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Aerial photography in real estate, autonomous lighting for photographs, nano drones for situational awareness, a new UAV market size study, video selfies by quadcopter, a U.S. “no drone zone” map, taking aerial video of wildfires, and university professors speak to the FAA.
Attorneys for NRT LLC, a large real estate brokerage, sent letters to the presidents of 200 offices telling them not to use drone photography until the FAA issues regulations. Not all real estate professionals are keen to shut down use of drones.
Researchers at MIT and Cornell University are developing autonomous robots equipped with lights that position themselves for photographers. As a first step, small multi-copters provide specified amounts of “rim lighting” for the subject, even as the photographer or the subject moves about.
A palm-sized unmanned helicopter is being developed by the The U.S. Army and Prox Dynamics for dismounted troops. Under the Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, the little UAV would provide a soldier with situational awareness in difficult environments: around a building, in the next room, etc. [Photo above courtesy Prox Dynamics.]
Annually, the capable analysts at Teal Group provide a forecast of the UAV market. Industry professionals will want to purchase the report, but Teal Group gives us some information in their report summary. They say, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue as the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade.”
If you know what a “selfie” is you can figure out what a “dronie” is. These are short videos that capture you and maybe your friends or family, then zoom away to show the environment where you are – in your back yard, at the beach, on a mountainside.
Zoom into this map of the United States to see major airports, U.S. military bases, and U.S. National Parks. All places to avoid when flying your UAV.
Firefighters battled the The Sand Fire of El Dorado and Amador County, California for three days. Then a civilian drone taking video appeared. The fire department didn’t like that, identified the pilot, and turned the matter over to the Sheriff. Several press reports describe the situation using words like “interfered” and “hindered,” but provide no information whatsoever as to just what the problem was, making us wonder just who is fanning what fire…
University professors are concerned that FAA prohibitions on sUAS operations will have the effect of stifling academic research. Specifically, that they are constrained by last month’s clarification from the FAA on rules for model airplanes operated at low-altitude over private property.
So 30 professors wrote a letter to the FAA saying,
“Under the FAA model aircraft rules, a 10-year-old hobbyist can freely fly model aircraft for recreation, while our nation’s scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are prohibited from using the same technology in the same types of environments.”
There is a process under which public colleges or universities can obtain a COA, but it does not apply to private schools, like Harvard and Stanford.
Public comments on docket number FAA-2014-0396, Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, are being accepted through September 23, 2014 at the Regulations.gov website.
Video of the Week
Mentawai Islands Drone Reconnaissance
The Mentawai Islands are a chain of about seventy islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia.
Airline Pilot Guy podcast.