TSU Agrobiotech teaches drone piloting and aerial photography

Aerial drone photography is in demand in various professional fields. However, the more affordable drones get, the more popular aerial photography becomes among enthusiasts as well. TSU Agrobiotech teaches its trainees to operate unmanned small UAVs, capture aerial photos, process them using specialized software, and work on orthomapping. The first test launches already took place at the airstrip in Beryozkino with the guidance of supervisors from Geoscan. The program was developed jointly by TSU and Geoscan.

A group of ten people including TSU students and teaching staff and members of the Siberian Federal Research Centrе of Agro-ВioTechnologies of the Russian Academy of Sciences learned how to control drones and do aerial photography. The first launch was conducted as part of the internship module in the further training program Geoscan Drone Operation for Capturing Aerial Photos, developed by TSU Agrobiotech and Faculty of Innovative Technologies jointly with Geoscan.

At first, the trainees went through the legal aspects of using a drone in Russia and specifically in Tomsk Oblast. Drones weighing less than 30 kg were given special attention since their use is governed by a special legal regime. Then the trainees studied the design and functionality of multirotor and fixed-wing drones manufactured by Geoscan. Currently, the trainees are learning how to process aerial photos and apply the aerial photography data: They study the fundamentals of photogrammetry in the program Agiosoft Metashape Professional and produce orthomaps.

According to the head of the program, Dmitriy Shashev, deputy dean of the TSU Faculty of Innovative Technologies, one of the goals of creating the program was popularizing further training in drone operation, a field that TSU has extensive expertise in.

“Basically, TSU was the first to do this, and now we are trying to make education available for a mass audience. The program will be especially useful for those working in the fields requiring aerial photography, one of them being agrobiotechnology,” Dmitriy Shashev shares. “Unmanned aerial vehicle and software produced by Geoscan are a turnkey solution that can be easily implemented in various types of activities.”

Trainees are taught by TSU teaching staff and Geoscan supervisors. The further training program Geoscan Drone Operation for Capturing Aerial Photos is one of the key areas developed by Agrobiotech within the initiative Digitization of Agriculture. The program’s workload is 108 hours, upon the completion of which trainees will have to defend a project: Each trainee will present their respective orthomap of the training area and answer questions on operating a drone.

Follow the link to apply for the program.