UAV104 Monarch Inc. Founder and CEO Eileen Shibley

Monarch Inc.We talk with the founder and CEO of a startup that is providing commercial UAS services for precision agriculture and other industries.

Guest

Eileen Shibley

Eileen Shibley is the founder and CEO of Monarch, Inc. Monarch designs, engineers, and manufactures unmanned commercial aerial systems for the agriculture, energy, and land survey industries. Eileen incorporated Monarch, Inc. in 2014, and her team began providing customers with small UAS for the purposes of high tech aerial mapping.

Monarch uses a combination of robotic aircraft, unique cameras, and advanced software to provide customers with detailed maps of land and objects below. Monarch corporate headquarters, showroom, and factory are based in Ridgecrest, California.

Before founding Monarch, Eileen had a 30-year career with the U.S. Department of Defense where she was a strong advocate for unmanned systems in the Navy. She and her team created the world’s first integrated battle space (IBAR). She also served two assignments in Washington D.C. as China Lake’s liaison and advocate for technological advancement.

Discussion

We talk about the products and services that Monarch provides, the industries it supports, and the hardware and software being developed and used by the Monarch team. Eileen explains how she was involved in the project to have California designated as one of the six FAA UAS test sites, and when that was unsuccessful, how Monarch came to be formed out of the passion for the emerging industry.

Eileen tells us about her experience obtaining a Section 333 exemption from the FAA for precision agriculture. Monarch has also received Certificate of Waiver Authorizations (COAs) to operate their quadcopters within a California State Park in order to research and map an historical site:

Monarch, Inc. Named in Two COAs Granted to California State Parks; Uses to Include Exploration of Landmark Gold-Mining Ghost Town

Eileen offers her thoughts on “rogue” operators who offer commercial services without benefit of proper FAA authorization. Monarch actively works to grow community awareness and we touch on training and on industry self-regulation vs. being regulated by others. Eileen also provides some advice for those thinking about starting a business that uses UAVs as a tool.

Monarch in the field

Mentioned

These beginner books can help you select your first quadcopter and learn to fly:

 

UAV103 Matternet Tests Autonomous Package Delivery

Matternet ONEPackage delivery by autonomous drone, drone company management changes, making interfering with firefighters illegal, drone service on demand, North Dakota innovation hub, drone photography contest results, USAF addresses pilot shortage, and accidents increase in Netherlands.

News

Swiss Postal Service, Air Cargo Carrier Begin Drone Testing

Freight carrier Swiss WorldCargo announced on July 7 that testing had begun using the Matternet ONE drone for small package delivery. The quadcopter operates autonomously and can carry one kilogram up to 10 kilometers on a single battery charge. Matternet says the drone uses “secure routes that adapt to weather, terrain and airspace [and] allow Matternet ONE to fly autonomously beyond line of sight, without the need for a human pilot.” The cloud-based routing system … ”guides the Matternet ONE along a secure route at low altitude – between 50-100 meters above ground – adjusting for inclement weather, avoiding tall buildings, mountains and restricted airspace.”

Chinese Manufacturer DJI Hires Prominent ‘Drone Lawyer’

Brendan Schulman, who defended Pirker against the FAA, has left law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel where he was head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice. Now Schulman is Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs at drone maker DJI.

Other movements in the industry include:

  • Amazon hired former Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) counsel Ben Gielow in September as its senior manager of public policy.
  • Amazon appointed Sean Cassidy, a former Alaska Airlines pilot and first vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, as director of partner relationships in March.
  • Last August, Google hired David Vos, a technology entrepreneur and former Rockwell Collins senior director, to lead its Project Wing effort to deliver packages.
  • In April, Francis “Chip” Sheller, the former Aerospace Industries Association vice president of communications and research, became vice president of communications and public affairs for Aurora Flight Sciences.
  • Former deputy director of the FAA’s flight standards service, John McGraw, acted as a consultant to video production companies applying for an FAA sUAS exemption.

After drone diverts fire-fighting planes, lawmakers want fines and jail time

California representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) introduced H.R. 3025 to the House of Representatives, which would make it a criminal offense to interfere with firefighting efforts on federal land.

Fly4Me gets FAA approval, launches ‘Uber for drones’

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Fly4Me received a Section 333 exemption to “conduct community training workshops, research and development, and aerial inspections of buildings and land within the United States.” Now the company wants to establish a marketplace where customers book flights and pilots bid on projects. Customers are able to interact with the pilot during the flight and stream FPV. A beta version of the platform was released June 17, 2015.

Is the Silicon Valley of Drones in North Dakota?

Grand SkyNorth Dakota wants to be an innovation hub for drones. Grand Sky Development Park is set to open this summer at Grand Forks Air Force Base as a UAS Business and Aviation Park. The facility features 1.2 million square feet of hangar and office space, and a runway for drones. The state invested $5 million in infrastructure and $7.5 million more in grants for runway improvements.

The 2015 Drone Aerial Photography Contest

Dronestagram announced the winners of its second annual photo competition. The contest was judged by National Geographic and Dronestagram CEO and founder Eric Dupin. Nine photographs are depicted from the more than 5,000 entries submitted. Contest sponsors included National Geographic, Kodak, Parrot, Go Pro, Hexo+, Picanova, Hobbico, and Adobe.

AF rolls out details to improve RPA mission

The U.S Air Force has a plan to address the RPA pilot shortage that includes a Critical Skills Retention Bonus for RPA pilots, assignment of about 80 Undergraduate pilot training graduates to RPA squadrons beginning in August, and spending more than $100 million to buy six next-generation ground control stations, training simulators, and contract instructors.

UAS Accidents Rise in Netherlands

According to the Dutch Transport Ministry, inspectors received reports of 8 small unmanned aircraft accidents in 2012, 15 in 2013, and 27 in 2014. Most of the incidents were reported by manned aircraft and professional drone users and eleven of the 2014 incidents involved a crash landing close to people or buildings. New rules governing the use of drones come into effect later this year.

Video of the Week

Feeding Corn in Iowa

A Hagie machine applies liquid fertilizer to miles of corn with Y-Drops. Filmed with an DJI Inspire-1.

Mentioned

Our Real Red Selves

This book contains the work of three authors, including Harry Giles’ Drone, which explores modern warfare and office life. Harry tells us that there will be a performance of the poetry in August at the Edinburgh Festival this year at Summerhall.

 

UAV102 SheDrones

SheDronesWe talk with Leslie Bates regarding her efforts to get young women and girls involved in the growing field of unmanned aerial systems.

Guest

Leslie Bates

 

Leslie Bates is the founder of SheDrones, an emerging non-profit which is being created to engage, educate, and train girls in unmanned aerial systems and related technologies. SheDrones will also support and collaborate with existing drone-specific STEM programs and organizations dedicated to women in related tech fields.

Leslie is a 15-year energy industry veteran and became interested in drones after researching their application in energy infrastructure development and maintenance. As the mother of two daughters, Leslie felt compelled to not only explore the future potential of the UAS industry, but also an expanded role for women within it.

Leslie is currently learning to fly various drones and obtaining her private pilot ground school license. She’s also continuing to develop and manage the SheDrones organization and partnerships, and expand its social media presence.

Visit the SheDrones website, follow @SheDrones on Twitter, and be sure to check out SheDrones on Facebook.

News

No Drone Zone

2015-FAA-193_UAS_Toolkit

 

The FAA is offering a “digital toolkit“ to federal, state, and other partners to help educate unmanned aircraft operators that flying in certain areas is prohibited. Materials for the public outreach program includes downloadable “No Drone Zone” signage in a variety of formats.

 

Videos of the Week

It’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s a… Snoopy drone? Inventor builds quadcopter shaped like beloved Peanuts character

They’ve turned almost anything into a drone, why not Snoopy too?

DJI Stories – The Elephants of Tanzania

DJI is working with farmers and rangers in Tanzania to use a Phantom to prevent conflict between farmers and elephants and protect crops. Read more at: http://bit.ly/DJITanzania.

Mentioned

Meet the women shaping the future of the drone business

Fortune takes a look at four female leaders in the industry: Helen Greiner, CEO and founder of CyPhy Works; Dyan Gibbens, CEO and founder of Trumbull Unmanned; Lisa Ellman, law partner at Hogan Lovells; and Sally French, social media editor at MarketWatch and creator of TheDroneGirl.com.

Flying Grounds

Helping schools, governments, and organizations implement innovative UAV/Drone programs.

Drone Nationals

The Fatshark US National Drone Racing Championships at the California State Fair July 15-17, 2015.

UAV101 Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge

Aurora Flight Sciences CentaurThe optionally piloted Centaur flies at a UAS test site, a NASA-led team tests a sense and avoid system, more bad drone behavior, and an interview with the founder of the Kashmir World Foundation.

News

Remote-controlled passenger flights 5 years away, CEO says

An Aurora Flight Sciences Centaur was flown over the New York UAS test site from Griffiss International Airport. The Centaur is an Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) based on the Diamond DA42 twin engine airplane. It becomes the first large-scale fixed wing unmanned aircraft to fly at an FAA-approved test site.

Aurora CEO John Langford believes that unmanned aircraft will ultimately make aviation safer, and we may some day see passenger flights with aircraft like the Centaur. The Aurora website has a video of the flight.

NASA tests advanced Ikhana and Global Hawk technology

A team led by NASA is testing a sense and avoid system using the Ikhana UAV, a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Predator B that was acquired by NASA in 2006. Testing in June included 23 encounters with a Beech C90 King Air acting as the intruder. Besides NASA, the team includes General Atomics, the FAA, and Honeywell.

The current test phase includes validation with the Ikhana of sensor, trajectory, and other simulation models. Other tests will utilize a Lockheed S-3B Viking jet from NASA’s Glenn Research Center acting as a high-speed piloted surrogate aircraft.

Seattle police seek pilot after woman knocked out by falling drone

A drone crashed into a building during a parade in Seattle, then fell and struck a woman in the head. Unconscious, she collapsed into her boyfriend’s arms. The drone was turned over to police, as were a physical description and photographs of the man believed to be the pilot. The drone was described as costing about $1,200 and weighing about two pounds.

Guest

Princess Aliyah PandolfiPrincess Aliyah Pandolfi is founder of the Kashmir World Foundation, established in 2008 to improve the lives of people and animals worldwide. Their projects create healthy habitats for humans and wildlife, and emphasize education, vocational training, job creation programs, and endangered species protection.

Kashmir-Robotics is hosting the worldwide Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to foster innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with counter poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking.Kashmir World Foundation
Can 3-D Printed Drones Help Save Wildlife? is a National Geographic video about the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge.

Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge

Videos of the Week

FPVRACING.TV Time Trial Course #2

This video shows what FPV multicopter racing looks like from the quad’s perspective.

Sticks of a Mini Beast

A dramatic view of high speed FPV flying that shows the video feed from the multicopter as well as the operator’s hands on the controller. For more, see Mr. Steele’s Youtube channel

Flytrex Sky – The first delivery drone

The Flytrex Sky claims to be the world’s first internet connected drone that serves as a personal courier.

 

UAV100 Looking Back and Looking Ahead

David and MaxWe look back at the first 100 episodes, and ahead to the next 100. We also talk with Curator Roger Connor from the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum.

The First 100 Episodes

The UAV Digest was started as a spinoff of the Airplane Geeks podcast, with Episode #1 published on August 16, 2013. David and Max wanted to explore the exploding unmanned aircraft industry and communicate the positive uses for “drones.”

Early conversation topics included the desire of many to begin commercial operations in areas such as real estate, precision agriculture, search and rescue, disasters and humanitarian relief, package delivery, and many more.

The slow regulatory process in the U.S. came up over and over, but so did examples of unsafe use of UAVs by operators who didn’t know any better.

We did see the FAA step up with the launch of the UAS test centers, an exemption process, and finally the proposed regulations in the form of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

The Next 100 Episodes

David and Max then mention some of the topics that we’ll likely be talking about in the future. These include the next steps in the rulemaking process, creating awareness about safe operation, advancements in technology such as sense and avoid, and exciting applications for unmanned aircraft.

Guest

Roger Connor

 

Roger Connor is curator for Vertical Flight at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. We spoke with Roger at the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. He tells us about some new additions to the unmanned aircraft collection, and those that were turned down. Roger also gives us a peek at some of the future acquisitions, including an Insitu ScanEagle and the Draganflyer X6 that was the first police UAV in the U.S.

Video of the Week

A drone just hit my plane this morning

This video purports to show a multicopter striking an airliner and breaking off a winglet. In his post Drone Hits Airliner, visual effects man Bruce Branit admits it was a stunt. Drone Strike on Snopes confirms.

Mentioned

Hobby Drone Prevents Firefighting Aircraft From Flying Over California Wildfire

Thanks

Special thanks to @dronemama for doing the show notes and WordPress maintenance. Thanks also to our great sponsors, GoEngineer and UAV Propulsion Tech. We also appreciate the support we get from those of you who have become patrons of The UAV Digest.

UAV099 Multirotor Racing

A multirotor racer, post crashGuest Chris Thomas from MultiGP talks with us about the sport of FPV multirotor racing.

Guest

Chris Thomas is the founder of MultiGP, a grassroots racing organization with a mission to make FPV multirotor racing a real sport. With over 30 chapters in the United States, MultiGP provides the rules, equipment, and software for FPV racing.

Jeremiah from Stone Blue Airlines (L) Chris (R)

Jeremiah from FPV supplier Stone Blue Airlines (L) and Chris Thomas (R)

We talk with Chris about what you need to get started, how much you can expect to spend to compete in FPV racing, the rules that ensure event safety, and the formula for scheduling events. MultiGP is focused on helping other people establish racing in their area, so we talk about finding land and forming chapters so people have an outlet and a place to fly.
Chris is an entrepreneur and avid pilot who lives in Florida. He spends most of his days either flying, working on MultiGP, or with his family.  In the past he has traveled the US as a catastrophe insurance adjuster during major storms and has started several successful companies.  For fun, Chris flies powered parachutes, drones, and single engine fixed wing aircraft. An interesting fact is that he once flew a powered parachute to 16,000 feet in Florida! Chris hopes to die doing something exciting so that in the afterlife people will enjoy hearing his story about how he got there.

FPV Racing Resources

Videos of the Week

FPV Drone Racing in Florida – MultiGP April 18

Florida Drone Racing Team Explores Cool Building – MultiGP

FPV Danger Zone 60FPS

UAV098 HeliVideo to Provide Footage at U.S. Open

The HeliVideo fleet

HeliVideo to cover U.S. Open, commercial drone market share, China uses drone to catch cheaters, using TV signals to sense aircraft, a Google drone patent, and UAS full type certificates.

News

How FOX Sports will use drones at the U.S. Open, and why the FAA is watching

FOX Sports is using octocopters from Austin-based HeliVideo to cover the golf championship at Chambers Bay. HeliVideo says they provide “FAA approved cinematography for television and film.” The HeliVideo fleet includes a Small Sensor Hexacopter with a Panasonic Lumix GH3, a Full Frame Octocopter sporting a Canon 5D Mark 3, an EPIC 6k Dragon Octocopter, and an EPIC 6k Dragon Single blade helicopter.

For the golf tournament, HeliVideo is bringing a four-man team and more than $1 million in equipment — including the DJI Spreading Wings 1000 drone. HeliVideo received their exemption last September. An authorized, licensed pilot will fly the drones, while a visual observer will keep tabs on the devices at all times.

Forty eight percent of commercial drone platforms in the USA made by DJI

sUAS News reports that DJI has 48.4% of the “commercially licenced platforms” in service. AeroVironment follows with 12.1%, 3DR with 7.6%, and Precision Hawk with 3.9% This is from a total population of 380 platforms.

Authorizations Granted Via Section 333 Exemptions

This list from the FAA shows Petitioners, Grant Issue Date, Operation/Mission, and the Authorizations document.

China Uses a Drone to Curb Cheating on College Placement Exams

The National College Entrance Exams in China are critical to the future success of the 9.5 million students who take the 2-3 day test. This has led to cheating schemes where students send exam questions out to others, who then transmit answers back to the student.

Now Chinese education authorities are fighting back with a drone. It flies over testing centers and scans for signals being sent to devices brought in by students. The drone is reported to be about the size of a gas station pump and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

TV signals a possible alternative to radar

Air traffic control company NATS has been working with Thales and contract R&D company Roke Manor to see if television transmission signals could be used to detect and direct aircraft. In a trial conducted over London, more than 30 aircraft were tracked at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.

Google Working On Fleet of Drone Ambulances To Save Your Life, Reveals a Newly Granted Patent

Google was granted United States Patent 9,051,043 titled “Providing emergency medical services using unmanned aerial vehicles.” It provides for a fleet of UAVs configured to: identify remote medical situations, determine the target location, select a UAV with the proper configuration, and deploy the UAV to the target location to provide medical support. Sounds a lot like the Amazon drone delivery patent.

FAA Working Eight UAS Full Type Certificates

A type certificate would allow a UAS manufacturer to fly the aircraft throughout U.S. airspace. Larger UASs like the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle and AeroVironment’s Puma fly under type certificates issued in the Restricted category. Experimental type certificates have been issued to other UASs which generally prohibit commercial uses. There are no type certificate requirements for UASs under 55 pounds.

Mentioned

Expert: Drones Causing Major Aviation Disasters Is ‘A Question Of When It’s Going To Happen, Not If’

David provides expert opinion to CBS DC.

UAV097 Drone Lawyer Jonathan Rupprecht

Boeing patents drones that can be charged midair, from PatentYogiConversation with drone lawyer Jonathan Rupprecht, a NASA and Verizon UAS tracking system, the Google Internet HALE drone crashes, and Boeing patents a drone charging concept.

Guest

Jonathan Rupprecht, Esq.In December 2014, Jonathan Rupprecht formed Rupprecht Law, a firm providing legal services for operators of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Jonathan authored a book on the law in the United States pertaining to unmanned aircraft called Drones: Their Many Civilian Uses and the U.S. Laws Surrounding Them. He later was an advisor for one of the amicus briefs for the Huerta v. Pirker case.

We talk with Jonathan about the state of drone law, areas that need to be figured out (like export control, frequency allocation, federal versus local jurisdiction), and what lawyers can offer (such as support for building the business plan.) Jonathan discusses how issues like privacy might already be covered under existing laws, the open issue of navigable airspace, and the notice and comment process.  We also consider building safety awareness among the general drone-flying public.

Jonathan Rupprecht is a commercial pilot for single and multi-engine aircraft ratings and also a flight instructor for airplanes and instruments. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Magna Cum Laude, and a Juris Doctor from Florida International University School of Law.

The first book led into him being requested to be a co-author on an American Bar Association book called Unmanned Aircraft in the National Airspace: Critical Issues, Technology, and the Law. Jonathan wrote on administrative law, the FAA rule making process, and the special rule on unmanned aircraft.

News

NASA Developing Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management

NASA and Verizon plan to monitor US drone network from phone towers

The NASA Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management system, or UTM, is a  cloud-based concept to manage air traffic operated beyond visual line of sight at low altitudes. UTM Principal Investigator Dr. Parimal Kopardekar says, “We need a way to organize the UAS traffic, whether that’s by crisscrossing or with a bike lane or HOV lane kind of construct. The system can make these things happen based on demand. UTM is a virtual system.”

To learn more, the Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents and learned that last year telecom company Verizon signed an agreement with NASA “to jointly explore whether cell towers … could support communications and surveillance of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at low altitudes.”

Google’s High-Flying Internet Drone Crashed in New Mexico Weeks Ago

The Solara 50 drone built by Google-owned Titan Aerospace crashed shortly after takeoff. The solar powered, 50 foot wingspan drone is designed to linger at 65,000 feet and provide Internet connectivity. The NTSB is investigating.

Boeing patents system for airborne drone charging

The Boeing patent is titled, “Autonomous aircraft with disconnectable tether” and describes a system where drones drop tethers to ground-based charging stations.

Video of the Week

Sky Pixel LA – SBC Flooding Part 1

Listener Heath sent in the link to this video showing some of the flooding around the Shreveport, Louisiana area. It’s a very artistic portrayal of a very serious situation. Part 2 is more of a look at the effect of the flooding on people.

Mentioned

Here and There June 3, 2015 Max Flight

Max appeared on the KSFR 101.1FM, Santa Fe Public Radio show, Here and There with journalism pro Dave Marash. They talked about drones, applications, regulatory issues, privacy, and more.

Enrique Iglesias Undergoes Hand Surgery After Drone Accident

Singer Enrique Iglesias catches a quadcopter with his hand in his act. Things didn’t go so well for Iglesias in the Tijuana performance.

Extreme Sandbox

Extreme Sandbox in Hastings, Minnesota opened an extreme adventure attraction called RC Adventure where visitors can operate DJI Phantom 2 drones on obstacle courses.

UAV096 DOJ Drone Privacy Guidelines

The SpriteDOJ privacy guidelines for agencies using drones, dumb drone flying, a drone-only store, interesting Kickstarter drone projects, NOAA says don’t mix drones and whales, drones as a tool for football practice, and a drone film festival.

News

What the Justice Department’s New Drone Rules Mean for Your Privacy

On May 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced agency-wide guidelines that set standards for the domestic use of UAS. These apply to the United States Marshals Service, FBI, DEA, and ATF.

In its announcement, the DOJ says, “The policy highlights protections of privacy, civil rights and liberties and makes clear that UAS use must be consistent with the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution.  Justice Department components are barred from using UAS solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment, and components can only operate UAS on properly authorized investigations and activities.  The collection, retention and dissemination of information collected by UAS is also subject to Privacy Act protections.”

Here’s Some of the Dumb Stuff People Did With Drones Last Year

Last November the FAA released a list of 193 incidents of “drone misbehavior” reported to air traffic control officials in 2014. Incidents reported to law enforcement were not included so the actual count is most likely higher.

Drone Crashes, Hits 2 People During Marblehead Parade

A drone flying over a Memorial Day parade in Massachusetts lost control, crashed into a building, and hit two people – a woman on the shoulder and a man on the back of the head leaving some minor cuts. According to a police report, the drone operator was very apologetic and embarrassed. The FAA is investigating the crash.

Drones-only store opens in Beaverton

Beaverton Town Square in Oregon is now home to Drones Plus, a business featuring DJI drones. The store manager says they’ve had 1,500 people come in over the course of about three weeks. Drones Plus opened its first retail venture 1 1/2 years ago in Las Vegas, and now has stores in Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, and Studio City, California.

Meet Aexo and Sprite, New Rugged Camera Drones That Look Like Something Else Entirely

Two Kickstarter projects caught our attention:

  • The Sprite is a portable, rugged, vertical tube UAV with counter-rotating rotors. It’s waterproof and floats, with a high impact airframe and a high-def camera on a 1-axis gimbal. A 2-axis GoPro mount is available. From Ascent Aerosystems.

NOAA Says Drone Pilots Can’t Film Endangered Whales

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has put us on notice: Approaching by any means within 500 yards of a species “protected under the Endangered Species Act and the regulations governing Endangered Marine and Anadromous Species” is a violation. That includes using a drone to take video of a North Atlantic right whale, which someone did and posted on YouTube.

A NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Special Agent said, “We try to take an education and outreach approach and ask for people’s cooperation before we move forward with any enforcement action. The video itself could actually give the impression that it’s okay to engage in that type of behavior.”

He also said, “If you cause the animal stress, cause a change in its behavior, or cause the animal to try to interact with the drone, you run the risk of breaking the law.”

Cowboys Using Drones In Practice

The Dallas Cowboys football team is using drones to film practice sessions. This replaces the “old” method of using handheld cameras on the sidelines and end zone.

InterDrone Film Festival Announced

Video captured with a drone is to be judged in six categories: Natural Wonders, Cityscapes and Architecture, Action Sports, Acrobatics/Technical Skill, Storytelling, and Reel. The festival includes a People’s Choice Award in each category plus an overall Best in Show, which carries a Grand Prize of $2,000 or equivalent drone. Winners will be announced at InterDrone, the International Drone Conference and Exposition being held September 9-10-11 at The Rio in Las Vegas.

The show will feature special events (including a keynote with Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones) and networking opportunities as well as industry panels and two technical programs: Drone TechCon for builders, Drone Flyer for drone flyers and buyers, as well as Drone Business for the opportunities the market has to offer.

Video of the Week

The moment territorial goose swipes drone out of air

A goose attacks a drone flying over the Oudorperpolder area in Alkmaar, northern Netherlands. Seeing the drone as an intruder, the goose attacks the machine.

Mentioned

getwell

The special video created for David.

UAV095 A Hydrogen Powered Quadcopter

Horizon Unmanned Systems HycopterA drone powered by a fuel-cell, UAS use policy for police, a defensive anti-drone system, UAS training at a community college and at Textron Systems, a backup system for GPS, and the Commercial UAS Modernization Act.

News

Hycopter Drone Flies for 4 Hours via Hydrogen Power

The Hycopter drone from Singapore-based Horizon Unmanned Systems (HUS) uses a hydrogen fuel cell for power. Four liters of hydrogen are stored in the hollow frame, and are converted to electric power to run the motors. This power source saves weight and allows a four hour flight time, two and a half hours with a 2.2-pound payload.

Police chiefs group offers drone-use policy

In 2012, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Aviation Committee created Recommended Guidelines for the use of Unmanned Aircraft [PDF]. Since then, the Association has worked to develop policy which covers drone deployment, restrictions on use, data retention, and training.

Three UK companies to develop new anti-UAV defence system

Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems are developing a fully integrated anti-UAV defence system (AUDS). This system combines Ku band electronic scanning air security radar, a stabilised electro-optic director, infrared and daylight cameras, and target tracking software. The AUDS also utilizes a directional radio frequency inhibitor and jammer system.

The new system is intended to address threats from malicious micro, mini, and larger UAVs at ranges of up to 8km in remote sites or urban areas and operating from fixed locations or mobile platforms.

Sinclair receives first community college FAA UAS exemption

The FAA has granted a Section 333 exemption to the Sinclair UAS Training and Certification Center. The exemption allows Sinclair Community College in Dayton Ohio to conduct commercial training and research and development in areas such as sensor integration and testing. It also lets the college expand their commercial focus on precision agriculture, geospatial information, and first responder training.

The Training and Certification Center also intends to publish a Journal of Unmanned Aerial Systems twice a year as an online peer-reviewed publication

Textron Systems Launches Unmanned Systems Training Catalog

Textron Systems Support Solutions has announced an unmanned systems training catalog with a range of unmanned systems coursework. The curricula included classroom and hands-on training using customized materials and training aids. They’ll tailor the training to your language, skill level, platforms, and applications. Training can be delivered to your choice of location for both military and commercial missions.

US Weighs UAS-Friendly GPS Backup System

Girish Chowdhary, an engineering professor at the Oklahoma State University, explains that GPS “…is not a very high integrity signal” and can easily be jammed or overpowered. Enhanced Loran (or eLoran) would cover the continental United States with a low-frequency navigation signal. eLoran signals are 1.3 million times stronger than GPS signals, and nearly impossible to jam. This system is already operating in Europe and parts of Asia.

Senators Booker and Hoeven Introduce the Commercial UAS Modernization Act to Streamline Drone Integration

On May 12, 2015, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act. This would establish an interim rule governing sUAS operations until the regulations proposed in the NPRM are finalized.

The act gives the FAA some flexibility on visual-line-of-sight (VLOS), and reduces the regulatory burden for commercial operators. It also creates a new Deputy Associate Administrator for Unmanned Aircraft at the FAA. The intent is to streamline the integration of UAS in the United States.

Video of the Week

Flood rescue drama in Johnson County

A DJI Inspire 1 delivers a leader rope to a family trapped in their home by flood waters.

Mentioned

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international digital-rights organization, produced a map of the United States showing 81 public entities that have applied for FAA drone-use authorizations.

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Be sure to join us at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display (formerly Become a Pilot Day) June 20, 2015 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA next to Dulles Airport. Bring your family and friends to this amazing aviation event. We’ll be in the Museum at the Airplane Geeks banner and we’d love for you to stop by and say hello!

Skywalker FPV, Getting wet in the clouds

A drone flies up above the clouds into airspace where it should not be.