Undergraduate students in BCT and other programs in collaboration with the UMass Amherst Physical Plant assisted the commencement planning team with layout for the main graduation event. Commencement planning for thousands of students takes a village or at least the Physical Plant at UMass Amherst. One of the people responsible for coordinating the layout for events is Surveyor and GIS Administrator Carl Larson. Carl has been in charge of staking out commencement planning for a number of years, but this year Carl has a little more help. With the help of a few students and Trimble GPS equipment, the stadium will be transformed from an athletic field to graduation for thousands of students and their parents. By using the Trimble R10, we have cut the time it takes to layout graduation by almost two-thirds. For the 2nd year in a row, student interns, Alex Okscin and Rylee Wrenner have helped to layout the chair and tent layout. Additionally, in 2018 student interns Isaiah Cherkas and Daniel Myers helped layout graduation while in 2019, student intern Doug Beach helped Alex and Rylee. We used the Trimble R10 GNSS System to accurately stake out graduation to help the workers precisely put up the various sections of seating for different colleges. This process is important in order to set up graduation effectively in a short time period. We were able to accurately guide the placement of the mats, chairs, and stages within the 57,600 sq. ft. McGuirk Stadium. We used the Trimble R10 GNSS System to take topographic points underneath the mats to understand where we are once the mats are placed down. This helps to direct the crews as to where everything is supposed to go.
City and regional planners have the daunting task of developing a vision for the future of both the physical, aesthetic and cultural feel of an area. This often involves engaging multiple parties that have a stake in that future, identifying convergent or divergent needs or desires of those stakeholders, identifying themes within those needs or desires, and developing not just one potential plan, but a multitude of plans that can be considered in comparison. Continue reading “Using the Trimble R10 with Drones to Develop City Models for Professional Planners”
Drone flights were in support of a project lead by a Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) research team in the UMass Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (http://www.casa.umass.edu/). The team, led by Krsztof Orzel and Apoorva Bajaj, wanted to test the ability of their weather radar system to track and identify UAS targets. The Trimble ZX5 hexacopter was flown in a variety of patterns and altitudes to test the limits at which the drone could be detected. The drone was also flown simultaneously with the a DJI Spreading Wings 900 (that had been modified with a PixHawk for its flight controller) which was flown by another independent pilot. The simultaneous flights allowed the opportunity to start to get a sense of how easily the weather radar could de-conflict the two signals from each of the drones. By comparing the radar signal log to the flight logs of the multirotor UAVs, the team aims to gain a sense of the accuracy and precision of their radar instrumentation, and in the future they aim to tweak the signal processing algorithms to yield better results. Continue reading “UMass researchers using radar to detect drones”
This research project, led by Dr. Ajla Aksamija, investigates how to integrate parametric design methods with building performance analysis procedures for whole building design. High-performance buildings require the use of performance simulations and modeling from early conceptual design, since the impact of design decisions must be understood and evaluated. On the other hand, parametric design methods offer improved ways for exploring building forms, geometric properties, and modeling strategies.The primary benefit of integrating performance-based design with parametric modeling is that multiple iterations and design scenarios can be investigated, thus improving the efficiency of the design process, and reducing the time necessary for investigating impacts of various design decisions on building performance. Continue reading “Integration of Parametric Design Methods and Building Performance Simulations for High-Performance Buildings”
The Wetland Assessment Program (WAP) at UMass Amherst is an ongoing research program, the main goal of which is to study wetland ecosystems and to develop better tools for monitoring and conservation of these areas. (http://www.umasscaps.org/applications/wetlands-assessment.html) Headed by Dr. Scott Jackson and Dr. Kevin McGarigal for the past decade, WAP is part of the larger Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS). The main strategy of the program is to find and measure relationships between Landsat data – which includes land use data, elevation, slope, etc. – and both Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs) and Indices of Ecological Integrity (IEI’s). The specific sampling and observation methods vary depending on the type of wetland system under consideration. The program has had significant success in finding meaningful and useful patterns for most wetland systems, however success with salt marsh studies has been elusive. Continue reading “Measuring Ground-Control Points for Salt Marsh Studies”