100 Drones take to the skies for Vivid Sydney

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s probably 100 drones that you can see dancing over Sydney’s skies!

Intel Drone 100

Intel, one of the major partners for Vivid Sydney (now for six years running) actually holds the world record for the ‘Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously’, 100 to be exact. First demonstrated in Germany back in November last year, Vivid Sydney is the first public performance, and who could think of a better place to show off than the glorious Sydney Harbour.

Synchronised to music being performed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the 100 drones are being flown on the eastern side of the Sydney Opera House, in Farm Cove. Naturally, each of the drones have lights that display a bunch of different patterns and colours, with the show coordinated and run by just one main pilot.
Intel have a special viewing area set up, but unfortunately all of the free tickets were quickly exhausted after being made available. Fear not – if you’re keen on checking Drone 100 out, head to the eastern forecourt of the Opera House, so you can enjoy the sounds of the orchestra as you see the drones dance.

You can find more information about Drone 100 on Intel Australia’s Facebook page.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (or, CASA) revealed they’ve been working with Intel over the last few months in order to get things ready, with an Unmanned Operator’s Certificate and exemptions to fly at night following an extensive risk assessment.

This is the first time 100 drones have been launched at the one time in Australia, let alone above water from a barge. Intel, the Sydney Opera House, and CASA had to work in partnership to ensure the regulatory requirements, including ensuring an 80m (262 feet) radius from the public, obtaining aviation clearance to fly up to 400 feet at the site for seven days leading up to the event and authorisation to fly at night, were all met in a safe manner.

Drone 100 is running from the 8th through until the 12th of June, with the drone performance taking off around 7:55pm each night (weather permitting).

I’ve also embedded some Periscopes from the launch night on the 8th below – though they really don’t do it justice – check it out in person if you can!

(shot on the iPhone 6s)

(shot on an HTC One M8)

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