Changing Planet

Northern California Region 2-day UAV Symposium in Nevada

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using  drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels. 

The ASPRS Northern California Region is hosting a 2-day symposium on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Reno (Nevada) on October 21-22, 2014. The purpose of the event is to assemble academia, UAS developers, survey and mapping companies and government agencies with interests in UAS applications, to share information, showcase new technologies and demonstrate UAS systems in action (in flight). The event will tentatively be held at the Reno Stead Airport, an FAA-designated UAS test site, and will include exhibitors and presenters. The mission of the event is to advance knowledge and improve the understanding of UAS technologies and their safe and efficient introduction into our national airspace, government programs and business.

Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC), held at New York University last year. Photo © KIKE CALVO

Highlights of the symposium:

  • Demonstrations (in-flight) of UAS technologies
  • Collaboration opportunities between government, private sector and academia
  • Exhibitor floor
  • Speakers and presentations on relevant UAS topics

This unique event will showcase UAS in operation including flights of the first UAS Mapping Calibration Test Course designed to be a permanent facility for the validation and accuracy assessment of UAS sensor payloads. General sessions will focus on the mapping and remote sensing aspects of unmanned acquisitions with the goal to provide practical information on UAS flight planning, acquisition, data processing and map production. National and international speakers will address current-day and developing UAS applications. Academia and research institutions will inform on existing educational and training opportunities. Survey, mapping, and engineering firms will be on-hand to share their experience and further their UAS implementation strategies. Government agencies will share information on the development of national and international mapping programs. UAS firms will benefit from meeting the managers of the Nevada UAS program and obtaining first-hand information on utilization of the Nevada UAS Test Site.


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Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can now buy Kike´s products: You can travel to Colombia with Kike:

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