000 feet.** ATC Permission is required to fly here.**

Classes of Airspace

  • Class A Over 18,000 feet
  • Class B Biggest Airports
  • Class C Large Airports
  • Class D Medium Airports
  • Class E Small Airports
  • Glass G Good to Go!

Airspace Restrictions

There are many types of airspace restrictions in the United States. Below is a list of restrictions that commonly affect UAS flights, including:

  • Restricted Airspace
  • Temporary Flight Restrictions
  • Stadiums and Sporting Events
  • Wildfires
  • Airports

Temporary Flight Restrictions

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) define a certain area of airspace where air travel is limited because of a temporary hazardous condition, such as a wildfire or chemical spill; a security-related event, such as the United Nations General Assembly; or other special situations. The text of the actual TFR contains the details about the restriction, including the size, altitude, time period that it is in effect, and what types of operations are restricted and permitted.

  • Presidential/Government Events
  • Sporting Events (Major League Baseball etc…)
  • Wildfires

Restricted or Special Use Airspace

The airspace surrounding Washington DC is the most restricted in the country. Flying your drone is illegal in any of the restricted airspace above the Nation’s capital. For more information, read about No Drone Zone.

Special use airspace is used to designate airspace in which certain activities must be confined, or where limitations may be imposed on aircraft operations that are not part of those activities. Types of Special Use Airspace include:

  • Prohibited areas
  • Restricted areas
  • Warning areas
  • Military operation areas (MOAs)
  • Alert areas
  • Controlled firing areas (CFAs)

State and local restrictions

In addition to FAA restrictions, many local and state organizations have bans and restrictions you should be aware of. Most notable are National Parks and city ordinances.

What documents do I Need

Federal law requires UAS operators to show the certificate of registration to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer if asked. You can show it electronically or show the printed certificate.

  • Aircraft Registration
  • Remote Pilot Airman Certificate
  • Proof of Insurance


The Physics of Drones


  1. Pitch, forward movement, controlled by pushing right stick forward or backwards.
  2. Roll, lateral movement, controlled by pushing right stick left or right.
  3. Yaw, directional movement, controlled by pushing left stick left or right.
  4. Thrust, horizontal movement, controlled by pushing left stick forward or backwards.
  5. Lift, a fluid flowing past the surface of a body exerts force on it. The drones rotating propellers generate lift which can be converted to forward motion by changing the pitch.
  6. Altitude, the vertical height of the drone above the ground. This can be measured in two ways.
    1. MSL, Mean Sea Level (absolute)
    2. AGL, Above Ground Level (relative)
  7. Turbulence, in fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic changes in pressure and flow velocity. Wind is the primary cause of turbulence for drones.
  8. Gyroscopes allow the calculation of orientation and rotation, designers have incorporated them into modern technology.
  9. Accelerometer, a device that measures proper acceleration, used in drones for flight stabilization.
  10. GPS (Global Positioning System) provides location and time information via satellite signals. Drones use the GPS to log the takeoff spot in case it needs to return unassisted.
  11. Electronic Speed Controls (ESCs) are wired components that connect the motors and the battery. They relay a signal that tells them how fast to spin. Each motor spins independently so the drone can maneuver and change direction.
  12. Telemetry is the link between the drone and transmitter that relays vital flight information such as battery strength, GPS strength, location, altitude and velocity.
  13. Autonomous is the ability of a drone to navigate from waypoint to waypoint using GPS and compass headings.


Flight Mechanics

  1. Flight Modes
  2. Preflight
    Before every flight, the remote-PIC must assess the environment and potential risks to persons and property in the immediate vicinity both on the surface and in the air.

This assessment must include:

  • Local weather conditions.
  • Local airspace and any flight restrictions.
  • The location of persons and property on the surface.
  • Other ground hazards.

The remote-PIC must ensure the crew is briefed about:

  • Operating conditions.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • Contingency procedures.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Potential hazards.
  1. Post flight

After each flight the PIC should:

  • Inspect aircraft and propellers.
  • Download and log flight data by date and location.
  • Log flight time and location.
  • Charge batteries in a safe environment.
  1. LiPo Batteries
    Lithium Polymer batteries, by nature of their design, have the potential of volatility, and must be properly cared for and inspected upon receiving them. Please read and understand the battery instruction sheet.
  2. Weather
    The Parrot Bebop 2 should not be flown:
  • Winds greater than 25mph.
  • Rain, snow or fog.
  1. Weather Forecasts
    Always check the weather forecast in your area prior to flight operations.
  2. Emergencies
    Know the contact information for emergency services and agree on a plan in the event of emergencies.


Flight Training

  1. Safety
    1. These are tools not toys
    2. Yield to manned aircraft
    3. Don’t fly over people
    4. Keep under 400 ft
    5. Maintain Visual Line of Sight
    6. Don’t fly in restricted areas
  2. Crew Resource Management is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating effects. Used primarily for improving air safety, CRM focuses on interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit.
  3. Visual Observers are recommended but not required.
  4. In this workshop we will train with teams of two using the Bebop. One student will be the pilot with second acting as VO.
  5. Connect Bebop 2 Drone and FreeFlight Pro App (download app in iTunes or Android).
  6. Drone Orientation; differentiate between flying Nose In and Tail In. Drones can go both ways and pilots can be easily confused by this behavior.
  7. Camera Settings


  1. Photogrammetry is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through processes of recording, measuring and interpreting photographic images and patterns of recorded radiant electromagnetic energy and other phenomena.
  2. Orthomosaics are produced by Pix4D from multiple aerial photos to create a single georeferenced image.
  3. Point Clouds are produced by Pix4D to create a 3D model. Each point in the cloud has and x,y, and z coordinate as well as RGB information.
  4. Autonomous Flights
  5. Mission Planning
  6. Flight Plan App
  7. Pix4D Capture App
  8. Pix4D Mapper App

Day 1

  • part 107 Rules and Regulations
  • Drone Physics
  • Flight Mechanics
  • Flight Training

Day 2

  • Flight Training
  • Data
  • Bonus – Obstacle Course


Pre-Course Recommendations

These recommendations are listed in order of priority

  1. Watch Pix4D video
    1. Pix4D Chillon Project
    2. Pix4D Webinar 1 Intro
  2. Read – Remote Pilot Study Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide



For more information on this course, please contact:

Tom Jennings             530 386 6677



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