”Change is in the Air”. This is the tagline of our fall symposium, which denotes the excitement and also the angst that goes along with change. We are all reminded daily, from news and conversation, of the advent of the age of the drones and we each react with our own individual excitement, loathing, fear, curiosity, or blend thereof. The topic is definitely popular right now and ASPRS members are smack dab in the middle of the issue, as one of the largest applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology will be mapping. One of the key topics of our symposium will be, ”What is at stake?” When disruptive technology such as UAS comes along, we all have a need for education and collaboration.
The symposium will bring industry experts to speak to the issues relevant to our mapping and remote sensing community. The program will be tailored to cover topics of aircraft design, sensor payload options, flight planning, flying the mission, data processing and product development. Speakers and panels will be selected to provide first-hand information on these issues.
No UAS symposium would be complete without a group of exhibitors offering hands-on opportunities to see the equipment, talk to the experts, and gather contacts for teaming and collaboration. We have extended preliminary invitations to manufacturers of UAS technology and it appears we will have a large group of vendors who make UAS equipment, provide software solutions, provide UAS components, and provide services.
Last, but certainly not least, this symposium is designed in coordination with the Nevada UAS Test Site. The State of Nevada was selected as one of the six national UAS test sites to serve as an arm of the FAA and provide for the safe transition of civilian applications of UAS into the national air space. This unique collaboration of ASPRS and the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems will provide the ability for ASPRS to host live flight demonstrations of UAS as part of the symposium and allow ASPRS to establish the course for on-going test flights of UAS.
The symposium will be held October 21-22, 2014. The events will take place at the Reno Ballroom, a beautiful first-class facility in downtown Reno. The El Dorado, our symposium hotel, is located just across the street. Buses will be arranged to take attendees to the Reno Stead Airport for the live UAS demonstrations. All attempts are being made to keep costs at a minimum in order to encourage broad attendance. It is our goal to reach beyond our ASPRS membership to encourage UAS start]ups, entrepreneurs, GIS professionals, government agencies, surveyors, students, potential UAS users, and general enthusiasts to attend.
Change is in the air! Please join us in Reno to explore what is at stake and how to prepare for change!
ASPRS UAS Symposium Chair