DRONE 100 – Spaxels over Linz

SAT September 10, 2016, 7:45 PM, Donaupark
Credit: Intel Corporation

Ars Electronica and Intel™ present: DRONE 100 – Spaxels over Linz

“DRONE 100 – Spaxels over Linz” is the title of a spectacular quadcopter swarm performance that Ars Electronica and Intel are staging on September 10th, 2016. Weather permitting, 100 LED-studded Spaxels will put on a truly amazing display of aerial artistry above the Danube as the lead-in to this year’s Visualisierte Klangwolke extravaganza, “River of Knowledge.” Following their world-record-setting flight in Tornesch near Hamburg in late 2015, the 100-drone swarm has performed before a live audience only once. As the highlight of the Vivid Sydney Festival in June 2016, the quadcopters put on a show above the Australian metropolis’ harbor immediately adjacent to the world-famous Opera House. Thus, “DRONE 100 – Spaxels over Linz” will be the formation’s European premiere.

Experience the World-Record Drones!

On Saturday, September 10, 2016, 7:45 PM, immediately prior to the Klangwolke, these 100 unmanned aerial vehicles will ascend into the night sky above Linz and form spectacular illuminated figures. You’re cordially invited to Donaupark to experience this huge drone swarm’s European premiere!

On Saturday, September 10th, 2016, at 7:45 sharp, 100 quadcopters each equipped with an LED module will lift off for an approximately seven-minute flight. In order to avoid collisions, the launch won’t be simultaneous; instead, smaller groups will take off sequentially in waves. Initially, they’ll ascend almost vertically to an altitude of 30 meters, fly over the trees lining the Danube and head out over water, where they’ll get into position to execute their choreographed routine. Part 1 of the show is a production custom-tailored to Linz featuring several three-dimensional motifs—for instance, a majestic bird flying above the Danube, flapping its huge wings up and down. This number will be synchronized to music created by Linz sound artist and composer Sam Auinger. Part 2 reprises the finale of the DRONE 100 world record flight for Intel in November 2015. That wraps up the airborne spectacle—the drone swarm will then make its way back to its riverside airfield. But this will only have been the beginning for the approximately 100,000 spectators in Donaupark. The evening’s next highlight starts immediately—the Visualisierte Klangwolke entitled “River of Knowledge.”

September 8th and 9th, 2016: Countdown to the Show at the Urfahraner Markt

The countdown to this European premiere will begin two days in advance. On Thursday, September 8th, the airfield will be staked off and set up on the grounds of the Urfahraner Markt, where the necessary tests and preparations will be going on until the big event on Saturday.

Once all the radio channels have been set up and the drones calibrated, it’s time for test flights—first with individual quadcopters, then small formations, and finally the entire swarm. The general public is welcome to gather ‘round the airfield for a close-up look at all the testing procedures. Infotrainers from the Ars Electronica Center will be on hand to offer insights to interested onlookers and bystanders of all ages. They’ll present the quadcopters developed at the Ars Electronica Futurelab and go into the technical details of the hardware and software. And, of course, they’ll provide an account of how it all began with these so-called SPAXELS, a portmanteau word derived from space pixels.

Drone Lab in POSTCITY

Anyone whose appetite has been whetted by the Europe an premiere of DRONE 100 and wants to learn more about unmanned aerial vehicles is encouraged to visit POSTCITY next to Linz’s main train station, September 8-12, throughout the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. Speed demons and workhorses, photography drones and the illuminated Spaxels developed by the Futurelab’s staff—throughout the Ars Electronica Festival, POSTCITY will be the site of an interesting and informative showcase. There’ll be an account of the SPAXLES story and lots of exhibits, presentations and demonstrations providing authoritative insights into current and future applications of drone technology.

Info about the 100 SPAXELS performance (Saturday, September 10) and the tests open to the public (Thursday & Friday, September 8-9) as well as the Drone Lab at the Ars Electronica Festival (September 8-12) is online via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+) and on our Facebook event “Drone 100 – Spaxels over Linz”!

Event on Facebook More about the Spaxels

Interviews and background stories

DRONE 100 in Linz: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

Here, Chris Bruckmayr and Andreas Jalsovec of the Spaxels crew talk about all the preparations and work that goes into such a performance.

Drone 100: A World Record Featuring 100 Points

A spectacle produced by the Ars Electronica Futurelab for Intel has made it into the record books! In a performance showcased by a promotional film for the world-famous chip maker, 100 spaxels took to the sky simultaneously. Team spirit is what it took to get this ambitious demonstration of technical brilliance off the ground.

Spaxels at the Eurovision Song Contest

This is the ultimate extravaganza! With over 195 million viewers, the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will be one of the world’s biggest televised events. Among the featured attractions—albeit with only half a minute of air time—are the Spaxels of the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz.

Drone 100 – Intel in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab holds the world record in the category
Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Airborne Simultaneously.
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