2024 will mark the eighth anniversary of DroneCamp, which was initially launched in 2017 by the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. Over the years, DroneCamp has evolved into a multi-campus and industry collaborative intensive short course that provides comprehensive training on the use of drones for mapping and data collection. From 2016 – 2019 the 4 day workshop was held on the UCB, UCSD, and UCSC/CSUMB campuses, and in 2020 and 2021 the workshop was moved online due to COVID-19. Drone Camp 2022 and beyond have returned to in-person training with some virtual opportunities. This event is designed for a wide range of skill levels and interests, from complete beginners with little to no experience in drone technology, to intermediate users who want to learn more advanced data processing and analysis.  Instructors from the University of California and California State University systems will provide workshops and focus on the following topics: 

  • Equipment: Kick off with: An introduction to Drone Camp; Hardware and selecting sensors & platforms for your objective & budget; Pre-planning and preparation for projects; Demonstrations of specialty equipment
  • Safety and Regulations: Overview of safety and regulations; Institutional and legal considerations when setting up missions; Operating in controlled airspace
  • Mission Planning: Mission planning best practices and tools; Field planning and equipment readiness
  • Flight Practice:  Opportunity to fly various drone platforms both manually and autonomously. 
  • Data Collection: Collecting, managing and sharing data; High precision mapping 
  • Data Analysis: Data processing overview; Processing drone data with Pix4D*, Agisoft Metashape*, ArcGIS Pro*, and OpenDroneMap; Analyzing and mapping drone outputs in ArcGIS Pro* and QGIS*; Advanced vegetation analytics*; Data analysis in the intertidal zone*
  • Application Presentations: Presentations will be given on several examples of drone applications for environmental and agricultural interests

* virtual participants must install software on their own computers for the hands-on workshops. 

These skills are applied across a wide range of applications including:  Agriculture, Land Management, Facilities Inspections, Environmental Monitoring, Forestry, and Research.

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