Sentinel client Ascendant Engineering Solutions out of Austin, Texas is launching it’s latest stabilized gimbal design as part of a state-of-the-art Small UAS cinematography system. Called DaVinci, this system combines an AES-designed lightweight stabilized gimbal, with a RED Epic Dragon 19MP camera and a hexacopter UAV to provide the highest imaging performance available in an FAA-compliant, 55 lb. system.
Recall the FAA recently published their Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) as an incremental approach to integration of commercial-use unmanned systems to the US national airspace. In so doing, the initial category of UAS being allowed to fly includes systems that don’t exceed 55 lbs. or fly above 500 ft. There are several other critical parameters like daylight only and line-of-sight operation that must be adhered to. There will be a multi-month public comment period prior to final adoption of this rule.
In the meantime, the FAA is granting exemptions under Section 333 of the proposed rule that allow operations under the proposed rule. At the time of this writing, just over 50 companies have been granted this waiver and approximately 600 more companies have applications pending. Clearly the demand is there and the FAA has its work cut out to get the waiver approval process streamlined.
The DaVinci was designed specifically to operated in this Small UAS category in order to provide cinematographers an option to manned helicopter or wire guided cinematography. By embracing RED’s latest Epic camera model with a number of zoom lens options, this system has the ability to provide very near the same capability as manned aircraft cinematography and allow for new and unique capabilities provided by remote controlled aircraft.
The DaVinci will be on display at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) www.nabshow.com convention in Las Vegas, GA in April 2015 and will be on display again at the Association of Unmanned Systems International (AUVSI) http://www.auvsishow.org/auvsi2015/public/enter.aspx in Atlanta, GA in May 2015.