Residents and visitors who trooped to the drone show Saturday at the section of the Davao Coastal Road which has become a tourist destination expressed their disappointment after organizers canceled the event for technical reasons.
In a statement Sunday, Manic Nightings Event Production, which put the number of people at the place at 80,000, apologized for the fiasco, and said that it has still been “our resources in uncovering the root cause of the technical problem we encountered last night.”
“Suddenly, (the) GPS (global positioning system) signal was being turned off or detects a weak connection. Drone systems won’t show the correct flight path. It won’t detect a safe landing point,” it added as it apologized for being unable to mount the event.
The organizers said they “did not risk trying to launch the drones as it (sic) may land on the heavily crowded event area and may cause injuries,” even as they added that “a repeat show is not advised.”
The event would have served as among the highlights of the 86th founding anniversary of the city.
The organizers said they prepared for the show for two months and had been” working with a highly experienced and international counterpart for the 3D drone lightshow.”
In a separate statement, Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, the company that was tasked to mount the show, said that as early as 10 am on the night of the event its technical people were in the venue, but that they noticed the GPS signal was at 10 an hour later. The drone show, they added, could have taken place had the signal gone up to 14.
At 3 pm, the signal was still at 12 even when the police already turned off its jamming device, as the law enforcers were only the ones who deployed the device that would have restricted the signal.
“Because the drones could not locate a better GPS signal, the landing pad could not also be processed. This is needed for the drones to reconfirm their flight path as it needs to have a landing site,” said the company, pointing out that it continued to look for ways to make the signal better.
At about 8:30 pm, the company, through the organizers, asked the audience to turn off the Internet connectivity of their mobile phones to boost the drone signal, but it still failed to get a better one.
“This leads us to the indication that there were other uncontrollable factors that may have caused the extreme loss in GPS and satellite signals,” it added, enumerating the possible factors as jamming devices, atmospheric disturbances, electromagnetic disturbances, multipath interference, weather change, and solar activity.
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