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 surrounded by 4,000-meter peaks, 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 chamois, 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 aims to connect 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 controlled 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 “conception” 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 - SAFETY - PLANNING - REGULATIONS - DIVISION OF AIR SPACE - AEROLOGY - METEOROLOGY - MOBILITY - CHECKLISTS - 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
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 Plaine 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 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.
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. It 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:
Ask a question