NC 109: Commercial Drone Applications & Flight Training

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2022
Credits: 0
Lecture Hours : 24
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Transferable to CSU: No
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Non-Credit Course

Catalog Course Description

Introduction to commercial drone applications and advanced hands-on drone flight training. Proficiency in commercial photography, cinematography, photogrammetry and media editing skills for use in the real estate, agricultural, construction, firefighting, home inspection and thermal inspection UAV/UAS industry. 24 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Gain knowldge of industry media editing practices, mapping software and fundamental flight skills necessary for gaining employment in the commercial UAV/UAS industry.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in commercial drone flight, aerial photography, cinematography, multimedia production, drone mapping, flight operations and data collection methods.
  • Acquire knowledge of current industry best-practices, applications, salaries, customer service considerations, working conditions and methods specific to real estate, photogrammetry, aerial photography, agricultural, thermal and construction inspection.

Major Course Content

  1. Introduction to commercial drone applications and techniques
    1. Real estate photography
    2. Aerial photography and cinematography
    3. Home inspection
    4. Agricultural inspection
    5. Firefighting/Search-and-Rescue operations
    6. Construction/Mining inspection
    7. Thermal inspection
    8. Orthomoasic photography and 3-D modeling
  2. Participation in advanced hands-on flight training exercises
    1. Basic drone flight movements including hover, hover+yaw, flying square pattern with no yaw, square pattern with yaw, target practice with marked spots, flying in a circle no yaw, changing directions no yaw, changing directions with yaw, out-back-land, landing, avoiding obstacles and using inverted controls (orientated backwards flying).
    2. Advanced aerial photography training exercises including: panning, tilting, zooming, flying backward and up 'dronie', flying close to objects, tri-pod mode, 4-axis camera motion, flying at max altitude, top-down view/tilt-axis practice, orbit a POI, using RTH feature and flying without GPS.
    3. Completion of drone obstacle courses and accident avoidance
    4. Utilizing visual observers and night operations procedures 
    5. Operational safety and emergency procedures 
  3. Multi-media editing of video/image files and drone mapping software 
    1. Effects, adjusting color, lighting and white-balance
    2. Sound and video editing
    3. Student skills demonstration; create video sample reel
    4. Data processing and development of site reports and 3D models
    5. Post-processing of data and quality control

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

James Aber Irene Marzolff Johannes Ries Susan Aber, Small-Format Aerial Photography and UAS Imagery 2nd edition, Elsevier, 2019
U.S Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration Part-107 Exam Manual
U.S Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration Part-107 Exam Manual
FAA Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Guide
Making Great Maps:The Complete Guide to Professional Mapping with DroneDeploy by Adam Carp

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Commercial Drone Application Research Assignment Students will be required to choose a commercial field of the drone industry to research and write a 3-5 page, double space, 12 font, MLA or APA formatted report that includes a 1 page bibliography with at least 10 sources one of which must be a phone/email interview with professionals in the field of study currently working with drones. Students will begin by choosing 3 companies in their chosen field and write a brief summary of what the companies use the drone to do and their operations in the company. Next, perform an interview with someone working at one of the chosen companies to determine what the function of drones serve the company and what education in drones was necessary for hire. Next, students will write a report on what jobs are currently available based on job searches for at least five employment sites and research the average salary of those in the chosen field and discuss what the potential salary may be after further education in the field. Included in the report: - A brief history of the commercial field or use of drones chosen - List of current companies or organizations that are hiring in the field - Description or map showing where the most openings in the field are located geographically both nationally and internationally - Discussion of typical duties and responsibilities for a chosen career in the field - Phone/E-mail interview with person in the field: Example questions may include what is a typical day in your job? what education or training helped you get your job or helps you perform your duties? How did you first get interested in drones/UAVs? Reports will be graded based on students meeting the required format for length, use of sources, use of detail and clear descriptions of the career path, job search results, interview questions/answers and description of typical job duties

Examples of Outside Assignments

Video Sample Reel Project This assignment requires students to work as a group to choose a building on campus to plan, film and edit a sample reel for an assigned industry. Students will be required to observe weather data and conditions for the planned collection days and judge appropriate conditions for flights Students will participate by using a drone and monitor the flight as visual observers always maintaining line-of-sight on the drone and communicating with each other over two-way radios Students will participate during the editing processing and help to quality control images taken, check for issues, create video files and producing a final video sample Students will be required to write a detailed report discussing the process of planning, flight data collection and the creation of the video. Students must write a minimum of 3-5 pages double spaced at 12font and include weather information, justification for choosing the site, shots and video, discussion of how the videowas created and detail as to what occurred the day of the flight and any issues that occurred before, during or after the flight. Students must include in their reports a discussion of "best practices" and what would be done differently if the project could be repeated.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture