Tag Archives: Russia

UAV188 The Inflatable Drone

A drone that inflates and floats, the drone shoot-down lawsuit, a workshop on using UAS as photographic tools, drone privacy legislation returns at the federal level, and drones deployed with a missile launcher.

DIODON Drone Technology

DIODON Drone Technology with inflatable arms.

UAV News

SOFINS: Airvada unveils inflatable UAVs

French company DIODON Drone Technology offers drone solutions for inspection missions and for reconnaissance in hard to reach areas. Their idea is a range of multi-rotor drones that have inflatable arms. This allows for compact carrying, resistance to damage from shocks, and a drone that floats.

Judge rules in favor of “Drone Slayer,” dismisses lawsuit filed by pilot

In 2015, a Kentucky man shot down a drone that he believed was flying over his property. In 2016, the drone owner sued the man in federal court. He wanted the court to determine if his flight constituted trespassing. The argument was that the FAA regulates drones in the air, so federal law applied. He wanted the shooter to pay damages and repair or replace the drone. However, the judge dismissed the case, saying the venue was wrong. Unfortunately, this was not the right legal case to deal with the core issue of flying a drone over private property.

Renowned Drone Photographer Elia Locardi Partners With DJI To Host Aerial Photography Workshop World Tour

DJI is sponsoring a photography workshop with professional travel photographer and videographer Elia Locardi. For his aerial photography, Elia uses DJI Phantom and Inspire drones, with some helicopter shots mixed in. The DJI Drone Photography Workshop world tour starts in Lisbon, Portugal May 19, 2017. Participants will visit beautiful destinations to photograph using DJI drones during the two and a half day workshops. These will also teach drone photography in the field and in post-processing, as well as safe piloting techniques using the DJI quadcopters. For information, see Aerial DJI Drone Photography Workshops with Elia Locardi.

Proposed Drone Bill Threatens to Upend Privacy Standards, Stifle UAS Industry

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. have reintroduced the “Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act.” However, the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) argues that instead, we should apply existing law to the new technology, and not create new law for the new technology. CDA also points out that the Act would require drone operators to make public their future operations, including location, flight duration, purpose of the flight, and other advance declarations.

New Russian military drone launches directly from missiles

Splav Research and Manufacturing Association (SRMA) has designed a drone that launches from a missile fired by the Smerch launch system. This lets them quickly place the drone where it is needed.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone captures incredible video of rare whale behavior

Rare video from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary showing a humpback whale off Maui with its tail out of the water, seemingly catching the wind like a sail. See also Whale Of A Headstand: Rare Humpback Sighting At Sea.

Mentioned

Star Wars 7×7

Congratulations on Episode 1000! Star Wars 7×7 covers news about Star Wars movies, books, TV shows, events, games, comics, trivia, and more. It also features analysis, in-depth discussions, reviews, interviews, and connects the pieces of the Star Wars story unfolding across multiple media platforms.

 

 

UAV029 Delivering the Internet via UAV

Titan Aerospace

Facebook buys a drone company, having enough communications and data bandwidth, an international UAV test consortium announced, UAV training at Roswell, busting FAA myths about UAVs, FAA authority to regulate UAS questioned, privacy questions flare down under, and Russia building Israeli UAVs.

Breaking news: Commercial Drones Are Completely Legal, a Federal Judge Ruled

The News:

Facebook Follows Amazon, Google Into Drones With $60 Million Purchase

Facebook is reportedly purchasing Titan Aerospace for $60 Million. Titan Aerospace makes high altitude solar-powered UAV’s that they refer to as persistent solar atmospheric satellites.™

Facebook is a partner in Internet.org, along with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm. Their objective is to bring everyone in the world with a smartphone into the “knowledge economy” by making Internet services 100 times more affordable.

Accomplishing that means reducing the volume of data served by ten times, and reducing the cost to serve that data by ten times. That’s where Titan comes in.

Drones seen driving spectrum sharing technologies

We talk a lot about the UAS regulations the FAA needs to establish, but there is something else that has to be figured out. All those military and commercial UAVs slated to cloud our skies need com links, and that means enough spectrum has to be available.

International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites For UAVs Announced In Quebec

An International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites has been created to share information on operational safety, flight regulations, and operational experiences.

This is intended to enable development, testing, and certification of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The Consortium also looks to support creation of international standards for UAS/RPAS construction. Other centers are expected to join the Consortium.

The Consortium was announced by the UAV test and service centre (CESA) in France, the Oklahoma State University – University Multispectral Laboratories, the National Aeronautical Centre in Wales, and the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence in Quebec, Canada.

Roswell selected as drone plane training center

Strategic Aerospace International is setting up a drone pilot training center in Roswell, New Mexico, starting with 30 Air Force academy graduates in a three month program. SAI has the curriculum at 48 colleges and universities, but needs the airspace to fly the UAVs. They’ll use the Northrop Grumman SandShark UAS.

Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

The FAA wants to dispel some of what they consider to be “misconceptions and misinformation” about UAS regulations. Things like control of airspace, what commercial flights are allowable, and can the FAA police all this? So they’ve published a list of seven myths and the “real” facts.

Myth #1: The FAA doesn’t control airspace below 400 feet
Fact: They do.

Myth #2: Commercial UAS flights are OK if I’m over private property and stay below 400’.
Fact: A 2007 Federal Register notice says no.

Myth #3: Commercial UAS operations are a “gray area” in FAA regulations.
Fact: There is no gray.

Myth #4: There are too many commercial UAS operations for the FAA to stop.
Fact: The FAA is watching and has appropriate enforcement tools

Myth #5: Commercial UAS operations will be OK after September 30, 2015.
Fact: Congress mandated that the FAA come up with a safe integration plan by that date. Regulations, policies, and standards will come incrementally.

Myth #6: The FAA is lagging behind other countries in approving commercial drones.
Fact: The U.S. is not like the rest of the world. We have a very busy airspace and we need to get this right.

Myth #7: The FAA predicts as many as 30,000 drones by 2030.
Fact: That’s an old outdated number. Now the FAA estimates 7,500 sUAS by 2018

Free the Beer Drones: Maybe the FAA doesn’t have the authority to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles.

The author believes the U.S. Code and regulations that give the FAA authority, do not define UAVs, so they have no authority. And even if the FAA does have authority, it has not published the documents required to regulate UAVs. Regulatory and statutory law requires public scrutiny and input, and the FAA hasn’t done that.

AFP using drones to investigate major crime as questions raised over privacy

A parliamentary inquiry is looking at drones and their use by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The AFP maintains use has been limited, like at crime scenes, and admits that covert surveillance would require a warrant. But the Office of the Privacy Commissioner says it has been getting inquiries from the public about the use of drones.

Warplanes: Russia Builds Israeli UAV

After seven years of negotiations and trials, Russia has begun production under license of the Israeli Searcher 2 UAV.

Video of the Week:

Autonomous drones flock like birds

Mentioned:

Williams Foundation calls for fast-tracked UAVs

 

UAV027 Policing UAS Use

Elbit Systems Hermes 900

A DJI Phantom watches baseball spring training, FAA policing UAS usage, Canada wants to buy drones, so does the Russian military, and Korea seeks to be a UAS supplier.

The News:

Nationals using aerial drone to record footage of spring training

The Washington Nationals baseball team is observing spring training through the eyes of a GoPro mounted on a DJI Phantom. They say they’ll also use aerial footage on the scoreboard for games.

Runaway Drones Map Land, Film ‘Wolf,’ Knock Down People, as FAA Gives Chase

The FAA takes a dim view of UAVs and has notified many operators to cease operations. Some people are ignorant of the FAA policy. Others are aware but ignore it. Even others believe their activities are allowable. But is it even possible for the FAA to police the use of UAVs?

Heron, Reaper and Hermes 900 Compete for Canada’s Arctic mission

Canada wants an an advanced system for operation in the Arctic. Under consideration are the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron unmanned air system, General Atomics Reaper, and Elbit Systems Hermes 900.

Russian Defense Ministry Unveils $9B UAV Program
Russia delays testing of UAE’s United 40 Block 5 UAV

The Russian military operates 500 drones, and they expect to spend 320 billion rubles (US $9 billion) by 2020 for more. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a big supporter of UAVs and believes Russia needs to develop combat and reconnaissance variants.

Singapore Airshow 2014: KAI promotes Devil Killer UAV as maritime weapon

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is marketing the “Devil Killer” internationally to acquire a first customer that will put the UAV into production. Intended to loiter above potential targets, this “tactical suicide combat UAV” would be operator-guided to the target, crash into the target, and detonate its 2 kg payload.

Video of the Week:

Building Tensile Structures with Flying Machines – Quadcopters with spools of rope weave tensile structures. (Submitted by Colin Sweetman.)

FAA and the UAVs An opinion piece by Tim Trott

Which of these photos is “legal”? Which one represents an illegal “commercial use” of a UAV? 

Which of these photos is legal

Was the UAV controlled by a hobbyist or a commercial photographer? Does one represent more safety than the other? Obviously both are the same picture, and that is exactly the point. (And it is NOT for sale).

The FAA’s current approach to the UAV revolution, and it is a revolution, is like catching the tiger by the tail, and the FAA only plans to catch up with the tiger ….in a few years. Or so.

That was demonstrated in a recent survey report that found some people who claimed they didn’t know anything about the FAA’s position and others who were unconcerned or even defiant. Some of those enjoying “unregulated” hobby use of UAVs brag about how high and far they can fly, clearly outside of the FAA’s “recommendation” for visual line of sight under 400 feet. Airline and helicopter pilots continue to express serious safety concerns, while comments on the other side tend to minimize any real dangers and the unlikely event of an encounter between a UAV and a commercial aircraft… even in the face of reports of several “close calls” reported by pilots. None of this will improve with time.

In the meantime, don’t look for any mention of the FAA anywhere on web sites of the manufacturers or companies selling UAVs. My own communication with B&H Photo, a well respected professional photography store, gave clear indication that they have no interest or any intention of including anything about any restrictions in the US, while describing their products as “Designed for professional photography”.

Of course not! A caution could affect sales to people like me who learned about the FAA’s unwritten rules against “professional use” only AFTER my purchase arrived. They did offer a refund, but would still not consider or discuss a caution message on the web site.

FAA staff members are apparently spending a lot of time scanning you tube channels and web sites looking for “commercial” users of UAVs and sending out random warnings and a few Cease and Desist orders. It would be a much less daunting task to find the companies SELLING them and request that they include logical safety precautions either packed with the products or sent emails to those who have already purchased them. However, there remains the untenable distinction between commercial and hobby use.

While commercial users, it could be argued, might be more concerned about being liable for damages, the hobbyist is thinking more about enjoying the sport of flying. But they both need to stay out of air traffic lanes, stay below 400 ft, and exercise reasonable caution with regard to public safety.

There is no logical basis for the restriction against commercial use. Hobbyist or commercial, either way the operator can cause damages or injuries. The FAA’s position has done little to affect the explosion in UAVs being used.

My sneaking suspicion is that the FAA’s hesitation is less about safety and more about UAV’s threat to the manned aerial photography business.

There is a simple and obvious solution to this situation and it is this:

The FAA could and should IMMEDIATLY provide for LIMITED INTERIM registration for all UAVs, defining the 400 ft stipulation, cautions against flying over people and so on. The FAA should also provide the guidelines to retailers selling to US citizens, requesting that the guidelines be included on retailer web sites and distributed by the UAV community.

That’s the ONLY logical solution and there is no good reason to wait until 2015 and hundreds of reasons not to wait being sold every month.

The use of UAVs will continue to grow. Waiting until there are many more thousands of them in the air years from now is not a logical course for the FAA. The FAA needs to face the fact that the bird is already out of the nest. So to speak.

Tim Trott

UAV019 General Atomics Sense and Avoid

General Atomics Predator B

This Episode:

A successful first sense and avoid flight, a Russian drone killer, UAS test site selection approaches, and a drone hunting proposal is going to the voters.

The News:

General Atomics tests UAV that can “sense and avoid” other aircraft

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has had a successful first test flight in California of a prototype Sense and Avoid (SAA) system, using a Predator B. Developing SAA is key to allowing UAS in the U.S. airspace. Radar, transponder, and traffic alert systems all worked together for the first time to detect other aircraft. This is not an optical system. Instead, it integrates three systems:

  1. BAE Systems’ AD/DPX-7 Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder with Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver

  2. the General Atomics Due Regard Radar (DRR)

  3. Honeywell’s TPA-100 Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS.

Russia upgrades Pantsir-S systems to create “UAV-killers”

With unmanned aircraft playing an increasing role in military operations, it was only a matter of time until we began to see UAV-specific countermeasures. The Russians are modifying their Pantsir-S (SA-22 Greyhound) gun-missile system to make it more effective at bringing down UAVs.

Freight-Drone Dream Has U.S. States Vying for Test Sites

Twenty-four States are vying to become UAS test sites where private researchers can study how unmanned aircraft can be integrated into the airspace. The FAA plans to announce the six sites before the end of 2013.

Colorado judge rules in favor of holding drone-hunting vote after legal fight

Remember Deer Trail, that Colorado town that is looking at a proposal to issue hunting permits for drones? A District Judge rejected a legal challenge and so now the town’s 370 voters will decide the matter April 1, 2014. The FAA maintains it’s position that shooting down aircraft is a criminal act.

An annual license would cost $25, and hunters would receive a $100 bounty for “identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”