10 Pro Tips for Professional Video

I love everything about editing video: the software, the equipment, and how you can spend 40 hours working to get a 3-minute piece just right. When it comes down to it, I realize what I love most is the look on other people’s faces when they watch my work. Whether you’re an up-and-coming freelance editor or want to share a better vacation video, here are some of my secrets to creating great videos.

This shot is an example of B-roll. It will help define environmental surroundings to your audience without a single spoken word. Having the scopes available when you’re tagging clips can help you know at a glance if there’s anything technically wrong with your clips.

This shot is an example of B-roll. It will help define environmental surroundings to your audience without a single spoken word. Having the scopes available when you’re tagging clips can help you know at a glance if there’s anything technically wrong with your clips.

Titles and transitions are an easy way to set the pace and guide for your viewers when you’re not working on a narrative piece. Remember to allow enough time to read the titles. My guideline is to allow enough screen time for the title to be read three times.

Titles and transitions are an easy way to set the pace and guide for your viewers when you’re not working on a narrative piece. Remember to allow enough time to read the titles. My guideline is to allow enough screen time for the title to be read three times.

This tip may not make sense until you’ve experienced it. If you’ve never been on set for a production you’re going to edit, start getting involved. Ask to attend the shoot and watch out for continuity. As you watch or take video, visualize how you’ll cut the scenes. Remember, you’re the one putting this puzzle together, and you want to make sure you don’t reach the end only to find out you’re missing pieces.

Learn to use your B-roll

B-roll is the material you cut away to during an interview or demonstrative video. For example, RotorDroneMag.com has a lot of product review videos, which would be quite boring if all you had to watch was a person speaking while standing behind a drone. Instead, when the speaker mentions a feature of the drone the video cuts away to a closeup of that feature or to footage of the drone in flight. Cutting away to B-roll also allows you to put words in your speaker’s mouth or clean up someone whose favorite word is “umm.” With some creative audio editorial and plenty of B-roll, you can make anyone speak eloquently about any topic.

Understand your camera and its limitations

I’ve been a huge fan of camera technology for years. Make sure you research what you’re buying thoroughly and understand its features and limitations. If you’re just shooting aerial footage on a small drone, then a GoPro is fine. If you plan to get into higher level photography or videography, then you’ll probably want something that allows you room to grow like a DSLR or even a traditional camcorder. Also, make sure that you have a basic understanding of the type of files it captures to. Some require converting to a different format before you can even begin to edit, although a lot of the popular cameras will shoot to a file that is readable by most computers. You can easily load the file onto your computer and play it back, but editing with the native camera format can be a chore and very processor-intensive to decode. This is where you need to know what format works with your editing system and convert your footage to that codec for better playback when time permits. If you find that your playback is choppy or stuttering, first confirm you’re not mixing frame rates. You may be trying to play back 29.97 footage mixed in a 23.98 timeline, and the system is throwing away arbitrary frames to create that frame rate. If frame rate is not the issue, try reducing your playback quality or turning off the video to your external display.

he camera man seen here is a long time coworker and trusted friend. I rely heavily on his eye to get the shot, but I’m never far behind to comment on framing, or suggest new angles for the shot.

The camera man seen here is a long time coworker and trusted friend. I rely heavily on his eye to get the shot, but I’m never far behind to comment on framing, or suggest new angles for the shot.

Work backwards

Before I begin working, I ask my clients a question: What do you need to walk away with when we finish editing? It’s important to understand where the content will be displayed. I’ve edited content that has been shown on everything from a cell phone screen to a jumbo-tron style display, and each has its own unique requirements. If you are working with all HD resolution footage that was shot well, then you have a lot more options. Creating a deliverable from properly shot material will make your life a lot easier. The majority of deliverables have some sort of file and or disc like a Blu-ray. Pay attention to footage you have and ensure that you can deliver.

Watch all of your footage

One of the first things you learn as an apprentice in the cutting room is that you shouldn’t start cutting a single frame until you’ve watched your footage. Sitting down to at least skim through all of the footage is a huge help. Some editing software will even allow you to flag shots on the fly or tag them with metadata so you can search for them later by keyword. Even if you shot all the video yourself, there is still value in watching it on screen the same way your audience is going to view it.

Whistle while you work!

If you’re putting together a demo reel, chances are you’ll be working with one or multiple music tracks to keep the pace going. Once you’ve selected your score, do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with setting markers on a track. You can literally do this with your eyes closed as long as you can keep a beat. Start by loading your music cue into the timeline and playing it back to make sure you can hear it. The keyboard command will vary based on your software, but in Final Cut Pro 7 it’s the “M” key. Rest your finger on the key, sit back, press play, close your eyes and start hitting that “M” key in rhythm to the beat. It also helps to tap your foot. The results will give you an audio track with a blueprint indicating where to start and end your edits. Do this for every piece of music you’ll be using and use the marks as guides for fading out of one track and into the other. Don’t take the markers literally and feel you have to put an edit on each one; they’re just there to help you. You are still in control of the cut.

Keep it simple

Most editing software has a ton of available effects. Don’t feel you need to use them all! Transitions, effects and filters that are plastered all over the timeline just make the video look amateur. It will be very clear that you are relying on cheesy effects to distract from lack of footage or inspiration. It’s better to present a piece that’s shorter than you intended than posterize eight shots to fill time. There is a time and place for effects and transitions, and it’s usually—but not always—at the beginning and end of a sequence. Use transitions as needed,just please use them sparingly.

Tagging clips into “rolls” allows you to organize material into categories. You can turn them on and off and save multiple versions to enable and disable as needed in your project. Rolls can also be set into smart bins to quickly find what you need. This is helpful when delivering audio in split tracks to be finished at a sound facility later.

Tagging clips into “rolls” allows you to organize material into categories. You can turn them on and off and save multiple versions to enable and disable as needed in your project. Rolls can also be set into smart bins to quickly find what you need. This is helpful when delivering audio in split tracks to be finished at a sound facility later.

In this image you can see some of the keywords applied to shots. I can search for the keywords Robert/drone/bench and the results would produce every shot that I’ve tagged with that info. This also works for framing such as “WS” for wide shot or “CU” for closeup.

In this image you can see some of the keywords applied to shots. I can search for the keywords Robert/drone/bench and the results would produce every shot that I’ve tagged with that info. This also works for framing such as “WS” for wide shot or “CU” for closeup.

Some applications allow for customization of the interface. The default layouts are usually well thought out, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Some editors prefer a list view of their clips instead of thumbnails for example. Others like to close out just about every window and keep things minimalistic.

Some applications allow for customization of the interface. The default layouts are usually well thought out, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Some editors prefer a list view of their clips instead of thumbnails for example. Others like to close out just about every window and keep things minimalistic.

Get inspired

There’s nothing wrong with researching what others are doing and picking up techniques. I’ve spent a lot of time watching movies and episodes, paying more attention to how the shows are cut than to the story. As you watch your favorites, pay attention to what the editor is doing to keep you engaged. Usually the right combination of music and perfectly timed cuts keep the video flowing. If you’re working on something like a documentary or even as close to home as your summer vacation video, B-roll is what’s going to sell it. Cut away to as much content as you can that’s relevant to what is being discussed.

Know your audience

When you’re sitting down to begin work on your project, keep your audience in mind. Do you need special considerations for their age? Is the church group going to be OK with you using some ‘80s metal for the score? Realize that everyone won’t understand all your inside jokes and edit accordingly. You don’t need to justify every edit, but when you sit back and watch your work, ask yourself if it accomplishes what you need it to for the audience. This is especially important when working on a demo reel. Reels are meant to impress the viewing party enough to take note of your talent, pause at the end on your contact information and pick up the phone to offer you work. If you can’t keep them engaged long enough to reach the end of the reel, the phone will never ring.

It’s showtime!

Now that you’ve painstakingly gone over every single frame of your piece, take the time to watch it in the format in which you’ll be delivering the project. If you’re providing friends and family with a file to play back from their computers or posting to social media networks, do everything in your power to make sure the creative vision is maintained. Watch it through by yourself and look out for errors like miscuts, misspellings, render issues, and compression artifacts. Make sure the audio is normalized and doesn’t rise up and down during the video. When you’re happy with it, call in your family and friends to watch the cut and invite them to offer feedback. Pay attention to their faces and body language; you can tell a lot from watching people watch your work. If you’re as lucky as I am to have a family without critique filters, they’ll have no problems telling you what you need to fix.

Closing Thoughts

Take pride in what you do, no matter the size of the screen it’s presented on. As we all know, a 60-second online video can brighten someone’s day or even change their outlook on life. Your next video can have that same impact!

By Robert C. Rodriguez

AAUS Noise Regulation Working Group Position Paper submitted

The Australian Association of Unmanned Systems (AAUS) acknowledges the potential intrusion drone/RPAS operations can have on the public and that it is an issue of important concern to the community. AAUS also acknowledges that as Australia’s peak national body for the RPAS and emerging urban air mobility sectors, it has a responsibility to proactively work with Government and community stakeholders towards addressing this concern.

AAUS has formed an advisory group to lead the development of an all-of-industry position on noise regulations applicable to the sector. Through the outcomes of the advisory group, AAUS would like to proactively represent industry needs and provide this as an input to the DITCRD. Further, the advisory group will develop and represent a unified industry response to the outcomes of the DITCRD review.

The AAUS Noise Regulation Working Group has submitted its Position paper to DITCRD.

AAUS Industry Position Paper – RPAS Noise Regulations Final 20191122

AAUS Noise Regulation Working Group

We would like to acknowledge the generous support from the following members in drafting this position paper:

  • Jake Andrew (The Institute for Drone Technology)
  • Reece Clothier (Boeing / AAUS)
  • Andrew Crowe (Mirragin)
  • Jackie Dujmovic (Hover UAV)
  • Geoff Durham (XRotor)
  • Ken King (Freespace Operations)
  • Anthony Marsh (AirAssess / Monash University)
  • Andrew McDonald
  • David Steinfeld (Patching Associates)
  • Adam Welsh (DJI)
  • Greg Tyrrell (AAUS, Chair)

Background

In November 2018 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government established an inquiry into commercial drone / remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) operations taking place in the Territory[1].

In July 2019, the Inquiry report was released, with one of the findings being that no Territory or Federal Authority had clear responsibility for regulating noise associated with drone/RPAS activities. Prompted by the ongoing ACT Government inquiry, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development (DITCRD) launched a review of the existing Australian Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018 to determine their applicability to drone operations. In June of 2019, The Department made public its view that these regulations are applicable and that a range of commercial and recreational drone operations within Australia will require approvals regarding noise. The review will determine the scope and breadth of noise regulations applicable to the drone/RPAS sector.

On September 27, 2019 DIRCRD released an Issues paper as part of the review of the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) and to seek comments through consultation[2]. The issues paper contains proposed noise regulation of drones and urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft.

[1]https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/environmental/aircraft-noise/noise_regulation_for_rpa_drones.aspx

[2]https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/environmental/aircraft-noise/files/Issues_Paper-Review_of_Air_Navigation-Aircraft_Noise_Regulations_2018-RPA.pdf

New Lifting World Record

FPT Industrial and Forvola have announced that the two firms have broken the Guinness World Record for the heaviest payload lifted by a drone in Turin, Italy. Forvola’s “megadrone”, with its 16 propellers, lifted a box full of FPT Industrial spare parts weighing 222.67 pounds to a height of almost 5 feet for more than 1 minute, 3 seconds.

The record was officially certified by Guinness World Records on December 6th, 2018. The previous record belonged to the University of Oslo, Norway, whose drone lifted 61 kg to a height of one meter for 37 seconds in 2015.

Forvola’s customizable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has a power of 10 to 20 kW, can carry weights up to 200 kg, and can fly for 30 minutes or more, depending on the payload.

The megadrone can be customized in terms of size, configuration and accessories, according to specific customer requirements. Forvola drones can be used in multiple situations, including rescue in dangerous areas, cargo handling in the maritime sector, to support firefighters or civilian protection organizations, to help ensure safety near shorelines, and as a support on construction sites.

Revised Proposal Due Dates for NASA UAM Grand Challenge Announcement of Collaborative Partnership Opportunities

We are sending an update to the ARMD Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge (GC) Announcement of Collaborative Partnership Opportunities (ACO).

We understand that the multiple due dates, added to the change over from FedBizOpps to BETA.SAM.gov, created some confusion regarding the proposal process and when proposals should be submitted. To address any confusion, we have unified the proposal due dates.

All proposals submitted to the GC ACO are due by December 19, 2019 (12pm Pacific time).

Please contact Starr Ginn at [email protected] with any questions regarding this ACO or the proposal submission process.

A direct link to the Announcement can be found here.

NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) plans to host a series of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) “Grand Challenges.” The Grand Challenge (GC) series is designed to promote public confidence in UAM safety; facilitate community-wide learning while capturing the public’s imagination; and give prospective vehicle manufacturers and operators, and prospective airspace service providers, insights into the evolving regulatory and operational environment. The GC series is also intended to support UAM requirements and system development through integrated vehicle and airspace demonstrations in operational scenarios that are critical to safe and scalable UAM commercialization. The NASA GC series will facilitate bringing together vehicle and airspace service providers to help understand the current UAM system maturity levels with respect to vehicle performance, safety assurance, airspace interoperability, etc., and to develop and demonstrate integrated solutions for civil use.

NASA plans to host an initial or first GC (GC-1) with industry participants in Calendar Year (CY) 2022 that will address key safety and integration barriers across UAM vehicle and airspace systems, while also emphasizing critical operational challenges towards commercial viability and public confidence in UAM operations around populated areas. GC-1 will enable participants to demonstrate integrated operations in relevant scenarios that include: two-way network flight plan communications; beyond visual line of sight operations; real and simulated vehicle and operations contingencies; dynamic traffic avoidance and trajectory management; and approach and landing to vertipads in the presence of real structures and associated mechanical turbulence. NASA is aligning GC-1 with industry-proposed initial commercial operations based on concepts of operations in low density and low complexity environments. NASA is also structuring GC-1 to include key elements necessary to progress beyond initial commercial operations to achieve scalability of operations, such as, Simplified Vehicle Operations (SVO) through assistive automation and autonomy, and airspace operations using the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) construct to manage the high-density air traffic.

NASA, with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has designed a series of Grand Challenge Safety Scenarios that will be essential in executing the GC series. These scenarios are described and detailed in the attached “Grand Challenge Safety Scenarios” or “Scenarios” document, and are envisioned to be a part of GC-1, and anticipated future challenges in the GC series. The scenarios are designed to progress in difficulty and complexity through the GC series, likely requiring higher levels of vehicle and airspace system automation and/or autonomy to complete increasingly more complex integrated scenarios. It is expected that these test scenarios will evolve and be refined over time, and additional scenarios added as the GC series progresses. All of the participants in the GC series will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the current set of test scenarios and suggest new scenarios to help NASA and the FAA arrive at a common set that can be used for all participants in each subsequent GC in the series.

Prior to GC-1, NASA plans to host a GC development activity in CY 2020, referred to as the GC Development Test (GC-DT). GC-DT is intended to demonstrate essential integrated flight and airspace development activities to prepare for GC-1, and to provide risk reduction to help ensure that GC-1 is successful and provides best benefit to participants, the government, and the UAM community. GC-DT will consist of UAM flight activities that will bring industry vehicle and airspace partners together to check-out and refine the integrated GC-1 UAM flight scenarios to verify mission and success criteria, verify the NASA-provided test range proving ground for applicability for UAM testing, evaluate participant vehicle and airspace readiness, and benchmark vehicle noise. GC-DT will also include airspace development activities through robust airspace simulations that will provide industry airspace participants the ability to test their UAM services against the same set of scenarios as flight and advance airspace interoperability needed for GC-1 through simulation in a relevant environment. Airspace participants in GC-DT will have the option of including live flight data as part of the UAM airspace activities demonstration if the participant is able to provide and integrate a conventional, certified vehicle (e.g., a helicopter) in lieu of a novel UAM vehicle into the airspace simulation activities. GC-DT also provides an opportunity for UAM industry partners to work with NASA and the FAA to provide feedback and suggestions on early solutions to critical integration problems.

Grand Challenge Partnership Strategy

This Announcement is intended to solicit for GC participants in the following categories:

– UAM vehicle developers that propose to fly in GC-DT in 2020

– UAM airspace companies that propose to participate in airspace development activities for GC-DT in 2020

– UAM vehicle developers that propose to begin information exchange with NASA in preparation to fly in GC-1 in 2022

NASA plans to use its other transaction authority contained within the National Aeronautics Space Act, 51 U.S.C. § 20113(e), to enter into a non-reimbursable Umbrella Space Act Agreement (SAA) and a series of individual Annexes. Non-reimbursable SAAs are formal partnership agreements involving NASA and a Partner in a mutually beneficial activity that furthers NASA’s mission, where each party bears the cost of its participation, and there is no exchange of funds between the parties. An Umbrella Agreement provides a mechanism for NASA and a Partner to agree to a series of related or phased activities using a single governing instrument that contains all common terms and conditions, and establishes the legal framework for the accompanying Annexes. Individual tasks are implemented through Annexes adopting the terms and conditions of the Umbrella Agreement and adding specific details for each task. The progression of the GC series has led NASA to use an Umbrella SAA with each individual partner to cover their participation in the GC series while implementing series of annexes with each individual partner as they progress through each phase of the GC series, beginning with GC-DT.

Each participant in the GC series, including vehicle and airspace providers, will sign an Umbrella SAA with NASA, as well as one or more Annexes that defines how they will participate in the progression of GC activities. For this Announcement, there are 2 Umbrella SAAs with one drafted to cover participation by domestic U.S. companies, and the other drafted to cover participation by foreign companies. There are also currently 3 Annexes that are drafted to cover the 3 categories listed above, namely: UAM vehicle developers that propose to fly in GC-DT in 2020; airspace companies that propose to participate in airspace development activities for GC-DT; and vehicle companies that wish to begin the information exchange in order to fly in GC-1 in 2022.

Forms of the 2 Umbrella SAAs that cover participation by domestic U.S. and foreign companies, and 3 Annexes that cover participation in GC-DT and GC-1 activities, are attached to this Announcement. The Annexes are described as follows:

Flight Annex

The “Grand Challenge – Development Test Flight Annex”, or “Flight Annex”, covers participation by domestic U.S. UAM vehicle companies that will be ready to fly in GC-DT activities in late 2020 to demonstrate key integrated operational UAM scenarios. NASA anticipates selecting a limited pool of vehicle participants for GC-DT, choosing only those that best meet the goals of GC-DT in demonstrating critical integrated scenarios and providing risk reduction for GC-1. Vehicle companies are encouraged to partner with a domestic U.S. airspace service provider in order to best demonstrate integrated UAM flight scenarios, however NASA anticipates providing UAM airspace services to support GC-DT for vehicle companies that desire to work directly with NASA.

NASA will be providing a test range at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) that will be available for GC-DT, and vehicle companies are encouraged to propose to fly at the NASA provided EAFB test range. NASA is planning on collecting vehicle noise data as part of the GC series, including GC-DT, and NASA anticipates deploying equipment and personnel to GC-DT test location to collect vehicle noise data through a series of take-off, landing, climb, descent, transition, and en-route flight conditions.

If a vehicle company has a number of additional partners or sub-contractors, only the prime organization would need to submit a proposal, and sign an Umbrella SAA and Flight Annex. If the proposal includes an airspace partner, that airspace partner must be a domestic U.S. company, and additionally the airspace partner is encouraged to separately submit a proposal to the Airspace Annex and work with NASA on GC-DT airspace development activities. Vehicle sub-systems providers, such as avionics and vehicle sub-component manufacturers, are encouraged to partner with vehicle provider primes in order to participate in GC-DT flight activities.

The specific requirements and evaluation criteria that NASA will use to select domestic U.S. partners for the GC-DT Flight Annex are outlined in Section 3 of the Announcement document.

Airspace Annex

The “Grand Challenge – Development Test Airspace Annex”, or “Airspace Annex”, covers participation by domestic U.S. airspace companies that propose to work with NASA as part of a UAM airspace simulation activity for GC-DT in 2020 to test the company UAM services against the set of GC test scenarios in a relevant simulation environment. Airspace participants in GC-DT will also have the option of providing and integrating live flight data into their simulation activities if they are able to bring a conventional, certified vehicle (e.g., a helicopter) in lieu of a novel UAM vehicle. Any live flight activities proposed by the participant would be conducted without direct NASA involvement in the flight activities, and would be flown at a range external to NASA. NASA intends to have broad participation in UAM airspace development activity, and anticipates selecting all proposals that can provide airspace systems / services, and meet the requirements and evaluation criteria outlined in Section 4 of the Announcement document.

Information Exchange Annex

The “Grand Challenge Vehicle Provider Information Exchange Annex”, or “Information Exchange Annex”, agreement covers UAM vehicle companies that have a desire to fly as part of GC-1 (anticipated to be in 2022) but are either: not ready to fly as part of GC-DT, do not want to be part of or were not selected to participate in GC-DT Flight Annex, or are an international UAM vehicle company. This annex will facilitate necessary information exchange with intended GC-1 vehicle participants: permitting NASA to shadow the participant’s airworthiness and flight safety review process; allowing the partner to provide feedback on GC test scenarios; and facilitating coordination of information on possible future flights at EAFB or at an external flight range. The requirements and evaluation criteria that NASA intends to use for this annex are listed in Section 5 of the Announcement document, and are written to cover as broad a participation as practical, including both domestic and foreign vehicle companies, while setting appropriate requirements to ensure that participants have a reasonable potential to successfully execute GC-1.

Grand Challenge Goals and Mutual Benefits

NASA intends the GC series to be an effort that will “raise the water level” for the entire UAM community through a holistic, operational testing approach. The goal of the GC is to accelerate development of safe, high-volume UAM flight operations in the existing and anticipated future national airspace system. Conducting the GC will help the government and industry identify significant UAM barriers, validate the state of the art, and inform the design and integration of vehicles, airspace, and ground infrastructure systems.

A broad participation from many organizations in the GC will enable the FAA, NASA, and the broader UAM community to develop and validate a common concept of operations (CONOPS) for UAM. This CONOPS must include flight procedures, future airspace operations management architectures, communication, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) architectures, takeoff/landing infrastructure requirements, and other items. The sooner a common CONOPS can be developed, the sooner requirements can be set for industry to begin maturing technologies and fielding systems that have a high degree of certainty to provide a return on the organizations’ investment and enable safe, high-volume UAM operations. The GC series is designed to allow for integrated testing of the different areas required for a common CONOPS so that the UAM community can move forward towards commercial operations.

Each GC in the series will build on previous GC results and allow industry to leverage new technologies and/or methodologies to address gaps that are uncovered along the way. In all cases, NASA and the FAA will use the data and results to support developing UAM regulatory and implementation approaches and strategies. In addition to collection of data and results that will help in the certification of novel aircraft, the GC will be collecting performance data, trajectory compliance data, vehicle robustness to contingencies, pilot work load, emergency procedures, evaluating levels of autonomy simplifying pilot functions, airspace communications, ground operations, infrastructure needs, and so forth. These data will help to inform new infrastructure standards, pilot/operator certification standards (e.g., with aircraft that have a high level of automation), and other standards.

In order for the GC series to be a success, vehicle, airspace, and community participants need to be committed to provide data to support the government’s longer-term UAM goals of developing requirements and standards to safely and efficiently open large-scale UAM markets. The UAM GC will not be a monetary award challenge, and each party will bear the costs of their participation with no exchange of funds, however, participation in the GC will give participants access to NASA’s knowledge and lessons learned with extensive experience designing, testing, and flying one-of-a-kind aircraft and airspace management systems.

FAA Coordination

Important to the future success of the Grand Challenge is the close collaboration and involvement of the FAA. This strategically valuable relationship was considered very early in the Grand Challenge planning process in which NASA sought early engagement with FAA stakeholders to garner support and cooperation. This mutually supporting and beneficial relationship will be capitalized upon by NASA throughout the Grand Challenge as the FAA develops a regulatory approach and a UAM implementation strategy.

Throughout the GC series NASA intends to address information requirements and provide lessons learned to inform FAA policy decisions on safety, certification, operations, and airspace integration aspects of UAM.

NASA intends to team with FAA throughout all stages of the Grand Challenge, from planning and scenario validation to Grand Challenge execution. FAA internal stakeholders are expected to provide subject matter expertise and technical support where possible to advance Grand Challenge objectives and ensure information captured from lessons learned informs future policy decisions on UAM.

Proposal Instructions

In order to participate in GC-DT, interested companies or “respondents” must submit a proposal to this Announcement against the specific requirements listed below for the particular Annex that best represents their interest and ability to participate in GC-DT. The requirements include a limit on the number of pages that can be submitted with a proposal, where a page is defined as one side of a sheet, 8 ½” x 11″, with at least one-inch margins on all sides, singled spaced, using not smaller than 12-point type, with the exception of tables and figures, which may use 8-point type. Any pages over the specified maximum will not be evaluated. Title pages, section and appendix cover pages, tables of contents, tabs and acronym listings are excluded from the specified page counts.

If the respondent agrees to the terms of the particular Umbrella SAA and Annex that they submit against, then they can return the Agreement filled in and signed with their proposal. If there is a particular reason the respondent is not able or willing to agree to specific requirements or terms of the Umbrella Agreement or Annex, the respondent may submit a request for required modifications to the Umbrella Agreement or Annex with the proposal. Each required modification will be assessed by the government against technical goals, fairness, efficiency, and available resources, to determine if the government is willing to accommodate the required modifications. If NASA does not wish to consider the modifications then the proposal will be considered incomplete and respondent will not have the opportunity to participate in GC-DT. Otherwise, NASA will contact the respondent to discuss the requested modifications as outlined in the evaluation criteria. Please note that NASA intends to treat all participants equitably, so changes to the model forms are not anticipated.

Respondents submitting a proposal against the Flight Annex should fill-in, sign and return the Flight Annex and the Domestic Umbrella agreement, along with their proposal. The Flight Annex for participation in flight activities in GC-DT in 2020 is open only to U.S. domestic companies.

Respondents submitting a proposal against the Airspace Annex should fill-in, sign and return the Airspace Annex and the Domestic Umbrella agreement, along with their proposal. The Airspace Annex for participation is airspace simulation activities in GC-DT in 2020 is open only to U.S. domestic companies.

Respondents submitting a proposal against the Information Exchange Annex should fill-in, sign and return the Information Exchange Annex and appropriate Umbrella for their company, along with their proposal. Domestic U.S. companies would use the Domestic Umbrella agreement, while foreign companies would use the International Umbrella agreement.

All proposal information shall be contained in the proposal; exterior references are not acceptable. NASA provides no funding for reimbursement of proposal development costs. Proposals submitted in response to this Announcement will not be returned. Respondents are encouraged to limit the amount of Proprietary Data (defined below) included in their proposal, and only include such information that is necessary to meet the proposal requirements listed in this Announcement. Respondents must clearly mark any Proprietary Data in their proposal. For purposes of this Announcement, “Proprietary Data” shall mean information set out in the proposal embodying trade secrets developed at private expense or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential, and that includes a clear restrictive notice, unless the information is (i) known or available from other sources without restriction, (ii) known, possessed, or developed independently, and without reference to such marked information in the proposal, (iii) made available by the owners to others without restriction, or (iv) required by law or court order to be disclosed. With respect to such Proprietary Data NASA shall:

a. Use, disclose, or reproduce such Proprietary Data only as necessary to evaluate the proposal;

b. Safeguard such Proprietary Data from unauthorized use and disclosure;

c. Allow access to such Proprietary Data only to its employees requiring access for purposes of evaluating the proposal;

d. Except as otherwise indicated in c., preclude disclosure outside NASA;

e. Notify its employees with access about their obligations under this Announcement and ensure their compliance; and

f. Dispose of such Proprietary Data after evaluation of the proposal has concluded.

Evaluated proposals determined by the Selecting Official in accordance with the terms of this Announcement will be formally selected to participate in the GC series.

Participant Eligibility

Both U.S. and foreign companies that intend to be able to meet scenarios defined in accordance to the reference documentation are eligible to participate in GC activities. This Announcement is to solicit for GC participants for GC-DT flight and airspace development activities, and for information exchange for purposes of early preparation for flight activities for GC-1. The eligibility requirements for the 3 Annexes attached to this Announcement are:

– “Grand Challenge – Development Test Flight Annex” – Open to domestic U.S. UAM vehicle companies, and optionally domestic U.S. airspace service provider partners.

– “Grand Challenge – Development Test Airspace Annex” – Open to domestic U.S. airspace companies and airspace service suppliers.

– “Grand Challenge Vehicle Provide Information Exchange Annex” – Open to domestic U.S. and foreign vehicle companies.

A “U.S. domestic company” is a commercial firm or business incorporated in the U.S. (or an unincorporated U.S. firm with its principal place of business in the U.S.) that is controlled by U.S. citizens or by another U.S. entity.

Participant Requirements

Performance of activities under this Announcement may require access to data that is subject to export control regulations. Any entity proposing shall comply with all U.S. export control laws including Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Respondents are responsible for ensuring that all employees who will work on this proposal and any resulting agreements are eligible under export control laws, EAR, and ITAR. Any employee who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident may be restricted from participating in the Grand Challenge if technology is restricted under export control laws, ITAR, or EAR unless the prior approval of the Department of State or the Department of Commerce is obtained. Violations of export control limitations can result in criminal or civil penalties.

Proposals must not include bilateral participation, collaboration, or coordination with China or any Chinese-owned company or entity by NASA unless such activities are other specifically authorized by law. By submitting a proposal, proposers are certifying that the proposal does not include bilateral participation, collaboration, or coordination with China or any Chinese-owned company or entity by NASA. “China or Chinese-owned Company” means the People’s Republic of China, any company owned by the People’s Republic of China, or any company incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China. By submission of its proposal, the respondent represents that the respondent is not China or a Chinese-owned company, and that the proposal does not anticipate or require NASA to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally with China or any Chinese-owned company

Key Dates

Flight Participants for GC-DT in 2020:

Proposals Due: November 22, 2019

Signed Agreement No Later Than: December 31, 2019

Airspace Participants for GC-DT in 2020:

Proposals Due: November 30, 2019

Signed Agreement No Later Than: December 31, 2019

Information Exchange in Preparation for GC-1 in 2022:

Proposals Due: November 30, 2020

Signed Agreement No Later Than: December 31, 2020


Submission Instructions

Proposals should be submitted via email to [email protected] and [email protected] Proposal due dates are listed above, and it should be noted that the due dates for proposals submitted against each of the Annexes are different.


Contracting Office Address:

NASA/Armstrong Flight Research Center,

Code A, P.O. Box 273

Mail Stop 4811-140

Edwards, California 93523-0273

United States

Primary Point of Contact.:

Starr Ginn,

UAM Grand Challenge Lead

Advanced Air Mobility Project

[email protected]

Phone: 6612763434

London – Restriction of flying regulations NATO summit 2-4th December 2019

The 2019 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Summit will be held in the vicinity of Watford, Hertfordshire. The summit will be attended by a large number of Heads of State and Senior Ministers. The Secretary of State for Transport has decided that it is necessary in the interests of security to introduce Restriction of Flying Regulations under article 239 of the Air Navigation Order 2016 in the vicinity of Central London and Hertfordshire.

The charts in this document relate to the areas defined in the associated text; all areas will be subject to NOTAM action. these are to be read in conjunction with this document. Pilots are strongly encouraged to employ the use of moving map technology and/or an air traffic service to mitigate the risk of inadvertent airspace infringements.

In relation to paragraph 2 the term ‘aircraft’ includes aircraft as classified in Schedule 4, Part, 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016 and also includes, by virtue of article 23(3) of that Order, any small balloon, any kite weighing not more than two kilograms, any small unmanned aircraft and any parachute including a parascending parachute, as such terms are defined in Schedule 1 of the Order.

The briefing sheet

21-Year-Old Student’s VTOL Drone

Drones are not one of man’s recent inventions. Initially, they were used by the police department to capture pictures of people in crowded places for security purposes. And just a short while ago, we heard about them being used to spray pesticides. So here’s the latest development, drones can now be used to transport organs from one place to another in a short span of time. Meet Rohit Dey, the 21-year-old from Bengaluru who built the Humming Bird, a drone that can carry up to 12 pounds, it can be used specifically to transport organs or even medical supplies during critical hours.

Surprisingly, this isn’t Rohit’s first tryst with drones. Prior to this, he has worked in several projects initiated by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and came to be known as the unofficial drone pilot of NAL. So, what drew him to drones? He explains, “My father works as a scientist at NAL. When I was five, we used to live near the Old Airport Road and every day, I could see many planes and helicopters fly over the roof of our house. This inspired me to work on designs and that led to a chain of innovations.” Following his passion, he started building drones and UAVs when he was as young as 13 years old.

For the full story, click HERE:

What It Takes to Work In Motion Picture and Television With Drones

Here is your chance to hear about it from people working for the studios, streaming, and TV.

sUAS News has decided to move away from the Jack-of-all-tradeshows and start on expert sector-focused regional gatherings. Burbank, California is the location for the first iteration of this concept and is in association with the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600, and the Society Of Aerial Cinematographers. Both organizations are made up of working professionals in the entertainment industry.

Just added –

If it couldn’t get any better, the SF Drone School Research Center is also onboard for the roadshow version of the Boulevard of Broken Drone Dreams historical display.

See drone hardware offerings from past drone hardware titans, Airware, GoPro, and 3DRobotics.

Industry professionals impart their knowledge –

Dronegear‘s Matt Feige & Anthony Valerio who’s operator credits include Honda, Lexus, BMW, Ford, Hulu, AppleTV, CBS, Universal, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and many more. These guys are FAA Certified (Part 107 Commercial Licenses), Insured ($5 Million), and approved for Union (Local 600) work, and have multiple local teams operating full-time in most major cities around the world.

Michael Chambliss, a Business representative for Local 600, informed me that the Local 600 has “hundreds of members making their living with drones.”

That is music to my ears as I teach my Academy of Art Motion Picture and TV students with that in mind. We use the Safety Bulletin 36, and other content as part of the drone class curriculum to train students on what it takes to be in-line with what is state of the art for working professionals.

SOAC President, Robert Rodriquez, says “The SOAC is proud to be teaming up with sUAS news and Patrick Egan to bring back a much-needed industry event in the heart of one of the busiest production cities in the world. We hope this will be the first of many events together.” The SOAC mission is to bring together professionals for an exchange of ideas, experience, and expertise. That is what this one-day event is going to do.”

As a member of the Society of Aerial Cinematography and I am looking forward to hearing new trends on the artistic side and engaging in a Q&A with people, who are working under the Part 107 rules. What works, what needs adjustment, and what doesn’t make sense. I hope to use this feedback and feedback from other user groups in upcoming American Drone advocacy and Policy Teamwork.

We would like to thank our sponsors –

RAS Watch

Rein droneinsurance.com

And Filmtools for hosting the location

When: December 7th, 2019 at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: Filmtools, 1400 West Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA 91506

How much: $25

www.susbexpo.com for more information about the program

Tickets – http://susbexpo.com/sign-up/

Counting threatened mammals with drones

Brad Leue/AWC

Investment in thermal imaging and drone technology is improving the monitoring of reintroduced mammals on AWC’s Faure Island Wildlife Sanctuary, a feral-free haven off the coast of Western Australia.

Part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Faure Island Wildlife Sanctuary is completely free of feral herbivores and predators, and home to critically important populations of Burrowing Bettong (Bettongia lesueur), Banded Hare-wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus), Western Barred Bandicoot (Shark Bay Bandicoot) (Perameles bougainville) and Shark Bay Mouse (Pseudomys fieldi).

Accurate population estimates and species abundance data are necessary to create effective conservation management strategies, plan for future translocations, and monitor animal health. However, the combination of dense vegetation, cryptic animals and difficulties trapping some species make precise estimates difficult.

Could technology could help overcome some of these issues?

To find out, AWC staff and Travis Marshall, from technology firm C4D Intel, travelled to Faure Island in June 2019. Trials began, using a drone and thermal imaging camera to monitor recently established mammals.

Using a DJI M210 Aircraft fitted with a FLIR XT2 dual thermal/RGB sensor, the team wanted to see if different species could be both detected and differentiated using thermal imagery.

They also wanted to see if the technology could enable a better understanding of the behaviour of some of the reintroduced species, specifically Burrowing Bettongs (Boodies).

AWC ecologists had long suspected that Boodies were introducing a bias to current population estimates by moving around; that they were possibly ‘following’ and ‘escorting’ the ecologists during spotlight surveys and therefore being counted more than once.

The thermal camera proved excellent at detecting mammals.

As suspected, the team found that Burrowing Bettongs tended to ‘investigate’ people as they walked through the bush, potentially biasing population estimates through double counting.

Preliminary results suggest the technology may be an effective tool for monitoring bandicoots; however, the limited resolution made it difficult to distinguish between Burrowing Bettongs and Banded Hare-wallabies, which are similarly sized macropods.

Initial estimates of population size from the drone footage were comparable to those generated from standard spotlight surveys, demonstrating that the latter remains an effective method for generating population estimates.

AWC acquired Faure Island in 1999, declaring it feral-free in 2002 and beginning a program of threatened mammal reintroductions. Today, Faure’s wild, self-sustaining mammals are vital source populations for reintroductions to the mainland, and critical for the future survival of each species.

Australian Wildlife Conservancy

NASA starts using FLARM for drone UTM

The headline should really read NASA plays catchup.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has started using FLARM in its Pathfinder drone UTM project. The goal of Pathfinder is to take separate Urban Traffic Management (UTM) projects and combine them into a single autonomous vehicle, then have that vehicle fly and communicate with other autonomous vehicles in the airspace.

“Pathfinder was conceived as a way to perform a graduation exercise for a lot of the UTM projects we developed over the years,” said Lou Glaab, assistant branch head for the Aeronautic Systems Engineering Branch in Langley’s Engineering Directorate and Pathfinder project manager.

Part of that graduation exercise is the Independent Configurable Architecture for Reliable Operations of Unmanned Systems (ICAROUS).

“We’re testing things like ICAROUS, which is an autonomous sense and avoid flight management system for unmanned systems, as well as Safe-2-Ditch, which is an autonomous safe landing or autonomous crash management system,” said Glaab.

FLARM is being used as part of ICAROUS both to avoid manned aircraft as well as other drones.

“To operate autonomously you need several capabilities, especially in the UAS domain,” said Swee Balachandran, research engineer. “You need to be able to make decisions to avoid other intruders in the air space, stay clear from no-fly zones, or inside a no-fly zone the UAV should know how to get out of it and to re-route itself around obstacles and no-fly areas.”

Balachandran also said that these functionalities are essential to operate autonomously without human intervention. That’s where ICAROUS comes in.

One of the key things in the development of ICAROUS was formal verification.

“Every algorithm that you develop goes through a rigorous mathematical process and we have certain properties, and we ensure the algorithms satisfy those properties so that it is safety-critical and you don’t see unwanted behaviors in flight,” said Balachandran.

Drones Could Be a Virtual Wall

President Donald Trump has a vision of a “big, beautiful wall” made of concrete and steel on the US-Mexico border. In addition to that physical barrier, you could also see an armada of drones whizzing through the sky.

Many in the tech industry envision a drone-protected border as not just likely but inevitable, helping the US Border Patrol see farther and communicate better. Drones should make it easier for agents to distinguish immigrants and smugglers from the cows and coyotes that prowl along the border, advocates say.

“That could be the 21st century solution to the problem of protecting borders,” said Chris Eheim, chief technology officer of Sunflower Labs, a home security drone startup, and a 15-year aerospace engineer. The US Customs and Border Protection agency already uses some massive military drones with 66-foot wingspans, but modern drone innovation could equip officers with smaller, cheaper aircraft that could be lofted from back of a truck.

For the full story at CNet.com, click here.