UAV070 Preview of the FAA sUAS NPRM

NAB Chernobyl Aerial VideoSneak peak at the FAA sUAS regulations, NZ drone regs, bioengineered drones, busting poachers, the threat to airliners, first amendment issues, and GoPro to enter the UAV market.

News

Drone Flights Face FAA Hit

The Wall Street Journal reports that “people familiar with the rule-making process” are talking about what we can expect in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from the FAA for sUAS.

The expectation is that the FAA will:

  • Lump all sUAS under 55 pounds under the same regulations
  • Require sUAS operators to have a manned-flight pilots license
  • Limit flying to daytime hours, below 400 feet, line of sight.

The NPRM is still expected before year-end, followed by a public comment period.

New Zealand to introduce civil UAV regulations

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to issue New Zealand’s notice of proposed rulemaking for unmanned air vehicles on December 4. There are no details on what the proposal will contain, but the CAA had input from the UAVNZ industry group and Callaghan Innovation, an entity that promotes economic progress in New Zealand. The CAA says that certification will likely be required for operators of high risk UAVs.

NASA Is Working on Creating Bioengineered Drones Made of Mushrooms and Bacteria

NASA is supporting the Prototyping a Biological UAV project “to grow a mycelium-based chassis for [a] biological drone.” One motivation for this program is to create lightweight sensors that require no electrical energy.

Poachers Caught by ShadowView Drones

ShadowView Foundation drones were used during an anti-poaching operation in the Greater Kruger Area in South Africa.  Rhino poachers were apprehended as a result.

This is believed to be the first time drones were used for this purpose.

ShadowView used information from the drone to direct local rangers on the ground. “One of the rangers reported via radio the poachers were heavily armed and immediately engaged upon sight. During the ensuing firefight, the rangers unfortunately killed one of the poachers.”

Is The Small-UAV Threat To Airliners Overrated?

Regulatory agencies require that commercial aircraft withstand impact by birds. This article wonders if existing regulations for bird strikes can be extended to include small UAVs.

Up in the Air: The free-speech problems raised by regulating drones

Ferguson, Missouri has been the scene of protests and vandalism after a Ferguson Police Department officer fatally shot an 18-year-old man. The FAA granted no-fly zone requests, but there are indications that this was done to keep news helicopters out of the area. This article explores possible First Amendment issues associated with news gathering by drone.

WSJ: GoPro Is Going to Make Its Own Drones

Reportedly, GoPro is going to start making its own multi-rotor helicopters in the $500-1,000 range. Availability is said to be late 2015.

The 19 best drone photos of 2014

Mashable picks 19 awesome images that could only have been created from an aerial perspective.

Video of the Week

Chernobyl by Drone  

Eerie video of the Chernobyl Exclusion Area almost 30 years after the meltdown.

UAV069 NTSB on FAA v. Pirker: Remanded

Stunt Sheep Don’t try this at home: Trappys $10k fine UVA videoThe NTSB issued its Opinion and Order in the FAA v. Raphael Pirker matter, reversing the Administrative Law Judge’s decisional order and remanding the matter for further proceedings.

Guest

Justine HarrisonJustine Harrison is an attorney whose practice includes corporate and aviation law. She’s a multi-engine instrument rated pilot, aircraft owner/operator, and an experimental aircraft builder.

Justine understands aviation issues, has experience in aviation transactions, as well as FAA and NTSB matters. Her aviation clientele includes companies which research, develop, manufacture, service, and test unmanned aircraft. Justine also defends individuals and companies in FAA enforcement actions.

Justine is also fresh from the first ever Unmanned Aircraft Systems Workshop organized by the American Association of Airport Executives. This was a great opportunity to hear concerns from airports, which are both anxious and nervous to get in on the unmanned action.

News

The FAA had assessed Pirker $10,000 based on “alleged careless or reckless operation of an unmanned aircraft.” Pirker’s appeal was heard by an NTSB Administrative Law Judge who terminated the enforcement proceeding and declared that Pirker’s Ritewing Zephyr was a “model aircraft,” not an “aircraft” for purposes of regulation. The FAA then appealed to the Board.

On November 17, 2014, the NTSB issued an Opinion and Order in the matter of the FAA v. Raphael Pirker reversing the Administrative Law Judge’s decisional order and remanding the matter for further proceedings.

In its November 18, 2014 Press Release, the NTSB says, “The National Transportation Safety Board announced today that it has served the FAA and respondent Raphael Pirker with its opinion and order regarding Mr. Pirker’s appeal in case CP-217, regarding the regulation of unmanned aircraft. In the opinion, the Board remanded the case to the administrative law judge to collect evidence and issue a finding concerning whether Pirker’s operation of his unmanned aircraft over the campus of the University of Virginia in 2011 was careless or reckless.”

In its appeal, the FAA argued two main points:

  1. The law judge erred in determining respondent’s Zephyr was not an “aircraft” under 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(6) and 14 C.F.R. § 1.1.

49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(6): “aircraft” means any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.

14 C.F.R. § 1.1: Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

  1. The law judge erred in determining Pirker’s aircraft was not subject to 14 C.F.R. § 91.13(a).

14 C.F.R. § 91.13: Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

On the definition of “aircraft,” the NTSB found that Pirker’s unmanned aircraft system is an “aircraft” for purposes of § 91.13(a). The NTSB relied on the plain English in the statutes, which doesn’t exclude model aircraft, and doesn’t differentiate between manned and unmanned aircraft. 

The NTSB says, “We acknowledge the definitions are as broad as they are clear, but they are clear nonetheless,” and, “In summary, the plain language of the statutory and regulatory definitions is clear: an ‘aircraft’ is any device used for flight in the air.” 

In summary, it doesn’t matter if Pirker’s Ritewing Zephyr is a model aircraft or not, and it doesn’t matter if it’s manned or unmanned, it’s still an aircraft under 14 C.F.R. § 91.13 which prohibits operation “of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” 

The NTSB concludes, “We therefore remand to the law judge for a full factual hearing to
determine whether respondent operated the aircraft ‘in a careless or reckless manner so as to
endanger the life or property of another,’ contrary to § 91.13(a).”

Video of the Week

Stunt Sheep Don’t try this at home: Trappys $10k fine UVA video

UAV068 A UAV Entrepreneur

DJI Inspire 1

Opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs looking to develop a commercial UAV business.

This Episode

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle industry is in its infancy and presents many business opportunities to entrepreneurs. Some opportunities are obvious, like agriculture, real estate, emergency response, and package delivery. Others have not yet been imagined.

In this episode, we look at issues for UAV startups, with someone who is immersed in that process.

Guest

Don Toporowski is an advisor to clients of both the MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s largest centre for innovation and business acceleration, and with startups coming out of the Queen’s Innovation Connector.

Don has focused on the CleanTech sector for most of his career, but he recently shifted his focus to the UAV market. He hopes to find a few entrepreneurs with very good ideas for businesses developing or using UAV technologies, and to help them build winning sales strategies, raise capital, and become successful in their endeavors.

Don describes some UAV startup success stories, and the current roadblocks faced by entrepreneurs: regulatory uncertainty, funding issues, availability of business insurance, and reliability of UAVs.

Contact Don at don.toporowski@gmail.com, +1 416 722-2007, on Skype at dontoporowski, or search for Don Toporowski on LinkedIn.

News

The DJI Inspire One is the coolest drone I’ve ever seen

DJI just released the Inspire 1 quadcopter, intended to offer more professional level features than the Phantom, yet still remain relatively easy to fly.

The Inspire 1 has legs that fold to allow an unobstructed view, a ground-facing camera for stabilization when there is no GPS signal, and a 4K video camera. Price is set at $2,800.

The video of the launch event DJI Inspire launch – November 12, 2014 shows the new quadcopter. [Fast forward to 14:30.]

Videos of the Week

Mexico City International Airport from Above shows the airport from a different perspective.

Drone tour of Tower of London poppies came to us from longtime listener Mark. It shows the armistice poppies around the Tower of London. Nearly 900,000 hand made ceramic poppies represent the fallen British soldiers from World War I. Each poppy has been sold to raise money for service charities.

 

UAV067 ScanEagle 2 Launched

Insitu ScanEagle 2A new ScanEagle from Insitu, an Ohio UAS test site is up and running, students learning about UAVs in a precision agriculture program, ABC creating drone journalism policies, and a drone on an urban rescue mission.

News

Insitu Launches New ScanEagle 2 UAS

The new Insitu ScanEagle 2 features a slightly longer fuselage, the same wingspan, and a new engine from Orbital. Endurance of this fixed-wing system grows to 24 hours from 16.

US Navy seeks information on sense and avoid radar for Triton UAS

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has been unable to develop sense and avoid radar for the Triton. They’ve issued an RFI (Request for Information) and NAVAIR wants a scaleable SAA box that is modular and deployable to other platforms.

The Triton is a naval version of the RQ-4A Global Hawk, with a different wing to handle higher stresses.

WSRI conducts its first test of UAS aircraft

Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) conducted its first UAS research flight at Wilmington Air Park using a senseFly eBee

3D Aerial Solutions piloted the eBee used to conduct modeling and simulation research, to gather terrain data for 3D flight simulation environments. The flight operated under a recently awarded certificate of authorization (COA) from the FAA.

Sinclair sees UAS payoff in future jobs

Sinclair Community College in Ohio sees a coming boom in unmanned aviation opportunities, and they’re investing millions to help train a UAS workforce. They’ve spent over $5 million on curriculum, flight simulators, and more than 50 UAVs. The college will use its field house to serve as the largest indoor unmanned aerial vehicle flying range in Ohio.

Sinclair plans to open a National UAS Training and Certification Center using $5 million of their money and $4 million from State funds. Sinclair has partnered with Ohio State University and additionally, has established partnerships with Wright State University, the University of Dayton, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Institute of Technology, and other educational institutions.

LRSC students study ag potential of UAS

Lake Region State College’s Precision Agriculture Center in North Dakota wants its graduates to have UAV skills. The program offers both theoretical and practical core courses and hands-on training.

The average North Dakota farmer spends about $1.3 million per year planting and harvesting crops. UAS and satellite mapping can cut those costs 6-16%.

Changes to aviation laws will give media more freedom to use drones for newsgathering

ABC in Australia has a project to develop and regulate their use of drones for journalism.

Proposed changes to Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules would allow “low risk” operations, making it easier for the media to use sUAS for newsgathering.

ABC has developed a 3-day training course for camera operators that covers air safety rules, privacy policies, and flight training using Phantom 2 RPAs. ABC policy will prohibit using small drones over bushfires because of the high winds, low visibility, and possible presence of water bombing aircraft.

Drone used to rescue window cleaner dangling from tower block

A window washer in Abu Dhabi had a tense situation when his scaffold failed. The man was clinging to one of the windows ten stories up in the air. Police brought in a drone equipped with video and a speaker, calmed the man down, and instructed him on how to affect a repair and lower himself down.

Simpler rules for small unmanned air vehicles

Transport Canada announced at the Unmanned Systems Canada conference in Montréal, two exemptions that simplify small unmanned air vehicle (UAV) operations and safely integrate UAVs into Canadian airspace.

Under the new exemptions, a Special Flight Operations Certificate will not be required for UAVs under 2 kilograms and certain operations involving UAVs under 25 kilograms. The new approach will apply to commercial operations and contribute to a strong safety regime for those on the ground and in the skies.

Once the changes come into effect later this month, operators must check on Transport Canada’s website to determine if the exemptions apply to them and respect specific safety conditions, including requirements to operate within visual line-of-sight, maximum altitudes and away from built-up areas and aerodromes. In addition, Transport Canada is simplifying the application process and reducing the time it takes to issue Special Flight Operations Certificates for larger UAV operators.

In October, Minister Raitt launched the Government of Canada’s national safety awareness campaign for UAVs, which aims to help Canadians better understand the risks and responsibilities of flying UAVs. For more information, visit www.tc.gc.ca/SafetyFirst.

Video of the Week

BIZZBY SKY – Drones On-Demand

BIZZBY SKY is an on-­demand drone service using a real-time smartphone technology platform. The fully autonomous drone is capable of picking up and delivering small items. Under this concept, drones can be summoned to arrive within minutes to the pickup location.

UAV066 Drones with Brooms

Aerial Power Limited

Drones assist with solar energy production, the satellite industry sees UAS opportunities, a quadcopter approaches a commercial flight, NYPD is developing a plan to counter weaponized drones, and more from the NBAA panel discussion on UAS.

News

These Drones With Little Brooms Keep Solar Panels Clean

Large solar panel farms are increasingly being used to generate electricity. You can capture a lot of solar power in the desert, but the panels need to be cleaned to remove the dust that accumulates. Startup Aerial Power Limited is testing brush-carrying UAVs that gently keep the solar panels clean.

Different Industries Debate the Potential of UAVs and the Need for Satellite

UAVs often depend on satellite-based technology, and the satellite industry sees business opportunity in that. By their nature, satellite data transmissions are global, and that means international standards are needed.

Quadcopter drone ‘deliberately flown at passenger airliner’ over Essex

The UK Airprox Board has released its report on the May 2014 incident where a quadcopter came close to an ATR72 on approach to runway 06 at Southend Airport. The report (No. 2014073) states:

“As the aircraft was about to intercept the ILS Glide-Slope, the pilot saw a remote-controlled quadcopter very close to the right wing-tip. The aircraft captain did not see the quadcopter but the sighting was reported to Southend ATC. The co-pilot formed the impression that the quadcopter had been flown deliberately close to the AT72 because he had seen it around 100m away as it approached from the right-hand side and made a turn to fly in the opposite direction to his aircraft, around 25m away and at the same level.”


The quadcopter operator could not be traced. Beyond that… nothing to be done.

NYPD: Threat Of Terrorists With Drones Is A Growing Concern

New York police have been concerned about the possibility of an attack by drone. While they don’t have any intelligence about a specific threat, they want to be prepared. The NYPD is consulting with the military and they are working on a plan to counter weaponized drones.

NBAA2014 – BUSINESS AVIATION CONVENTION & EXHIBITION

We continue with more from the October 21, 2014 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition panel discussion titled:  Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Regulatory and Legal Developments.

The Panel was moderated by: Marc Warren , Crowell & Moring LLP with panel members: Dean Griffith , FAA; Mario Mairena , AUVSI; Govt Relations; Dave Hamrick, MITRE Corporation; and Ted Wierzbanowiski , ASTM standards for sUAS.

Topics:

  • Do you have to be a licensed pilot to fly sUAS?
  • What standards did the ASTM recommend?
  • Why does the Section 333 exemption require a private pilot’s certificate?

See Episode 65 for more clips from the panel discussion.

Videos of the Week

Drone Loses Contact With Operator, Activates Return To Home, Crashes GoPro4 Into Rock

Every Angle Films was shooting video of a beautiful sunrise at Pinnacle Peak, Utah with a new GoPro4 mounted on a DJI F550 with an H3-3D gimbal. When the F550 lost contact, it initiated a “return to home.” The only problem was that Pinnacle Peak was in the way.

OK Go – I Won’t Let You Down – Official Video

Shot by the OK Go band in Japan with 2,400 people and a drone. CNN (Music video shot with drone goes viral) tells the story.

Mentioned

‘Ambulance drone’ prototype unveiled in Holland

This prototype of a flying defibrillator can reach heart attack victims quickly.

 

UAV065 UAS Regulatory and Legal Developments

NBAA 2014 Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Regulatory and Legal DevelopmentsWe review the Unmanned Aircraft Systems:  Regulatory and Legal Developments panel discussion at the NBAA 2014 conference.

NBAA2014 – BUSINESS AVIATION CONVENTION & EXHIBITION

At the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Florida on October 21, 2014, a panel discussion was held titled, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Regulatory and Legal Developments.”

The Panel was moderated by Marc Warren of Crowell & Moring LLP. Panel members were: Dean Griffith, FAA; Mario Mairena, AUVSI; Dave Hamrick, MITRE Corporation; and Ted Wierzbanowiski, ASTM standards for sUAS.

In this episode, we bring you selected clips from the first half of the panel discussion.

Topics include:

  • Some early history of FAA and ASTM activity.
  • The process for providing the FAA with sUAS recommendations.
  • The NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) for sUAS that the FAA intends to issue by the end of 2014.
  • RF spectrum allocation
  • The FAA view of sUAS as aircraft and the plan they have.
  • Challenges faced by the FAA to meet the Congressional mandates.
  • Next steps the FAA intends to take.
  • The COAs issued by the FAA.
  • Recreational (hobbyist) vs. commercial use.
  • How UAS technology might flow down to manned aviation, particularly General Aviation.

Other topics discussed by the panel that we’ll cover in the future::

  • If sUAS flyers should have a pilot’s license.
  • Educating UAS pilots.
  • Exemptions under Section 333 as a bridging authority.
  • Social risks with UAS, like privacy.
  • States and local governments enacting anti-UAS laws.
  • Is US competitiveness suffering?
  • What does the future of UAS (of all sizes) look like?
  • Are unmanned commercial passenger or cargo flights in the future?
  • Where did the 55 pound line come from?

Credit

We are grateful to Carl Valeri who attended the Convention and recorded the panel discussion for us. Find Carl at the Aviation Careers podcast and the Stuck Mic AvCast.

 

UAV064 Drones In the Water and Out of the Air

The Flyox I from Singular AircraftAn amphibian RPA, India bans drones, open source code for drones, area terrain mapping, DARPA’s ship-based MALE UAV concept, a new UAV market study, and more on logbooks for drone pilots.

News

The Flyox Amphib UAV enters market

Singular Aircraft has released the Flyox I, an amphibian RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) that can take off and land on water, as well as on unpaved runways and snow.

Flyox I is a high wing aircraft with a 14 meter wingspan, a 2000 kg payload, and is powered by two 340 HP engines. It can automatically take-off and land, and can be programed with preset flight paths.

Envisioned applications include agriculture, firefighting, goods transport, surveillance, and rescue.

India bans civilian drones in the country till it revises existing policies

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has prohibited the use of civilian drones in India. The DGCA says, “Due to lack of regulation, operating procedures/standards, and uncertainty of the technology, UAS poses threat for air collisions and accidents.”

Serbia and Albania game abandoned after drone invasion sparks brawl

Serbia’s European Championship football (soccer) qualifying match with Albania was stopped after a fight between the players broke out. When a DJI Phantom flew over the field carrying a “Greater Albania” flag, a Serbian player pulled it down, and that sparked the brawl.

Industry Coalition Wants Open Source Code for Drones

The Dronecode Project has been established as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project to foster a common, shared open source platform for UAVs. The Project includes the APM/ArduPilot UAV software platform and associated code, currently hosted by 3D Robotics.

Founding members include 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, Intel, jDrones, Laser Navigation, Qualcomm Technologies, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec.

More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode. Press Release: Linux Foundation and Leading Technology Companies Launch Open Source Dronecode Project

Drone approved to map area terrain

Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) will partner with 3D Aerial Solutions to fly an eBee drone to map terrain at the Wilmington Air Park. The photogrammetry flights will produce a series of two-dimensional photographs that together create a 3D image. The Ohio/Indiana UAS Test Site will then use the data to virtually fly UAVs.

The eBee is a hand-launched flying wing type aircraft with a single pusher engine. It has a 38” wingspan, a 50 minute flight time, and a radio range of just under 2 miles.

Wright State also has asked the FAA for permission to fly a UAV above the National Center for Medical Readiness. A decision is pending.

DARPA advances ship-based MALE UAV concept

DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded AeroVironment a $19 million preliminary design contract to demonstrate launch and recovery of a medium-sized UAV from a small vessel.

According to DARPA, the tactically exploited reconnaissance node (TERN, now retitled Tern) program, “envisions using smaller ships as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude long-endurance [MALE] unmanned aircraft. Ideally, Tern would enable on-demand, ship-based unmanned aircraft system operations without extensive, time-consuming and irreversible ship modifications.”

“Subscale flight demonstrations” are expected over the next 12 months.

2014 UAV Market Research Study assesses size, growth of total UAV market

The “2014 UAV Market Research Study” from IGI Consulting estimates that the US market will grow from $5 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2020.

The study looks at the total UAV market, ranging from large military UAVs to small amateur UAVs. It considers DOD, Civil, Commercial, sUAS, DIY Amateur, and Radio Control aircraft.

Growth will be driven by the commercial and Do-it-Yourself markets, with major commercial applications being: agriculture, real estate, filmmaking, oil and pipeline, electric utility, and specialized package delivery.

Video of the Week

Hawk 1, Drone 0: Bird of prey attacks quadcopter, takes down from skies

A red-tailed hawk swoops down and takes out a Phantom FC40 quadcopter.

Mentions

Camera Drone Slams Into Turkey’s Blue Mosque, Recovers, Moves On

The UAV Systems Association, “America’s First Commercial Drone Association.” Members include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, software publishers, professional photographers, and enthusiasts.

2014 Strato Reel

More logbook references and software

UAV flight log for Android
RPAS Logger Lite for Android
RPAS Logger Lite description from RPAS Training & Solutions
UAS Flight Log online software
and Where Do We Go From Here? from Southern Helicam

 

UAV063 A New UAV Coalition is Launched

Small UAV Coalition

The Small UAV Coalition launches, law enforcement using drones, UAVs showcased, a spat over the MQ-9 Reaper, GNSS developments, and logbooks for UAV pilots.

News

Small UAV Coalition formed to promote civil and commercial use of small UAVs

Eight companies have formally launched the Small UAV Coalition to facilitate the entry of small UAVs in the United States and abroad. The Coalition intends to advocate for commercial, consumer, recreational, and philanthropic use of UAVs by removing  “unnecessary policy or regulatory hurdles that impede small UAV development, sales, job creation, and services.”

Founding members of the Small UAV Coalition are: 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, and Parrot. Attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP support the Coalition.

North Dakota cops use a drone to nab three suspects in a cornfield

When a car was pulled over by the Grand Forks, North Dakota police department for drunk driving, the occupants ran into a cornfield. The police brought out their AeroVironment Qube quadcopter and quickly found several of them hiding in the corn.

Aeronautics unveils new Orbiter 3b UAV

Aeronautics has unveiled the Orbiter 3b, offering more range and endurance than the previous model.

The Orbiter Mini UAV System is designed for use in Military and Homeland Security missions such as over the hill reconnaissance, low intensity conflicts, and urban warfare operations, as well as close range ISR.

It is catapult-launched from a vehicle, and recovery is by parachute and airbag.

Air Force rebuts Defense Department report on planned Reaper buys

The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General issued a report critical of the Air Force acquisition program for the MQ-9 Reaper.

The Air Force wants to spend $76.8 billion to buy 401 Reapers, but the IG says Air Combat Command didn’t obtain the proper approval or perform a verifiable analyses of number of Reapers to buy.

The Air Force issued a statement on their website titled, Air Force rebuts report due to outdated data, saying the IG report “is based on data that is out of date.”

UAVs at INTERGEO: Applanix, Others Announce GNSS-Guided Systems

A special session at the InterGEO conference and exhibition in Berlin, Germany, “UAVs in Practice,” gave attendees an opportunity to see systems for aerial surveying and mapping, environmental monitoring, and other civil applications.

Manufacturers at the show were mainly from Germany and other European countries.

Applanix Corporation from Canada announced its new APX-15 UAV GNSS-Inertial System. This reduces Ground Control Points (GCPs) and sidelap.

Germany-based Aibotix GmbH showed their Aibot-X6 V2, a six-rotor UAV with navigation by a GPS receiver integrated with gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, magnetometers, and ultrasonic sensors.

The Hirrus Mini UAV System from Teamnet International can carry CCD or IR video cameras, photo cameras, radiation detectors, and other sensors.

Videos of the Week

Incredible Close-Up Drone Video of an Erupting Volcano in Iceland

Watch a brave drone get dramatically close to an erupting volcano

Mentions

14 CFR 61.51 – Pilot logbooks - In the U.S., the FAA prescribes the Federal Aviation Regulations, or FARs, part of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 14 CFR 61.51 describes the pilot logbook requirements for manned aircraft. They may provide some clues as to what to expect should the FAA ultimately require logbooks for unmanned aircraft.

Going electronic with logbooks - This AOPA article describes some pilot logbook apps.

The Best Electronic Pilot Logbook - Reviews by Pilotman Aviation & Pilots Network

Pilot Pro Logbook - A cloud-based pilot logbook

Pilots of America Forum - A forum thread about electronic logbooks

Watch the Navy’s New Unmanned Swarm Boats In Action

Drones and the magical age of aviation

UAV062 UAVs for Agriculture

Nixie wearable droneAgriculture wants UAVs, the White House seeks drone data transparency, a wearable quadcopter, UAVs fight poachers, and Facebook plans to offer Internet access via drone.

News

FAA’s Sluggish UAV Ruling Slows Ag Research, Group Suggests

Commercial farmers everywhere are eager to apply new technology to their operations. That includes using unmanned aircraft for things like crop and livestock surveys, monitoring irrigation needs, and pest control.

Farmers in Louisiana as well as representatives from Louisiana State University’s AgCenter have formed a 17-member study group headed by a state Senator. They want to make recommendations to the FAA before it issues UAS regulations.

White House plans to require federal agencies to provide details about drones

The Obama Administration is circulating a draft Executive Order that if signed would make government use of drones more transparent.

The Order would apply to federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, the Justice Department, NASA, the Interior Department, and the Commerce Department.

It would require that they provide information about the size of their fleet, how it is used, and what is done with the data collected.

Meet The Finalists Of Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge

One of the ten finalists in the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge is “Nixie,” a wristband camera that unfolds into a remote-controlled quadcopter.

The idea is that on command, Nixie unfolds, flies up, turns around, takes a picture of you, and returns so you can catch it.

How the Shadowview Foundation uses aerial surveillance to stop poaching

With the help of the Shadowview Foundation, drones are being used to fight illegal poaching in Africa and Asia. Shadowview provides UAS for environmental, conservation, and humanitarian relief operations.

Others are active in this area. The World Wildlife Fund received a $5 million grant for its work in with drones specially designed by drone-maker Falcon UAV.

Facebook Wi-Fi Drone the Size of 747 Could Fly in 2015

Facebook plans to offer WiFi service to the two thirds of the world without Internet access via large, solar powered drones.

Fans are using drones to spy on the ‘Star Wars: episode VII’ set

Former RAF airbase, now public park Greenham Common is located about 50 miles west of London. It’s also the site where scenes for the next Star Wars movie are being filmed.

Someone identified only as “3dlp” flew a drone over the site and posted video on YouTube showing a Millennium Falcon under construction and two X-wing starfighters.

New Jersey Man Accused Of Shooting Down Neighbor’s Remote Control Drone

A man was using a drone to take pictures of a friends house under construction. A neighbor didn’t take kindly to that and took out the drone with a shotgun. He was arrested by police and charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Criminal Mischief.

Drone used in Hannah Graham search; cops check for cold case ties

An Aeryon SkyRanger is being used in the search for missing University of Virginia student. The FAA approved the use of the drone, a first in Virginia according to authorities.

John Coggin, chief engineer of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, said the drone will be used to take a closer look at objects of interest in areas too difficult to reach by other means.

Video of the Week

“Beautiful Scotland,” A Drone’s-Eye View of the Scenic Beauty of Scotland

Edinburgh-based filmmaker John Duncan used a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter fitted with a GoPro 3+ camera FPV to shoot stunning aerial footage of Scotland for this his short film.

UAV061 Regs, Regs, and More FAA Regs

Tim’s DJI Phantom 2

Production companies get sUAS exemptions, FAA wants N-numbers for drones, new chip offers possibility of smarter UAS controllers, Google wants to test Internet service, and DHL will provide package delivery.

Guest

Guest Tim Trott has a broadcast production background, but today at Tim Trott Productions, he creates video for a range of services, including real estate tours, industrial videos, training DVD’s, commercials, web and conference/trade show videos, and industrial productions.

Southern Helicam is the video production company owned and operated by Tim Trott Productions, with offices in central and northwest Florida.

See Video Does it Better for Tim’s take on online video marketing, and the accompanying YouTube page. Also Tim’s posts that we talked about: Section 333: The Crack In The Wall… and Here Come The Section 333 Exemption Petitions which invites readers to answer some timely and relevant questions about licensing. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimTrott.

News

FAA Approves Exemption Allowing Drones to Fly on Movie Sets

The FAA gave permission for six production companies to use sUAS for filming movies and television commercials.

Under the exemptions, the aircraft must be flown under 400 feet, in line of sight, on closed sets, and with a certified pilot.

Google Wants Internet Broadcasting Drones, Plans To Run Tests In New Mexico

Google purchased electric UAV maker Titan Aerospace earlier this year, as part of their “Internet in the sky” strategy.

Now Google has filed an application with the U.S. FCC to test their technology at a site south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The application mentions the Titan acquisition, but what they want to test is redacted.

DHL testing drone for delivering parcels to island off coast of Germany

Trials are set to begin of “parcelcopter” deliveries to the island of Juist, 12 km off the north coast of Germany.

The German transport ministry and air traffic control authority have given DHL permission to test the drone for 15 – 30 minute flights through a restricted flight area.

Intel and 3D Robotics Working to Make Smarter Drones

Earlier this year, Intel announced the $50 Edison computer on a chip. It runs Linux, has 1GB of ram, a 500Mhz dual core processor, with Bluetooth, and WiFi.

Reportedly, 3D Robotics is looking to bring Edison to their existing Pixhawk autopilot system.

FAA Issues Requirement for All UAS to Show Aircraft Registration Number

The FAA has decided that commercial UAS (those operating under a COA) must carry registration numbers, just like manned aircraft.

These “N-numbers” must be “registered and marked prior to COA application,” according to an email sent by the FAA to the industry.

Addendum: Tim notes that all you need to get an N number is $20. See the FAA Forming an N-Number page.

FAA warning: Keep your drones grounded during UN summit

This week the United Nations Climate Summit was held at the organization’s headquarters in New York.

As with other kinds of events, the FAA issued a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) over parts of New Jersey and New York.

That’s not unusual. But what was unusual was that for the first time, the FAA made it a point to specifically mention that the TFR also applied to drone operators.

 3D Pocketcopter – the flying camera

3DPocketcopter This small, tubular-shaped copter features two counter-rotating rotors, a downward-facing camera for stills or video, and control by smartphone via WiFi.

 

 

The Indiegogo project is closed, after raising €113,927 of a €15,000 goal.

Dutch Boy Turns Dead Pet Rat Into Flying Tri-Copter

When Ratjetoe the pet rat died, he was stuffed. Now he lives on as a tri-copter.

@DroneMama says, “OK, that’s gross.”

Video of the Week

SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters

Cirque du Soleil has developed a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance. SPARKED: Behind the Technology gives you a peek at how the video was produced.