Another training complete! Eric Principato came down this weekend for flight training. We covered everything from mission planning to copter repair to Photoscan. Eric is starting a position analogous to mine, as the lab mechanical engineer for Dr. Lyndon Estes. Eric picked up piloting quickly, and I'm happy to say that in two days he went from zero experience to flying a data collection mission all with zero crashes and no broken copter components. Eric's lab's copter is an older model 3DR X8, with the blue lower kv motors, a 3S battery, and an APM 2.6. We found this X8 can only safely fly for 7 minutes, so Eric has his work cut out for him upgrading the lab's equipment for their goal of 250x250 meter data collections.
We did a flight over Herbert Run to collect photos for use in learning Photoscan. This is the result, hosted on Sketchfab: https://sketchfab.com/models/3af12a6ca9384389afa84755fa291715
Eric has made his Ecosynth.org account and will soon be posting blog posts here about his work as well, so keep an eye out!