Tag Archives: drone legislation

UAV196 The DJI Spark

The DJI Spark, Snap Inc. interest in drones, the ANSI UAS Standardization Collaborative, the Drone Federalism Act of 2017, Florida utility company using drones, the MQ-25A Stingray carrier-launched unmanned tanker, a drone camp for girls, and NATE embraces drones.

The DJI Spark

The Spark mini-drone. Image courtesy DJI.

UAV News

DJI brings gesture control to consumer drones with the diminutive Spark

The $499 DJI Spark mini-drone recognizes your face and launches and lands on the palm of your hand. It can be controlled with hand movements, a remote controller, a mobile device, or DJI goggles. Featuring obstacle detection and image stabilization, the Spark can follow flight maneuvers preset with your mobile device. It can also follow you.

Snap recently acquired Ctrl Me Robotics, an LA-based drone company

Snap Spectacles

Snap Spectacles. Image courtesy Snap, Inc.

Is the company that owns Snapchat getting into the drone business? It’s unclear, but Snap Inc. acquired drone company Ctrl Me Robotics last year and has reportedly looked at another company in that space.

Last September, Snapchat said it was rebranding itself as a camera company and getting into hardware. Snap also manufacturers a wearable camera called Spectacles. These “smartglasses” record video and connect to your Snapchat account.

 

ANSI Establishes Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards. ANSI has decided to form a “Standardization Collaborative” for UAS. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Standardization Collaborative (UASSC) will create standards and conformity assessment programs for facilitating the safe integration of UAS into the United States national airspace system (NAS). An initial kick-off meeting is planned for the third quarter of 2017. To stay up-to-date regarding future developments, email Jim McCabe, ANSI senior director, standards facilitation, at jmccabe@ansi.org.

Drone Federalism Act Would Bring Regulation to Local Level

The Drone Federalism Act of 2017 has been proposed by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark. The Act is an attempt to bring UAS regulation down to the local level.

Feinstein says the bill “allows communities to create low-altitude speed limits, local no-drone zones or rules that are appropriate to their own circumstances.”

Blumenthal says, “This legislation protects the rights of state and local governments to implement reasonable restrictions on drones in their communities while ensuring that the Federal Aviation Administration keeps our national airspace the safest in the world.”

So how does it work?

  • Keeps the FAA’s “general authority over the national airspace while preserving the authority of state, local and tribal governments to issue reasonable restrictions on the time, manner and place of drone operations within 200 feet of the ground or a structure.
  • Reaffirms that the federal government “will respect private property rights to the airspace immediately above a property, including the first 200 feet.”
  • Directs the FAA “to partner with a diverse group of cities and states to test out different approaches, inform the unmanned traffic management pilot program and report best practices.”

See Drone Federalism Act of 2017 (Senate Bill 1272) by Jonathan Rupprecht for a quick summary of important facts of the Drone Federalism Act of 2017, problems with the Drone Federalism Act of 2017, who supports it, and the actual text of the Drone Federalism Act.

Florida Utility Preps for Drone Use Ahead of Storm Season

With hurricane season coming soon, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is being proactive. They’ve trained more than 1,200 employees and that training includes the use of unmanned aircraft. FPL demonstrated the use of UAS for surveying damage areas and how they can speed up restoration efforts.

Navy to Launch MQ-25 Stingray Refueling Drone Competition This Summer

The MQ-25A Stingray is a carrier-launched tanker designed to extend the combat range of carrier aircraft like the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter. The Navy is starting an industry competition for the Stingray, which it plans to enter carrier deck service in the early to mid-2020s. In advance of the formal proposal to industry this summer, the Navy awarded four development contracts: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, and Northrop Grumman.

Mentioned

UND to host drone camp for girls

The UAS Camp is sponsored by the Women’s Fund from the Grand Forks Community Foundation. Girls ages 8 to 12 will learn about drones, with hands-on experience with small unmanned aircraft. The camp will take place in two sessions at Robin Hall: from July 31 through Aug. 4 and from Aug. 7 through 11, 2017. Registration is $20 and space is limited. For more information, call Amanda Brandt with the UND College of Aerospace at (701) 732-0592.

Video of the Week

NATE UAS Operations Climber Connection Drone Video

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) “has proactively embraced the utilization of drones in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries due to the enormous safety and efficiency benefits associated with their use.” Their new Climber Connection Unmanned Aerial Systems video was distributed industry-wide at the 2017 Drone Focus Conference in Fargo, North Dakota.

 

 

UAV165 The Tesla Concept Drone

International agreement on armed UAS import/export, quadcopter power by induction, California allows first responders to take out drones, a droneport concept, drones interrupting airport operations, an underwater UAV launch, and a very different concept for an aerial video platform.

The Tesla Drone

News

White House Rolls Out Armed Drone Declaration

The U.S. State Department calls it the first step toward creating global norms for the import and export of armed unmanned systems. More than 40 countries have agreed to the one-page Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). [PDF]

Drone Flies 12 CM on Wireless Power

Is transmitting power wirelessly, through thin air, science fiction? Maybe not. A quadcopter flew a short distance in a proof of concept demo. The Wirelessly Powered Quadrotor video shows a quadrotor being powered completely wirelessly via magnetic induction.

Jerry Brown Lets Emergency Responders Take out Drones

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 807, under which “An emergency responder shall not be liable for any damage to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if that damage was caused while the emergency responder was providing, and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was interfering with, the operation, support, or enabling of the emergency services…”

Droneports for the Future?

Jonathan Daniels, CEO, and founder of Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc., wants to partner with the FAA and develop a droneport in Boulder City, Nevada. Initially used to test drone landings and departures without interfering with manned aircraft, the long-term concept is support for high volume drone movements.

UAV activity disrupts Dubai Airport operations

Operations at Dubai International Airport were disrupted for almost an hour due to unauthorized unmanned aerial vehicle activity. This wasn’t the first time, either. United Arab Emirates (UAE) state Abu Dhabi has banned drone sales to the public because of the potential threat they pose to civil aviation.

First Underwater Unmanned Aircraft Launch from an AUV

In a cross-domain command and control event hosted by the U.S. Navy, a small Vector Hawk UAV was launched from a Marlin autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). At the same time, the Submaran unmanned surface vehicle (USV) developed by Ocean Aero provided surface reconnaissance and surveillance.

Introducing the Tesla Drone

The Tesla Drone is a concept from U.K. based designer, Fraser Leid. Dual propellers can operate horizontally or vertically and provide enough stability that a gimbal is not required. The MagDock acts as a wireless charging station offering a 60 minute flight time from the 10,000 mAh Li-ion Powercell® battery.

Video of the Week

Planes & Drones in Sedona, AZ

Listener Ken recently traveled to Sedona, Arizona in his 1980 Bonanza A36TC and he brought along his 3DR Solo with a GoPro 4 Black. The video is a perfect crossover between The Airplane Geeks podcast and The UAV Digest.

Mentioned

Dronemasters MeetUp #0024

San Francisco, CA at Nightingale Security, October 20, 2016.

 

 

 

UAV154 Cargo Drone Challenge Winners

Crowdsourcing designs for cargo drones, UAS for higher education, US Air Force training enlisted RPA operators, NASA detect and avoid tests, delivering vaccine by drone, a woman freed by a Phantom, and drones interfering with wildfires.

ZELATOR

The ZELATOR by Alexey Medvedev from Omsk, Russia

News

Airbus reveals cargo UAV challenge winners

The Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge was created by Local Motors and Airbus Group to crowdsource the design of a commercial-grade package delivery drone for medical supplies and other types of cargo. Local Motors reports in Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge winners announced that 425 submissions were received, and assessed on mission performance, weight and balance, and preliminary flight performance. Video: Winners Revealed in the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge by Local Motors.

Early Days for Drone Use in Higher Education

Drones in the academic environment offer the opportunity to focus on design and development and also using them for academic instruction and research. The Higher Education UAS Modernization Act would let students and educators operate UAVs without FAA approval if certain conditions are met.

Air Force plans 100 enlisted drone pilots by 2020

The Air Force expects to graduate the first class of enlisted airmen in 2017 for remotely piloted aircraft, specifically unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The graduates would become the first Air Force enlisted pilots since World War II.

NASA Concludes UAS NAS Integration Flight Tests

NASA has completed a two-month series of flight tests at Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA tested technologies for Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) algorithms developed by NASA, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Honeywell, and other partners. The tests included more than 260 scripted encounters between the Ikhana UAS and manned “intruder” aircraft. The algorithms successfully alerted the pilot on the ground.

Drones to unleash vaccine-laced pellets in bid to save endangered ferrets

The endangered black-footed ferrets in Montana eat prairie dogs, and both are susceptible to the sylvatic plague transmitted by fleas. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service wants to help the animals by dispensing vaccine-laden pellets from drones.  Note:  The article originally reported that the drones would shoot vaccine-laced M&Ms.

Video shows man use drone to save person trapped in bathroom

A woman in a bathroom was unable to unlock the door from the inside. A DJI Phantom trailing a string was flown over the bathroom window and the woman then tied the door key to the string. With the key in hand, those outside could unlock the door and free the woman.

Authorities in Utah can now legally disable or destroy drones near wildfires

Lawmakers approved a bill that would allow firefighters or law enforcement to shoot down or disable drones interfering with efforts to contain wildfires. The bill also provides for a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine if a drone causes a firefighting aircraft to crash.

Video of the Week

Engineers Hack Pokemon Go by Using a Drone

Thanks to @ProfVanderhoof’s sister Marianne for bringing this to our attention.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

UAV142 Drone Dealer Expo 2016 – Part 1

Observations from the Drone Dealer Expo, hydrogen fueled drones, a drone rescue patent, and proposed federal preemption of UAS laws.

Guest

Mike DanielsMike Daniels says he has been designing, building and flying model aircraft since the 1970s. He’s flown free flight, control line, and RC airplanes, helicopters, and multi-rotors. Mike built an F550 with parts he designed and printed, and he’s currently flying a Yuneec Typhoon Q500 and an Ares Ethos Q130. His new Typhoon H should arrive at any moment.

Mike holds an FAA pilot’s certificate to fly single engine land and sea planes, and an FAA repairman certificate for Light Sport Airplanes with a Maintenance Rating.

Mike shares his experiences by blogging at blog.mikeflys.com, and he’s created an online e-paper called  “The UAV Daily.” He’s also starting a drone store at www.mikeflys.com where he’ll only sell products he knows and likes. Follow Mike on Twitter as @Mike_Flys.

Drone Dealer Expo 2016

Mike gives us his observations from the Drone Dealer Expo he attended April 11-13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Mike characterizes the attendees and describes some of the event themes.

A drone racing expo was held in the parking lot to demo FPV racing, and there was talk about ESPN broadcasting races. The subsequent press story With ESPN deal, drone racing gets serious confirms that ESPN has signed a multi-year deal to broadcast drone races.

We talk with Mike about the theory that the timing of the FAA UAS registration requirement may have depressed holiday drone sales. We also learn that a panel discussion led to a lively discussion about UAS regulations. There was a consensus belief that a future drone operator’s certificate will require an in-person written test, not an online test.

News

MMC’s Hydrogen-fueled Drone, the HyDrone 1800, Leads the Way into a New UAV Era

MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology Co., Inc. (MMC) launched their HyDrone 1800, a hydrogen-fueled drone with a claimed flight time in excess of four hours, a one-minute recharge cycle, and a flight radius of up to 100km with a live video stream.

Google Has Patented a Drone Rescue Service

Google’s concept is that users could push a button instead of calling 911 and get the help they need, delivered by a self-flying drone.

Lawmakers seek to ensure FAA bill won’t preempt local drone laws

Senate debates contentious provision against state drone laws

Some members of the US Senate are adding amendments to the FAA reauthorization bill that would create a federal preemption for state or local laws related to the design, manufacture, testing, licensing, registration, certification, operation, or maintenance of UAS. Local governments could not regulate airspace, altitude, flight paths, equipment or technology requirements, and pilot requirements.

Video of the Week

Killerdrone! Flying chainsaw

Crazy Finnish farmers built an epic drone with a remote controlled chainsaw.

Mentioned

Facebook will now let any camera stream to Facebook Live, even a DJI drone: Post to your wall, but from the air

UAV137 Aurora’s LightningStrike Hybrid-electric X-plane

Aurora Flight Sciences LightningStrikeThe Aurora Flight Sciences unmanned VTOL X-plane, shore-to-ship package delivery, Senate FAA reauthorization bill impacts UAS, more proposed local drone legislation, a new DJI Phantom, and high-altitude sUAS flying.

News

Aurora Wins Darpa Contract to Build Novel Drone Demonstrator

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded second- and third-phase contract awards to Aurora Flight Sciences for the “LightningStrike” technology demonstrator. Aurora plans to start flight testing the vertical takeoff and landing experimental plane (VTOL X-Plane) in 2018.

The LightningStrike features two large rear wings and two smaller front canards. The same Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft engine used in V-22 Osprey tiltrotor is mounted in the fuselage and powers three Honeywell generators which drive 24 ducted fans on the wings and canards. The wings and canards rotate to direct the fan thrust for hovering, transition, and forward flight.

Aurora’s LightningStrike VTOL X-Plane

Maersk Tankers Claims First Drone Delivery to Ship at Sea

A French Xamen Technologies drone dropped a small package onto a Maersk tanker in Denmark as a test to see if drones could be used to deliver spare parts, mail, or medicine to a ship. Compared to traditional means of delivery, the potential cost savings is significant.

Bipartisan Senate FAA bill shuns Shuster’s ATC proposal

The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has introduced a bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill that does not include any proposal for air traffic control privatization. However, under the Senate bill, the US National Institute of Standards (NIST) and the FAA would “develop risk-based, consensus industry standards on [UAV] aircraft safety.”

“The FAA would also establish a process for the airworthiness approval of small [UAVs] based on the consensus standards, in lieu of the more cumbersome certification process used for the approval of other aircraft. These standards … approved by FAA would ultimately improve safety by prescribing which safety technologies would be built into unmanned aircraft systems sold in the United States.”

Drone-Mounted Handgun, Flamethrower Reignite Lawmaker Debate

Reacting to the well-publicised drone weaponization exploits of a Connecticut teen, state legislators have conducted public hearings and proposed legislation to outlaw certain activity.

One bill would make it a class C felony, punishable by one to ten years in prison, to use a drone to release tear gas or other substances, or to control a deadly weapon or explosive device. Another bill would also limit how law enforcement and state agencies can use drones. But Peter Sachs, author of the Drone Law Journal, says one version of the bill exempts police from the ban on weaponized drones.

Proposed Utah legislation would allow cops to shoot down drones

Utah is not fooling around when it comes to drones. The recently introduced Senate Bill 210 would designate certain drone activity as aerial trespassing, and create guidelines for enforcement, including an option for police to shoot down rogue UAVs. State Senator Wayne Harper wants to address three issues: privacy, non-interference with airports and aircraft, and non-interference with emergency situations.

The bill would ban drones within 500 feet of correctional institutions or within three miles of a wildfire, and make it illegal to use a drone in the surveillance of large crowds or for stalking someone in a voyeuristic way. Violating drones could be neutralized by first responders or law enforcement officers.

DJI’s New Phantom 4 Drone Is Smarter, More Expensive and Available From Apple

DJI introduced the Phantom 4 which can dodge obstacles and track humans. The Phantom 4 features two sensors that allow it to react to and avoid obstacles in its path. The TapFly mode lets you tap on the live view on your smart device screen to direct the Phantom 4 in that direction. Flight time increases to 28 minutes, which is 25% more than the Phantom 3 Professional.

Someone thought it would be a good idea to fly a drone at 11,000 ft—it wasn’t

An anonymous YouTuber claims to have flown a modified DJI Phantom 2 to an altitude of 11,000 feet. Not all drone enthusiasts are impressed.

Video of the Week

African kids see drone for the first time!

Mark Brandon Smith was filming in Uganda when the headmaster of a school there asked him to give the kids a show with the drone. Watch the reaction from the kids as he flew the DJI Phantom 3 Professional for a short flight.

Mentioned

High-tech ‘bazooka’ fires a net to take down drones

The SkyWall 100 from U.K.-based OpenWorks Engineering fires projectiles at drones from a shoulder-mounted compressed air launcher. The Skywall locks on the drone, tracks the drone’s flight path, calculates an intercept trajectory, and fires a cannister with a net.

Watch high tech ‘bazooka’ take down a drone Fox News

Watch This Jet Ski Destroy a Drone, and Catch Some Serious Air

 

 

UAV135 Micro UAS Legislation Will Have to Wait

The Ocuair Enduro multirotorThe House FAA reauthorization bill returns to Committee, package delivery by drone in Singapore, a quadcopter crosses the English Channel, filming wildlife with drones, a drone detection system for airports, and putting UAVs on the internet.

News

House FAA reauthorization legislation delayed

The “AIRR Act” that passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 11 with “micro UAS” provisions has met broad opposition, largely over the topic of air traffic control privatization. As a result, the Act has returned to the Committee for revision, thus delaying action on both small and micro UAS.

Airbus Helicopters and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Sign MoU for UAS Experimentation Project

Under the Skyways Experimentation Project, Airbus and CAAS expect to conduct package delivery proof-of-concept trials in Singapore in two phases. In the first phase, Airbus will create a network of parcel stations on the campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS). Phase two would test package delivery from a station on the Singapore coast to ships anchored in the bay.

Drone makes historic 72-minute flight across English Channel

UK commercial drone operator Ocuair™ has successfully flown a quadcopter across the English Channel. The customized Enduro quadcopter flew 35 km (21.7 miles) in 72 minutes, with an operator staying within 500 meters in a chase boat. Along the way, the drone encountered a GPS guidance problem, requiring manual guidance for the last part of the flight.

Making Aviation History – The First Quadcopter Drone to Fly Across the English Channel

Attenborough calls in the drones for his new series: Broadcaster will use technology to capture elusive and dangerous animals

For his new six-part Planet Earth II series, Sir David Attenborough has used ultra-high-definition and ultra-high-speed cameras mounted on drones to capture dramatic footage of dangerous and elusive animals.

Anti-drone system for airports passes tests

As reported in Episode 117, the FAA entered into a Pathfinder agreement with CACI International Inc. to evaluate using the company’s sensor technology to detect rogue UAS in the vicinity of airports. Now the CACI proof-of-concept system has been tested at the Atlantic City International Airport. The SkyTracker system uses radio frequency sensors positioned around an airport which detect frequencies typically used by unmanned aircraft. Then it triangulates the signals to provide the location of the UAS and its operator. FAA press release: FAA, DHS, CACI, UMD Perform UAS Detection Work.

AT&T and Intel to Test Drones on LTE Network

AT&T and Intel are working to understand how drones could be connected via a ground-based network. Intel will partner with the AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) team, and the AT&T Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto, California.

Video of the Week

Raffaello D’Andrea: Meet the Dazzling Flying Machines of the Future

Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D’Andrea demonstrates a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance, an eight-propeller craft that’s ambivalent to orientation, and a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Filmed February 2016 at TED2016.

 

UAV134 A Proposed “Micro UAS” Drone Category

Powervision PowerEggDavid, Max, and guest Tim Trott (“The Drone Professor”) try their hand at broadcasting a live episode. We discuss the Micro UAS amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill, another lawsuit challenging the FAA right to require drone registration, and the results of two UAV criminal cases.

News

A Giant Step for Micro Drones

On February 11, 2016, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis introduced a micro UAS operations amendment [PDF] to H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016. The amendment would add a new “Micro UAS operations” section to Chapter 455 of title 49, United States Code, and permit commercial operations under simplified and streamlined requirements and restrictions.

A micro UAS is defined as weighing 4.4 pounds (2 kg) or less. For commercial operation, there would be no airman certification requirements, no aeronautical knowledge test, no age or experience requirements, and no airworthiness certification requirements. Registration would still be required.

The requirements for the proposed Micro UAS category are:

  1. fly below 400 feet above ground level;
  2. fly no faster than 40 knots;
  3. fly within visual line of sight;
  4. fly only during daylight hours; and
  5. stay at least 5 statute miles from the geographic center of a tower-controlled airport… unless the pilot provides prior notice to the airport operator and the pilot receives, for a tower-controlled airport, prior approval from the air traffic control facility located at the airport.

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee voted to accept the micro UAS amendment and approved the entire AIRR Act, as amended.

Think Tank Sues FAA In Federal Court Over Drone Registration Rule

DC think tank TechFreedom has filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the FAA’s drone registration requirement. TechFreedom says the FAA’s action violates Section 336 of a 2012 FAA authorization law prohibiting the FAA from promulgating ”any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” The lawsuit claims the FAA’s failure to provide the public with notice of the new regulation and an opportunity for comment was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion.”

NJ Drone Shooter Pleads Guilty

In September 2014, Russell Percenti shot down a drone flying near his property. The drone’s owner said that he was taking aerial pictures of a friend’s home, retrieved his damaged drone, and called the police. Percenti, who admitted shooting the drone, was charged with criminal mischief and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

Judge: Park ranger’s use of taser on drone operator was justified

A man flying his drone in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was asked to land by park rangers. He initially refused to land and refused to provide identification. The park ranger used a Taser to disable the man as he started running away. The judge fined the man $1,000 and banned him from the park for one year.

Video of the Week

PowerEgg – The Flying Robot by PowerVision

The arms and rotors of the PowerVision PowerEgg unfold to reveal a UAV with a 360-degree panoramic 4K HD camera on a 3-axis gimbal, real-time video transmission, and an optical flow indoor positioning system.

 

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!

UAV127 Small UAS Certificate of Registration

Small UAS Certificate of Registration

Small UAS registration is proceeding in the U.S., but AMA says to hold off, package delivery robots, drone registration in the Bahamas, security drones chase thieves, the FAA gets tough with states legislating drones.

News

sUAS Registration

The FAA sUAS registration website is open for operators of small UAS intended for non-commercial use. Reportedly, 45,000 registrations were filed in the first two days.

FAA-2015-7396-0001 (Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft) asks for public comments on the December 21, 2015, Interim Final Rule. Comments must be received by January 15, 2016.

Also, 8900.338 – New Requirements for Registering and Marking Small Unmanned Aircraft.

Document Information was issued and is primarily directed to Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) aviation safety inspectors (ASI) and assigned sUAS focal points.

That document links to Notice: New Requirements for Registering and Marking Small Unmanned Aircraft [PDF] which informs Flight Standards Service field employees about the new requirements for the registration and marking of small unmanned aircraft found in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 47 and 48. It also addresses surveillance, investigation and enforcement issues:

  • ASIs should be prepared to support sUAS activity within their area of geographic responsibility.
  • The use of Risk-Based Decision Making and compliance philosophy, along with current practice and procedures, should be used to support proper surveillance and vigilance over sUAS operations and the NAS.
  • During the conduct of accident, incident, occurrence, and complaint investigations involving sUAS, ASIs will ensure that the unmanned aircraft meet the compliance requirements for registration and marking.
  • ASIs shall use the guidance published in FAA Notice 8900.313, Education, Compliance, and Enforcement of Unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operators, and Order 8000.373, Federal Aviation Administration Compliance Philosophy, on the process of contact, education, and enforcement generally to be provided to individuals who are the subject of investigations involving sUAS aircraft.

You can find your local FSDO office at the FAA FSDO Contact page that will provide you with the address, phone, and office web page.

An alternative to drones: Company testing self-driving ‘Roomba-like’ delivery robots

Two former Skype co-founders launched Starship Technologies, a European company that plans to introduce a fleet of ground-based delivery robots. According to the company press release, the robots can carry “the equivalent of two grocery bags, the robots can complete local deliveries within 5-30 minutes from a local hub or retail outlet, for 10-15 times less than the cost of current last-mile delivery alternatives.”

All Drones Must Be Registered By February

The Bahamian Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Transport announced that effective February 1, all drones must be registered. Compliance is required by the end of February. This announcement is in advance of a bill that will regulate the use of unmanned aircraft in the Bahamas.

FAA OKs drone-like copter for farm use

The FAA issued a Part 137 Agricultural Aircraft Operations Certification to Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. The Yamaha RMAX remotely piloted helicopter has a takeoff weight of around 200 pounds. Spraying operations are subject to approval by state and local authorities but are expected to begin in 2016. Almost 2,600 RMAX helicopters are currently in use globally, over two million flight-hours have been logged, and more than 2.4 million acres are sprayed each year.

The drone that will CHASE thieves: Security UAV will follow invaders to make sure they are on camera

The Japanese Secom drone is intended to operate autonomously with a surveillance camera to intercept intruders and transmit images to a control center. Japan’s Aeronautics Law has been changed, and no drones are allowed over areas with a population density of 4,000 people per square kilometer or more, and drones are banned near public events such as festivals and exhibitions. Local governments are looking at or have taken action to restrict drones in other areas.

FAA Drone Laws Start to Clash With Stricter Local Rules

The FAA is finally stepping in and informing local legislators that drones are aircraft, and the FAA regulates aircraft. Some legislators seem to be complying, but others do not like what they see as Federal intrusion.

Videos of the Week

Drone Crash Slalom Marcel Hirscher

A camera drone falls from the sky and crashes just inches behind skier Marcel Hirscher.

Video from AirVūz

Four of the biggest drone racing pilots in the world embarked on a journey to recreate one of their favorite movie scenes ever! The Speeder Bike chase scene from “Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”

Mentioned

Lufthansa, Fraport and DFS test drone technology at Frankfurt Airport

Tokyo police are using drones with nets to catch other drones

Screen Shots from the sUAS Registration Process

Visit http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/ and click “Register Now” at the bottom:

1 register

At the welcome screen, click Register My Drone:

2 register

Create an account:

3 register

Receive verification email:

4 register

Open the email and click the link to activate your account:

5 register

Read the fine print and accept:

6 register

The login page is https://registermyuas.faa.gov/login. Use the credentials for your account:

7 register

Provide profile information (your name, physical address, and mailing address):

8a register

8b register

8c register

Accept the safety guidance:

9 register

Provide credit card details for payment:

10 register

Confirm order details:

11 register

Your registration number is issued:

12 register

13 register