Using the evening sky as its canvas, Ascending Technologies flew their AscTec Falcon 8 UAS drone in a pattern that was laid out in advance using the AscTec Navigator flight planning software. Using the Navigator software, the team strategically placed each waypoint so the drone’s path would create a complex image, such as a reindeer sleigh or a Christmas tree with a star.
To film the flight, each drone was equipped with an LED that provided the paint for the sky, while an A7S Mark ii captured video footage and still images using long-exposure photography of up to 10 minutes. The flights were performed at air speeds of 2 m/s, a velocity that allowed for highly accurate flight and multiple passes through the flight’s predefined waypoints. Santa and the reindeer slight was the most difficult flight with up to 391 waypoints and 10 minutes of footage. The shortest flight was the Holiday Present that took five minutes and involved flying the drone through 68 waypoints.
Once the filming was done, the still shots were combined with the video footage and upbeat holiday music track to create the final presentation. In the end, Assured Technologies created a three-minute clip that will knock your socks off and leave you wanting a Falcon 8 UAS drone in your holiday gift basket. It’s so unbelievable that it looks fake. Assured Technologies goes to great lengths to explain how the footage was captured and even provides two of the original raw long-exposure images of the LED drone flights to prove the films are legit.