Monthly Archives: April 2017

UAV191 A Mountain Search and Rescue Drone

A drone for high altitude mountain search and rescue, a package delivery plan for Singapore, a “flying cell site” using a long endurance drone, and a growing market for anti-drone products.

The HyDrone 1550 hydrogen powered drone

HyDrone 1550, courtesy MMC.

UAV News

Hydrogen Drone, HyDrone 1550, Successfully Tested at High Altitudes

The MMC hydrogen-powered HyDrone 1550 has been tested at altitudes over 14,000 feet in cold and mountainous Yunnan Province, China. The HyDrone 1550 can operate in environments where other drones cannot, making it good for mountain search and rescue.

Airbus and Singpost testing last-mile drone package delivery

Singapore Post signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus Helicopters to conduct research and testing for drone package delivery. SingPost becomes a partner under the Airbus Helicopter Skyways package delivery project for urban environments. A trial at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is planned for early 2018 where autonomous drones will fly in pre-defined routes and drop off packages across the campus. More at the Airbus Future of Urban Mobility webpage.

Verizon Tests New Drone To Deliver 4G LTE Service

Verizon conducted an engineering flight test of Airborne LTE in order to find the size of the wireless coverage area that can be created by a drone. The “flying cell site” was conducted with an American Aerospace RS-20 long endurance drone at Woodbine Municipal Airport in New Jersey.

Anti-Drone Market Analysis By Mitigation Type (Destructive, Non-Destructive), By Defense Type (Detection & Disruption, Detection), By End-Use (Military & Defense, Commercial, Government), By Region And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2024

Grand View Research, Inc. reports that they expect the global anti-drone market to reach USD 1.85 billion by 2024. As UAVs are becoming stealthier, faster, smaller, and cheaper, threats and nuisance are expected to increase. Anti-drone technology is receiving a lot of investment in areas such as acoustic signature and visual identification, and electronic countermeasures. The full report is available for purchase.

Why drones could be a better solution than a wall on the US-Mexico border

What is less expensive and more effective, a wall or a lot of drones?

UAV Video of the Week

Lilium shows maiden flight of world’s first working prototype of an electric VTOL jet

Mentioned

Drone targets Singapore Airlines A350

A drone reportedly came within 300 feet of a Singapore Airlines A350.

 

UAV190 The Application of ADS-B to Drones

Putting ADS-B on small drones, faster and more agile drones for the Drone Racing League, speeding up Part 107 approvals at the FAA, and equipping U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents with sUAS.

ping ADS-B transceivers and transponders

ping ADS-B transceivers and transponders shown to scale with a DJI Matrice 100. Courtesy uAvionix.

Interview

Tim Trott, “The Drone Professor,” talks with Ryan Reed from uAvionix at the 2017 Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In Expo held April 4-9, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. They discuss the emerging ADS-B options for drones, and how uAvionix is addressing the problems of spectrum congestion and screen clutter.

UAV News

ESPN’s Drone Racing League returns with faster, bigger races

The Drone Racing League is introducing the Racer3 drone for season two. All competing pilots will use the Racer3, which is more powerful and agile than the Racer2. The new drone features 209 LED lights with a built-in LED matrix display, a custom 1,800mA battery, and proprietary internal long range radios for live events and broadcast.

In DRL’s next-gen Racer3 drone combines speed, performance, ESPN quotes DRL founder and CEO Nick Horbaczewski: “It is dramatically more powerful, faster and more agile than the Racer2. The Racer3 can go from zero to 80 miles an hour in less than a second, which means it can basically accelerate on a dime — which makes for really exciting racing and allowed us to create larger courses, more extreme courses.”

Races air on ESPN starting June 20, 2017.

FAA Will Release Maps to Speed up Drone Authorization Applications

The FAA wants to help drone operators improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests, and speed up the processing of requests. On April 27, 2017, the FAA plans to release a set of UAS facility maps that show areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. These maps will be available at http://www.faa.gov/uas for download in several formats and can be viewed on mobile devices.

Drone pilots can refer to the facility maps and align their applications with altitudes that the maps indicate are likely to be approved for small UAS operations. This simplifies the process and increases the likelihood that the FAA will approve the requests.

The US Border Patrol is trying to build face-reading drones

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is soliciting proposals for small UAS to be used by Border Patrol agents in the field. They are looking for drones that can be carried in a truck, deployed by a single Border Patrol agent in under 5 minutes, include sensors such as infrared cameras and facial-recognition, and distinguish between people, animals, and vehicles. CBP expects to be able to cross-reference drone observations with law enforcement databases.

UAV Video of the Week

Safety Drone?!? Check out the Tracker Drone Bojiang S5C-2 Review – TheRcSaylors

The RcSaylors YouTube channel covers RC, but they frequently provide consumer drone unboxings, reviews, and giveaways.

 

 

UAV189 The LightningStrike XV-24A VTOL UAS

XV-24A VTOL UAS subscale vehicle demonstrator

XV-24A subscale vehicle demonstrator. (Courtesy Aurora Flight Sciences.)

A successful test flight program for a VTOL UAS, an autonomous drone system gets an authorization to fly, the insurance industry advances drone use for structure inspections, UK drone reports increase, and drone weaponization for law enforcement.

UAV News

Aurora’s massive LightningStrike VTOL UAV just got one step closer to reality

The Aurora Flight Sciences LightningStrike XV-24A subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) aircraft test flight program was successfully completed at a U.S. military facility. The SVD aircraft is a 325 pound, Lithium battery-powered scale model of the full-size XV-24A. That flight test program is scheduled to begin in late 2018.

The XV-24A is a tilt-wing UAV using the same Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft engine used on the V-22 Osprey, to drive three Honeywell generators. The generators power 24 variable-pitch ducted fans on the wing and canard.

Press release: LightningStrike XV-24A Demonstrator Successfully Completes Subscale Flight Test Program [PDF]

Airobotics becomes first company granted authorization to fly UAS without a pilot

Tel Aviv-based Airobotics has operated a BVLOS system at Israel Chemicals (ICL) and Intel in Israel, accumulating more than 10,000 flight hours and automated flight cycles. The success of the system led the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) to grant authorization to fly the UAS without a pilot. The Airobotics system consists of the Optimus drone, an Airbase automated base station, and software that lets users control and manage missions.

Next time your roof gets hit by hail, a drone may inspect damage

Farmers Insurance conducted its first roof inspection with a DJI Phantom quadcopter. Inspection by drone is faster than a conventional inspection and eliminates potential damaging foot traffic on the roof.

Drones prompt ‘flood’ of complaints to police

Last year in the UK, police received 3,456 drone reports, while 1,237 reports were recorded in 2015. Reports include invasions of privacy, disputes between neighbours, aircraft near misses, prison smuggling, and burglars using drones to see if a house was occupied. The Department for Transport considering new measures, Including the creation of a criminal offence for drone misuse.

Weaponized Police Drones May Become Reality in Connecticut

After videos by a Connecticut teenager of his weaponized drones went viral, legislation was introduced in the Connecticut State Legislature to ban weaponized drones in the state. However, if enacted, the bill would carve out an exemption for law enforcement. No other state allows lethal drones. North Dakota permits law enforcement to use “less than lethal” weapons, like tear gas and stun guns.

Researchers test drones to spot invasive plants in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the University of Minnesota Extension are investigating the use of drones to find invasive plants that can be incredibly destructive. Tests are continuing to determine the best sensor to use, the impact of light conditions, and the best flying pattern.

UAV manufacturer senseFly joins April 20 webinar panel

The free UAVs: From Flying Drones to Doing Business webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST / 7 p.m. CET. The webinar will cover a broad range of issues concerning sensor integration aboard a flying platform and in particular their use for commercial purposes. Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to ask direct questions of the speakers, both upon registration and during the live event.

UAV Videos of the Week

Nine Royals 2017 – Racing Drone Edit

This Team BlackSheep video covers the Nine Royals snowboarders and freeskiers event in Italy entirely with FPV racing drones. The video provides views that no spectator could ever experience.

Successful Flight of Hirth 4201 EFI Gasoline Engine in MartinUAV V-BAT UAV

Hirth 4201 engine powering the V-BAT VTOL UAS

Hirth 4201 engine

MartinUAV and Hirth Motors have been working together to power the V-BAT transitional VTOL UAS with a Hirth 4201 air-cooled 2-stroke boxer engine. The February 28 test demonstrated hover and the transitioned to horizontal flight.

The 183cc, gasoline-fueled 15hp Hirth 4201 engine communicates with the V-BAT flight computer and captures engine run parameters during flight for later analysis. A  starter/generator allows for remote start and air vehicle electrical power.

The fixed-wing V-BAT features autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), an 8+ hour flight duration, and a 5+ pound payload. It has a near zero footprint, and hover and stare capability during flight.

Video: V-Bat Long Endurance VTOL UAV