Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Looking at Rocks, the Birds-Eye-View

Unmanned Airborne Vehicles enhance education in Geology. The smallest is a Blade Nano QX used for flight training, the DJI Phantom 2 Vison+ has an integrated live-streaming camera system, and the DJI S900 Spreading Wings hexacopter can lift larger payloads.













Two unmanned airborne vehicles (UAV) have been acquired by the Department to enhance undergraduate teaching in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering. The UAVs were funded through a successful BED fund proposal submitted by our undergraduate students to FEAS.

The first UAV, named "QueenBee", is a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter with a 3-D gimbal and integrated video/still camera, a range extender, and a two-way communication transmitter which streams live-video from the UAV to an iPad or Android, or sends camera/flight commands to the UAV. Combined with a ground station, the UAV is able to operate fully autonomous without the need for an operator. It will follow a pre-programmed path supported by its integrated GPS, magnetometer and INS navigation system. The UAV will be used in field education to capture aerial imagery in difficult terrain or along rock faces. It is also used in GEOE/L 439, for aerial photography and for geophysical mapping.

The second UAV, named QueenEh!, is a DJI S900 Spreading Wings hexacopter with a A2 flight controller. It has a payload of up to 5 kg and has a flight range of several km. The system will be used to carry integrated geophysical sensor systems including GPS, INS, optical cameras, magnetometer, LiDAR, and hyperspectral cameras. It will be used as a geophysical mapping system in GEOE/L 300, GEOE/L 319 Applied Geophysics and 419 Geophysics Field School.

QueenBee and QueenEh! are available for any educational activity in the department, but require a well-trained operator. For that reason, we will establish a Flying Club which all department members can join after successfully passing a flight training module in both theory and practice.

Training UAVs such as the Blade nano QX are available for practice.

For more information please contact Alexander Braun (613-533-6221).