Forum: Event Management System

Drone and Event Management - Saving the environment.

David Brunskill
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge

SAVING OUR ENVIRONMENT

DRONES AND EVENT MANAGEMENT

We are asked to be environmentally conscious in all aspects of our sport.

It could be argued that one of the most expensive and environmentally damaging aspects of our sport is the use of Judges and RIBS for judging/umpiring on the water. It would be interesting to know therefore to what extent the presence of RIBS and judges on the water could be replaced by drones and judges ashore.

I would be very interested to know whether race organisers have used or are thinking of using drones

  1. To identify boats during the starting procedure
  2. To identify boat breaking rule 42 (propulsion)
  3. To be positioned over rounding marks to establish e.g. entering the zone and/or the facts in any mark rounding incident
  4. To be positioned over boats in any match or team racing event

There would be many questions to resolve. An initial set of questions could be

  1. How to communicate to indicate a penalty
  2. How many drones would be needed and how would they be positioned.
  3. How many operators and where they would be located,
  4. How many judges would be required to monitor the computer screens and where would they be located.
  5. Whether this would increase or reduce costs to organisers.

But with relatively cheap drones now carrying 8kg payloads with over 5 hours flight time there does seem scope to experiment.

Your views would be appreciated.

Created: 18-Sep-09 12:39

Comments

Roger Harris
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
3
“It could be argued ...” Indeed, in the sense that virtually anything can be debated. But the evidence would be far from persuasive..

The environmental impact of two or three judge boats at a regatta is small compared to that of the many coach boats that are almost invariably present. And the environmental impact of on-water judging is truly insignificant relative to that of competitors and their equipment travelling to and from regattas.

More to the point: while it is easy for employers to insist that their employees accept the worsening of work conditions by the implementation of technology, OAs have no such bargaining power with volunteers. How many judges are going to queue up to spend their precious free time “monitoring computer screens”?
Created: 18-Sep-09 16:28
Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
1
Beat me to the punch with the final paragraph......Not I.
Created: 18-Sep-09 17:04
Graham Mann
Nationality: Canada
0
Interesting concept. I've used drones extensively for aerial photo/video, including for sailing events.

I think the equipment being used sets the premise for the discussion - I'm curious whether you could provide an example of the "relatively cheap drone" carrying 8kg payloads with over 5 hours flight time?

Most multi-rotor drones (capable of hovering) are limited to ~20-30mins flight time, and those that offer more (up to 50mins) are usually prohibitively expensive. Fixed-wing drones can offer longer flight times, but it becomes much more difficult to follow a sailing race/mark rounding from that sort of platform.

Perhaps a more realistic use case would be the use of multi-rotors from a fixed platform (say a committee boat) to monitor starts and competitors, and provide extra guidance for a single on-course judge and the race officer. The number of required judges on the water might be reduced, while improving overall coverage.
Created: 18-Sep-09 17:06
Theodor Beier
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Do these drones need a boat on the course to service them? Of course they do, so why not just let the judges use that boat, who have a better field of view than a drone, and be done with it. I feel that judges need to get a "sense of the racing", which can only be accomplished by being on the course. As was noted, let the coaches stay ashore and watch drone footage as they are much less necessary to providing quality racing than judges.
Created: 18-Sep-09 19:36
Heiko Thoelmann
Nationality: Germany
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Could you send me a link to that drone, please ??
Created: 18-Sep-09 21:52
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
And while we are about it, we might as well program a fleet of drones to BE the starting line.
3,2,1, scatter!
Maybe with tell-tale ink-jet equipment?
Created: 18-Sep-10 02:33
David Brunskill
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
To answer some queries, there are two drone systems with around 5 hours flight time that I've picked up from the web. See-

http://skyfront.com and http://www.quaternium.com/uav/hybrix-20/

I agree with the comments that judges trained and experienced in judging on the water would probably find judging from a computer screen ashore less exciting.

But as judges we are there to serve the interests of sailors. If drones will add value to the sailors experience by providing better coverage of situations on the water at lower cost and with lower environmental impact then we should support race officials and organisers who wish to implement those changes. The speed of change with these technologies is such that, at least in my view, we should be ready to consider how to apply them.,

I would expect that RIBs would be launched and controlled from the race committee boat. The cost of drones should be examined against the cost of operating RIBs and judges on the water. If, as Graham suggests that initially organisers take one RIB out of a regatta which might previously have used two, then that is a charter cost of the RIB -( in the UK £250 per day plus fuel). If fewer judges are required then there is an additional saving of travel and accommodation costs. There would need to be a drone operator - would this be a judge with a drone license or another licensed volunteer? Who knows.

The disruption of change is never easy to come to grips with. But I do think that now is the time to starting thinking of the potential impacts - positive and negative, that drones might bring to race management and judging on the water.

Created: 18-Sep-10 09:47
Heiko Thoelmann
Nationality: Germany
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
1
Hello David,
I appreciate every environmental protection attempt. And I am widely open for innovation.
Anyhow, before we continue, please carefully calculate the over all impact of your idea.
You are exchanging a flaoting, approx. 10l/day consuming boat (+ nothing while waiting) with another flying and fuel consuming (your links) object. Seems like exchanging container ships with hoovercrafts.
The most positive environmental impact would be to
- skip a flight trip
- using a train instead of the car
- sharing the car if necessary or use the bike.
- use green power
- eat less meat
- bring your own cutlery than use of plastics
What do you think ?
Created: 18-Sep-10 11:10
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0

5. How to communicate to indicate a penalty? .. drones now carrying 8kg payloads with over 5 hours flight time ...

How much does a paint-ball gun weigh loaded with about 20 yellow paint-balls? (just kidding)

All kidding aside .. regardless of the enviro impact, I like the outside the box thinking in that it gets the thoughts rolling on how one could better utilize drones in an official and officiating capacity. - Ang

Created: 18-Sep-13 03:41
David Brunskill
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Thanks Ang.

You hit the point exactly.

There are some opportunities with drones and modern graphics and communications technology. I don't know what may or may not work. Other sports are harnessing video technology. Ours will be impacted and my view is that it is better to keep an open mind and be able to plan for change.

kind regards

Created: 18-Sep-13 08:48
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
David,

I've actually been thinking about video and racing for some time. My business (and to a certain extent by expertise) is in video forensics, which combines processing software and procedures to get information out of crime-scene video.

There is a lot of knowledge and best-practices that can translate toward the use of video by RC/PC's in sailboat racing. Since we are in control of much of the video acquisition that we are using, there is opportunity to make smart choices to optimize the potential that the video will be of some definitive use when questions arise. Unlike my customers (law enforcement) who are not in control of the local business's security system setup, we are in control of the videos we choose to take. The right choices at all phases of the recording, archiving and replay are critical and many times, people are making choices they are unaware of which degrade the evidence to being less and less useful and informative.

Anyway, when I get a chance, maybe I'll write a white paper bring over some knowledge and best practices from the video forensics world and post it here for comment. - Ang
Created: Sun 14:59
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