Tag Archives: FAA

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

UAV208 The Bladeless Drone

A bladeless drone wins a design award, women to watch in UAS, drone support for Hurricane Harvey, DJI issues a mandatory firmware update, Customs and Border Protection nabs a drug runner, video gamers as drone pilots, and talking drones from Amazon.

The Edgar Herrera designed bladeless drone concept.

The Edgar Herrera designed bladeless drone concept.

UAV News

The Dyson of Drones

Mexican designer Edgar Herrera has created a concept for a bladeless drone that is a winner in the 2017 Red Dot Design Concept Award. In this design concept, three bladeless air ducts control direction and can rotate 20 degrees. A fourth central duct provides lift. Is it a viable design? Maybe yes, maybe no.

2017 Women to Watch in UAS

Drone360 magazine and Women and Drones announced the 2017 Women to Watch in UAS List. Nine women were chosen “for their work disrupting, innovating, and shaping the future of the UAS industry.”  The women are:

  • Holly Kasun, COO/CMO and Cofounder of Flybrix based in San Francisco, CA.
  • Mary Wohnrade, Civil engineer, Part 107 operator, and President/Owner of Wohnrade Civil Engineers, based in Broomfield, CO.
  • Karen Joyce, Scientist and Senior Lecturer at James Cook University, Cofounder of She Flies, based in Queensland, Australia.
  • Lexie Janson, FPV drone racer, software developer, drone certification teacher based in Gdynia, Poland.
  • Natalie Cheung, General Manager of Drone Light Shows in the UAV Group at Intel based in Santa Clara, CA.
  • Catherine Ball, Cofounder of World of Drones Congress, Cofounder and Chief Engagement Officer at She Flies, Founder and Publisher of Gumption Trigger, based in Queensland, Australia.
  • Helena Samsioe, Founder and CEO of GLOBHE based in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Gretchen West, Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP, Co-Executive Director at the Commercial Drone Alliance, and Cofounder of Women of Commercial Drones, based in Menlo Park, CA.
  • Leah LaSalla, Technical Founder and CEO at Astral AR based in Austin, TX.

FAA Supports Drone Assessments for Houston Response and Recovery

As of August 31, 2017, the FAA had issued 43 unmanned aircraft system authorizations to drone operators supporting the response and recovery for Hurricane Harvey or covering it as part of the media.

DJI will ground Spark drones on September 1st unless owners install an update

DJI is pushing out a firmware update to fix the problem with some Spark drones falling out of the sky.This is a mandatory firmware update. Your Spark won’t fly without the update. DJI says the problem is related to the battery management system and power supply.

See the DJI press release: DJI Spark Firmware Update Enhances Flight Safety

Border Patrol Spots Meth-Carrying UAV in San Diego

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection has arrested a 25-year-old man for using a consumer drone to transport several pounds of methamphetamine across the Mexican border.

Would Video Gamers Make Better Unmanned Aircraft Pilots Than Actual Pilots?

Psychologists at the University of Liverpool in the UK conducted a study. “Findings support the idea that VGPs (video game players) could be considered a resource in UAS operation.” The report is published in the journal Cogent Psychology: Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operators’ accuracy and confidence of decisions: Professional pilots or video game players?

Look for Military Drones to Begin Replacing Police Helicopters by 2025

Defense contractors see a market opportunity for large military-style drones to be used instead of police helicopters. General Atomics is investing in a new version of the Reaper.

Alexa-enabled Amazon drones could talk with customers when delivering packages

An Amazon patent envisions drones that interact with people – live audio and video. This could be used to warn someone standing too close to the landing zone or to have a conversation with customer support.

UAV Video of the Week

RDDC2016: Bladeless Drone

Photos of the Week

Solar Eclipse, Cerulean, KY by Max Flight

Solar Eclipse, Cerulean, KY by Max Flight

Reaper by David Vanderhoof

Reaper by David Vanderhoof

 

 

UAV201 Telecommunication Drone

Telecommunication drone tests from MIT and Verizon, flying near firefighters, pipeline inspection, drone registration refunds for recreational operators, and the UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee.

American Aerospace Technologies Inc. RS-20

Testing the RS-20 as a telecommunications drone. Courtesy American Aerospace Technologies Inc.

UAV News

MIT Develops Gas-Powered UAV That Can Stay Aloft for Five Days

This fixed-wing, long-endurance UAV was developed to provide temporary telecommunications service for disaster areas, or possibly for environmental monitoring. With a 24-foot wingspan and a 15,000 feet ceiling, the GPkit software modeling tool was used to evaluate different aircraft parameters.

Verizon explains flying-cell-site drone-project

Verizon, American Aerospace Technologies Inc., and Cape May County in New Jersey collaborated to test an AATI RS-20 fixed-wing aircraft flying BVLOS and broadcasting a Verizon Airborne LTE signal. Verizon has been building a suite of tools with “barnyard” names, including: cell on wheels (COW), generator on a trailer (GOAT), and cell on light truck (COLT).

Drone Photographer Arrested for Impeding Forest Fire Rescuers

54-year old Gene Alan Carpenter was arrested after flying his drone over an Arizona wildfire. He is charged with felony endangerment and unlawful operation of an unmanned aircraft in violation of Arizona law that makes it illegal for drones to impede emergency or law-enforcement activities. In response to the drone flight, officials were forced to ground all the aircraft in the area.

Yale Student Invents Drone to Solve $2.5 Trillion Corrosion Problem

A Yale School of Management team has founded Arix Technologies to bring robotics and data analytics to the expensive and labor intensive problem of pipeline corrosion inspection.

FAA is now issuing a drone registration refund

In light of the court ruling that the FAA violated section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 when it implemented drone registration for recreational operators, the FAA is offering a refund. Recreational drone operators can expunge their registration information and get their $5 registration fee back from the FAA by mailing a form [PDF]. See the FAA Registration Deletion page for more details.

FAA’s New UAS Committee Holds Inaugural Meeting

The first meeting of the UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was held June 21-23, 2017. This group of 74 unmanned aircraft stakeholders [PDF] was chartered [PDF] to investigate technologies for remote identification and tracking of UAS. The ARC will recommend solutions that meet the requirements of security and public safety organizations.

Mentioned

Sky Locals – Amazing drone photos on Instagram and videos on YouTube.

 

UAV200 Looking Back and Looking Ahead

A look back at the first 200 episodes and a peek into topics that might get our attention in the future, including regulatory actions that result from FAA reauthorization.

Max and David recording at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum

Max and David at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum

To celebrate the 200th episode, David and Max take a step back from the usual format and reminisce about the issues that were important when the podcast started in 2013. The main topic then was whether or not to call them “drones.” We look at how the unmanned aircraft landscape has changed since the first episode, and speculate about the topics we’ll be talking about in the future. One of those is the unmanned aircraft regulations we’ll face, which leads us to our single news story this week:

UAV News

What’s Proposed for Drones in This Year’s FAA Reauthorization Bills?

The United States Senate and House both introduced bills that reauthorize the FAA and contain provisions for unmanned aircraft.

The Senate “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2017” (S.1405) would:

  • Direct the FAA to create rule for micro drones under 4.4 pounds
  • Require DOT to establish a “delivery air carrier certificate that would allow package deliveries by drones”
  • Authorize the FAA to issue more exemptions for BVLOS
  • Require all operators of drones over 0.55 pounds to pass an approved aeronautical safety test
  • Address safety and privacy issues
  • Criminalize reckless drone behavior around manned airports
  • Grant FAA drone registration authority
  • Boost enforcement
  • Create new opportunities for testing and promoting innovative uses.

The House “21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act” (H.R.2997, PDF summary) would:

  • Privatize ATC
  • Direct the DOT to assess the registration system and require the FAA to “develop and track metrics to assess compliance with and effectiveness of the system”
  • Propose a “streamlined process for the FAA to permit the operation of small UAS for certain uses,” as well as a “risk-based permitting process” for operations
  • Establish an air carrier certificate for UAS delivery
  • Mandate rulemaking for a UAS traffic management system
  • Allow the FAA to grant waivers for low-risk UTM operations

Thanks

Special thanks to @dronemama for creating the intro for this episode. What an unexpected surprise! Love ya!

 

 

UAV195 Drone Registration Struck Down

A court ruling halts recreational drone registration in the U.S. while China implements a new drone registration requirement. Also, a fast fixed-wing VTOL UAV, heavy-lift delivery drones, remote pilot training in Australia, a long-endurance solar powered unmanned sailplane, and some new drone swarming applications.

The Marlyn VTOL mapping and surveying drone. Courtesy Atmos UAV.

The Marlyn VTOL mapping and surveying drone. Courtesy Atmos UAV.

UAV News

Court Strikes Down Drone Registration Requirement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has struck down the FAA’s drone registration requirement for recreational UAV operators. The three-judge panel agreed with John A. Taylor, a drone hobbyist represented by attorney Jonathan Rupprecht, who argued that the FAA requirement violated the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act passed by Congress. Read the Court Opinion [PDF] and the Court Order [PDF]. Note that the ruling does not affect aircraft operated for commercial operations under Section 333 or Part 107. Rules for commercial operations remain the same. More details: Complete Guide to Taylor v. FAA (Drone Registration Lawsuit).

FAA Statement Regarding US Court of Appeals Decision

“We are carefully reviewing the U.S. Court of Appeals decision as it relates to drone registrations. The FAA put registration and operational regulations in place to ensure that drones are operated in a way that is safe and does not pose security and privacy threats. We are in the process of considering our options and response to the decision.”

Atmos UAV Launches Marlyn

The Atmos UAV Marlyn is a fixed-wing, VTOL UAV designed for high-speed mapping applications like land surveying, mining, precision agriculture, and forestry. It can be deployed from any surface, can map up to 10 times faster than a multirotor, and can fly in a broad range of weather conditions.

Heavy Duty Delivery Drones Coming From JD.com

JD.com says they are China’s largest retailer, online or offline, and they plan to build China’s largest low-altitude drone package delivery network. The heavy-lift drones are expected to carry more than a ton, transport products to remote areas, and move agricultural produce to cities. JD.com will also establish an R&D campus in partnership with the Xi’an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base (XCAIB) where unmanned systems will be developed, manufactured and tested.

Changes to approved training

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australia’s national aviation authority is changing the practical training requirements for receiving an Australian Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) effective 1 June 2017. RePL applicants will satisfy the training requirements by completing a RePL training course conducted by a person holding a RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) that authorized the training. Applicants can also apply to CASA for a flight test. CASA-approved training organisations are located across Australia, and a list of approved drone operators including those who can conduct training, is on the CASA website. More information about the advantages of holding a RePL can be found in Flying drones/remotely piloted aircraft in Australia.

Drone owners will now have to register with the government in China

Pilots of drones weighing 250 grams or more (0.55 pound) will be required to register with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This requirement is effective June 1, 2017. Registration is online and real names must be used.

FAA releases registered private drone owner database

The Federal Aviation Administration has made available a database of registered drone owners. The spreadsheet shows the city, state and zip code of each registered drone owner.

NRL Tests Autonomous ‘Soaring with Solar’ Concept

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is looking at long endurance unmanned sailplanes that use solar power. The Navy says, “The Solar Photovoltaic and Autonomous Soaring Base Program and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O) want to improve the ability of unmanned platforms to support 24-7 information, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

DroneSeed Receives the First FAA Approval for Using Drone Swarming to Deliver Agricultural Payloads

DroneSeed has received approval from the FAA to deliver agricultural payloads with drone swarms. The company says, “We’re working with commercial foresters to make reforestation more efficient. Offering a one-stop solution, our team of drones plants tree seeds and sprays fertilizer and herbicides to keep trees healthy.”

Drone Swarms Could Spoof the Enemy

At the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, the vice president of science and technology at Cintel said a web of swarming unmanned aircraft systems that can spoof enemy drones could be a solution to the shot doctrine problem when exercising counter-UAS capabilities.

UAV Video of the Week

Lockheed Martin Conducts First Underwater Unmanned Aircraft Launch from Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

Lockheed Martin successfully launched a Vector Hawk UAV on command from the Marlin MK2 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). At the same time, the Submaran unmanned surface vehicle (USV) developed by Ocean Aero provided surface reconnaissance and surveillance.

Read more: From Under the Sea to Up in the Air: Lockheed Martin Conducts First Underwater Unmanned Aircraft Launch from Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

Mentioned

Airplane Geeks episode 453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane.

 

 

 

UAV193 Flying Drones Over People

The impact of drones striking people, geo-restrictions in war zones, monitoring volcanic ash, structure inspections using UAVs and artificial intelligence, keeping wildlife away from crops, waste management with drones, swarming tactics, Project Wing update, and drone weaponization for law enforcement.

A UAS crash test dummy in a study of flying drones over people.

A UAS crash test dummy provided data for a UAS ground collision severity study.

UAV News

FAA Issues Study on UAS Human Collision Hazards

In order to create regulations for flying drones over people, the FAA needs to know what happens when a UAV strikes a human. A consortium of universities has been studying this, and their report identifies dominant injury types applicable to small drones. See: FAA and Assure Announce Results of Ground Collision Study.

DJI Mysteriously Turned Vast Swaths of Iraq and Syria Into Drone No-Fly Zones

Without much fanfare, DJI created no-fly zones over large areas of Iraq and Syria. Some speculate this was a move to thwart ISIS from using their drones.

CNN journalist evades DJI GEO restrictions in Iraq

A CNN reporter proved the no-fly zone could be defeated by covering the GPS on his DJI Mavic with tinfoil. Without GPS, the no-fly zones are disabled.

NASA Selects Black Swift Technologies’ sUAS for Volcano Ash Monitoring

NASA has awarded a contract to Black Swift Technologies to develop and deliver a sUAS solution to explore volcanoes. Black Swift will provide an airframe, avionics, and sensors to measure gases, temperature, pressure, humidity, and winds, as well as particle sizes and trace gases. All this for improved air traffic management systems and more accurate measurements of ashfall.

AT&T Labs working to combine drone video footage with artificial intelligence monitoring

AT&T Labs is studying how they can use artificial intelligence (AI) and video footage of cell towers taken by a drone. AT&T wants to eliminate the labor for physical inspections and video analysis.

Drones keep elephants away from people in Tanzania

In Tanzania, elephants sometimes graze on crops and destroy them, presenting a huge problem for the people trying to grow food. The U.S.-based nonprofit Resolve is testing the use of drones to drive the animals away.

Drones-The Latest High Tech Tool For Las Cruces Waste Management

A quadcopter is being used to map a regional landfill and provide volumetrics to the landfill management company. This information about the amount of air space remaining in existing landfill cells is critical for future development plans.

Service Academies Swarm Challenge: Controlling drone swarms

DARPA created the Service Academies Swarm Challenge where U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force academy teams compete and go from “zero to swarm in 8 months.” The research effort is an experiment where students develop offensive and defensive tactics for swarms of small UAVs.

Video: An Overview of DARPA’s Service Academies Swarm Challenge

Alphabet’s Project Wing Cuts Staff Before Progress Update

Reportedly, Google parent Alphabet has significantly cut staff at Project Wing. Yet sources say the program is still alive and a major progress update and demonstration is expected before summer.

Public Safety Committee Grounds Drone Legislation

Legislation proposed in Connecticut would have made that state the first in the U.S. to allow law enforcement to use weaponized drones. However, the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee decided to let the legislation die. This was after drone attorney Peter Sachs wrote an email to all members of the Committee asking them to vote against the proposal.

UAV Video of the Week

Amazing Drone Footage – The USS Alabama From The Air – A Very Impressive Battleship

The USS Alabama (BB-60) is a South Dakota Class Battleship, launched on April 16, 1942. It served during World War II in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This video was shot using a hexacopter with a GoPro at the USS Alabama Memorial Park.

Mentioned

Drones flown in helicopter flight path at Franz Josef heliport ‘a huge risk’ to safety, police warn

 

 

UAV190 The Application of ADS-B to Drones

Putting ADS-B on small drones, faster and more agile drones for the Drone Racing League, speeding up Part 107 approvals at the FAA, and equipping U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents with sUAS.

ping ADS-B transceivers and transponders

ping ADS-B transceivers and transponders shown to scale with a DJI Matrice 100. Courtesy uAvionix.

Interview

Tim Trott, “The Drone Professor,” talks with Ryan Reed from uAvionix at the 2017 Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In Expo held April 4-9, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. They discuss the emerging ADS-B options for drones, and how uAvionix is addressing the problems of spectrum congestion and screen clutter.

UAV News

ESPN’s Drone Racing League returns with faster, bigger races

The Drone Racing League is introducing the Racer3 drone for season two. All competing pilots will use the Racer3, which is more powerful and agile than the Racer2. The new drone features 209 LED lights with a built-in LED matrix display, a custom 1,800mA battery, and proprietary internal long range radios for live events and broadcast.

In DRL’s next-gen Racer3 drone combines speed, performance, ESPN quotes DRL founder and CEO Nick Horbaczewski: “It is dramatically more powerful, faster and more agile than the Racer2. The Racer3 can go from zero to 80 miles an hour in less than a second, which means it can basically accelerate on a dime — which makes for really exciting racing and allowed us to create larger courses, more extreme courses.”

Races air on ESPN starting June 20, 2017.

FAA Will Release Maps to Speed up Drone Authorization Applications

The FAA wants to help drone operators improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests, and speed up the processing of requests. On April 27, 2017, the FAA plans to release a set of UAS facility maps that show areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. These maps will be available at http://www.faa.gov/uas for download in several formats and can be viewed on mobile devices.

Drone pilots can refer to the facility maps and align their applications with altitudes that the maps indicate are likely to be approved for small UAS operations. This simplifies the process and increases the likelihood that the FAA will approve the requests.

The US Border Patrol is trying to build face-reading drones

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is soliciting proposals for small UAS to be used by Border Patrol agents in the field. They are looking for drones that can be carried in a truck, deployed by a single Border Patrol agent in under 5 minutes, include sensors such as infrared cameras and facial-recognition, and distinguish between people, animals, and vehicles. CBP expects to be able to cross-reference drone observations with law enforcement databases.

UAV Video of the Week

Safety Drone?!? Check out the Tracker Drone Bojiang S5C-2 Review – TheRcSaylors

The RcSaylors YouTube channel covers RC, but they frequently provide consumer drone unboxings, reviews, and giveaways.