Precision Agriculture

Increase your crop yield through automated aerial imaging and management with our agriculture-focused sessions. These 60-minute classes and panels will emphasize the use of drones, techniques and technologies for detailed farming management, including data collection and analysis, remote sensing and multispectral imagery. Attend these sessions to see how drones are poised to replace expensive alternatives like helicopters and planes as well as increase productivity on the farm.


Tuesday, September 4th

Pre-Conference Workshop: Part 107 Training

Full-Day Workshop

11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

All

Speakers: Enrico Schaefer, Tony Sauerbrey

This all-day training session will focus on the essential areas to study for the Part 107 Knowledge Test. Course content and objectives will include Part 107 rules and regulations, aeronautical charts, weather patterns and National Airspace System (NAS), as well as eligibility requirements to be able to take the FAA written knowledge test.

This session will cover more than just the fine details of what you need to know for the Knowledge Test, but also provide you with insight on how to think and operate like a professional commercial drone pilot and provide you with everyday examples that remote pilots may encounter when out performing commercial flight operations for themselves or their clients. This session will be a comprehensive overview to assist you with preparation for taking the Part 107 Knowledge Test and think about the next steps beyond the Knowledge Test.

THOSE OTHER TOPS/TIPS TO INCLUDE:

• Following policies and practices such as pre-flight and post-flight checklist for every drone flight operations

• Online test prep resources (handout)

• Industry Standards

• FAA Past Practices and the direction they are moving forward with

YOU WILL WALK AWAY WITH KNOWLEDGE REGARDING:

• Understanding Part 107 Regulations

• Understanding and identifying the various classes of controlled, uncontrolled, and Special Use airspace.

• An understanding of how to read and interpret aeronautical chart symbology.

• Planning methods to translate a location on street/satellite maps into an aeronautical chart.

• Understanding of Aeronautical Decision Making and human factors affecting safe flight.

• Understanding basic weather principles.

• Interpreting weather reports and forecasts.


Pre-Conference Workshop: Drone Startup 101: Finding Your Fortune in the Drone Industry

Half-Day Workshop

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM

All

Speakers: Allen Scott Beach, Andrea Beach

This half-day workshop will focus on helping you find success in the drone industry. We will cover everything from deciding what kind of business to start to sales, marketing and the top 5 checklist. We will help you simplify the process of starting and running a successful drone company, and discuss simple strategies such as: “Do what you know,” “There is nothing more important than sales” and “Be willing to throw out the status quo.” While no one can guarantee your success, what is guaranteed is that there’s no chance of success if you never begin.

OTHER TOPICS AND TIPS TO INCLUDE:

• Drone Opportunities Abound: Selecting what’s right for you.

• Trail Blazers: Learn from those that have gone before you.

• How to build a competitive advantage

• Marketing on a shoestring

• The hunt for start-up capital

YOU WILL WALK AWAY WITH:

• The key components of starting a drone business

• A myriad of viable options for drone start-ups

• An understanding of what it takes to be successful


Wednesday, September 5th

Unlocking Real-Time Drone Insights on the Job Site

Class

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Track: Surveying and Mapping | Business | Precision Agriculture |Inspection | Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Jono Millin

Drone mapping is an innovative and cost-efficient way to collect aerial data on projects in construction, agriculture, energy, and more. But in a fast-moving world, data needs to keep up with your operations. Your decisions and your bottom line depend on it. That’s why the future of drone mapping is in real-time. You can’t afford to wait a day or even hours for aerial insights.

Join experts from DroneDeploy to get a firsthand look at Live Map, the only real-time mapping solution that enables instant aerial insights and thermal inspections…no computer, SD card, or internet connection required.

You can expect to walk away with a better understanding of the many ways drones revolutionize industry workflows and the latest tools you can put to work to unlock the full potential of drones on the job site.


Accelerating Needs for Spectrum Solutions for UAS

Class

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Track: All

Speaker: Jennifer Richter

Join this class for a discussion on the pending AIA proposal for new UAS C2 spectrum; how autonomy impacts spectrum needs; whether new spectrum is needed for ADS-B-like transponder functions; what the Commission is considering for collision avoidance spectrum; and increasing concerns related to using unlicensed bands.


Drone Remote Sensing and the Case for Robotic Agriculture

Class

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Charles Malveaux

Advances in micro-controllers, multispectral cameras, and sensors has resulted in the creation of light-weight drone aircraft with powerful remote sensing capabilities. These remote sensing capabilities lend themselves well to precision agriculture. Related advances in land based robotics and agriculture equipment has resulted in precision guidance and application systems for agriculture. Now drones can act as part of a precision agriculture neural network made up of both aerial and land based sensor nodes working in conjunction with ground based co-robotic systems to create a sustainable precision farming ecosystem. The USDA has asked researchers to develop these co-robotic systems in recent grant proposals. With increasing populations and the need for greater farm efficiency, coupled with a dwindling labor force willing to do manual labor on farms, robotic agricultural systems and robotic farming will be a big part of the future of agriculture. This presentation will cover this topic in depth and also provide an overview from the perspective of a technologist of what will need to occur in order to make robotic precision farming a reality.

As part of the talk, we will discuss in detail the 9 key elements needed as part of an automated agricultural system.


FAA Regulations: The Latest Outlook

Panel

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Christopher Korody

Speakers: Bill Goodwin, Lydia Hilton, Doug Johnson, Anthony Zakel

With a new administrator at the helm of the FAA, what has changed? What has stayed the same? What do you think should be addressed next and how do you express your views? This panel is designed as an open forum to ask questions to an esteemed lineup of lawmakers and legal experts as well as cover what you need to know to safely and legally fly your drone.


Spray Drones in Agriculture

Class

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Robert Blair

When agriculture and drones are mentioned together, most people think about images and remote sensing data. Well, there is another way that drones can make an impact in agriculture and that is doing aerial application. This class will talk about the history of aerial application in agriculture and how spray drones can fill a niche today. It will also cover the rules, regulations, and challenges spray drones are and will be facing. Session content will include basic agronomic aspects of why any type of treatment is needed and the how and where drones will play a role. This is the next logical step that drones will be taking for agriculture purposes and the instructor will bring a lifetime of farming experience and over a decade of precision agriculture and drone utilization to you.


How to Prove Safety: Gaining BVLOS and Part 107 Waiver

Class

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Track: All

Speaker: Adam Robertson

This session will address the key ways to establish proof of safety in your drone program, and discuss how to achieve BVLOS for UAV and steps for securing a Part 107 Waiver. An autonomous drone revolution is underway to tap the economic potential of the vast and largely empty airspace overhead. Drones are already an indispensable part of the daily workflow in many industries, including search and rescue, construction, mining, agriculture, real estate and film making. Emerging UAV capabilities such as large infrastructure inspection, border patrol and package transport require safe beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) services to be economically viable. So, what’s the best solution to achieving BVLOS?

Many solutions claim to enable safer flight and detect-and-avoid capabilities; however, radar is proven to be a superior solution to help UAV and operators achieve BVLOS. The FAA has prioritized radar as the key technology for development in achieving optimal safety and security in the airspace. This talk will discuss key developments to radar solutions, including machine learning, AI, software enhancement for data mapping and more, all which can be deployed and applied to most any kind of drone.

The class will also outline the steps necessary to secure the critical Part 107 Waiver for operation in controlled airspace, helping companies to save time and resources on the process. While the FAA has attempted to streamline the application process through its DroneZone portal, there are some key things you will learn that can facilitate the process. The 107 Waiver allows for UAVs to operate at night, over people, flight from a moving vehicle or truck, operate multiple aircraft with a single pilot, fly beyond visual line of sight, flight above 400 feet, and fly near airports and other protected airspace.

You will walk away knowing how the use of radar and gaining a Part 107 Waiver can help unlock the many benefits that a world of drone commerce can offer.


Partnerships and the Future of the Commercial Drone Industry Landscape

Panel

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Michael Blades

Speakers: Derek Lyons, Joshua Ziering, Bill Chen, Basil Yap

The commercial drone ecosystem is changing almost as rapidly as the technology that drives it. This panel will discuss, from both a US and global view, how the commercial drone services market has transitioned from a stove-piped development approach to a race to provide a one-stop shop for all-in-one services supporting various industries. However, not all partnerships are as beneficial as they seem while others hit solution services out the park. This panel will cover what these partnerships mean for the commercial drone ecosystem as well as the opportunities they may produce or possibly eliminate through their synergies.


How to Successfully Market Drone Services to a Farmer – From a Farmer Who Uses Drone Technology

Class

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Justin Metz

This class will show examples of what the Bowles Farming Company currently uses drones for, and the value they provide. With this, you will gain insight on what a farmer would like to see, including his ROI. We will discuss:

• Going through the process of taking imagery, processing, and selecting the proper indices that will show information not visible when driving around the field.

• Taking that information and making it actionable by creating management zones, which can then be exported into tractors for variable-rate prescriptions.

• Maximizing profits by eliminating over and/or under application of products.


Moving Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management Forward: The Current Landscape

Panel

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Jim Williams

Speakers: Biruk Abraham, Mark Aitken, Marke “Hoot” Gibson, Joseph Rios

In the first half of this 120-minute panel, the current landscape of UTM will be discussed from policy and regulatory standpoints. With programs like Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) rolling out, the path to flying quickly, legally and safely is becoming more streamlined. But what’s the state of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations? Where does UAS remote tracking and identification currently stand? This panel of industry-leading experts with discuss these topics as well as the reality of implementation and integration into our National Airspace System (NAS).


Moving Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management Forward: The Future Landscape

Panel

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Jim Williams

Speakers: Eric Ringer, Ben Marcus, Paul McDuffee

The second half of this 120-minute panel will cover the path forward for UTM from a technical, real-world implementation standpoint. You will hear from the companies that are facilitating the advancement of UTM through their solutions and programs, and learn what resources are available to you now for flying quickly, legally and safely. The future vision for fully integrating drones into our National Airspace System (NAS) will also be discussed.


Harnessing the Power of Your Drone Data

Panel

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Colin Snow

Speakers: Amit Ganjoo, Marty Scholl, Pat Lohman

Drones gather a trove of information and data, but how do you turn that data into actionable business insights? From the collection process to analysis and decision making, this panel will cover the best ways to harness the data in your pipeline while increasing productivity and your bottom line. 


Providing Real-Time Imagery to Appropriate Personnel to Make an Informed Decision in the Field of the Situation

Class

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Justin Metz

Having a bird’s-eye view of your crop is very informative. Having that bird’s-eye view of your crop in real-time is where drone technology in agriculture becomes very powerful for your Pest Control Adviser’s and Certified Crop Adviser’s Foremen, as well as your variable rate person to make prescriptions within hours of the initial report.

With subsurface drip irrigation, you can more efficiently water crops. However, gophers and tractors are two big factors that cause leaks. Knowing how many leaks you have can determine how many people and supplies you need.

When your Pest Control Advisor notices insect pressure in the field, and it’s spreading fast, he can deploy a drone and see the entire affected area to write an appropriate recommendation for spraying only the affected area.

These successful use cases of using real-time imagery out in the field as well as how it affects your bottom line will be covered in this class.


Best Practices for Scaling and Streamlining Your Drone Ops

Class

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: All

Speakers: Tom Owen, Joshua Ziering

If you are looking to start a drone program or already have one in place within your enterprise, then this class is for you.

Tom Owen and Josh Ziering will present actionable insights and tips for streamlining and growing your drone program, based on years of experience working with diverse enterprise and public-sector partners.

Tom will delve into best practices he sees during his field trips meeting customers across the country. Josh will discuss how to effectively and safely manage your pilots and scale your fleet, from pre-flight to in-flight to post-flight. You’ll learn how to put repeatable processes in place so your team will be able to collect data and create insights that can move seamlessly back into your organization.

By attending this class, you will get answers to questions like:

– What kind of standard operating procedures work at scale?

– How can you help mitigate the risk a drone program poses to your organization?

– How do you build a culture of safety and accountability?

– How do you manage increased accountability around LAANC operations?

– When is the right time to call the FAA/NTSB after an accident?


Thursday, September 6th

Using Drones for More Than Just NDVI on a Farm

Class

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Justin Metz

When using drones on the farm, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is commonplace. However, with new thermal mapping technologies constantly evolving, we can look at crops with another view after an environmental event for insurance claims, for example, or study moisture disbursement in row crops for a more intuitive insight into how long to irrigate your fields.

You can also use real-time mapping software to capitalize on pre-planting activities, from weed spraying, and remediation amendment verification to identifying drip leaks and drainage issues.

Additionally, you can Identify soil variabilities with bare soil imagery, allowing for another layer of information to correlate, verify, and make smarter decisions with.

These are just a few examples of the many uses for drones on the farm. Attend this class to learn about them and more.


Managing Drone Data: Choosing the Right Data Service Provider

Class

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: All

Speaker: Colin Snow

Choosing a drone data service means choosing a trusted business partner. But with so many choices, it can be hard to know which one you should use. What advantage does one have over another? Unfortunately, the answers are not simple. A lot depends on your business model, your target market, what functions you need, and quite frankly how much you are willing to spend. The good news is the current wave of development and innovation in online drone data services is focused on mapping and analytic solutions that drone business service providers and enterprises can use to help solve real world problems – problems like infrastructure decay, crop yields, stockpile inaccuracies, improper construction sequencing, mining site logistics, etc. With that in mind, in this session I’ll outline the important criteria to help you evaluate the various web-based mapping and imaging services for drones.

In this session, you’ll learn:

• Who are the major providers and what’s their focus?

• How to determine the value of the services they provide?

• What questions should you be asking when comparing offerings?

• What’s the best way to integrating a service into your existing workflow so that it simplifies your operations and save costs?


Must-Have Technology in AgTech 2018   

Class

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Chad Colby

So much is changing in “modern” agriculture, that it’s hard for most people to keep up. Since the Agriculture Industry is changing so fast, learn what’s new today and what is right around the corner. UAS systems recently have made some major improvements and the industry is ready for the latest technology from the drone industry. We’ll also discuss other technologies, including remote sensing, automation, machinery and much more! Join this class to get a look into the “latest” AgTech in 2018.


Drones in Precision Agriculture: An End-User’s Perspective

Panel

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Moderator: Chad Colby

Speakers: Justin Metz, Thomas Haun, Dr. Greg Crutsinger

We’ve all heard about the opportunities drones bring to the agriculture industry, but what about hearing from those that are actually putting them into practice? This panel will offer an end-user’s perspective from farmers and agronomists that are implementing drones out in the fields. Come hear about best practices, tips and tricks, and techniques and technologies for detailed farming management, including data collection and analysis, remote sensing, multispectral imagery and more.


Drones in Precision Agriculture: Cutting-Edge Technology

Panel

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Moderator: Robert Blair

Speakers: Jaime Machuca, Charles Malveaux, Michael Ritter

From multispectral and hyperspectral imaging to mapping and data analysis, UAV data-driven technology in the Precision Agriculture space is constantly evolving. Learn from industry-leading companies that are developing these technologies for farmers on what’s to come as well as when it’s best to use a particular solution for your Precision Agriculture needs.


Growing Your Drone Service Business After Hours

After Hours

7:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Colin Snow

Speakers: Michael Singer, Ed Hine

So you have your drone service business, but how do you grow it? Hear from those who have made it in the booming commercial drone service provider market during this special after hours event. Hear which market segments will take off next and where drone service providers are making the most impact and having the most success. Learn about the pitfalls, best practices, and the sure-fire ways of taking your drone business to the next level!


DJI After Hours: The Future of the Commercial UAV Ecosystem

After Hours

7:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Romeo Durscher

Speakers: Bill Chen, Francisco Toro, Hai Vo

Join DJI and its partners for an after-hours session, discussing the future ecosystem of unmanned aerial systems. DJI will host an intimate Q&A session, where audience members have an opportunity to ask experts from DJI and its select partners some pressing questions.


Friday, September 7th

Do Drones Disturb Wildlife?

Panel

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Track: All

Moderator: David Bird

Speakers: Dr. David Johnston, Jeff Sloan

Drones are being embraced more and more by biologists and conservationists all over the world as a useful tool to count, detect, track and observe wildlife. However, not all agree with their use. Some feel that these sometimes noisy machines can pose a hazard to wildlife and they want their use curtailed through stricter regulations or even banned in some places. This panel, composed of experts using drones to study wildlife, will discuss the pros and cons of adopting these machines for this purpose and what steps we must take to make more effective use of the technology. During the discussion, you will also learn about the latest successes (and failures) in their use.   


UAV Adoption on the Farm

Class

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Track: Precision Agriculture

Speaker: Michael Ritter

How do drones factor into the future of farming? Why are they the optimal platform for measuring crop performance? What kind of results are early adopters seeing today? What will we see tomorrow? What does it take to drive sustained use and new adoption?

From the abundance of new technology available to the farm, the low-altitude drone is unique. There is no better platform from which to assess field conditions which can drive improved production performance and more accurate yield forecasts, from the small family farm to multinational enterprises. And that is changing the industry.

In this session, we will discuss these important questions and several more that are driving adoption across the industry:

• Advances in drone usability

• Remote sensing and analytics capabilities which address more specific problems on the farm to deliver more highly valued data

• Improved system scalability across large enterprise operations

• Drone data integration with other on-farm platforms and analytics


Drones and the Power of Artificial Intelligence

Panel

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Miram McNabb

Speakers: Jaime Machuca, Kraettli L. Epperson , Nitin Gupta

Drones and Artificial Intelligence seem to go hand in hand now, and it’s easy to see why. With computer vision technology capable of collision avoidance, and systems smart enough to learn and operate on behalf of the human operator, AI could be the conduit for safely and reliably integrating drones into our National Airspace System (NAS) and the path to expanding flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The use cases are endless as are the opportunities. Learn about them and more in this panel.


Project Management Fundamentals For Your Commercial Drone Operation

Class

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Track: All

Speaker: Brett Hoffstadt

Commercial drone operations, to be effective, must deliver quality results within business constraints of cost, schedule, staffing, regulations, and other organizational factors. How can you ensure that your scope is feasible within these constraints? What are your biggest risks? How can you be proactive to prevent them from becoming real issues? How best to delegate, assign, and track roles and responsibilities so that every necessary task is completed? Who are the key stakeholders in your organization? What are effective strategies to influence and manage them, including the nay-sayers? This class will give you an accelerated overview of the 10 knowledge areas of project management through best practices, essential tools, strategies, and actual lessons learned (the good, the bad, and some ugly) from industry. The 10 areas are:

– Project integration

– Scope management

– Time management

– Cost management

– Quality management

– Human Resources

– Communications

– Risk management

– Procurement

– Stakeholder management

If you have realized that the soft skills and nontechnical aspects of commercial drones are the sources of your biggest challenges, you will gain a lot from this course. Whether you are a one-person operation trying to manage a business yourself or you are building a drone operation for your organization, you will leave with a comprehensive introduction into the fundamentals of planning and executing this effort as a viable project. Those with a Project Management Professional certification (PMP) will receive 1.0 PDU for attending.