Tag Archives: India

UAV166 DJI Mavik Hands-On Review

A review of the new DJI Mavik folding quadcopter, Verizon drone tests continue, India looks at ATC towers and civil UAS, drones for flood control, and drones for flood rescue. 

Guest

DJI formation flight

Formation flight (top to bottom): DJI Matrice 600, Inspire 1 Pro, Phantom 4, Mavik Pro. Photo by Brandon Remler.

Parker Gyokeres got his hands on the new DJI Mavik and gives us his observations after flying the quadcopter.

Parker notes that the price, performance, features, light weight, and ultra-compact size makes the Mavik an ideal “gateway drug” to flying drones. The small size, when folded, makes it easy to take with you, and the fast setup time makes it more likely that you’ll actually fly the quadcopter and shoot video.

Parker is the owner of Propellerheads Aerial Photography, LLC, an FAA Part 107 licensed business providing aerial photography and medium/heavy lift cinematography, thermal imaging, NDVI multispectral and 3F photogrammetry.

News

Verizon Forges Ahead with New LTE Drone Project

Verizon Communications wants to outfit drones with 4G LTE and use its ThingSpace IoT platform for industrial surveillance missions and other applications. This is part of their Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) initiative which has been testing since 2014. Verizon brought in American Aerospace Technologies Inc. (AATI) in a test to connect a 17-foot wingspan UAS and their 4G LTE network.

India sets up ATC towers upgradation committee for UAVs

The Indian government has created a government/civil committee to determine infrastructure and technical requirements for air traffic control towers. In the past year, India experienced five near-miss incidents involving commercial aircraft. At least 40 ATC towers need upgrades to mitigate safety and security risks. The Indian government is still working on rules that would allow civil use of UAVs.

How Drones Can Save the Flood Control District Thousands of Headaches

County Flood Control District workers and contractors in Texas currently have to monitor hundreds of miles of bayous and channels, as well as tens of thousands of acres of detention basins. By using drones, they could significantly reduce their inspection costs. So far, in a limited trial with Austin, Texas company HUVR, they’re using a drone to check up on mowing done by contractors.

Video of the Week

Drone, social media make flood rescue happen in real time

Chris Williams and his dog were trapped for 14 hours in their attic. He texted his parents, and they told his brother 1,300 miles away in Texas, who tried but couldn’t get through to authorities.

Meanwhile, Quavas Hart sent his drone out and posted some photos of the flooded area on Instagram, which the brother of the trapped man saw. As a joke, he sent the photo to his brother saying, “at least you’re not this guy.”

Except, that he was that guy. The brother was eventually able to tweet Hart, the drone operator, who “used his drone to attract the attention of a FEMA search-and-rescue boat crew in the neighborhood.” They then rescued the trapped man. “The entire operation was captured by the camera on Hart’s drone.”

UAV090 Dee Jay Eye

X-47B Demonstrates Unmanned Aerial RefuelingThe X47B demonstrates autonomous refueling, 3D Robotics releases the Solo, India weaponizes small drones for crowd control, opinions on how the FAA can do a better job, and Auburn University plans to provide UAS pilot training.

News

X-47B Demonstrates Unmanned Aerial Refueling For The First Time

The Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle has successfully demonstrated autonomous aerial refueling, plugging into the aerial refueling basket behind a KC-707 tanker.

3D Robotics takes on DJI with Solo ‘smart drone’

The 3D Robotics Solo may be the smartest drone ever

3D Robotics Solo

3D Robotics released the Solo ready to fly quadcopter. They call it “The Smart Drone” and it includes an onboard 1GHz computer in addition to the Pixhawk 2 flight controller. It has full access to the GoPro camera (not included) and can stream live video. Price is US$1,000, or US$1,400 including a GoPro gimbal mount.

Security from the sky: Indian city to use pepper-spray drones for crowd control

The Senior Superintendent of police in the northern India city of Lucknow says they’ll use small drones with pepper spray to control mobs and unruly crowds. The drones they are using cost between $9,560 and $19,300, and will be fitted with a camera and pepper spray. Lucknow police have already used camera-equipped drones to monitor crowds at a recent religious festival.

FAA Speeds Up Small Drone Exemptions. But Why Not Just Issue Blanket Exemption?

This opinion piece argues that rather than issue exemptions one-by-one for sUAS operations, the FAA should issue a blanket exemption.

Auburn University receives nation’s first FAA authorization to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School

Auburn University says it has received FAA approval for a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School as part of its Aviation Center. Bill Hutto, director of the Auburn University Aviation Center said, “We will conduct commercial flight training for operators of unmanned aircraft systems outdoors and untethered. We will have the ability to offer training courses at different locations here and around the state for Auburn students, faculty, members of other public agencies and the general public.”

FAA permits Amazon to test new UAV model

Amazon had complained that the UAS approved by the FAA in March was already obsolete, due to the length of time it took to get the COA. Amazon has now received a letter from the FAA granting operation of “the Amazon-manufactured multirotor small UAS that has been described to the FAA in a confidential filing.”

33 UAV Experts Reveal Favorite Drone Accessory

UAV Coach asked 33 experts, “If you could only choose one drone accessory, which one would you choose and why?” The site, which seeks to help people fly their quadcopters, “wanted to discover what some of the top industry professionals, drone bloggers, news sites, companies, and pilots would use to enhance their flights if they only had one option.” The group of experts includes past guests Tim Trott and Parker Gyokeres. Oh, and also our own David Vanderhoof.

Video of the Week

Dragonfly – Vanuatu Disaster Relief 2015

This very interesting video documents the relief provided by the 240 foot super motor yacht “Dragonfly” after Tropical Cyclone Pam pummeled the islands of Vanuatu. Much of the video was shot with a quadcopter, and it very clearly illustrates the complete destruction of the island.

Mentioned

DJI Developer

DJI has a developer program and SDK which supports the Phantom 2 Vision and Phantom 2 Vision+. Support for the Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 is coming soon. iOS and Android operating systems are supported now, with Windows Phone support coming soon.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

UAV064 Drones In the Water and Out of the Air

The Flyox I from Singular AircraftAn amphibian RPA, India bans drones, open source code for drones, area terrain mapping, DARPA’s ship-based MALE UAV concept, a new UAV market study, and more on logbooks for drone pilots.

News

The Flyox Amphib UAV enters market

Singular Aircraft has released the Flyox I, an amphibian RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) that can take off and land on water, as well as on unpaved runways and snow.

Flyox I is a high wing aircraft with a 14 meter wingspan, a 2000 kg payload, and is powered by two 340 HP engines. It can automatically take-off and land, and can be programed with preset flight paths.

Envisioned applications include agriculture, firefighting, goods transport, surveillance, and rescue.

India bans civilian drones in the country till it revises existing policies

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has prohibited the use of civilian drones in India. The DGCA says, “Due to lack of regulation, operating procedures/standards, and uncertainty of the technology, UAS poses threat for air collisions and accidents.”

Serbia and Albania game abandoned after drone invasion sparks brawl

Serbia’s European Championship football (soccer) qualifying match with Albania was stopped after a fight between the players broke out. When a DJI Phantom flew over the field carrying a “Greater Albania” flag, a Serbian player pulled it down, and that sparked the brawl.

Industry Coalition Wants Open Source Code for Drones

The Dronecode Project has been established as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project to foster a common, shared open source platform for UAVs. The Project includes the APM/ArduPilot UAV software platform and associated code, currently hosted by 3D Robotics.

Founding members include 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, Intel, jDrones, Laser Navigation, Qualcomm Technologies, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec.

More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode. Press Release: Linux Foundation and Leading Technology Companies Launch Open Source Dronecode Project

Drone approved to map area terrain

Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) will partner with 3D Aerial Solutions to fly an eBee drone to map terrain at the Wilmington Air Park. The photogrammetry flights will produce a series of two-dimensional photographs that together create a 3D image. The Ohio/Indiana UAS Test Site will then use the data to virtually fly UAVs.

The eBee is a hand-launched flying wing type aircraft with a single pusher engine. It has a 38” wingspan, a 50 minute flight time, and a radio range of just under 2 miles.

Wright State also has asked the FAA for permission to fly a UAV above the National Center for Medical Readiness. A decision is pending.

DARPA advances ship-based MALE UAV concept

DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded AeroVironment a $19 million preliminary design contract to demonstrate launch and recovery of a medium-sized UAV from a small vessel.

According to DARPA, the tactically exploited reconnaissance node (TERN, now retitled Tern) program, “envisions using smaller ships as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude long-endurance [MALE] unmanned aircraft. Ideally, Tern would enable on-demand, ship-based unmanned aircraft system operations without extensive, time-consuming and irreversible ship modifications.”

“Subscale flight demonstrations” are expected over the next 12 months.

2014 UAV Market Research Study assesses size, growth of total UAV market

The “2014 UAV Market Research Study” from IGI Consulting estimates that the US market will grow from $5 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2020.

The study looks at the total UAV market, ranging from large military UAVs to small amateur UAVs. It considers DOD, Civil, Commercial, sUAS, DIY Amateur, and Radio Control aircraft.

Growth will be driven by the commercial and Do-it-Yourself markets, with major commercial applications being: agriculture, real estate, filmmaking, oil and pipeline, electric utility, and specialized package delivery.

Video of the Week

Hawk 1, Drone 0: Bird of prey attacks quadcopter, takes down from skies

A red-tailed hawk swoops down and takes out a Phantom FC40 quadcopter.

Mentions

Camera Drone Slams Into Turkey’s Blue Mosque, Recovers, Moves On

The UAV Systems Association, “America’s First Commercial Drone Association.” Members include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, software publishers, professional photographers, and enthusiasts.

2014 Strato Reel

More logbook references and software

UAV flight log for Android
RPAS Logger Lite for Android
RPAS Logger Lite description from RPAS Training & Solutions
UAS Flight Log online software
and Where Do We Go From Here? from Southern Helicam