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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Symposium May 30-31 at UW

May 16, 2018

Recent developments in drone usage, along with technology challenges, acquiring data and legal issues, are among topics at the upcoming Wyoming Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Symposium at the University of Wyoming.

Sessions are Wednesday-Thursday, May 30-31, at the UW Conference Center, 2229 Grand Ave.

Experts and users of drone technology will share experiences on developments in hardware and software, along with applications in agriculture, geology, photogrammetry, communications and many more, says Ramesh Sivanpillai, research scientist with UW’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC).

WyGISC hosts the event. Visit for a complete list of speakers and topics, and to register.

Cameras and sensors on board drones acquire images and videos, providing valuable information for agricultural producers, foresters, hydrologists, geologists, meteorologists, city planners, real estate agents and others. But, collecting images is more than deciding what drone model to buy and how much to spend, Sivanpillai says.

“One has to carefully plan for the amount and type of images to collect, obtain adequate resources to post-process those data and, most importantly, stay within the legal requirements while these UAVs are in the air,” Sivanpillai says.

Overall session topics across the two days are safety and legal issues; advances in hardware and software; applications; and a panel discussion of the Federal Aviation Administration remote pilot certification examination.

Javier Leon, senior lecturer and physical geography program coordinator at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, presents the Wednesday luncheon keynote address, “Drones in Environmental Sciences: A Quick Tour of Promises, Lies and Future Applications.”

Jeff Sloan, a cartographer with the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center with the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado, will present the Thursday morning keynote address, “Role of UAVs for Collecting Remotely Sensed Data.”

Gregory Crutsinger, founder of Scholar Farms in California, presents Thursday’s lunch keynote address, “Current and Future Challenges of Vegetation Mapping Using Drones.”

Individual presentation topics include building custom drones for crop dusting and monitoring thermal plumes; legal issues; recent advances in hardware, flight controller software and using artificial intelligence for autonomous UAVs; how UAVs are changing farming; photogrammetry applications with drone imagery; and comparing unmanned aircraft vs. satellite imagery in plant invasion monitoring.

For more information, call WyGISC interim Director Paddington Hodza at (307) 766-3709 or email, or email Sivanpillai at or call (307) 766-2721.

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