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Immerse yourself in nature with a new outlook and become the next generation of biodiversity and wildlife protection ambassadors.
Do you want to soar through the clouds and spot plants and animals from the air? Then this trip is for you! Experience a unique adventure in the heart of a valley where biodiversity is immense and the scenery is enchanting. You’ll learn how to control these amazing flying and rolling machines before focusing on discovering the local wildlife. Look for stags, doe, ibex, and other izards, and then observe them from the air. Find the best approaches so you won’t disturb them. Take never-before-seen photos in HD, and help various local animal and plant conservation programs with your observations. As budding naturalists, you’ll also use your drones to complete missions on the ground, like counting birds or sheep, mapping the habitat of a particular species, collecting samples, etc. You and your team will be responsible for a flying or rolling machine. You’ll need to plan and execute missions, prepare and transport needed material, and analyze the results. You may need to walk several hours to reach your destination, or even camp on-site.
While being guided and supervised by drone professionals, you’ll establish the procedures for drone usage during OSI trips and expeditions. Or even better, you can have your skills recognized by earning a diploma that will open doors to OSI expeditions. With this diploma, you can apply to be a pilot or camera operator during the PANTHERA research and education program’s snow leopard-tracking expeditions in Kyrgyzstan. You can even help track bears in the Pyrenees or wolves in the Alps. What’s cooler than bringing back never-before-seen photos of great beasts like wolves, bears, or snow leopards?
INTERDRONES SERVICES is a company that specializes in building and using multi-platform drones. The company uses flying, ground, on-water, and underwater models. Founded in 2013 by a firefighter, the company wants to link drone technology to rescue and emergency services.
The research project
Drones can do almost anything. They can take off vertically, fly really high or raze the ground, travel short or long distances, fly a few minutes or several hours, cross difficult terrain, plumb the deepest wells, etc. They can be operated manually or automatically, take samples and measurements, and capture pictures in several wavelengths (visible, UV, IR). These capabilities make it the perfect tool to observe and protect our planet’s flora and fauna.
Drones have become a fun, appealing tool. OSI wants to use them to foster respect for our planet and protect it by making the adults of tomorrow aware of the richness and fragility of the Earth. On top of learning to use these ground and air machines safely, you’ll get to see local plants and wildlife in a whole new way. You’ll have to adapt your actions to the environment to complete your missions. Your results will contribute to future drone usage procedures, and will also be retransmitted—each trip will be a building block.
All feedback will be given to the “conceptualizing” trip participants, who will thus be able to improve the machines. These changes and the usage procedures tested during the “piloting” trips will contribute to developing the tools of tomorrow. You’ll help advance research, allowing us to know more about our planet and protect it.
Concepts Learned during the Camp
AERODYNAMICS - TRACKING ANIMALS - AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY - GROUND PILOTING - CARTOGRAPHY - CONCEIVING AND CARRYING OUT PROJECTS - COUNTING - PILOTING - IMAGE PROCESSING - TRANSMITTING - FPV - PLANNING - REGULATIONS - DIVISION OF AIR SPACE - AEROLOGY - METEOROLOGY - MOBILITY - CHECKLIST - OBSERVATION AND SURVEILLANCE
GPS - BAROMETER - DRONE - ROVER - REMOTE CONTROLS - COMPUTERS - PROPELLERS - MAGNETOMETER AND COMPASS - LIPO BATTERY - ESC SWITCH - TOOLS - CAMERA - VIDEO CIRCUIT - SOFTWARE - UNMANNED AIRCRAFT - SIMULATOR - ACCELEROMETER - GROUND STATION - IMMERSION GOGGLES
Day to day proceedings
After joining a team, you’ll learn all about the different roles: pilot, camera operator, and mechanic. Generally, during the first week you’ll progressively learn piloting skills under the watchful eyes of drone specialists. On the agenda: flight simulator, dual control piloting, stationary flight exercises, translational flight, squares, and figure 8’s. You’ll then graduate to larger, more sophisticated machines, and finish off with a ground drone. You’ll also study plants and wildlife with local specialists, and hunt for the best spots to observe animals. Every day, you’ll alternate between piloting sessions and socializing and outdoor games.
Your second week will be occupied by on-the-ground missions. Once you’ve mastered the basics of piloting and using these machines, you’ll need to put your knowledge to the test in the real world. You’ll select your missions and then learn to plan them from A to Z, carry them out, and make use of the results. You might have to go hiking or even camping for night or early-morning missions. Each mission will subsequently be outlined and analyzed by all the trip’s participants and educators. We’ll assess the results and make new recommendations about the improvement and use of these machines. The end of the trip will be publicly retransmitted. We’ll also produce a written report. It’ll be a great chance to show off your work and pass the torch to the next trip’s participants.
The “Les Pierres Blanches” holiday center is only 20 kilometers from downtown Luchon, a renown spa town since Roman times, and is a stone’s throw away from Spain. The warm, cozy center can house up to 100 people.
Many nearby trails lead to spectacular views. This lively rental is surrounded by a large mountain slope that’s great for large group games, cabin-building, or even for fantastic nature walks. Lots of board games and outdoor games like foosball and ping-pong tables are available.
“Les Pierres Blanches” includes all the modern comforts. It can accommodate your children and teens in about 20 simple, comfortable rooms with four to six beds, a shower, and a toilet. The center features several activity rooms, a large reception hall, and a sunny terrace.
We’ll depart from Toulouse, where we’ll meet participants traveling from France and other places in the world. If you’ll be traveling at the center yourself, other routes can be used depending on your departure point or where your final destination is located (if you’re dropping off your children while taking a longer trip).
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