Behind the scenes - How to make a drone show

The creative part of the drone show depends on the show's choreography. The drone flight has to be created with any 3D animation software. Believe it or not — there are no limits for animation. Drones can create virtually ANY shape in three dimensions. They can even carry fireworks. The animation for this Winter Holiday drone show was created by Base Motion studio (Riga, Latvia.)
How to
December 23, 2019
How to

The speed and distance have to be tested once the animation is finished to make sure there is no collision danger and that the drones can reach the required speeds.

Once the animation is finished, Drone Show Software makes it possible to test it virtually — no drones are harmed! :) So-called software-in-the-loop (SITL) virtual environment that simulates real drone behavior is used. SITL allows to check if the provisionary takeoff and landing positions are OK if all animation formations are as they should be, all the lights are working as expected and the show is facing a correct direction. When the provisionary show position is clear, to assure audience safety it is possible to set drone flying limits with a cylinder or polygon shaped fences. Ready to proceed!

Controlling dozens or even hundreds of drones simultaneously is not easy at all. The good thing is that Drone Show Software takes care of the hardest stuff. The show operator just needs to check the drones and push the button!

Next step - organization of the show: setting up the Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS base station, Wi-Fi router for connecting the drones and the main control laptop. When everything is ready drones can be placed on the take-off field. When the drones have been placed out, Drone Show Software automatically assigns the flight paths from the animation to each drone. Next, the paths are uploaded to the drones. Then its time to do a preflight check to make sure all parameters are within the accepted limits. The final step is setting the show time, letting the drones know when they should take off. Drone Show Software allows to pre-program an exact starting time for all of the drones, so you do not need to worry about starting the show late. Ready, steady, arm the motors and go!

Drone Show Software displays all drone parameters in real time. It also shows the flight in 3D map environment. The setup has 4 safety layers to protect spectators: Geofence prohibiting drones to fly beyond a certain perimeter; control interface; Red Button app, and a backup human pilot with a remote controller is required to take over with manual control. The drones will land automatically after the show to enjoy the applause.

Here’s to many great shows to come!

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