Tag Archives: South Korea

UAV034 Center of Excellence for UAS

Block Island Rural Delivery Service

An FAA Center of Excellence for UAS, 3D printing a drone, the industry pressures FAA on UAS regs, drone privacy, a thought-controlled quadcopter, drones used for and against hunters, anti-drone legislation, Korean drones, and who needs drones when you have gulls?

The News:

Notice of Intent to Establish the FAA Center of Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Within the next year, the FAA intends to competitively select a Center of Excellence for UAS. The Center will conduct UAS related research, education, and training. It will also work with university partners on issues of mutual interest and concern.

Following the Notice of Intent, the FAA will issue a Draft Solicitation for public comment, hold a public meeting in May, and issue awards within “the next year.”

Engineers print a functioning 1.5m-wide prototype unmanned aerial vehicle

Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, has been used by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield to build a UAV. The polymer UAV made of nine parts that snap together. It’s thought to be an example of a low cost craft that could be built “on demand.”

Aerospace, Consumer Tech Lobbies Join Forces to Push for Domestic Drone Regulations

The aerospace and the consumer electronics industries are teaming up to pressure the FAA into moving quickly to define the regulations governing UAS operations.

Mansfield woman says missing drone “freaked me out”

An 18-year old student with hopes of becoming a filmmaker was flying his DJI Phantom when some kind of failure occurred. It went down around some homes, but couldn’t be found after a 2-hour search. So he put fliers on doors, hoping someone would find the Phantom. One woman found the flier and contacted the police, the mayors office, and even State officials fearing she was being spied on.

UNG students test drones to be controlled by thoughts

In a project funded through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, the University of North Georgia is using brain impulses to control a small quadcopter. Using an electroencephalogram-sensor headset, students are experimenting with control by thoughts without actually moving.

Alaska bans hunters from using drones

The Alaska Board of Game has wants to ban hunters from using drones to track animals. It’s already illegal there to use manned aircraft to spot game and kill them on the same day.

Colorado Bans the Use of Drones in Hunting

Alaska is not alone in this. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission banned unmanned aircraft “from hunting, scouting, and any other pursuit involved in the taking of wildlife.”

States Mulling Legislation to Ban Drones

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is pushing states to take up legislation that protects “hunters, anglers and trappers from harassment by unmanned, aerial drones while exercising their legal right to pursue and take wildlife.”

Editorial: Bill imposes pre-emptive limits on promising technology

The Washington State Legislature has passed anti-drone House Bill 2789, which seeks to address privacy concerns. This “speculative lawmaking” looks at negative uses of drones, and not positive ones. The Bill does look for transparency and appropriate legal approval to collect personal information via drones.

South Korea investigates two suspected North Korean drones

As North and South Korea recently exchanged hostilities, some blue drones equipped with cameras crashed in South Korea.

Gull drones to assist island deliveries

Under the concept from Block Island called B.I.R.D.S. (Block Island Rural Delivery Service), restaurants and stores on the island will use gulls to deliver food and merchandise. Gull training is underway now.

Video of the Week:

Tooth Extraction by Drone?

Mentioned:

 

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