The Naval Research Laboratory powers a drone with a new fuel cell design, an Amazon patent to identify threats to drones, PrecisionHawk reports on BVLOS technology needs, and the FAA drone registration system reaches its one-year anniversary.
A team from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed and flown the Ion Tiger powered by a new hydrogen fuel cell developed at NRL. The program manager at the Office of Naval Research said, “NRL having the know how to build their own fuel cells in-house gives ONR and the U.S. Navy the understanding and tools needed for transitioning fuel cells to the fleet.”
Amazon was awarded a technology patent for a system of “countermeasures of threats to an uncrewed autonomous vehicle.” The system is based on a mesh network and communication between multiple drones that detect possible signs of a compromise.
Under the FAA Pathfinder Program, PrecisionHawk’s Phase 2 research indicates technology assist is critical for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. PrecisionHawk found that human control is subject to variability and cannot be relied upon exclusively for safe BVLOS flight. Good situational awareness technology is also needed.
December 21, 2016, marked the one-year anniversary of the FAA web-based drone registration system. More than 600,000 owners have registered and the FAA calls the system “an unqualified success.” Also, “The rule and the registration system were primarily aimed at the thousands of drone hobbyists who had little or no experience with the U.S. aviation system. The agency saw registration as an excellent way to give them a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions. The agency wanted them to feel they are part of the aviation community, to see themselves as pilots.”
Videos of the Week
Time selected six drone videos they considered to be those that most challenged our perspectives:
- The Nature Video Perfected
- The Destruction of Aleppo
- The Construction of Apple Campus 2
- The Tight Squeeze Approach
- The Single Shot Approach
- The Top Down Approach
This super heavy lift multirotor has enough power to lift a man. Filmed in Finland. Be sure to also watch the “behind the scenes” video.