UAV223 UAV Traffic Management in New Zealand

Airways and AirMap partner on a three-month trial of a UAV traffic management (UTM) platform, NTSB issues Aviation Incident Final Report on drone collision with a helicopter, Singapore tests drone strikes on test dummies, recreational drone registration is signed into law, and using drones for law enforcement.

UAV air traffic management in New Zealand.

Airways and AirMap partner to provide UAV air traffic management in New Zealand.

UAV News

New Zealand to trial drone traffic management system

Airways is New Zealand’s air navigation service provider. They deliver air navigation and air traffic management consultancy and training services throughout New Zealand and in over 65 countries. Airways has now partnered with AirMap to conduct a three-month trial of New Zealand’s first UAV traffic management (UTM) platform. The trial is taking place in the Canterbury and Queenstown regions. Drone users can use AirMap’s free iOS and Android apps to obtain approvals, file flight plans, and access real-time information about other aircraft in the area.

Airways NZ AirMap trial

NTSB Aviation Incident Final Report on collision between Blackhawk helicopter and DJI Phantom

On September 21, 2017, a Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter operated by the U.S. Army collided with a privately owned and operated DJI Phantom 4 at about 300 feet MSL. The helicopter received minor damage while the Phantom was destroyed. The NTSB determined the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: “The failure of the sUAS pilot to see and avoid the helicopter due to his intentional flight beyond visual line of sight. Contributing to the incident was the sUAS pilot’s incomplete knowledge of the regulations and safe operating practices.”

More Than 600 Drones Were Crashed in the Name of UAV Safety Research

In order to better understand the injuries that could occur in a drone collision, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Air Traffic Management Research Institute, crashed over 600 drones into dummy heads to gather as much data as possible. They found that a small 250 gram drone could kill a person.

NTU researchers test damage from drones on dummy heads

Turns out, you’re going to have to register your small drones with the U.S. government after all

On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 into law. The FAA rules for drone registration and marking for small unmanned aircraft that were vacated by the court will be restored to effect.

Taking to the Air: Drones and Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies in Delaware are utilizing drones for a variety of purposes. Dover, Wilmington, and Ocean View agencies are using drones. So are the Delaware State Police, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and the state fire service. The drones are being used to monitor crowds during public events, survey homeless camps, monitor rallys and public exhibitions at schools, for aerial photography of crash scenes, to support court cases, and searching for suspects.

UAV222 Pipeline Inspection with SkyX

SkyX completes a data collection flight of a Mexican gas pipeline, Terra Drone uses the LTE network for unmanned traffic management, Europe moves toward drone standards, Maine law enforcement employs drones, China uses drones for monitoring forest fires, New Jersey tackles droning while drunk, and Airbus expands its investment in unmanned technology companies.

The SkyOne drone for pipeline inspection. Courtesy SkyX Systems Corporation.

The SkyOne. Courtesy SkyX Systems Corporation

UAV News

Canadian drone remotely monitors gas pipeline in Mexico

Canadian company SkyX Systems Corporation offers systems for monitoring long-range assets like oil and gas pipelines. Now they have successfully completed a 100 kilometer robotic data collection flight of a gas pipeline in Mexico. SkyX founder and CEO Didi Horn said, “More than $38 billion is spent annually monitoring oil and gas pipelines using less efficient means, which often identify problems only long after they’ve occurred.” The flight was programmed and monitored by SkyX at their Greater Toronto Area SkyCenter mission control center with a support crew of engineers on the ground in Mexico.

Video: SkyOne: From Concept to Completion

New UTM System Uses Cellular Network to Extend Flights BVLOS

Japanese UAV service provider Terra Drone Inc. and telecommunications operator LG U+ have developed a 4G LTE control system that gives operators the ability to remotely monitor their drones through the LTE network. This provides beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capability

Terra Drone is also working with UNIFLY on the “Terra UTM” unmanned traffic management system. They want to promote international standardization of the system.

IATA stresses need for UAV operation standards

IATA (the International Air Transport Association) and ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) are working together to develop standards for commercial use of UAVs. ICAO has sent a letter to its member countries asking them to protect manned aircraft operations from drones.

EU reaches initial agreement on UAV rules

The European Parliament and European Council negotiators have agreed to new regulations for civil use of UAVs by the EU member countries. “The design and manufacture of drones will have to comply with EU basic requirements on safety, security and personal data protection. Drones to be covered by the EU safety rules will be those that have an impact force of more than 80 joules if they hit a person.”

Brunswick police could be 1st in U.S. to use drones to spot railroad trespassers

The Brunswick (Maine) Police Department is concerned about trespassers along railroad tracks and they want to use drones to patrol the tracks. Desiree French, a spokeswoman for the Federal Railroad Administration says, “This device will only be used for detection, not enforcement.” They hope to have the program operating by early summer 2018.

The 9 best drones for generating some holiday buzz

New Atlas gives us their “picks for the best unmanned aircraft to get a loved one buzzing come Christmas morning.”

China’s CH-4 to be Deployed for Firefighting

The Chinese manufacturer of the CH-4 unmanned “rainbow drone” has made a deal with the regional forestry authority to monitor forest fires in northeast China. Previously, fire monitoring was performed by visual observation from fixed look-out posts and, occasionally from manned aircraft. The CH-4 is equipped with both visual and infrared sensors to allow it to see day and night and through fog.

New Jersey considers barring operating a drone while drunk

New Jersey lawmakers are working on legislation that would make it illegal to operate a drone while drunk.” The bill also bans using a drone to hunt wildlife and endanger people or property, and criminalizes using drones that endanger safety at correctional facilities as well as interfering with first responders.

Airbus Invests In Maker Of ADS-B For UAVs

Airbus is taking a stake in uAvionix, a Montana-based startup developing miniaturized ADS-B transceivers for detect-and-avoid in UAVs. Airbus previously invested in AirMap, AEye, BestMile, and Cognata.

UAV221 sUAS Collisions with Manned Aircraft

A study examines sUAS collisions with manned aircraft, Amazon patents a self-disintegrating drone, Mercedes completes 100 package deliveries by drone, a race that pitted an autonomous drone against a piloted drone, and marine mammals are disturbed by drones.

Delivery drone above a Mercedes Benz Vito van. Courtesy Daimler AG.

Delivery drone above a Mercedes-Benz Vito van. Courtesy Daimler AG.

UAV News

Researchers Release Report on Drone Airborne Collisions

A research team from ASSURE {Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence} released a report that looks at sUAS collisions with manned aircraft. Congress directed the FAA in 2014 to establish a UAS Center of Excellence and the FAA selected ASSURE, led by Mississippi State University, in May 2015.

The ASSURE UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation Final Report concludes that drones that collide with large manned aircraft can cause more structural damage than birds of the same weight for a given impact speed. The FAA says they will use the research results to help develop operational and collision risk mitigation requirements for drones.

ASSURE used computer modeling and physical validation testing it its research. The team looked at a 2.7 pound quadcopter, a 4 pound quadcopter, a 4 pound fixed-wing drone, and an 8 pound fixed-wing drone, all striking a single-aisle commercial transport jet and a business jet.

They examined impacts to the wing leading edge, the windshield, and the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. The windshields generally sustained the least damage and the horizontal stabilizers suffered the most serious damage.

The researchers concluded that unmanned aircraft system manufacturers should adopt “detect and avoid” or “geo-fencing” capabilities to reduce the probability of collisions with other aircraft.

The ASSURE team provided an A3 Airborne Collision Presentation, and the report in four volumes:

FAA sUAS COE Task A3 UAS Airborne Collision Hazard Severity Evaluation [PDF]

An FAA press conference presentation explaining why it is necessary to determine the potential severity of sUAS mid-air collisions with aircraft in order to define an Equivalent Level of Safety to manned aviation.

Volume I: UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation: Summary of Structural Evaluation [PDF]

A summary of the entire structural portion of the study that includes a high-level explanation of the project’s scope, technical approach, evaluation and conclusions of the severity of small unmanned aircraft impacts with a commercial transport jet and business jet. This summary report also provides conclusions on the influence of velocity and mass on impact damage, a comparison to bird strikes and concludes with recommendations going forward.

Volume II: UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation: Quadcopter [PDF]

A detailed report the project’s scope and the selection and definition of both the “projectile” Unmanned Aircraft and the “target” commercial transport and business jets. This Volume centers on the quadcopter UAS and its unique characteristics.

Volume III: UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation: Fixed-Wing UAS [PDF]

A similarly detailed report centering on the fixed-wing UAS and its unique characteristics.

Volume IV: UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation: Engine Ingestion [PDF]

An evaluation of the severity of a small UAS collision with propulsion systems. This report helps us to start to understand the effects of parameters of aircraft speed, impact location, fan speed and unmanned aircraft orientation on impact severity to a unique FAA fan-blade-out model.

Amazon delivery drone could self-disintegrate for safety if it falls from sky

Amazon has been granted a patent for Directed fragmentation for unmanned airborne vehicles: “In one embodiment, the UAV includes various components, such one or more motors, batteries, sensors, a housing, casing or shell, and a payload for delivery. Additionally, the UAV includes a flight controller and a fragmentation controller. The flight controller determines a flight path and controls a flight operation of the UAV. During the flight operation, the fragmentation controller develops a fragmentation sequence for one or more of the components based on the flight path, the flight conditions, and terrain topology information, among other factors. The fragmentation controller can also detect a disruption in the flight operation of the UAV and, in response, direct fragmentation of one or more of the components apart from the UAV. In that way, a controlled, directed fragmentation of the UAV can be accomplished upon any disruption to the flight operation of the UAV.”

Mercedes Plans More Drone Deliveries After 100 Perfect Flights

In a 3-week pilot project by Mercedes-Benz Vans, US drone systems developer Matternet, and Swiss online marketplace siroop, 100 package delivery flights were successfully completed in Zurich. Customers placed orders for items like ground coffee and cellphones. The drones flew as far as 17 kilometers (11 miles) to four fixed points in the city where they landed on roofs of special Mercedes-Benz Vito vans. The vans then delivered the packages.

NASA-Built Drone Races FlyingBear, Loses

Professional drone racing pilot Ken “FlyingBear” Loo flew against a NASA autonomous drone. The NASA drone flew more cautiously, smoothly, and consistently over the course. Loo’s speeds were higher, and he executed more complex maneuvers, but mental fatigue became a factor. In the end, his times were quicker.

As Ocean Drones Proliferate Marine Wildlife are getting a bit annoyed

Drones are violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1992 which makes it illegal to disturb marine mammals, regardless of whether you are in the water, in a boat, or in the air. Marine biologist Alicia Amerson started the AliMoSphere initiative to develop best practices studying marine wildlife with drones.

UAV Video of the Week

Flying Robot international Film Festival

The FRiFF calls itself “the world’s premiere international competitive short film festival focused on drone culture and aerial cinema created from the perspective of drones.”

The 2017 edition of the Festival took place November 16, 2017, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco. Twenty-five short drone films from a dozen countries were selected for inclusion and nominated for awards in each of seven categories. Watch the winning drone films.

Mentioned

The Drone Racing League (DRL) and MultiGP Drone Racing Announce Simulator Partnership Surrounding the 2018 Swatch DRL Tryouts

 

UAV220 Giving Thanks

David and Max take the week off due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. We want to say “thank you!” to all our listeners around the world, as well as to our sponsors. Special thanks to @dronemama for working so hard to produce quality show notes each week.

All the best,

David and Max

UAV219 Drone Registration: It’s Baaack!

Authority for drone registration would return to the FAA if the National Defense Authorization Act is signed into law. Airbus subsidiary A³ is building full-scale demonstrators of an electric single-seat tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft for a fleet of autonomous self-piloted taxis, LAANC is starting at four airports, AT&T deploys their Cell on Wings, and AOPA holds their first Drone Talk webinar.

UAV News

Congress Poised to Restore Drone Registration Tossed by Court

H.R. 2810: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 contains a measure that would give the FAA authority to bring back drone registration. A committee resolved differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, and the House approved the committee report. The Senate is expected to vote, and if passed the bill would go to the President for signature.

The legislative language is on page 829 of the National Defense Authorization Act conference report [PDF]:

(d) RESTORATION OF RULES FOR REGISTRATION AND MARKING OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.—The rules adopted by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the matter of registration and marking requirements for small unmanned aircraft (FAA-2015-7396; published on December 16, 2015) that were vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Taylor v. Huerta (No. 15-1495; decided on May 19, 2017) shall be restored to effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

Track the progress of the bill at GovTrack.us.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) are in favor of drone registration. The AMA FAQ answers some questions about the resumption of drone registration.

Airbus will test its Vahana electric ‘flying car’ by the end of 2017

Airbus is building two full-scale demonstrators of an electric, single-seat tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft. Their goal is first flight by the end of 2017 at their flight test center in Pendleton, Oregon. Airbus’ A³ subsidiary envisions a fleet of autonomous multi-rotor aircraft acting as self-piloted taxis, with a production-ready version by 2020.

Concept video: Vahana: Airbus entwickelt selbstfliegendes Lufttaxi

FAA Rolls Out Automated Authorizations for Drone Flights

Part 107 commercial drone operators can obtain automated authorization to fly in controlled airspace. This is under the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program and applies to four U.S. airports: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International (CVG) Airport, Lincoln Airport (LNK) in Nebraska, Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) in Nevada, and California’s San Jose International Airport (SJC). AirMap and Skyward will provide the service via smartphone and as many as 49 more airports will be added by 2018.

AT&T deploys first cell site on wings

AT&T is using a COW (cell on wings) in Puerto Rico where connectivity is still out in many areas after Hurricane Maria. They say this is the first time an LTE cell site on a drone has been successfully deployed to connect residents after a disaster. The drone is tethered 200 feet above the ground with the tether providing power and data transmission. The COW can stay airborne for several hours.

AT&T’s First Official Deployment of Cell On Wings In Puerto Rico

First AOPA Drone Talk webinar available

AOPA Director of Regulatory Affairs Justin Barkowski, Senior Director of UAS Programs Kat Swain, and Legal Services Plan attorneys Jared Allen and Chad Mayer offer expert advice for navigating current federal regulations, along with a growing number of state and local rules and regulations that drone pilots should be aware of (or risk fines and penalties) in AOPA’s first Drone Talk webinar, recorded Nov. 10, 2017.

Watch the webinar: AOPA Drone Talk Series: Drones and the Legal Landscape

See also the AOPA YouTube channel: AOPA | Your Freedom to Fly

Hogan Lovells UAS Regulatory and Policy Developments webinar

Lisa Ellman and Matt Clark from Hogan Lovells were joined by CNN Senior Counsel Emily Avant to talk about Part 107 waivers, the CNN waiver for flights over people, the UAS Integration Pilot Program, LAANC, and a few notable aspects of drone activity in 2017.

UAV218 UAS Integration Pilot Program Details Emerge

Additional details of the FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program have emerged, with webinars held on that topic by the FAA and others. Also, Boeing’s acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences is complete, NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is expanding its research scope to include Urban Air Mobility, and drone strikes on manned aircraft.

UAV News

UAS Integration Pilot Program Webinar

UAS Integration Pilot Program

The FAA conducted several one-hour UAS Integration Pilot Program webinar sessions. The Program seeks to achieve BVLOS and other complex operations (flight at night, over people, and operational coordination with manned aircraft), promote innovation, develop regulations that reduce the need for operations by exception. address security concerns, and balance national and local interests.

The 17-minute UAS Integration Pilot Program Webinar video provided an overview of the program, the application process, acceptance criteria, and deadlines.

We recorded the live Q&A session from the November 3, 2017, webinar, which runs about 40 minutes:

To learn more, about the UAS Integration Pilot Program, see these FAA webpages:

UAS Webinar: Regulatory and Policy Developments

Hogan Lovells Unmanned Aircraft Systems is offering a free webinar Thursday, November 16, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss key UAS regulatory and policy developments and provide insight on the Part 107 waiver process. Emily Avant, Senior Counsel for CNN, will be participating to discuss CNN’s new waiver for operations over people, what it means for the broader commercial UAS industry, and tips for making your waiver application a success.

Other webinar topics will include:

  • Status update on Part 107 waivers granted to date
  • The inside scoop on CNN’s precedent-setting waiver for operations over people
  • Developing a safety case for a Part 107 waiver application
  • The Trump Administration’s new UAS Integration Pilot Program
  • Rollout of the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system
  • Upcoming FAA rulemakings and next steps moving forward

Register for the Hogan Lovells webinar here.

Also, Drones and the Legal Landscape from the AOPA Drone Talk Series will be held November 10, 2017, 8 PM Eastern.

Boeing completes acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences

Boeing announced the completion of its acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences. Aurora will operate under Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology as a subsidiary called Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It retains its independent operating model. Boeing first announced the agreement with Aurora on Oct. 5, 2017, pending U.S. government approval.

NASA Embraces Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Calls for Market Study

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is expanding its research scope to include Urban Air Mobility or UAM.

UAM is defined in this article as “a safe and efficient system for air passenger and cargo transportation within an urban area, inclusive of small package delivery and other urban Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services, which supports a mix of onboard/ground-piloted and increasingly autonomous operations.”

NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics Jaiwon Shin says, “We plan to conduct the research and development, and test the concepts and technologies that establish feasibility and help set the requirements. Those requirements then serve to make using autonomous vehicles, electric propulsion, and high density airspace operations in the urban environment safe, efficient and economically viable.”

ARMD awarded contracts to Booz Allen Hamilton and to Crown Consulting to conduct market studies on the policy, economic, social, environmental, and legal barriers to enabling UAM; and also to estimate how much potential demand there is for UAM.

Here’s How Drones Do (and Don’t) Threaten Passenger Aircraft

Recently, a civilian drone struck a U.S. Army UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter and a drone hit a Beechcraft King Air. Studies have been conducted by the Crashworthiness for Aerospace Structures and Hybrids (CRASH) Lab, the U.K.’s Department for Transport and Military Aviation Authority, and George Mason University, but there is little data on the damage small drones can cause in a collision.

 

UAV217 CNN Newsgathering Drone

CNN gets a waiver for a newsgathering drone, DJI offers an electronic license plate for drones and will quiz pilots before first flight, more on the Drone Integration Pilot Program, and drone regulations in India.

The Snap newsgathering drone. Courtesy Vantage Robotics.

The Snap newsgathering drone. Courtesy Vantage Robotics.

UAV News

CNN gets a first-of-its-kind waiver to fly drones over crowds

CNN received a Part 107 waiver from the FAA to fly the Vantage Robotics Snap over people as a newsgathering drone at altitudes of up to 150 feet AGL. The FAA accepted CNN’s “Reasonableness Approach” that considered the potential results of a crashed drone, the safe operating history of CNN, CNN’s safety procedures, and the features of the drone itself.

The 500-gram Snap shoots 4K video, streams 720p video, has a micro-gimbal, and has electronic image stabilization. The drone is frangible with enclosed rotors made of deformable material.

CNN and Vantage worked on the program for over two years.  CNN was represented by Lisa Ellman and Matt Clark of Hogan Lovells in the waiver application process.

DJI Requires Knowledge Quiz for First-Time Drone Pilots

Before first flight, DJI pilots will be presented with nine questions by the GO 4 flight app. Nine correct answers are required but they cycle so if you get some wrong, you keep trying until you get nine right. This knowledge quiz was developed in collaboration with the FAA and will initially launch in the US. Other countries will come later.

DJI Demonstrates AeroScope: Drone License Plate Technology

An AeroScope receiver can monitor transmissions between the drone and the controller. That includes data such as location, altitude, speed, direction, takeoff location, operator location, and an identifier such as a registration or serial number. Used around sensitive areas to identify rogue drones, AeroScope been called an “electronic license plate for drones.”

FAA Drone Integration Pilot Program (2017)

Rupprecht Law provides a good summary of the Drone Integration Pilot Program we talked about in episode 216. Rupprecht offers some pros and cons of the Program as well as some questions that remain unanswered.This is intended to be a living document from Rupprecht as program aspects become clear.

White House Unveils New Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program

Ten things you should know about the new UAS Integration Pilot Program.

UAS Integration Pilot Program

The FAA published a webpage with these sections: Learn About the Program, How to Apply, and Help & Resources. In addition, a UAS Integration Pilot Program Webinar will be held to “…provide you with an overview of the UAS Integration Pilot Program, the application process, and specific criteria and deadlines that are required in order to be accepted into the program.”

Draft regulations on drone usage announced: 5 categories, prior permissions required

Civil aviation ministry to make flying drones in India legal; framework to be finalised by 31 December

The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced draft regulations for India. A one-month comment period will precede the finalized rules. Five drones categories are established based on maximum take-off weight: nano (up to 250 gm), micro (251 gm to 2 kg), mini (2 kg to 25 kg), small (25 kg to 150 kg), and large (over 150 kg).

No registration is required for nano drones. Micro drones and up require registration with a Unique Identification Number. Mini drones and up require training and an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit. A different approval is required for each operation of the drone. Certain no-fly zones are established.

UAV Video of the Week

Introducing Vantage Robotics’ Snap. The first safe portable flying camera.

 

 

UAV216 Making American Aviation Great Again

President Trump directs the DOT and FAA to launch an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, a company drops out of the Navy MQ-25A Stingray competition, a long endurance drone flies for five days, and a microbot swims underwater and flies in the air.

Vanilla Aircraft long endurance drones

Long endurance drones, courtesy Vanilla Aircraft.

UAV News

President Donald Trump and Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announce Innovative Drone Integration Pilot Program

In a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Transportation, President Trump directed the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, “to launch an initiative to safely test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments in select jurisdictions.” This “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program” seeks to accelerate the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace, and realize the benefits of unmanned technology in the economy.

The directive describes policy, the UAS Integration Pilot Program, implementation, responsibilities for coordination, and program evaluation. See also:

Northrop Grumman Drops Out of MQ-25A Stingray Competition

Northrop Grumman will not compete to build the Navy MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling vehicle, even though the company developed the test platform that demonstrated autonomous takeoff and landing from an aircraft carrier. During an October 25, 2017, earnings call, Northrop CEO Wes Bush said, “When we’re looking at one of these opportunities… our objective is not just to win. Winning is great, it feels good on the day of an announcement, but if you can’t really execute on it and deliver on it to your customer and your shareholders, then you’ve done the wrong thing.”

Vanilla Aircraft Completes 5-Day Flight

As we described in episode 179, Vanilla Aircraft VA001 unmanned aircraft system completed a non-stop, unrefueled 56-hour flight at the New Mexico UAS Flight Test Center. Then, on October 18, 2017, VA001 took off from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and landed 5.1 days later with 3 days of fuel remaining. This project was funded under a contract through Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The aircraft has a 50-pound payload capability and can supply up to 800 watts to the payload bay. Vanilla Aircraft plans to start production in the coming months for a multitude of applications.

AOPA Drone Talk: Drones and the Legal Landscape

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) will conduct a free webinar November 10, 2017, at 8 PM Eastern. The discussion will center around how the drone space has evolved, the important legal matters you should be aware of, and how AOPA can help protect your freedom to fly. This drone talk webinar will be suitable for both remote pilots and those flying for fun.

Insect-sized robot can go from air to water and back again

Harvard University engineers have developed the “Robobee,” a 175-milligram flapping-wing robot that can fly, land on water, swim underneath, and take off again. To counter the problem of water surface, the engineers designed a device that uses electrolysis to convert some of the water into hydrogen and oxygen for buoyancy, then ignites the gas for a boosted takeoff.

UAV Video of the Week

These ‘robo-bees’ can dive, swim, and jump

The Quantum Tron UAV

In Omega Tau podcast episode 267, host Markus Voelter talks with Quantum Systems
CEO Florian Seibel about the Tron VTOL drone.

 

 

 

 

 

UAV215 More From the Big Drone Show

Interviews from the 2017 Big Drone Show in Toronto, Canada with Tablet-EX-Gear, Gyrfalcon Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Global UAV Technologies, High Eye Aerial Imaging, and UAV Tower Innovations.

The Big Drone Show

The Big Drone Show

The Big Drone Show was held September 27-28, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and David recorded interviews with a number of exhibitors:

Brian Saunders, president of Tablet-EX-Gear, maker of tablet computer chest packs for forestry and other applications and now chest packs for drone pilots.

From the Big Drone Show: The Tablet-EX-Gear chest packs for drone pilots.

The Tablet-EX-Gear chest packs for drone pilots.

Alex Reed, from Gyrfalcon Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Inc. on the Flyability Elios collision-tolerant drone for confined and unsafe spaces.

From the Big Drone Show: the Flyability Elios collision-tolerant drone.

The Flyability Elios collision-tolerant drone, courtesy Flyability.

Jason Springett, director of Global UAV Technologies on the Procyon 800 commercial drone helicopter from NOVAerial Robotics. It includes a magnetometer sensor for applications like mine detection.

From the Big Drone Show: Procyon 800 commercial drone helicopter from NOVAerial Robotics.

Procyon 800 commercial drone helicopter from NOVAerial Robotics.

Johnathan Smeh from High Eye Aerial Imaging, a UAV service provider offering aerial video services via several different platforms. They focus on volumetrics, such as aggregate product inventories, without disrupting site operations. A subsidiary of Global UAV Technologies.

From the Big Drone Show: High Eye Aerial Imaging

High Eye Aerial Imaging

Ron Harper from UAV Tower Innovations, Inc. an aerial inspection service for towers, mining, construction, agriculture, and property imaging. They perform tower inspections using UAVs and equipment to capture high definition images and video with real-time viewing on the ground for monitoring.

Interviews at the Big Drone Show with The Sky Guys, Defiant Labs, and the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre can be found in Episode 212, and with DJI in Episode 213.

Video of the Week

Flyability presentation – Elios, the collision-tolerant drone for industrial inspection.

UAV214 Autonomous Air Taxi Takes Flight

An Autonomous Air Taxi test flight over Dubai, the SpiderMAV perching drone, Flirtey plans for delivery of emergency defibrillators by drone, using the Insitu ScanEagle to fight wildfires, the Zenmuse X7 professional camera, and drones for traffic management studies.

The Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) Over Dubai

The Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) Over Dubai. Courtesy Volocopter.

UAV News

Volocopter Completes Test Flight Over Dubai

The German-designed Volocopter (recently renamed the Autonomous Air Taxi or AAT) performed a test flight over Dubai on September 25. Dubai wants a fleet of autonomous vehicles to handle 25% of all passenger transport by 2030. The 18-rotor AAT flew unmanned and testing is expected to take five years before regular AAT begins. See the video: First ever public demonstration of an autonomous urban air taxi in a mega city by volocopter

SpiderMAV Drone Shoots Webs for Perching and Stabilization

Researchers from Imperial College London’s Aerial Robotics Laboratory have developed the SpiderMAV. This perching drone is based on a DJI Matrice 100 drone with a customized perching module mounted on top and a stabilizing module at the bottom.

Flirtey Partners with Pioneering Ambulance Service to Launch First Emergency Drone Delivery Program in United States

Drone delivery company Flirtey and the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) announced a partnership to launch the first automated defibrillator drone delivery service in the United States.

Insitu Demonstrates Revolutionary UAV Integrated with GIS for Fighting Wildfires

Insitu successfully completed flight tests at the Warm Springs (Oregon) FAA UAS Test Range of a system that supports firefighting efforts. A week later, Insitu deployed its INEXA teams to Oregon to help firefighters with the Eagle Creek fire. The ScanEagle was equipped with electro-optical daylight sensors, infrared video for nighttime flights, and mid-wave sensors, and provided near real-time data for firefighters and first responders. Press release: Insitu Demonstrates Revolutionary UAV Integrated with GIS for Fighting Wildfires.

DJI Releases The Zenmuse X7

The Zenmuse X7 is a Super 35 camera designed for professional aerial cinematography. It uses a 24 MP CMOS sensor with 14 stops of dynamic range and offers both 6K CinemaDNG and 5.2K Apple ProRes. The X7 is priced at $2,699 USD and is scheduled to ship in early November 2017. It works with the DJI Inspire 2 drone.

Drones To Conduct Traffic Study On Black Rock Turnpike In Fairfield Today

The Town of Fairfield, Connecticut is using drones to aid in traffic management studies. Seven drones were to be flown simultaneously for approximately 20 to 30 minutes during the evening rush hour. The pilots were to operate the drones from the edge of the road and the Fairfield Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit was to be on site at the time.

Mentioned

A possible drone strike on an Army Blackhawk helicopter.

Listener Mark’s list of fixed-wing VTOL drones: