UAV155 Amazon Docking Station for sUAS

The MQ-25 Stingray UAS, Star Wars drones, an Amazon patent for sUAS flight decks, Customs and Border Protection solicitation for small drone studies, how drones might make the future of aviation brighter, an arrest for a drone flight, new geofencing firmware, and Facebook laser drones.

News

Amazon patents special drone housing in the sky

Amazon docking station concept]Amazon was awarded U.S. patent number 9387928 for sUAS docking stations that can be attached to structures such as telephone poles or street lamps. Amazon proposes that these multi-use UAV docking stations can be networked and provide package handling facilities, and act as a final destination or a delivery hub. The docking stations could recharge or refuel UAVs, become navigational aids, and provide routing information from a central control system.

USN carries out MQ-25 aerial refuelling surrogate testing

The UAS that had been called the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) will be now known as MQ-25 Stingray. Developed from the X-47B, it will use the current Navy refueling pod as its equipment. The system is being tested using a Gulfstream jet as a surrogate and the RFP for the MQ-25 prototypes requests a flyoff in 2017.

Star Wars Drones You Can Battle With

Propel is making X-wing, Millennium Falcon, TIE Interceptor, and Speederbike quadcopters with clear props to give the illusion of flight. The drones are outfitted with lasers that allow game playing similar to laser tag.

Border Patrol calls on Silicon Valley for advice on small drones

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking for new ways that Customs and Border Protection could use UAVs and has published an Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) to fund studies. The OTS Call on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Word doc) offers grants of $50,000 to $200,000, and describes three objectives:

  • User interfaces for effective communication and enhanced immediacy for reaction.
  • Sensors to improve situational awareness and the ability to track multiple targets.
  • Platform security improvement for UAS self-defense capabilities.

Why Drones May Save Aviation

This opinion piece describes how sUAS might be a pathway to bring people into aviation.

California makes first arrest for drone flight over wildfire

A man charged with hampering firefighting efforts was caught after he posted his videos on YouTube. He faces FAA fines of up to $27,500 and possible jail time.

DJI drones will now get real-time wildfire alerts

New software updates bring geofencing to temporarily restricted areas.

Report claims small UAV ruling places USA ahead of Europe

Aerospace and defense industry researcher Teal Group says the United States is now ahead of Europe after developing sUAS regulations. The U.S. is “putting pressure on Europe to come up with its own set of regulations.”

Facebook wants to use fluorescence to make its laser drones work better

Facebook and Internet.org have been developing the Project Aquila fixed-wing drones to provide internet access to remote locations using lasers to transmit data. However, light sent through the atmosphere can produce an undesirable “twinkling” effect. The Facebook team has a solution that uses a structure covered with wavelength shifting dyes that re-emit the light at a different wavelength and reduce the twinkling effect.

Video of the Week

Drone helps in rescue of stranded boaters near Algona

Listener Todd pointed us to this video that documents a DJI Phantom 4 used to locate a man and his 10-year-old granddaughter who stranded in their boat.

 

UAV154 Cargo Drone Challenge Winners

Crowdsourcing designs for cargo drones, UAS for higher education, US Air Force training enlisted RPA operators, NASA detect and avoid tests, delivering vaccine by drone, a woman freed by a Phantom, and drones interfering with wildfires.

ZELATOR

The ZELATOR by Alexey Medvedev from Omsk, Russia

News

Airbus reveals cargo UAV challenge winners

The Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge was created by Local Motors and Airbus Group to crowdsource the design of a commercial-grade package delivery drone for medical supplies and other types of cargo. Local Motors reports in Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge winners announced that 425 submissions were received, and assessed on mission performance, weight and balance, and preliminary flight performance. Video: Winners Revealed in the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge by Local Motors.

Early Days for Drone Use in Higher Education

Drones in the academic environment offer the opportunity to focus on design and development and also using them for academic instruction and research. The Higher Education UAS Modernization Act would let students and educators operate UAVs without FAA approval if certain conditions are met.

Air Force plans 100 enlisted drone pilots by 2020

The Air Force expects to graduate the first class of enlisted airmen in 2017 for remotely piloted aircraft, specifically unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The graduates would become the first Air Force enlisted pilots since World War II.

NASA Concludes UAS NAS Integration Flight Tests

NASA has completed a two-month series of flight tests at Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA tested technologies for Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) algorithms developed by NASA, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Honeywell, and other partners. The tests included more than 260 scripted encounters between the Ikhana UAS and manned “intruder” aircraft. The algorithms successfully alerted the pilot on the ground.

Drones to unleash vaccine-laced pellets in bid to save endangered ferrets

The endangered black-footed ferrets in Montana eat prairie dogs, and both are susceptible to the sylvatic plague transmitted by fleas. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service wants to help the animals by dispensing vaccine-laden pellets from drones.  Note:  The article originally reported that the drones would shoot vaccine-laced M&Ms.

Video shows man use drone to save person trapped in bathroom

A woman in a bathroom was unable to unlock the door from the inside. A DJI Phantom trailing a string was flown over the bathroom window and the woman then tied the door key to the string. With the key in hand, those outside could unlock the door and free the woman.

Authorities in Utah can now legally disable or destroy drones near wildfires

Lawmakers approved a bill that would allow firefighters or law enforcement to shoot down or disable drones interfering with efforts to contain wildfires. The bill also provides for a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine if a drone causes a firefighting aircraft to crash.

Video of the Week

Engineers Hack Pokemon Go by Using a Drone

Thanks to @ProfVanderhoof’s sister Marianne for bringing this to our attention.

 

 

 

 

UAV153 ADS-B Out for Small UAS

Flightradar24 and Skysense collaborate on ADS-B for drones, Boeing establishes the Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory, Kansas chooses an unmanned aircraft director, Eurotunnel employs UAVs, implications of AI, and DJI updates its geofencing capability.

Flightradar 24 and the Skysense BCON1

Flightradar 24 and the Skysense BCON1

News

The Site That Lets You Track Planes In Real-Time Wants to Track Drones Too

Flightradar24 and Skysense are partnering to bring ADS-B solutions to drones. Flightradar24 is investing capital in Skysense, who will use the investment for product development. Skysense has been developing small, lightweight ADS-B OUT boards for small UAS and manned aircraft. They call their BCON1, “the world’s lightest, most energy-efficient and smallest ADS-B OUT device for drones.”

Boeing Opens Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri

The new 8,100-square-foot Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory (CASL) will conduct research to test hardware and software that makes autonomous vehicles work together more effectively as a team or unit. The Lab will work with academic institutions, research partners, government agencies.

Kansas names Air Force veteran first unmanned aircraft director

Kansas has chosen Bob Brock to be its first director of unmanned aircraft systems, reporting to the state’s director of aviation. Brock had a 22-year career in the Air Force and held positions in intelligence and special operations units utilizing drones. He’ll help develop drone-related businesses, ensure safe operation of drones by individuals and companies, and developing a plan with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture to bring jobs to Kansas.

Drones deployed to keep migrants and refugees out of Channel Tunnel amid warnings of post-Brexit surge

Eurotunnel operates the 30-mile tunnel between Britain and France, and they had already been thinking about tracking people seeking asylum. With the Brexit vote, they are even more concerned about migrants passing through the tunnel before it becomes more difficult to get into Britain. To help address this, Eurotunnel has demonstrated using small surveillance drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras if they believe people are in the 18-mile secure zone surrounding the tunnel entrance in France.

Is AI The Worst Mistake In Human History?

This LinkedIn “Pulse” article by John Battelle looks at the possible implications of a world dominated by Artificial Intelligence, also called Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing.

DJI makes it easier to keep your drone out of no-fly zones

DJI is making improvements to the geofencing system employed by its Phantom and Inspire drones. Permanent and temporary flight restrictions are included, as well as a process to unlock the geofence when that is necessary.

Connecticut father, son fight Federal Aviation Administration over gun-firing, flame-throwing drones

A teenager and his father are refusing to comply with subpoenas ordering them to provide information about the videos they posted. They claim the subpoenas violate their constitutional rights, and they question the FAA’s authority to regulate recreational drones. During questioning for an unrelated assault event, police seized the teen’s phone and reportedly found material that could lead to felony charges.

Video of the Week

Salmon Seining

Listener Josh Jarvis is a commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska who started flying drones in 2013. After receiving encouraging feedback about his video clips on Instagram, he edited this video that shows commercial salmon fishing in Alaska. Josh has a video channel for his other drone video projects, all filmed with a Phantom 2 and a GoPro HERO3+.

Feedback

This X-shaped sensor will alert you to incoming drones, so you can freak out

FAA Part 107 Frequently Asked Questions in Drone Law by Jonathan Rupprecht

US sUAS/Drone Owner Maps

 

 

 

UAV152 Teaching Teachers How to Teach Students About Drones

A workshop to teach educators how to introduce drones to students, Flirtey is in the news again with another package delivery milestone, and a report on the Hogan Lovells sUAS Part 107 webinar.

Guest

Teachers Take FlightPrincess Aliyah Pandolfi updates us on the exciting projects being undertaken by the Kashmir World Foundation. We last spoke with Aliyah when we covered the DaVinci Build-a-Drone workshop in Episode 124. In order to create a more sustainable program and bring this highly successful STEM program to a broader audience, this special workshop was created for educators who can then teach students at their schools and universities.

The first educator workshop is July 11-15, 2016 at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. Registration deadline is July 8, 2016. Visit www.kashmirworldfoundation.org for more information.

Aliyah and David

Aliyah Pandolfi and David Vanderhoof

Aliyah also explains a new project to monitor sea turtle activity with MiSHELL drones. To conduct their research, biologists must painstakingly locate sea turtle tracks on the beach and follow them to the nests. Kashmir World Foundation has partnered with Georgia Southern University at St. Catherines Island to discover how sUAS could be used to greatly increase the efficiency of the process.

In addition, Aliyah is conducting a private workshop this summer for girls and technology. This is sponsored by Eagle Ray, a woman-owned business specializing in strategic transformation services.

 

News

Flirtey Conducts First U.S. Ship-to-Shore Drone Delivery

Flirtey and a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine doctor have successfully completed the first ship-to-shore drone delivery in the U.S. on the New Jersey coastline. This was at the invitation of Field Innovation Team (FIT), a disaster preparedness non-profit. Guests from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA) attended as part of the Drones in Disasters “Do Tank.”

The FAA and DOT Just Released the Small UAS Rule: Will Your Company be Ready?

This Hogan Lovells webinar held June 27, 2016, reviewed the Part 107 commercial sUAS rule and discussed the implications for you and your business. You can watch a replay of the Part 107 Small UAS Rule Webinar, or view the Hogan Lovells custom Part 107 Table of Contents, which contains links to corresponding sections in the rule.

As a related resource, the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) is the web-based certification/rating application that takes you through the FAA’s airman application process. Remote Pilot certificates for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) will come to IACRA in late August 2016.

UAV151 Part 107: Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

FAAThe DOT and FAA released the rule that finalizes the February 2015 NPRM titled Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. That NPRM proposed operating and certification requirements for sUAS to operate for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. To this point, those operations were allowed via Section 333 exemptions, COAs, and special airworthiness certificates. This rule now takes over and adds a new part 107 to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).

 

Press Release – DOT and FAA Finalize Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems [PDF]

In this episode, we provide a summary of the major provisions of Part 107, including:

  • Operational Limitations
  • “Remote Pilot in Command” certification and responsibilities
  • Initial and recurrent aeronautical knowledge tests
  • See-and-avoid and visibility requirements
  • The “Visual Observer”
  • Aircraft Requirements
  • Model Aircraft
  • Transporting Property for Compensation
  • International Operations and Foreign-Owned Aircraft
  • Public Aircraft Operations
  • Moored Balloons, Kites, Amateur Rockets, and Unmanned Free Balloons
  • Micro UAS
  • The preflight briefing
  • Flight termination system
  • External load and dropping objects
  • Requirement for English language proficiency

In other news:

Unanimous “Not Guilty” Verdict in Los Angeles’ First Criminal Drone Use Trial

Arvel Chappell III challenged the constitutionality of the charges brought against him by the City of Los Angeles. Chappell claimed the municipal anti-drone ordinance is preempted by federal law. The jury unanimously agreed.

The FAA and DOT Just Released the Small UAS Rule: Will Your Company be Ready?

Part 107 webinar for Monday, June 27, 2016. Topics covered will include:

Differences between the Final Rule and what the FAA initially proposed in the NPRM;
Timeframe for implementation of the new rule;
Implications for Section 333 Exemption / COA Holders;
Operator certification/pilot certificate requirements;
Flights near and over people;
ATC approvals to operate in certain classes of airspace;
Visual line-of-sight requirements;
Vehicle design and airworthiness certification;   
Part 107 exemption process; and
Upcoming FAA rulemaking and next steps moving forward.

 

 

UAV150 3D Printed Drone

A 3D printed aerial imaging drone, new drone sightings data analysis, a hand gesture-based controller for the Parrot AR, bad practice lawsuits, control of airspace over private property, and an autonomous aerial taxi.

O'Qualia Captor UAS

O’Qualia Captor UAS

News

O’Qualia unveils Captor UAS, a fully 3D printed commercial aerial imaging drone

Singapore-based startup O’Qualia has created the Captor UAS, said to be a high-quality aerial imaging drone with a 3D printed body.

Updated analysis of FAA drone data shows decline in UAS sightings

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has analyzed recent FAA drone sighting data and finds that UAS sightings peaked in August 2015, but have been declining month-by-month since then.

Hacked Nintendo Power Glove lets you control drones like a wizard

The Power Glove was released in 1989 as a controller accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Only two games were available, and they did not sell well. Nolan Moore has now taken a Power Glove and turned it into a hand gesture-based controller for the Parrot AR Drone.

You can follow Moore’s the development on his project blog.

Man who built gun drone, flamethrower drone argues FAA can’t regulate him

Two lawsuits are underway for the Connecticut student who mounted a gun then a flamethrower on a quadcopter. One suit seeks to reinstate him at Central Connecticut State University, which expelled him. The other lawsuit concerns failure to comply with FAA administrative subpoenas for certain records.

Should you be allowed to keep drones from flying over your property?

This article presents the opposing views of two legal experts concerning the legal right to fly a UAV over private property. One contends that privacy and safety considerations dictate that flights unauthorized by the property owner should not be allowed.The other expert says drones are the next frontier in aviation and decisions about where drones they can fly should be made collectively.

Human-Carrying Drone Taxi to be Tested in Nevada

Ehang has received approval from the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to test the autonomous aerial taxi. A prototype of the Ehang 184 was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

EHANG184, world’s first Autonomous Aerial Vehicle

Drone videos endangered Bryde whale feeding in research first

Students from the Auckland University of Technology were looking at dolphins when they spotted the rare Bryde whale off the coast of New Zealand. The critically endangered whale was feeding her calf using a rarely seen process called “lunge feeding.” The students captured video using a Hex H2O waterproof drone.

Video of the Week

Drone Ballet: Watch a high-tech dance at Mount Fuji

“Sky Magic” was produced by Japanese advertising company MicroAd using twenty drones with LED lights. Traditional Japanese guitars called shamisens provide the background music.

 

 

 

 

 

UAV149 Sense and Avoid and Package Delivery at NASA Langley

David talks with Frank Jones, Deputy Director, Research Services Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center.

David Vanderhoof and Frank Jones

David Vanderhoof (L) and Frank Jones (R)

Frank Jones describes how sense and avoid algorithms based on ADS-B have been researched using the specially instrumented NASA Cirrus SR-22 as a surrogate drone. NASA and the other research partners conducted a number of flight tests to try and tried to break the algorithms with “blunder maneuvers” and observed how the software performed.

The SR-22 also participated in the project with Virginia Tech, Flirtey, and others to deliver medical supplies by drone. The SR-22 carrying the supplies was flown remotely to an airport; the package was transferred to the Flirtey quadcopter, which then made the “last-mile” delivery.

Currently, an urban test environment is being created at NASA Langley where sUAS could be flown routinely across the campus using them operationally to deliver mail and packages, conduct building inspections, and perform other tasks.

Find NASA Langley Research Center on Twitter as @NASA_Langley.

We’d like to thank Kathy Barnstoff and Bill Baley for arranging the NASA Langley interviews.

 

UAV148 Voluntary Best Practices for UAS Privacy

A manned aircraft manufacturer looks ahead to UAS, whale-watching drones, ADS-B for UAS, a report on U.S. drone retail sales, and the U.S. Commerce Department issues privacy guidelines.

News

Air Tractor® Makes Entry into the UAS Market – Acquires Yield Defender

Air Tractor, Inc. produces a number of manned agricultural aircraft: 400, 500, 600 and 800-gallon capacity airplanes powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turbine engines. But they’ve seen the future, and it’s unmanned, so they’ve purchased Hangar 78 UAV and its Yield Defender unmanned aerial system.

Yield Defender DronesAir Tractor President Jim Hirsch says, “We have done our research, and it’s clear that aggressively investing and further developing unmanned aerial systems into agriculture will enable Air Tractor to remain an industry leader and provide the latest technology to ag producers as UAS capabilities mature and are integrated into the industry.”
Yield Defender UAS systems are engineered for the agriculture industry. Their UAS has Near Infrared (NIR) sensors, thermal imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology.

PWWA looks toward regulations of whale watching drones

The Pacific Whale Watch Association wants to make sure whales remain wild. They recognize the research value of drones, but they don’t know if hobby drones disturb whales. Additionally, they say current laws are vague or don’t exist. For now, PWWA asks drone operators to follow the Whale Wise Guidelines: stay at least 200 yards outside the perimeter of a whale or pod, and more than 400 yards from the path of a traveling pod.

Obstacles Appear to Extending GPS-Based ADS-B for UAV Operations

Inside GNSS published a comprehensive article that looks at issues and possible solutions for using the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system on unmanned aircraft. The FAA has mandated installation of the ADS-B system in manned aircraft by 2020.

Obstacles to using ADS-B on UAVs include: cost, weight, and large numbers of drone flights. Also, many areas in the U.S. do not have ADS-B coverage below 500 feet.

Harris Corporation, the FAA’s prime contractor for ADS-B, announced ADS-B Xtend, a dual-band receiver and relay system that can be installed in areas without close-to-the-ground ADS-B capabilities. It provides UAV operators with aircraft tracking data, maps, and weather information.

Harris is partnering with PrecisionHawk to include information from the Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System or LATAS, which uses cellular networks. The Xtend ground receivers have a 150-mile range, and they can be attached to existing structures or even to mobile vehicles for roaming coverage.

Drone dollar sales for the past 12 months were three times higher than sales from prior year

Top selling drone brandsRetail research firm The NPD Group released a report that says for the twelve months ending in April, drone sales have grown 224 percent year-over-year to nearly $200 million.

Drones with 4K cameras accounted for more than one-third of dollar sales, and drones with built-in GPS accounted for 64 percent of revenue. Drones with an average price greater than $500 accounted for 56 percent of dollar sales and drones sold during the 2015 holiday season increased 445 percent from the prior year.

Privacy fears: Panel has advice for drone operators

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released the 8-page Voluntary Best Practices for UAS Privacy, Transparency, and Accountability. [PDF] The best practices are directed to both commercial and non-commercial drone users.

The document describes voluntary best practices, many relating to the collection of “Covered Data,” or information collected by a UAS that identifies a particular person. Due to First Amendment issues, the guidelines do not apply to newsgathering and news reporting organizations. The appendix lists eight guidelines for “Neighborly Drone Use.”

Video of the Week

Drone Roof Inspection

In this video, listener Ken Krantz uses a drone to inspect his solar panels and pool heating apparatus, with a little humor thrown in. The inspection actually revealed a broken item in need of repair. Ken tells us, “I should point out that, before this flight, I called my local tower and filled out a DROTAM that included the time of my flight, the max altitude (I specified 150’) and a number I could be reached at should they need to retract the DROTAM permission. AND, of course, I have an FAA UAS registration number affixed to the craft.”

Mentioned

UAV Propulsion Tech is a sponsor of The UAV Digest, and President Bob Schmidt has created a LinkedIn group called UAV Tech, “a networking group for technical people in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry. It will focus on advanced technology for UAV’s like: propulsion, payloads, servos, autopilots, sense/avoid, launch/recovery, generators, parachutes, airframes, materials, applications, and testing.” Group membership is by request.

New drone racing sport taking off in Utah

Patrick sent us this article that describes how a man who bought a toy quadcopter for his son ended up designing custom drones and became involved with Drones, Etc., an online business founded in early 2013 by two professional aerial enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

UAV147 Drones That Perch on Walls

The FAA tests a drone detection system at JFK and releases registration data, drone-on-drone refueling demonstrated, a drone that can perch on walls, a new UAS risk management course, and a review of a guide to drones.

Stanford Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory

Rotorcraft perching, recovery, and takeoff

News

FAA Tests FBI Drone Detection System at JFK

The FAA conducted tests of the effectiveness of an FBI UAS detection system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Five different rotorcraft and fixed wing UAS participated in about 40 separate tests. Also involved in the tests were the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Griffiss International Airport test site in Rome, NY, provided expertise in planning the individual tests as well as the flight commander for the tests and two of the UAS used.

FAA Releases Drone Registration Location Data

In response to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA released a spreadsheet showing the number of UAS registrations by country, state/province/region, city, and postal code. Almost 40,000 entries for “Hobbyist” registrations, and nearly 5,000 “Non-Hobbyist” registrations. Names and addresses of registrants are not part of this database, and will only be made available by registration number.

Heatmap of hobbyist UAS registrations, courtesy AirMap

Heatmap of hobbyist UAS registrations

Heatmap of non-hobbyist UAS registrations, courtesy AirMap

Heatmap of non-hobbyist UAS registrations

We’d like to thank Airmap.com for providing the heat maps. Find the AirMap for Drones app in the iTunes store and use it to access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital notices, manage aircraft, and more.

Now drones can go on and on: Unmanned aircraft refuel autonomously in MID-AIR, meaning they can carry out longer missions

Chinese researchers have developed a method of autonomous aerial refueling where the “tanker” uses cameras to determine the position of the “receiver.” The tanker then flies to the receiving drone and refuels it through a boom.

Microspines Make It Easy for Drones to Perch on Walls and Ceilings

Quadrotors have limited flight duration, so the ability to “perch” or land for extended periods of time would be beneficial, particularly for applications where the operator wants to collect data over time. Stanford’s Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory has been working on perching technology that would allow a small drone to land on a wall using an opposing gripping system.

Video of the Week

The Flying Scotsman crossing the Forth Bridge 15.5.16 Filmed by drone!

Peter Keith captured the Flying Scotsman crossing the Forth Bridge after a 10-year restoration project. Shot using a DJI Inspire 1 X5r Drone.

Mentioned

Online Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems Risk Management

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announces a new 8-week on-line course which discusses risk management as it relates to UAS, and also covers international efforts at addressing that risk. Taught by Dr. Sarah Nillson, our guest on Episode 111.

The Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Join David and Max June 18, 2016, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia for a day of full immersion in both manned and unmanned aviation.

Book Review

The Complete Guide to Drones: whatever your budget

David reviews this 144 page paperback by Adam Juniper and finds it to be a valuable resource. Author Juniper is a long-time R/C and drone flier, has produced many YouTube videos, and he has worked as a professional video producer.

 

 

UAV146 The FAA Creates, Permits, and Rescinds

The FAA created an advisory committee, permits educational institutions to fly UAS, and rescinded a proposed website for collecting reports of bad drone behaviour. UPS and Zipline partner for drone delivery of medical packages, and more interviews from the Drone Dealer Expo.

Zipline International

Zipline International medical package delivery drone

News

FAA Administrator Makes Major Drone Announcements

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta made two significant announcements at the AUVSI annual conference in New Orleans. Another advisory committee is being formed to provide advice on unmanned aircraft integration issues. Huerta said, “Input from stakeholders is critical to our ability to achieve that perfect balance between integration and safety. We know that our policies and overall regulation of this segment of aviation will be more successful if we have the backing of a strong, diverse coalition.”

Huerta also announced that students can operate UAS for educational and research purposes without going through the Section 333 process. This allows educational institutions to conduct activities that have been restricted in the past.

UPS-backed Rwandan blood deliveries show drones’ promise, hurdles

The UPS Foundation announced a partnership with Zipline, a California­-based robotics company, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to “explore using drones to transform the way life-saving medicines like blood and vaccines are delivered across the world.” The UPS Foundation has awarded an $800,000 grant to support the initial launch of this initiative in Rwanda using Zipline fixed-wing drones.

Zipline International, Inc. is a robotics company that works with governments to provide access to medical products at the last mile. Zipline is supported by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Subtraction Capital, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and Stanford University.

UPDATE: FAA Withdraws Request for Drone Reports Dubbed Witchhunt By Many

Congress has directed the FAA to “assess the flight behavior of [drones] and enable the reporting of [drone] sightings that cause public concern for safety, national security, and/or privacy.” In response, the FAA planned to launch a website to collect “airborne and ground based observations by the public of drone behavior that they consider suspicious or illegal.”

Now, however, the FAA has withdrawn the plan [PDF], citing that the proposal “contained errors, and needs further clarification.”

Drone Dealer Expo Interviews

More interviews by Tim Trott of Southern Helicam from the Expo:

David Alamillo, Chief Pilot and Flight Operations Manager, Farm Solutions, which manages sensor output for agricultural applications, and integrates with drone manufacturers

Mark Manson, Consumer Experience Lead for Academy of Model Aeronautics

Videos of the Week

Max and @dronemama Fly Away Dronie

This “fly away dronie” of Max Flight and @dronemama was taken by Hover Solutions, LLC at the 2016 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland. Hover Solutions was at the Festival with their DJI Inspire 1 to film the festival for the organizers.

Hover Solutions provides aerial photography and video for clients, UAV education, and industrial applications such as orthomosaic mapping and multisensor scanning services, including 3D modeling and NDVI overlays.

Hover Solutions will be exhibiting at the 2016 Howard County Fair, August 6-13, 2016, at the Howard County Fairground in West Friendship, Maryland. They’ll have a booth next to the main building. Stop by and say hello!

Clash of epochs: Drone speared at history festival in central Russia

A drone that was filming a historical reenactment in Russia was taken down by a spear thrown by a man dressed as an ancient Russian warrior. How often do you see that?