Home > Our Camps > DRONE CONNECTION Ages 7–12 Switzerland: LET IT FLY
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Learn how to pilot drones in the great outdoors. Look for your favorite animals’ tracks and observe creatures without disturbing them.
Do you have a drone, or do you dream of having one? Then this trip is for you. We’ll teach you how to use your drone safely. If you don’t own one, we’ll let you pilot one of the OSI’s drones, and give you some tips on choosing your future machine. Professional drone pilots will teach you the basics of piloting small machines before you join the big leagues and control bigger ones. You can then test your reflexes in the great outdoors and start observing animals.
With drones in our backpacks, we’ll set out on a one- or several-day camping adventure under the stars. You’ll be able to launch your drone and search for mountain wildlife. Will you snap pictures of stags, doe, ibex, or other valley chamois?
You can also have fun playing drone-related games, like precision-landing competitions, pylon races, or agility courses. We’ll play lots of other outdoor and evening games during the trip so you can have an extraordinary, unforgettable adventure.
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 aims to connect drone technology to rescue and emergency services.
The research project
OSI doesn’t just want to teach budding naturalists about the world of drones during this trip. We want you to discover a whole new way to look at fauna and flora. Once these marvels are at arm’s reach, you’ll see nature’s beauty and its fragility. We’ll show you how drones can help save animals and their environment. And then it’ll be your turn! Using your experiences in the great outdoors, we’ll create plans to implement drone use on OSI trips and expeditions. We could use them to monitor snow leopards for the “PANTHERA” research and education program in Kyrgyzstan, and to track bears in the Pyrenees or wolves in the Alps. What’s cooler than bringing back photos of great beasts like wolves, bears, or snow leopards? Or even better: you can receive your diploma and apply to be a pilot or camera operator for these first-rate expeditions, and it’ll be your turn to observe the animals!
Concepts Learned during the Camp
AERODYNAMICS - TRACKING ANIMALS - AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY - GROUND PILOTING - ENERGY CAPACITY - CARTOGRAPHY - CONCEIVING AND CARRYING OUT PROJECTS - COUNTING - IMAGE PROCESSING - TRANSMITTING - FPV - PLANNING - REGULATIONS - DIVISION OF AIR SPACE - AEROLOGY - METEOROLOGY - MOBILITY - CHECKLISTS - OBSERVATION AND SURVEILLANCE
GPS - BAROMETER - DRONE - ROVER - REMOTE CONTROLS - COMPUTERS - PROPELLER - MAGNETOMETER AND COMPASS - LIPO BATTERY - ESC SWITCH - TOOLS - CAMERA - VIDEO CIRCUIT - SOFTWARE - UNMANNED AIRCRAFT - SIMULATOR - ACCELEROMETER - GROUND STATION - IMMERSION GOGGLES
At 1,068 meters of altitude, the mountain village of Lenk is located in the Simmental Valley in the Swiss Alps. It’s at the foot of the Wildstrubel massif, home of the Plainte Morte glacier. This idyllic setting is surrounded by summits that reach nearly 3,000 meters.
Below the Plaine Morte glacier on the Rezlialp lies the river Simme. It’s borne of several springs gushing from the rocks, called the “seven fountains.” These sulfurous springs are renowned for their effects on rheumatism and respiratory illnesses, making them famous hotsprings.
It’s picturesque year-round. Whether you’re gazing out the window or going on a stroll, the lakes, mountain passes, summits, and pastures are breathtaking.
With its large sports hall and a pool, the village is great for team sports. And of course, there’s all the great stuff you can do on the mountain: alpine barbecues, hiking, leisurely biking on trails or mountain biking for the more athletic among us, mountain climbing, and much more!
Day to day proceedings
After joining a team, you’ll learn about the different roles: pilot, camera operator, and mechanic.
During the first week, you’ll use a flight simulator to learn how to pilot drones. You’ll then practice with small drones, and learn how to perform basic maneuvers like hovering, translational flight, squares, figure 8’s, and if you can, back flips! Next you’ll learn to control larger and more sophisticated machines.
You’ll alternate between piloting sessions and games and evening activities throughout the first week. You’ll also meet participants from other OSI trips, who might ask you to use your drones to help them in their research program. You can also discuss with wildlife specialists to get advice for your second-week mission…
You’ll be heading to the great outdoors, where you’ll need to be clever and discreet observe the animals. To do this, we might go camping in the mountains. We’ll have a tent, bonfire, and as always, outdoor games aplenty.
Last but not least, you’ll show your findings during a retransmission for your parents and the various project coordinators. Thanks to the work of yourself and others, OSI can improve drone use during its scientific expeditions, which will eventually be followed on the Internet.
We’ll be staying at the Kuspo Center in the Simmental Valley. Only 1 kilometer from the village of Lenk, it’s close to footpaths that quickly lead to hiking trails.
The Kuspo Center includes three modern chalets for accommodations and a superb main hall with activity rooms. We can stay in spacious rooms with bedding and Nordic duvets for two, four, or eight people. Each chalet contains large offices and rooms to conduct our scientific activities.
Diverse, delicious buffets are served in the dining room. The dining areas can also be used as gathering places for exciting activities in the evening. Halls and athletic areas are available around the center. The center also has a game room and a large terrace where you can relax in the sun. We’ll immerse ourselves in Swiss culture in the warm, family atmosphere of this magnificent valley.
To join us on this trip, you can:
- Find your own way there (you’ll receive a map and schedule).
- Plan a trip from any city in the world. Contact us for more information.
- Transfer by train or minibus from certain cities.
- Take a flight. Contact us for more information.
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