The top 14 drone podcasts, FAA’s Huerta delivers InterDrone keynote, using drones to discover ancient geoglyphs, and a college course where students build real UAS business plans.
Skytango looked at the available drone podcasts and made a list of the top 14. These are, in order of the number of episodes released so far:
- Ask Drone U
- The UAV Digest
- sUAS News Podcast
- DroneVibes Podcast
- Drone Radio Show
- Drone Law Today Podcast
- Let’s Drone Out
- Quad Talk FPV Podcast
- FPV Podcast
- Drone News
- Commercial Drones FM
- Aerial Insights
- Somedrones Podcast
- DroneLife Podcast
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta delivered the keynote at InterDrone, and provided some interesting statistics:
- The FAA estimates that as many as 600,000 UAS could be used commercially in the next year.
- More than 520,000 hobbyists have registered.
- Section 333 exemptions, which used to take three months to process, are being approved at a rate of several dozen a day.
- Several Part 107 waivers are being granted per day. The current waiver approval time is around 90 days, but the FAA is trying to shorten that.
The University of Exeter has partnered with the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil to use drones to study the impact of humans on the Amazon rain forest. Fixed-wing drones from Brazilian RPA manufacturer XMobots are fitted with a high quality, survey-grade laser device. These then scan the landscape and create a 3-D map where the landscape has been changed. Those geoglyphs represent candidates for archaeological digs.
The U.S. Air Force has experienced a shortage of drone operators since 2001. The operators they do have (who must be officers for armed UAVs) are thus overworked, and many leave the service. They sometimes find work with civilian contractors performing the same job and earn as much as three times the pay they received in the Air Force. Cash bonus incentives were tried by the USAF, but that proved to be ineffective.
The Entrepreneurship 395 course at the University of North Dakota focuses on unmanned technology applications. Student groups work to develop business concepts which they present as a feasible UAS business plan for their final project.
Videos of the Week
A video from drone company Freefly features their $18,000 Alta 8 industrial-grade octocopter that is powerful enough to pull you over the water.
The six-rotor PD6B-AW-ARM from Japanese company ProDrone has two claw-tipped articulating arms hanging underneath it, ready and willing to perform tasks too dangerous for humans. The UAV has a maximum payload of about 10kg (22lb) and a flight time of up to 30 minutes.