Commercial, UAS/Drones, UGVs

Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Abstract
After being a farmer for a good portion of his life, my uncle, decided to become a poultry farmer. (Wikipedia, n.d.) The poultry business currently enjoys automation in several areas of the production chain. Even then, the 1970’s, my uncle implemented some mechanical ways for the collecting, sorting, packing and transporting of eggs to the market. In 1975 these automations, (mechanical assistance really), required significant human intervention.
The poultry farmer does more than collect, clean, sort and sell the eggs. (THE EGG COLLECTOR – Inside a Funny Organic Egg Farm, 2011)
If the farmer wants a productive, high yielding operation, he must care for his chickens. The chickens need more than feed and water. They need their beaks and nails trimmed, feathers clipped, exercise and to be given antibiotics. (Caughey, 2014)
I will introduce the concept of using UGVs as part of the poultry farming business. They will assist in the production process and play an integral part in the health of the birds.

Farm’s Health
With specialized sensors the UGV can be placed in the furnished barn and catch the chicken. The UGV could trim their beaks, ensuring not to reach the “quick”, and trim the toe nails. (Caughey, 2014) The UGV can also trim feathers and administer the antibiotics. The UGV needs to have a way of tagging the chicken so as to be able to seek for the untreated or unattended.
Several times per day the farmer walked in to the barn, making sure to make noise for the chicken to hear. The chicken exhibited comical head movements. I never knew why my uncle would walk the barn for no apparent reason? (Fasler, 2017)

Harvest the Eggs
After eggs are collected (usually twice a day when done by hand), they need cleaning, sorting and packing. A UGV could be well adapted to these tasks. Often the chickens lay their eggs in the farm’s floor. UGV could collect these eggs. (Tibot Technologies- pioneer in poultry robotics, 2018)
Chicken Die
Farmed chicken’s production decreases after around one year. But sometimes they just die. The carcass lies on the floor until detected. A UGV could detect these dead birds and remove them, thus keeps the farm healthy.
Sale of the Eggs
After packing the sorted eggs, the farmer needs to sell them. The eggs are packed in large 30 dozen boxes which are very heavy. A UGV is very capable of lifting and carrying these boxes to and from the cooled storage room. Then the UGV will carry these eggs again from the cooler to the transporting vehicle.
Selling the Chickens
After the chicken’s egg production starts to decrease, they are sold for meat. A UGV could collect the chickens and place them in the transporting boxes.
Technologies to Achieve These Tasks:
High Definition cameras, sensors, electronic relays semiconductor, computer chips, programming and even some artificial intelligence (AI)
Amortization
This technology can pay for itself not only by yields in production but also in preventions of illnesses. On the production side one can easily realize the benefits of having UGV attending the farm 24/7, having the collection of eggs performed more often.
Scanning for carcass on every egg picking trip will positively impact the health of the farm. If one dead chicken gets a farm house sick it will be of great loss. The smallest farm house my uncle had held five thousand chickens. A loss of approximately $140,000 if they got sick and died. This figure does not account for the lost revenue from selling the chickens.
The use of a UGV in the poultry industry could equate to big sums of moneys savings. If we include the cost of having employees, then the savings become even more apparent: savings on payroll, payroll taxes, employee ‘s benefits like pensions and worker compensation costs.
This does not include the costs of infrastructure needed to house the employees: parking areas, break/lunch rooms, bathrooms, etc. The maintenance of these facilities also cost money.
Now the farmer can put some if not all of these savings into the upkeep of the UGV and consider some upgrade modifications.
References
( 2018, May 30). Retrieved from Tibot Technologies- pioneer in poultry robotics: http://www.tibot.fr/
Caughey, M. (2014, Mat 11). Retrieved from Community Chickens: https://www.communitychickens.com/how-to-trim-a-chickens-toenails/
Fasler, J. (2017, Sep 19). Retrieved from The New Food Economy: https://newfoodeconomy.org/first-autonomous-poultry-robot/
THE EGG COLLECTOR – Inside a Funny Organic Egg Farm. (2011, Jan 19). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLX6LFW2n3c&feature=youtu.be
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poultry_farming

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Commercial, UAS/Drones

Just Another Remote Pilot

I work for Miami Dade County Miami, Florida for the right of way division. Approximately March 2014, a coworker and I suggested the Survey Department to consider the use of UAS as an additional tool in their survey tool box. At that time, the FAA required the PIC (Pilot-In-Command) be an already certificated Pilot. While not part of the survey department I volunteered to be that Pilot.

This volunteered position has morphed as much as the regulations pertaining the use of drones. Soon after, I was asked to pursue a blanket COA for the Department. After two years of paperwork I achieved this for the Survey Department. COA No. 2016-ESA-99-COA issued to Miami Dade County, Attn to: Josue Tirado.

In August 2016, new Regulations (14 CFR Part107) became in effect. I pursued a Remote Pilot license under this new regulation.

I am not the official “Person of Responsible Charge” at Miami Dade County. However, I am the one: that plans the missions, determine waivers needed, request these waivers, request ground control from the survey department, weather observations the week prior the planned mission, sync with towers for operations if needed, make the go no go flight decision on the day of the mission, fly the mission, download images, and process data.

Up to now I have had some limited success. I have achieved the creation of Orthophotos, Mosaics and Point Clouds. My next step is extraction of quantitative data for engineering designs or to check the integrity of clients mapping work. My biggest goal mission is to perform specific purpose mapping for the Class “BRAVO” at KMIA and map the lease areas for the Port Miami. I know it’s a gigantic goal. I am not even close. But I keep my eyes on the prize.

I spend some of my workdays reading photogrammetry books, self-training on the software application we use (UAS-Master distributed by Trimble). I enjoy what I am doing for the county at a small corner at the 16th floor of the Steven P Clark Building, downtown Miami, FL.

I have not flown at night, beyond line of sight or above 400 AGL. Which I think this will change after the implementations resulting from the Integration efforts.

On a personal level, I have purchased three sUAS and fly under hobbyist rules to increase my flying experience since the sUAS at work is autonomous. I currently have three drones, a Holystone (toy), Phantom 3 Professional and a Phantom 4 Advanced Plus.

In summary, I am just a beginner and have limited experience other than that acquired at work. I am enjoying the challenges these new technologies are offering all of us. I like to be hands on as much as possible. While technology is advancing more than I could handle sometimes, I hope my ambition and drive culminates in flying my goal missions. What I lack in know-how, I make up in tenacity and focused dedication.

Tweeter handle: @suaspic

Facebook: Josue Tirado Muniz

LinkedIn: Josué Tirado Muniz

Commercial, UAS/Drones, Uncategorized

Passions Combined

Me and my Passions.

I am a person that enjoys learning and being exposed to new experiences.

One of my passions is flying. I really enjoy being up there and watching the world from such a different perspective. I even enjoy just hanging with other pilots (hangar rats). One other passion is technologies. Sonia often says, “You sure like your gadgets”.

These two passions are now combined in one. The commonly called “drones”. The FAA has termed small Unmanned Aircraft Systems “sUAS”.

 

What’s in the  sUAS name?

The unmanned aircraft portion is self-explanatory. There is no pilot within the aircraft.

The system portion is due to the fact that is not just the aircraft alone. That would just be unmanned aircraft, UA, Military application referred as UV unmanned vehicle. Instead it’s an integration of hardware, and software’s working in unison as a unit.

The small is based on weight restrictions imposed by the FAA, the agency in charge of our “NAS” National Airspace System. The weight between 0.55 lbs. – 55 lbs. are considered as small UAS.

 

Aircraft Registration

Any UA in this weight range is required to be registered through the FAA. Until further news from said agency which was recently sued and lost the “authority” if you will, to demand such registration. ( I just read http://www.faa.gov/uas and all drones 0.55 – 55 lb. are required to be registered)

 

Drones (sUAS)

I am currently shopping for an inexpensive drone that captures video and still pictures. In my list I have Syma, Holy Stone, Aukey, Hubsan and SKEYE any others along that price range ($300). I know DJI has a big selection. If I get chosen to be the Continuing Education Instructor at Broward College and my accountant advises me so, I will consider the Mavic Pro or Phantom 4 Beginners Package.

I fear getting something in that price range and either wreck it or not utilize it that much. Not to mention that I work in Miami among the most complex airspaces in America. We have 13 heliports, 7 airports including a Class B, a Military Airport and a Seaport. Find class G to fly! Good thing I do not live here!

I want to fly a quad. We have an autonomous land survey grade sUAS at the office(Miami Dade County Public Works).  I basically plan missions, send it off and tell it to come back. I also have option to get out of potential traffic. That is the extent of my flying sUAS experience. With this price range of quads, I will be piloting, therefore really combining two of my passions in one activity.

“If you know of a drone in the shape of a guitar, then I could include yet another passion”.

Commercial, Instrument, Private

MACHO, MACHO-MAN, I don’t want to by a MACHO MAN!

As I pilot you are aware of the five deadly attitudes: Resignation, Anti-Authority, Impulsivity, Invulnerability and Macho.

I have been flying since 2000. And don’t recall ever fighting these attitudes until recently.

I belong to several flying clubs. I say this to reinforce the fact that, flying has become my greatest adventure.   I am a type ‘A’ personality. Which latter I am finding out a very high percent of pilots fall under this personality group (interesting is in it?).

I have a girlfriend that loves going flying with me. While this is of great joy, since statistically, almost half of pilots’s partner do not like to fly. Having this partner in crime also adds an extra layer of pressure and responsibility to me. Bringing her home safe.

One of the flying clubs I mentioned, Florida Aero Club, have a Chapter monthly dinner meeting and a Chapter monthly fly in. We also have a State Wide, (all chapters in the State) biannual fly in weekend. I have only missed one since becoming a member. I have made great connections with pilots there partner from all the State Chapters. Being a flying club you want to fly to these activities.

This last State fly in was threatened with bad weather almost throughout the entire state both going and returning. On the way back from a great weekend, after having done all my weather studies, I arrive at the FBO to see all other Chapter members there. Ceilings were reported at 800-1000 feet and they were not IFR rated or IFR Current. In my mind I could have made the trip back. Looked at all obstacle in my modified IFR plan which was fly East miss the cell and then cancel and stay on flight watch under VFR rules.

While thinking in all the options including that my girlfriend and I both having to be back to work the next day, she is a very dedicated Head Start teacher, there are friends there which as an instructor I did not want to give them a bad example. Something in my mind click. All of the sudden, I did not want to fly.

While I enjoy flying so much, I go through a mental process and get mentally ready for the task. I could have been that MACHO guy impressing the pilots at the FBO and my girlfriend. I could have made it home safe. Am I sure of that?

After over seven hours driving home I observer the weather I would have flown in and was happy to see I made the right decision. This decision was latter challenged by the great weather at the destination airport.

While this go / no-go decision was  not that easy to make I am glad I made it. My girlfriend was very grateful in my brining her home safe, I made a new couple of friends, they road with us, and I modeled to other pilots the antidote to one of the attitude that could have made us part of the Nall Report Statistics. Other pilots also rented car and followed my lead.

Not a bad day from a CFI’s point of view.

I hope this short article helps other pilots facing similar situations in this storm season. Be safe fly another day.

Commercial, Instrument, Private, UAS/Drones, Uncategorized

Certificate of Authorization for My Employer

I starting the process for the approval of  an FAA COA approval for Miami Dade County Transportation and Publics Works Department. This was in May of 2015. The application has gone back and forward a number of times. As of today 5/4/2016 is not  approved.

As this was going on a change in the COA application requirements has taken place. In a matter of weeks I was awarded a Blanket COA (new Application submitted) to 400 AGL, Class E and  including a very extensive Operational Area. With this approval comes a great degree of responsibility.

Fly responsibly, you are  operation equipment that could be harmful to all other aircrafts.

I was on final approach and the tower reported drone spotted at 1000 ft on 10R (ten right) landing path. I never spotted the drone. That was scary for me not knowing if I was going to contact another flying object that could have caused: at minimal property damage not to mention possible crashing my vessel and death.

Please make sure you operate away from airports and other Areas which could be found in an application called “B4UFLY” on the app store and or Google Play. I was a beta tester for this app and its really great and a tool for you to have if you are to operate a drone.

Remember also drones from 0.55 lbs to 55 lbs must be registered with the FAA.

 

The Air Traffic Control SystemFlorida Aero Club Fall Fly In

Commercial, Instrument, Private

Florida Aero Club Fall Fly In

At the Florida Aero Club fall fly in, which took place from Oct 16 to Oct 18, 2015, I was made in-charged of the social media for the club.

Now we have social media in two additional popular organizations #Twitter and #Instagram. My next step is to create a messaging routing system for my local chapter North Perry. Perry’s monthly fly ins have a backup plan to go eat somewhere if the weather does not cooperate. This messaging option will allow us to keep informed in knowing if we took off or will eat at the designated backup location.

Find us in both Twitter and Instagram as #floridaaeroclub on both apps.(Ill see if i get also into google plus)

I also created an email which will receive the notifications generated by these two social media pages if you will. the email cold also be used for our state business. the email is: floridaaeroclub@gmail.com

Commercial, Instrument

Holds

HOLDS

Why Hold’s?

Traffic Spacing

Course Reversal

Lost Communications

Weather (wait to Clear)

Missed Approach

What is it?

Airspace in the shape of a racetrack used by ATC, for traffic delay of arrivals, over a given fix on NAVAID’S, either intersection of airways or intersection.

Fixes used:

VOR

INTERCEPTIONS

GPS WAYPOINTS

DME DIST FROM FIX

OUTER MARKER

ON LOCALIZER COURSE

Speeds (propeller a\c is 175 kn then as depicted on approach plates under a\c category)

200 kn-(SFC – 6000)

230 kn (6001-14000)(210 when published)

265 kn (14001 – ∝ )

Leg times

1 minute below 14,000

1.5 minutes above 14,000

Turns: a standard turn is to the right. If turns were to the left, it would be stated in the clearance. These are referred to as non standard turns.

Bank: all turns are to Standard rate. Never to exceed 25°.

Recommended Entries: explain and show examples of each entry

Direct: if the aircraft nose after reaching the fix, is on the fixed arc portion.

Teardrop: if the aircraft’s nose after reaching the fix, is on the holding side of the track.

Parallel: if the aircraft nose after reaching the fix, on the non holding side of the track.

Clearances Elements:

  1. Cardinal direction from the holding fix.
  2. Fix name
  3. Course (radial, airway or route)
  4. Leg length in miles if DME or RNAV is used
  5. Direction of turns (omitted is standard turns are to be used)
  6. Expect further clearance (EFC)

The simplest hold clearance is “ hold as published

Example of hold Clearance: “N8724M cleared to the “ABC” VOR; hold East on the 90 radial, EFC 30 min past the hr.”

Holding Instructions:

  • If you arrive at your clearance limit before clearance beyond the fix, ATC expects to maintain the last assigned altitude and begin holding in accordance to depicted pattern.
  • If a pattern is not shown, hold standard turns on the course you approached the fix. Immediately request further clearance.
  • ATC will issue clearance at least 5 minutes ETA to the fix if delays are expected.
  • If a hold is published and controller does not issue a complete clearance, the pilot is expected to fly the hold as depicted.
  • When a/c is 3 minutes or less from a clearance limit, and no clearance beyond the point has received, the pilot is expected to start a speed reduction to cross the fix at or below the maximum holding airspeed.

Holding pattern and its components:

A Holding and non-holding sides

B Inbound course

C Outbound course

D Legs

E Abeam Point

Holding side

Non-Holding Side

Wind Effects on Holding Patterns:

In compliance with the holding pattern procedure given in AIM, the symmetrical racetrack pattern cannot be tracked when winds exist.

Pilots are expected to:

  • Compensate for the effect of a known wind except when turning
  • Adjust outbound timing to achieve a one minute inbound leg. (1.5 minutes above 14,000 feet)

See pp 10-11 on Instrument Hand Book

Figure 10-5

References AIM 5-3-7

Chapter 10 Inst HB (8083-15) pp 10-10