Commercial farmers everywhere are eager to apply new technology to their operations. That includes using unmanned aircraft for things like crop and livestock surveys, monitoring irrigation needs, and pest control.
Farmers in Louisiana as well as representatives from Louisiana State University’s AgCenter have formed a 17-member study group headed by a state Senator. They want to make recommendations to the FAA before it issues UAS regulations.
The Obama Administration is circulating a draft Executive Order that if signed would make government use of drones more transparent.
The Order would apply to federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, the Justice Department, NASA, the Interior Department, and the Commerce Department.
It would require that they provide information about the size of their fleet, how it is used, and what is done with the data collected.
One of the ten finalists in the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge is “Nixie,” a wristband camera that unfolds into a remote-controlled quadcopter.
The idea is that on command, Nixie unfolds, flies up, turns around, takes a picture of you, and returns so you can catch it.
With the help of the Shadowview Foundation, drones are being used to fight illegal poaching in Africa and Asia. Shadowview provides UAS for environmental, conservation, and humanitarian relief operations.
Others are active in this area. The World Wildlife Fund received a $5 million grant for its work in with drones specially designed by drone-maker Falcon UAV.
Facebook plans to offer WiFi service to the two thirds of the world without Internet access via large, solar powered drones.
Former RAF airbase, now public park Greenham Common is located about 50 miles west of London. It’s also the site where scenes for the next Star Wars movie are being filmed.
Someone identified only as “3dlp” flew a drone over the site and posted video on YouTube showing a Millennium Falcon under construction and two X-wing starfighters.
A man was using a drone to take pictures of a friends house under construction. A neighbor didn’t take kindly to that and took out the drone with a shotgun. He was arrested by police and charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Criminal Mischief.
An Aeryon SkyRanger is being used in the search for missing University of Virginia student. The FAA approved the use of the drone, a first in Virginia according to authorities.
John Coggin, chief engineer of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, said the drone will be used to take a closer look at objects of interest in areas too difficult to reach by other means.
Video of the Week
Edinburgh-based filmmaker John Duncan used a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter fitted with a GoPro 3+ camera FPV to shoot stunning aerial footage of Scotland for this his short film.