Monthly Archives: January 2018

UAV227 Drone Parachute Recovery Systems

Drone parachute systems to protect your UAV, state-level drone legislation, UAS disaster response training, large drone swarms and peeping drones, and a new drone registration class action lawsuit against the FAA.

Harrier Drone Parachute Launcher on Mavic Pro. Courtesy Fruity Chutes.

Harrier Drone Parachute Launcher on Mavic Pro. Courtesy Fruity Chutes.

UAV News

New Harrier Parachute Launcher is Light, Compact, and Easy to Use!

Fruity Chutes announced a new line of drone parachute launchers. The servo-activated Harrier Drone Parachute Launcher was developed for fixed wing and small multicopters. It featured a thin wall carbon fiber canister, lightweight nylon components, and a high energy compression spring. Three models are offered with different weight ratings.

Other companies offering drone parachute recovery systems include ParaZero Drone Safety Solutions from Israel, Skycat from Finland, Mars Parachutes in California, Parachutedrone in France, and UAV Propulsion Tech in Florida.

New Jersey Passes UAV Penalty Bill

New Jersey’s state Assembly Bill 5205 would create fines and prison terms for unsafe or prohibited operation of UAVs. It addresses operating a drone in a manner that could endanger life/property, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or for the purpose of taking or assisting in the taking of wildlife. Also for operating a drone near a correctional facility or interfering with first responders or lawful hunters.

Florida International University UAS management for disaster response workshop

Florida International University and Airborne Response are providing a 40-hour advanced-level workshop tailored for UAS operators, airspace managers, and emergency management officials. The interactive, hands-on course provides instruction for disaster response UAS operations.

China is making 1,000-UAV drone swarms now

In December 2017, Ehang UAV set a world record for the largest drone swarm ever deployed. 1,180 drones flew in a nine-minute aerial light show at the close of the Global Fortune Forum in Guangzhou. The drones can move autonomously and land if they have a problem. Ehang is saying that its swarms are self-repairing.

Israeli Researchers Use Radio Signals to Detect Peeping Drones

Ben-Gurion University researchers say they can tell if the drone outside your home is spying on you. It works by comparing a “pattern” of the object you want to monitor (like your house) to the radio signals intercepted from a nearby drone. For more details, see the research paper: Game of Drones – Detecting Streamed POI from Encrypted FPV Channel [PDF].

Game of Drones – Detecting Streamed POI from Encrypted FPV Channel

FAA Drone Registry Tops One Million

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the total number of drones now registered with the FAA has reached one million. 878,000 hobbyists have registered and 122,000 commercial, public, and other drones have been registered.

Robert Taylor v. FAA- 2nd Drone Registration Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit (of at least 836,796 members) against the FAA is brought by Robert Taylor, the brother of John Taylor who brought the other drone registration lawsuit. In four counts, this suit alleges the FAA collected personal information and money for drone registration and did not delete the registry or refund the money when the registration was ruled illegal. Drone registration refunds and statutory damages are estimated to be almost $841 million.

Scott+Scott, Attorneys at Law, LLP Alerts Investors to Securities Class Actions Against GoPro, Inc. (GPRO)

A shareholder class action lawsuit has been filed against GoPro alleging that the company made false and misleading statements and did not disclose that the demand for Karma drones and other products GoPro products had declined dramatically.

Mentioned

Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference

March 20, 2018, at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston, North Carolina. The Conference aims to bring together manufacturers, operators, knowledge institutes, consultants, shippers and government organizations active in the upcoming field of unmanned cargo aircraft.

Cargo Innovation Conference

June 6-7, 2018, De Maaspoort, Venlo, the Netherlands. The conference will address the impact of digitalization of logistics processes on efficiency, profitability, user-friendliness, transparency and more.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone saves two Australian swimmers in world first

Two teenage boys got into difficulties in heavy surf about 2,300 feet off the coast of Lennox Head, New South Wales. Lifesavers instantly sent the Little Ripper UAV to drop an inflatable rescue pod, and the pair made their way safely to shore. The drone took about a minute to reach the boys. It was estimated that lifeguards would have taken three to six minutes.

 

UAV226 Drones at CES 2018

Drone news from CES 2018, drones and asymmetrical warfare, situational awareness for sense and avoid from Insitu, a Cargo Air Vehicle prototype from Boeing, and GoPro exits the quadcopter market.

The Volocopter 2X autonomous air taxi at CES 2018.

The Volocopter 2X autonomous air taxi at CES 2018.

UAV News

Drones fly over Bellagio fountains during Las Vegas CES

Intel Corp. flew 250 light-emitting Shooting Star drones over the Fountains at Bellagio at CES 2018. Intel plans a drone show at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Video: Intel’s drone light show sends 250 drones flying over Las Vegas at CES 2018

Volocopter 2X: An Autonomous Flying Taxi In Flight At CES 2018 In Las Vegas For The First Time

The Volocopter 2X autonomous passenger drone lifted off on the stage at CES 2018. The flight was short and tethered for safety.

Yuneec announces Typhoon H Plus alongside first fixed-wing and racing drones

Yuneec showed three drones at CES 2018: The Typhoon H Plus for pro photographers and videographers, the Firebird FPV fixed-wing drone, and the HD Racer small racing drone.

Images from CES 2018

These photos were provided by junior21 in our Slack listener team:

Law enforcement drone at CES 2018.

Law enforcement drone at CES 2018.

Yamaha Frazer at CES 2018.

Yamaha Frazer at CES 2018.

CES 2018 drone safety booth.

CES 2018 drone safety booth.

Defining Asymmetrical Warfare: Extremists Use Retail Drones to Attack Russian Air Base in Syria

There are reports of insurgents modifying commercially available quadcopters to deliver explosives such as mortar rounds and grenades. Social media photos show the damaged tail of a Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft in Syria. There is speculation the Russians have intercepted the drones with the Pantsir S-2 integrated missile and gun vehicle.

Insitu Demonstrates Broad-area Airspace Situational Awareness System for Unmanned Air Systems

Insitu completed a successful flight demonstration of their real-time, ground-based UAS airspace situational awareness system. The system allows commercial UAS operators to detect and avoid nearby aircraft flying both within and beyond line of sight. The system is specifically designed to help detect and avoid “non-cooperative” traffic. Insitu collaborated with Boeing Phantom Works International in Australia under a program sponsored by the Queensland Government.

Boeing Unveils New Unmanned Cargo Air Vehicle Prototype

The unmanned electric VTOL multi-copter Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) prototype is designed to carry up to 500 pounds. Boeing will use it to “test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.” Initial flight tests were successfully completed at Boeing Research & Technology’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.

Future of autonomous air travel: Boeing unveils new cargo air vehicle prototype

GoPro Plunges After Announcing Job Cuts, Revenue Miss

GoPro Inc. had a difficult fourth quarter. The company is cutting more than 20 percent of its global workforce and ending its drone business. GoPro says they will sell off the existing inventory of Karma drones but will continue to provide service.

UAV Video of the Week

Brain Controlled UAV

A hacked Star Wars Force Trainer uses the operator’s thoughts to control a small drone in this ARCLab ACE Project.

Feedback

NASA chief historian Bill Barry sets the record straight on the origins of the winglet. It was Richard Whitcomb at NASA that gets credit for the aeronautical innovation, not DARPA.

Dryden Flight Research Center: Winglets

 

 

 

UAV225 DARPA Gremlins

DARPA Gremlins advance reusable drone technology, North Carolina plans UAS workshops for public safety agencies, Seaglider underwater drones set to explore Antarctic ice shelves, fuel cell propulsion systems will be integrated into the ScanEagle, and medical package delivery drones are successful in Africa.

DARPA Gremlins launched from a C-130.

DARPA Gremlins launched from a C-130. DARPA image.

UAV News

Air Force Could Test “Flying Aircraft Carriers” as Early as Next Year

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Gremlins program envisions small, reusable drones that can be launched from a C-130 inflight to surveil or attack targets as much as 300 miles away. The Gremlins then return to their flying airbase and are flown back to home base where there are prepared for their next mission.

In Phase 2, DARPA will review Gremlin prototypes from Dynetics and General Atomics. In Phase 3 DARPA will select one of the two prototypes for a “full-scale technology demonstration system” that will be test-flown in 2019.

North Carolina government plans drone workshops for 2018

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning free UAS/Drone workshops for public safety agencies. The purpose of the workshops is to educate agencies on the safe and beneficial uses of drones, provide updates on the latest federal and state regulations, and provide best practices for safe operations and data management. The Operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in North Carolina web page contains a downloadable 47-page safety guide [PDF] and an online knowledge test.

Drones Are Diving Under Antarctic Ice to Map Unseen Portions of Our World

The University of Washington in Seattle is planning to use seven underwater robots to explore an Antarctic ice shelf. Three Seaglider self-propelled drones “swim” by adjusting their buoyancy and using mechanic “wings.” The Seaglider Fabrication Center, a division of the School of Oceanography in the College of the Environment, provides Deepgliders™, Seagliders™, operator training, and glider refurbishment. Under a license agreement with Kongsberg Underwater Technologies, Inc. (KUTI), the University can only produce Seagliders for customers inside the University of Washington.

Earth Under Water is a 45 minute National Geographic program that looks at the worldwide rise in sea levels.

Drone Operator Sues Blackhawk Pilot for Destroying Drone over Staten Island

Maybe. The Aviation Acorn treads a bit into the realm of The Onion.

Ballard, Insitu partner on UAS fuel cell propulsion system

Ballard Power Systems is working with Insitu to develop a next-generation fuel cell propulsion system for the ScanEagle UAS. The 1.3-kilowatt system for small unmanned fixed-wing and vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) drones will be integrated into the ScanEagle platform.

‘Uber for blood’: how Rwandan delivery robots are saving lives

As an update to our report in Episode 146 about medical package delivery in Rwanda, we see that the Rwandan health ministry has delivered more than 5,500 units of blood over the past year using Zipline drones. Delivery times to remote regions of Rwanda have been cut from four hours to an average of half an hour. Now Zipline plans to launch what it claims is the world’s largest drone delivery network, working with the government of Tanzania.

UAV Video of the Week

Zipline

This video shows how medical package deliveries with Zipline drones save lives in Rwanda.