In addition to all other UAS services offered, we constantly study and work on new UAV innovations and various test projects.
At the Unmanned Aeronautical Assosiation of Canada, we work to further understand the existing technology and study ways to make UAS intergration safer for everyone.
Want to be certifed? See our SFOC UAV pilot training course, UAS 101
1. Modifying multi-rotor blades (props) to reduce noise signatures in interest of noise abatement
2. The practical, economical and safe employment of drones to save lives and assist in protective services such as fire/rescue and police work including the use of FLIR cameras
3. The use of the UAV to do extended range operations including Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS, subject to approvals from TC) operations
4. The extended battery and fuel endurance of UAV’s. (2-5 hours of battery endurance)
5. The ability of the UAV to carry and deliver payloads safely. Increase understanding of the weight and volume limitations of the UAV with various payloads
6. The potential for a UAV to be used as a mobile search or beacon light for night operations or distress signals
7. Testing the UAV’s maximum ability to effectively operate in poor metrological environments such as, rain, cold, wind, and turbulence
8. Testing the UAS using First Person View (FPV with visual observer), to safely track (IE intercept) and identify another flying UAV or object. UAV's for building and structure inspections
9. Applying the UAV to serve as an aerial antenna for radio relay, (IE WIFI, Bluetooth or other datalinks) in order to extend radio range and reliability for ground stations
10. Understanding different UAV configurations and their uses (fixed wing, rotary wing, dual purpose, and tethered)
While this technology is developing very fast, it can be difficult for us to keep up with ever changing Unmanned Aircraft Systems. It has been accurantly stated concerning the groath forcast in the drone industry, that in the very near future, "...there will be more unmanned aircraft flying in our airspace system than manned aircraft."
This prospect presents many promises, but many challenges as well. Some of these challenges may include the UAS maintenance requirements, firmware upgrades, emerging problems and threats, new and better aircraft platforms replacing older systems (perhaps only months old), modifications, payloads, new highly capable sensors of the future and so on.
We see an estimated doubling of the overall capability, power and capacity of these machines about every 18 months in accordance with "Moore's Law."
We ask, what are the drone's true limits as well as risk factors? What are those risks in contrast to what may be advertised to the consumer by those who want to plorifirate these machines?
For these reasons and more, we take time to test and review the systems in various field exercises. We then learn and document findings firsthand. We study both the risk factors, as well as limitations of each UAV and Ground Control Station (GCS) product. Results are shared.
Conclusions and reports are based on facts and evidence gathered from field work and from many real UAV operations conducted in various conditions.
There is a keen recognition that the UAS technology is here to stay. The complex algorithms, engineering, digital governors, flight control theory, law and so on of modern multi-rotors had been discovered, and written at this time. We study reliable, certified, and industry proven safe UAV platforms, and seek to understand their new potential applications diligently.
At the end, experts at VAP can recommend UAS platforms, and training programs for those interested in integrating UAS into private companies, the public, or government services.
Moreover, VAP will continue to work out issues, assess philosophical problems as well as technical glitches that come up in this new UAS industry.
The power and capability drones offer is becoming obvious and apparent. Some rotary wing UAVs are getting more massive as well. We are faced with some difficult and challenging safety issues and new questions. These need to be diligently mitigated and clearly understood.
These risks include, but are not limited to, the safety and privacy of the public, failures of UAV systems, and human error.
One should never just take a drone out of the box and fly it into airspace without due consideration of safety. This negligent mindset is too common and will lead to serious and unacceptable risks.
The ability of the UAV to interfere and harm manned aircraft travelling through the airspace system is also considered a serious potential hazard. This is especially obvious when UAV operations are nearby aerodromes. The management of this risk is done by effective ground school instruction, regulation, and certification of the UAV student pilot.
Other common problems we see include incompetence and/or too much reliance on autopilot (failsafe) systems in modern "off the shelf" UAS. This results in pilot complacency and unhealthy dependency on the system's autonomy. UAS automation works to erode or eliminate a pilot's "stick and rudder" skills necessary to fly an aircraft manually when it becomes necessary in various unseen circumstances.
Recreational and/or non certifed drones users may also take liberty to buy these powerful machines, and use them against Transport Canada guidelines and recommendations for safe practice (IE 9KM from any aerodrome). This is becoming a serious public concern as of 2016.
We also want to address the cultural issues facing unmanned aircraft pilots and manned aircraft pilots. The VAP training program strives to bridge the divide between the manned aircraft pilot world and the UAV pilot world with mutual trust, respect and safe practice.
Are they just a "flying camera" operator, or is it more?" A UAV "pilot" is indeed a pilot of a real aircraft, flying through real airspace. The size and weight of these aircraft can vary. They can be smaller than slice of bread or larger like the "Vapor" UAV pictured above. Some UAVs, such as the Global Hawk, have the same wingspan as a Boeing 737.
There are some remarkable similarities, and basic fundamental principles between that of a large military UAS and the common commercial UAS.
According to Transport Canada guidelines, UAV pilot must be trained in various aviation subject matter and specific points relating to the operation of aircraft and aviation study. UAV pilots must prove they are able to do their operations safely and be aviators. This ensure that drone pilots, and their operations are integrated into the public, and into airspace system professionally.
Aforementioned, we offer a training course called UAS 101 which covers the basic training requirements and teaches the UAS student to fly safe and legally.
In order to conduct any operation using any drone which is for pay, research or reward of any kind, one must hold and SFOC or a “Certificate Exemption” (exemption is only for very isolated areas and on TC approval) All UAV operations require UAS liability insurance and aviation training.
UAV operators need to know they are indeed “pilots” of an unmanned aircraft first, and “photographers” second. Obviously, the safety of the public on the ground as well manned aircraft in the air far surpasses someone getting an "epic" aerial photograph or video.
In the very near future, is foreseen that TC will require all UAV/drone pilots to not only be fully trained, but prove medically fitness, and be licensed in like manner to a regular aircraft pilot. In addtiion, all UAV/drones will have to be marked with a registration number in order to identify the operator of the UAV.
As UAS technology is emerging, new laws, and training standards must be implemented and enforced.
Therefore, we are also researching new ideas and subject matter to best train those looking to fly UAV/drones both recreationally and/or commercially in the future.
While our baisc training standards are based on Transport Canada’s TP 15263 – (Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems (UAV) 25 kg or Less, operating within Visual Line of Sight), the highly experienced UAV multi-rotor instructor pilot at VAP will also share his practical lessons based on various operations completed.
The instructor can also train the new student pilot in "dual flight mode" which is a new app.
UAV pilots must learn how to effectively and safely fly and navigate an aircraft. In addition, a pilot must communicate and comply with Air Traffic Services or nearby airports before and after a UAV flight is conducted. The UAV pilot must be able interpret VFR navigation charts as well as meteorological aviation information.
As we study and investigate various failures and limits of UAS, we learn how to improve, mitigate them and prevent failures and issues in the future.
Our ultimate goal is to make the airspace and UAS operations safe and profitable for everyone!
Please contact UAV Pilot and Chief Flight Instructor David Carlos at 250 883 4229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.