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News and events

News & events

First-ever drone course to be offered at Rice Rivers Center

June 30, 2016

This summer, the Center for Environmental Studies will begin the first course on the scientific application of drone technology held at VCU. ENVS-591: Environmental Applications of Drone Technology will be a one-credit, two-day intensive course, and will be held at the VCU Rice Rivers Center.

The use of drone technology is well-suited to the ecological and environmental sciences, and emerging sensor technologies will allow scientists to gather higher resolution data faster.  In this course, students will receive exposure to technical software related to the operation of the UAVs, and also will learn how to create elevation point clouds, elevation models and compute vegetation indices. Training will be on industry-leading fixed-wing and multi-rotor platforms. Real-time kinematic GPS and control, along with web application display, will enable each student to create usable output from the data collected in flight. Students also will be exposed to flight planning, safe operation, and regulations regarding use of UAVs.

This cutting-edge technology will equip students with a marketable skill that will dramatically further their potential as researchers.

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