Tag Archives: drone defense

UAV230 Ehang Autonomous Aerial Vehicle

Ehang flies their autonomous aerial vehicle with human passengers, reaction to a close encounter with an airliner, drone safety measures at the Olympics, drone video awards, drone package delivery by Airbus, and thoughts on cargo drones.

Ehang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle.

Ehang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle. Image courtesy Ehang.

UAV News

Flying car? Watch as this drone flies around with passengers inside

The Ehang 184 autonomous aircraft is rated for a 220-pound payload, a cruising altitude of 500 meters, and a top speed of 80 mph.

CEO takes ride in passenger drone to demonstrate that it’s safe

Ehang has conducted over 1000 flight tests, including some with human passengers. Other flight tests include a 300-meter climb test with a 507-pound payload, a 9.3 mile distance test, and tests in high winds. Video shows two variants: a single-seater with eight pairs of rotors on four arms, and a two-seater with sixteen pairs of rotors on eight arms.

EHANG 184 AAV Manned Flight Tests

FAA Investigating Video of Drone Flying Dangerously Close to Airliner

Video originally posted on a Facebook group shows a drone flying close to a Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 on final approach to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The poster says he is a Las Vegas high school student and the video is real, but he didn’t shoot it. The FAA confirmed to Flying that it is taking the video very seriously,

UAS Stakeholders to FAA: Use Full Authority to Apprehend and Prosecute Reckless Las Vegas UAS Operator

A number of UAS stakeholders sent a letter [PDF] to the FAA to encourage it “to use its full authority to investigate, identify and apprehend an operator who recently flew a UAS over an airliner making its final approach at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.”

DJI institutes no-fly zones around sports arenas as the Olympics open in South Korea

DJI is implementing temporary no-fly zones around sports arenas at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Aviation authorities recommended the size of the zones.

Drone-catching drones to bolster security at Winter Olympics

Despite precautions, officials are concerned about rogue drones and have taken additional steps. A special drone-detection radar developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology will be used. There are reports of signal-jamming guns and “drone-catching drones” with nets may be deployed.

2017 Drone Video Awards Winners

The 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards winners have been announced:

Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways UAV takes flight into future of parcel delivery

The Skyways UAV completed its first flight demonstration at the National University of Singapore. The drone was launched from the Airbus dedicated maintenance center. It flew to the roof of a specially designed parcel station and used a robotic arm to load a package. It then returned to the maintenance center. Airbus Helicopters’ Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Alain Flourens said, “Safe and reliable urban air delivery is a reality not too distant into the future, and Airbus is certainly excited to be a forerunner in this endeavour.”

Singapore Air Show: Drone tech is ready, but are we?

Air Cargo World noted the Airbus achievement, but comments that “Drones with last-mile delivery capabilities… require a dense population to justify the typically steep costs from research to deployment.” Additionally, Air Cargo World stated that regulatory hurdles exist in densely populated areas, and residents might be hostile to unmanned vehicles.

Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic that an unmanned freighter could be possible in the next five years. The technology is available now, they say, but public sentiment is not there yet.

UAV Video of the Week

Beaver Dam Collapse Update 2018

This video documents a Beaver Dam collapse and rebuild on private property in Northern Minnesota. The dam was an engineering marvel as it was double-decked, holding back over nine feet of water.

Mentioned

CNY Drones

Organizing an upstate New York open team drone competition.

 

UAV229 DroNet Autonomous Flight Through Cities

DroNet uses deep machine learning for autonomous flight, a labor union takes a stand on package delivery by drone, a tiny radar for sUAS, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and a British drone survey.

DroNet: Learning to Fly by Driving

DroNet: Learning to Fly by Driving

UAV News

AI-Powered Drone Mimics Cars and Bikes to Navigate Through City Streets

Researchers have developed a drone that can autonomously fly through the streets of a city. DroNet uses minimal onboard sensing and is trained with datasets collected by cars and bicycles.

Two years ago, roboticists at the University of Zurich trained a deep neural network with photographs taken by cameras mounted on a hiker’s head. They could then fly a drone along forest paths. Now, along with researchers from a Madrid University, they have used city datasets to train the rules for navigating through streets without running into anything.

DroNet is a convolutional neural network, designed as a fast 8-layers residual network. It produces two outputs for each single input image: A steering angle to keep the drone navigating while avoiding obstacles, and a collision probability to let the drone recognize dangerous situations and promptly react to them.

The researchers publicly release all their datasets, code, and trained networks. Learn more at the DroNet project website, and the research page on deep learning. See also the video DroNet: Learning to Fly by Driving.

No parcel drones. No robo-trucks – Teamsters driver union delivers its demands to UPS

The Teamsters union and UPS are holding labor negotiations that cover 260,000 union workers in North America. Reportedly, one of the union demands is a prohibition on “driverless trucks, drones, robots, and other driverless technology.” In Teamsters Union Says ‘No’ to UPS Drones, we find this:

“With a smaller carbon footprint and ever-increasing sophisticated, AI-infused behavior, it makes sense to transition to individual aerial deliveries, not to mention the convenience on behalf of the customer. On the other hand, one completely understands and empathizes with the aversion truck drivers have toward this stark, autonomous future. If it feels like their jobs are being endangered by the incredible exponential growth in technology, it’s because they are. Hence, a series of discussions soon to be cemented into policy, with one side trying to slow things down in order to survive, and another eager to march into the fully autonomous future.”

Aurora Flight Sciences and Socionext Develop Radar-Enabled Collision Protection Solution for Drones

Aurora Flight Sciences is collaborating with Socionext Inc. on a Radar Flight Control Module that exists as a single-chip 24GHz radar. It includes range measurement software and the radar can detect multiple objects, objects in open spaces, and target distance and speed. The RFCM talks to the flight controller and provides distance, warning and braking signals, preventing head-on collisions with obstacles. Press release: Aurora Flight Sciences and Socionext Develop Radar-Enabled Collision Protection Solution for Drones [PDF].

DHS SAVER Program Issues ‘Counter-Drone’ Procurement Guide for Emergency Responders

The DHS National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program conducted a market survey of counter-unmanned aerial systems. The 19 page Market Survey Report: Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems [PDF] is intended to assist emergency responders in identifying useful products.

The thirteen systems identified range in price from $7,500 to $1.9 million. Eight systems can detect, track, classify and mitigate SUAS; two systems can detect, track and classify SUAS; and three systems can mitigate SUAS.

Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems

Market Survey Report: Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems. Source: DHS.

Driving licence for DRONES supported by majority of Brits, while 1 in 5 call for total ban

In a study commissioned by a UK tech firm Nominet, more than 2,000 British adults were surveyed. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents believe that flying a drone should require the equivalent of a driving licence. Thirty-seven percent said the Government should set up a body to manage drone ownership.

 

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.

 

UAV192 Uber Air Taxi UAV

Drone vulnerability to hacking, the ScanEagle gets fuel cell power, Grand Sky UAS Park adds a major tenant, drone privacy issues in Australia, swarming biobots, and Uber collaborates with Aurora Flight Sciences for an air taxi.

Aurora Flight Sciences air taxi concept

Aurora Flight Sciences Electric VTOL Aircraft

UAV News

Watch A Very Vulnerable $140 Quadcopter Drone Get Hacked Out Of The Sky

Researchers at the Cyber-Physical Systems Security Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas hacked into a small quadcopter and took control. UT Dallas researcher Junia Valente said, “The device contains an open access point not protected by any password and a misconfigured FTP server that allows unauthorized users to read and write to the drone filesystem. One of the attacks we did was precisely to overwrite sensitive system files to gain full root access.”

Five reasons why fuel cell powered UAVs beat internal combustion fuel systems

A ScanEagle UAV manufactured by Boeing subsidiary Insitu has been tested with a Ballard Power Systems’ fuel cell system. Ballard lists five advantages that fuel cell propulsion of UAVs has over internal combustion systems.

North Dakota UAS Park Welcomes Northrop Grumman as Anchor Tenant

The Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park, located near Grand Forks, North Dakota has welcomed new tenant Northrop Grumman to a 36,000 square-foot facility. The park has access to Grand Forks Air Force Base, where Northrop Grumman provides systems and technology to the U.S. Air Force, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Backyard skinny-dippers lack effective laws to keep peeping drones at bay

A woman returned to her home in Darwin from an evening gym session, got undressed, and began to enjoy her secluded backyard pool. Soon, a small camera-mounted quadcopter appeared overhead. She doesn’t know who was operating the drone.

In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) does not prevent drones from flying over private property. Australia lacks a tort of privacy so even if she could find him, the woman couldn’t sue the drone operator for a breach of privacy.

Software allows for use of drones and insect biobots to map disaster areas

North Carolina State University researchers have created the hardware and software to use UAVs and insect cyborgs (or biobots) as a way to map areas like collapsed buildings after a disaster. Biobots could move freely within a defined space and map the area as they go.

UAV Video of the Week

Aurora Flight Sciences’ Electric VTOL Aircraft

Uber selected Aurora Flight Sciences as a partner to develop an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for its Uber Elevate Network. Aurora’s eVTOL concept is derived from its XV-24A X-plane program currently underway for the U.S. Department of Defense and other autonomous aircraft the company has developed over the years.

See also: We just got our first glimpse of Uber’s vision for flying taxis

 

 

 

UAV147 Drones That Perch on Walls

The FAA tests a drone detection system at JFK and releases registration data, drone-on-drone refueling demonstrated, a drone that can perch on walls, a new UAS risk management course, and a review of a guide to drones.

Stanford Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory

Rotorcraft perching, recovery, and takeoff

News

FAA Tests FBI Drone Detection System at JFK

The FAA conducted tests of the effectiveness of an FBI UAS detection system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Five different rotorcraft and fixed wing UAS participated in about 40 separate tests. Also involved in the tests were the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Griffiss International Airport test site in Rome, NY, provided expertise in planning the individual tests as well as the flight commander for the tests and two of the UAS used.

FAA Releases Drone Registration Location Data

In response to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA released a spreadsheet showing the number of UAS registrations by country, state/province/region, city, and postal code. Almost 40,000 entries for “Hobbyist” registrations, and nearly 5,000 “Non-Hobbyist” registrations. Names and addresses of registrants are not part of this database, and will only be made available by registration number.

Heatmap of hobbyist UAS registrations, courtesy AirMap

Heatmap of hobbyist UAS registrations

Heatmap of non-hobbyist UAS registrations, courtesy AirMap

Heatmap of non-hobbyist UAS registrations

We’d like to thank Airmap.com for providing the heat maps. Find the AirMap for Drones app in the iTunes store and use it to access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital notices, manage aircraft, and more.

Now drones can go on and on: Unmanned aircraft refuel autonomously in MID-AIR, meaning they can carry out longer missions

Chinese researchers have developed a method of autonomous aerial refueling where the “tanker” uses cameras to determine the position of the “receiver.” The tanker then flies to the receiving drone and refuels it through a boom.

Microspines Make It Easy for Drones to Perch on Walls and Ceilings

Quadrotors have limited flight duration, so the ability to “perch” or land for extended periods of time would be beneficial, particularly for applications where the operator wants to collect data over time. Stanford’s Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory has been working on perching technology that would allow a small drone to land on a wall using an opposing gripping system.

Video of the Week

The Flying Scotsman crossing the Forth Bridge 15.5.16 Filmed by drone!

Peter Keith captured the Flying Scotsman crossing the Forth Bridge after a 10-year restoration project. Shot using a DJI Inspire 1 X5r Drone.

Mentioned

Online Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems Risk Management

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announces a new 8-week on-line course which discusses risk management as it relates to UAS, and also covers international efforts at addressing that risk. Taught by Dr. Sarah Nillson, our guest on Episode 111.

The Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Join David and Max June 18, 2016, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia for a day of full immersion in both manned and unmanned aviation.

Book Review

The Complete Guide to Drones: whatever your budget

David reviews this 144 page paperback by Adam Juniper and finds it to be a valuable resource. Author Juniper is a long-time R/C and drone flier, has produced many YouTube videos, and he has worked as a professional video producer.

 

 

UAV129 Drone Defense Systems

Max and David recording the episode on BlabAnti-drone systems and shooting down drones, more legislation from California, the authority to control the airspace, the FAA clamps down on R/C and drone clubs in Washington, D.C., formation flying, drones in television and film, stealth UAVs, and the B4UFLY app.

And now, for something completely different…

Instead of recording this episode over Skype for an audio program, we tried a bit of an experiment and recorded a video show live on Blab.im with an audience participating.

Blab is a service where you schedule a video show on the topic of your choice. Up to four people at a time with webcams can participate in the video portion. Those watching can communicate in a chat session that runs alongside the video. The audience can jump into the video when one of the four seats opens up.

We were joined in the video by flight instructor and Airplane Geeks co-host Max Trescott. Mike Wilkerson from the 2GuysTalking Podcast Network also talked with us. Thanks to them and all the others who joined us live on Blab!

News

Counter-UAV Camera System Revealed

According to Ubergizmo, Airbus have developed a “Counter UAV” system that uses sensors to detect drones around aircraft. The system then spoofs the drone’s control frequencies and takes over command. Or the frequencies can be jammed to disable the drone. The technology comes from Airbus Defence and Space.

Drone wars: new UAV interceptor billed as net-firing solution to rogue flying

Michigan Technological University has developed an octocopter that fires a net up to 12 meters to capture rogue drones. The MTU drone can grab another drone with its net and carry it away, either autonomously or under human control.

Robotic Falconry – Drone Catcher System for Removing the Intruding Drones

A video of the Drone Catcher in action: Proof of concept prototype of a drone catcher system to intercept and physically remove the intruding multi-rotor drones from the protected areas (patent pending). This system offers a viable solution when force-landing or shooting the drones would jeopardize the safety. A patent has been filed.

Net Gun Drone – Excipio | Flite Test

In this video from Flite Test, a DJI Flamewheel F550 equipped with the Excipio Net Gun captures another drone in mid-air.

Drone Legislation Would Require Owners To Buy Insurance, Get UAV ‘License Plates’

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced the Drone Registration/Omnibus Negligence-prevention Enactment (DRONE) Act of 2016. If enacted, this would require that drone owners obtain insurance policies, register their drones, and obtain physical or electronic “license plates” for drones.

Gatto’s logic is, “If cars have license plates and insurance, drones should have the equivalent, so they can be properly identified, and owners can be held financially responsible, whenever injuries, interference, or property damage occurs.”

Assemblyman Mike Gatto Announces The DRONE Act of 2016

According to the press release, the “DRONE Act” would:

  • Require registration of, and tiny physical or electronic license plates for, drones.  All efforts to hold owners responsible (for example, for interfering with firefighting efforts) require this.
  • Require inexpensive ($1, or so) insurance policies sold at the point-of-sale, much like CRV is collected for bottles and cans.  This will ensure that if a drone hurts someone or damages property, the victim can be compensated, and is akin to the auto-insurance requirements under existing law.
  • Mandate that drones of a certain size, and equipped with GPS capability, feature automatic shut-off technology that would activate if approaching an airport.  This technology already exists, and is critical to protecting commercial passenger flights.
  • Implement various other provisions designed to enhance responsibility and mitigate risk.

Feds to Washington, D.C., Drone Enthusiasts: You’re Grounded

Under a new special flight rules area (SFRA), UAVs are now prohibited from flying within a 30-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The FAA says UAS are aircraft and aircraft are subject to the SFRA.

100 drones fly in formation to set new Guinness World Record

Intel and Ars Electronica Center in Austria have set a new world record by flying 100 drones in a pre-programmed formation. On November 4, 2015, 100 LED-equipped drones flew over an airfield near Hamburg, Germany. The official title of the record is: Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.

Mentioned

Tri Drone JourneyListener Neil’s first drone video with his Inspire 1 in Brisbane.

Video version of the episode

You can watch the video version of the episode below. You’ll likely want to fast forward to about 12:36 into the program to bypass our struggles to get something new working. Next time we’ll do better!