College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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Students Fuse Aerial Imaging and Art in New Class

On Friday, January 29th, ALTA Systems, Inc. visited students of Aerial Imaging, a special topics course taught by Dr. Bertrand Dano (Adjunct/Research Faculty, FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences) and Carlos V. Causo (Adjunct Faculty, FIU Art + Art History Department) in the FIU Art + Art History Department. Students witnessed a SmartBalloon in functional mode, and they learned about its aerial imaging capabilities.

By integrating technology and art, the course Aerial Imaging offers students a unique perspective to explore and enhance their creative potential. The course provides training to students on how to operate tethered, low flying SmartBalloon to which a video camera is attached. In addition to how silent and safe the SmartBalloon is to operate, the main and obvious advantages over other aerial apparatuses are low cost, minimal impact footprint, and exceptional image quality. ALTA Systems, Inc. provides the hardware and the certification the students acquire to use the hardware. The balloon-mounted cameras work together with ground monitors via radio signals to provide instant feedback for maneuverability and video/photography use.

In addition to learning about aerial imaging, the class teaches students about Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, which serve as the platforms for downloading and creating images and videos.

Dr. Dano and Causo teach this class with a special vision in mind – that the advantage of producing media through the unique perspective of aerial imaging could potentially translate over to creating a visual map of an object for 3D printing.

ALTA Systems, Inc. is the creator of the world’s first SmartBalloon. The company provides low altitude persistent surveillance for public safety, law enforcement, homeland security, and military mission requirements. On October 10th, 2015, ALTA became the first low altitude imagery vehicle to monitor a major sporting event as Florida State University hosted the University of Miami in NCAA Division 1 Men’s Football.  This marked a milestone in the public safety realm as ALTA captured information no other vehicle could, in ways no one else ever had. (Source)

The header image includes photographs provided courtesy of Carlos V. Causo.

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