USP Flying Lab
Providing you with all your Geo-spatial solutions. From aerial and field survey to image interpretation and spatial analysis.
We have a wide range of equipment including drones and survey gear with a team of trained professionals ready to tackle all you Spatial needs.
Visit us at the USP Marine Campus, Laucala Bay, Suva
Fly Like a Girl Program
“The program was very inspiring and it has given me an appreciation for drones and the work that goes into mapping” – Samantha
These were the words of Yat Sen Secondary school student Samantha who was one of the many participants of the Fly Like a Girl program organized by the South Pacific Flying Labs and the University of the South Pacific. The one day program was launched on the 23rd of February and was attended by 5 secondary schools students in the Central Division namely Sacred Heart College, Ratu Sukuna Memorial, Saint Joseph Secondary and DAV College.
There is no shortage of successful females in the field of GIS and UAV management thus we started the day by reminding them of some of these prominent women in Fiji and the South Pacific as a means of introducing them to STEM related fields. These women ranged from Sophia Soli in Papua New Guinea who is spearheading the PNG Flying Labs operations to the University of the South Pacific’s Geography and Land Management double gold medalist and current Geospatial Officer at Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Vosawale Nabulikula.
Participants were divided into two groups so they could take part in the two sessions which we ran simultaneously on Lower Campus grounds in Laucala, Suva. Session A was focused on the workflow for capturing and processing drone data with multicopters and Pix4D. Here the participants were introduced to setting up survey gear, they collected Ground Control Points (GCPs) and imagery which they later processed. On the other hand, Session B was focused on the coding aspect where they used DroneBlocks and Tello drones to understand the basics of coding on a simpler platform. Instead of using the tablets, they wrote the codes down which successfully navigated around the obstacles which they were given. The youths then later explained the logic behind their code via presentation.
As a part of the program, we also discussed CASA regulations and the rules that we as drone users in Fiji must follow in order to operate properly under CAAF. One participant ended up crashing one of the small Tellos which gave us an opportunity to brush up on how to change propellers, take care of batteries, inspect for further damage and better prepare for missions to avoid such accidents.
Programs such as these have previously been run at Pacific Flying Labs focused on solving humanitarian and environmental problems with drones but with fewer participants. Given the success of said programs last year there is now an increase in the number of participants due to an increase in interest, CASA certified drone pilots and volunteers of the Labs.
by Amrita Lal (PFL Coordinator)
Using Marine Robotics for Coral Reef Study
Around March, our Flying Labs Coordinator, Ms. Amrita Lal along with some girls from a local orphanage went on a road trip to the Maui bay for a workshop educating them how to use appropriate robotics solutions for social good.
Maui bay, a location known for sea grass and corals in all directions was surveyed using underwater drones. The bay was thoroughly explored and the health of coral reefs in the area was evaluated.
Aerial Mapping for Disaster Risk Reduction- A case study of Muanivatu Settlement
Learning from recent cyclones hitting the country, Pacific Flying Labs Coordinator Ms. Amrit Lal along with some selected High School students embarked on a journey for community mapping and engagement to collect baseline data at the Muanivatu Settlement for.
Muanivatu, a settlement selected for its location in the vicinity of the school and a river was mapped to understand the basics of community mapping, engagement and future planning to mitigate the effects of climate change on livelihood and food security.