Author Archives: dronemama

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:

 

UAV213 DJI Matrice 200 Series

The DJI Matrice 200 Series for enterprise commercial solutions, drone package delivery to your fingertips, new drone flight restrictions, a hybrid drone that spins around a pole, and Boeing’s acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation.

DJI Matrice 200 Series

DJI Matrice 200 Series. Courtesy DJI.

UAV News

The future of drone delivery

Cambridge Consultants has a drone delivery concept where packages are delivered directly into your hands, no matter where you are. It’s called DelivAir and it uses a patent-pending two-stage routing process. First, the drone navigates toward your smartphone using GPS and location updates transmitted during flight. Then, when the drone arrives within visual range, it switches to precision optical tracking and a 3D imaging and ranging system. The recipient is located, authenticated, and the package is lowered into the recipient’s hands using a 30-meter cable and a stabilizing winch.

FAA Restricts Drones over Statue of Liberty, Other Landmarks

At the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies, the FAA has banned drone flights below 400 feet over ten Department of the Interior sites:

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, NY
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston, MA
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Folsom Dam; Folsom, CA
  • Glen Canyon Dam; Lake Powell, AZ
  • Grand Coulee Dam; Grand Coulee, WA
  • Hoover Dam; Boulder City, NV
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; St. Louis, MO
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Keystone, SD
  • Shasta Dam; Shasta Lake, CA

Futuristic “Spinning Drone” May One Day Fight Our Battles for Us

BAE Systems and Cranfield University students are designing a UAV that provides both fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight. The body of the “Adaptable UAV” has a central hole which accommodates a special pole used for launching and landing.

Video: Engineers unveil futuristic unmanned aircraft concept that uses both fixed and rotary wing flight.

More at: Engineers unveil futuristic unmanned aircraft concept that uses both fixed and rotary wing flight.

Boeing to Acquire Aurora Flight Sciences to Advance Autonomous Technology Capabilities

Boeing announced that it plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation. Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology said, “The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems. Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies.” Aurora will be a subsidiary of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It will retain an independent operating model.

The Big Drone Show

David speaks with Francisco Toro, Technical Marketing Manager, DJI at the Big Drone Show held September 27-28, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. They talk about the Matrice 200 Series for enterprise commercial solutions.

Mentioned

Unmanned Systems Technology Supplier Directory

 

UAV212 The Big Drone Show

Interviews with The Sky Guys, Defiant Labs, and the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre at the 2017 Big Drone Show in Toronto, Canada.

The Defiant Labs DX-3 at the 2017 Big Drone Show

The Defiant Labs DX-3 at the 2017 Big Drone Show

UAV News

Ruling gives FAA more power over drones than local governments

Newton, Massachusetts enacted drone rules that included the requirement to register with every municipality you will fly over, and flights over private and city property must be at an altitude of at least 400 feet. Michael Singer filed a lawsuit and US District Judge William G. Young agreed with Singer saying, “Newton’s choice to restrict any drone use below this altitude (400 feet) thus works to eliminate any drone use in the confines of the city, absent prior permission. This thwarts not only the FAA’s objectives, but also those of Congress for the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace.”

The Big Drone Show

David attended the Big Drone Show September 27-28, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. He recorded a number of interviews and this episode we bring you three of them:

Adam Sax, President and CEO of The Sky Guys and Defiant Labs, offering integrated UAV-enabled services and aerial technology.

Jeremy Wang, Chief Technology Officer at Defiant Labs, which designs and develops advanced drone technology such as the DX-3 UAV.

Sarah Spry, a UAS Business Manager at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, a pilot training facility that offers a comprehensive three-day UAV pilot training course.

UAV211 Matternet Autonomous Drone Network

The Matternet autonomous drone package delivery network, reasons the drone industry job market is hot, studying the risk of injury when drones strike people, drones and transmission line cable construction, actuator servos and the Aerosonde Mk4.7 sUAS, and a webinar for planning your drone program.

The Matternet Station for deliveries by autonomous drone.

The Matternet Station for deliveries by autonomous drone. Courtesy Matternet.

UAV News

The first autonomous drone delivery network will fly above Switzerland starting next month

Matternet announced an autonomous drone network in Switzerland that will fly lab samples between hospitals, clinics, and labs. The permanent network seeks to make deliveries within 30 minutes. Matternet was granted authorization to operate drones over densely populated areas in Switzerland in March 2017. The company unveiled its “Matternet Station” that can be installed on rooftops or on the ground to send and receive packages by drone. Regular service is expected to start in early 2018. Matternet press release. [PDF]

The Matternet Station

3 Reasons Why the Drone Industry Is Hiring Thousands of New Workers

In 2016, about $600 million in venture capital was invested in unmanned aerial tech. So far in 2017, $1.2 billion has been invested. Cited as reasons for a hot job market are: ease of obtaining an operator’s license, the ability of drones to fly in difficult environments, and corporate acquisitions of drone startups.

Risks vary widely in drone-human impacts

The Virginia Tech injury biomechanics group and its UAS test site (operated by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership) has released an academic study that quantifies the risk of injury associated with drones colliding with humans. The report, Ranges of Injury Risk Associated with Impact from Unmanned Aircraft Systems, was published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering and looks at head and neck injury risk in different impact scenarios.

Virginia Tech dummy

Virginia Tech dummy hits

Images courtesy Virginia Tech.

Sharper Shape and SkySkopes Successfully Execute First Transmission Line Cable Construction Mission using Drones

Sharper Shape and SkySkopes have successfully conducted a demonstration of transmission line cable construction using drones. A Sharper Shape A6 UAS was used to string sock lines for a 675 kV line construction project. This would typically be performed with helicopters or workers climbing the towers.

Sock Pulling Sharper Shape

Volz Servos’ DA 15-N Actuators have been Successfully Flying in Aerosonde Mk4.7 SUAS since 2010 Achieving Over 200,000 Flight Hours

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems division has been flying the Aerosonde Mk4.7 Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) since 2010 in support of U.S. DoD ISR services contracts. Powered by a Lycoming EL-005 engine, the Mk4.7 is designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations. Volz Servos’ DA 15-N actuators have performed for over 200,000 flight hours.

The Littlest Lycoming, EL-005

Skyward Webinar: How to Plan and Budget for Your Drone Program

This webinar is designed to get your drone strategy ready for 2018. Skyward and DARTdrones will walk through best practices for building and budgeting for a drone program. Thursday, October 12, 2017, 10 am – 11 am PST.

 

 

 

UAV210 A Global Drone Registry

ICAO proposes a global drone registry, a multi-rotor endurance record, a major change at Drone360 magazine, tracking drones with cellular networks, drone support following Hurricane Irma, and more swarming technology.

The Skyfront Tailwind hybrid-electric drone.

The Skyfront Tailwind hybrid-electric drone. Courtesy Skyfront.

UAV News

U.N. aviation agency to call for global drone registry

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) proposed a global database of drone owners. The database would remotely identify and track drones and their operators. More details will be provided at ICAO’s DRONE ENABLE Unmanned Aircraft Systems Industry Symposium September 22-23, 2017 in Montréal, Canada. The Event Guide and Directory [PDF] lists a session where “The ICAO registration system which is under development will be explained including its purpose, intended functionality and interaction with national registration systems.”

Skyfront Boasts Multi-Rotor UAV Flight of More Than 4.5 Hours

Drone builder Skyfront says they have set a new endurance world record for a multi-rotor UAV. Their Tailwind quadcopter flew for 4 hours and 34 minutes. The hybrid-electric drone offers a 3 kg payload and is intended for inspection, surveying, mapping, and agriculture. An internal gasoline engine spins a generator which produces an unregulated direct-current voltage. The power electronics system regulates the voltage and a small battery is available to provide boost and back up power. Watch the time-lapse video: World Record Multirotor Endurance Flight – 4 hours 34 minutes – Skyfront Tailwind.

An Important Message about Drone360

The September-October 2017 issue of Drone360 magazine will be their last publication. Instead, Drone360 returns to Discover magazine, where it started as a blog. The drone360mag.com URL will still be valid.

From cell phones to drones, 5G connectivity is changing the game

Lia Reich, VP of communications and marketing at PrecisionHawk and a member of the Drone360 editorial advisory board, discusses manned and unmanned aircraft integration issues. That includes the idea of using cellular networks for UAS Traffic Management (UTM).

FAA Works with Florida Drone Operators to Speed Hurricane Recovery

As of September 15, 2017, the FAA had issued 137 airspace authorizations for drones in Florida in response to Hurricane Irma. The Air National Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Airbus Aerial, the Jacksonville Electric Authority, Florida Power and Light, and others participated in response efforts.

New swarming drone technology could help find lost hikers, study wildlife

University of Colorado, Boulder researchers have developed technology that allows a single operator to control multiple drones. CU Boulder is operating under a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the FAA that allows one pilot to fly up to 30 aircraft at a time. The project is an international collaboration with the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.