Tag Archives: training

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

 

UAV017 UAS for Good, Bad, and the Improbable

RP Flight Systems Spectra

This Episode:

Using a drone to smuggle contraband into a prison, learn to fly unmanned vehicles at a University, UAV privacy laws carve out drones as a special case, drones are blocked even for humanitarian purposes, the Amazon.com vision for UAS, and how to hack a drone.

The News:

Drones used to try to smuggle contraband into jail

Prison guards, probably among the most perceptive people, noticed a hexacopter over Calhoun State Prison in Georgia. Four people were arrested after the drone was found in a car with some tobacco and mobile phones – desirable items for the incarcerated.

So you want to FLY Drones

After becoming interested in this field, the author joined a Drone Pilot Training Certificate program at the Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU), which was founded in 2012. The three-phase Certificate has students complete an online “ground school” from home, then computer flight training simulation, and finally actual flight school.

Flightless Drones

We think about privacy concerns associated with Unmanned Aerial Systems, but what makes drones so different? Shouldn’t we be looking at privacy from a general surveillance perspective, regardless of the technology? What about other robotic or autonomous devices that can snoop on you?

Civilian Drones Movie

This documentary presents compelling examples of actual search and rescue operations (SAR) where drones played a critical role. These are real people with lost loved ones. The non-profit search team of volunteers has been declared by the FAA to be in an official capacity, not essential, and therefore forbidden.

The Texas Equusearch SAR team featured in the documentary uses a variety of resources (divers, searchers on horseback, etc.) and has conducted 1300 searches across the U.S. They found the RP Flight Systems Spectra to be invaluable in locating missing persons.

Two producers of the documentary were interviewed on Episode 280 of the All Things That Fly podcast, about 14 minutes in. Their mission is “Spreading the word about the humanitarian use of civilian drones” and you can find them on Twitter as @CivilianDrones.

Amazon’s Hopes For Drone Deliveries

Amazon Spoof

Amazon Spoof

Amazon.com has produced a concept video showing an octocopter load a package and deliver it to the front walk of the purchasing family’s home. While limited to 5-pound packages, Amazon says that covers 86% of the packages shipped. They say such a service could be deployed within five years.

 

 

Flying hacker contraption hunts other drones, turns them into zombies

Well known hacker Samy Kamkar has released the specifications needed to turn a Parrot AR Drone into “SkyJack,” which can hijack nearby Parrot drones.

Max’s Quadcopter:

Max now has a Blade Nano QX quad-copter that he’s learning to fly, although not very successfully so far. The “buy small and don’t spend a lot of money” strategy for the first multi-copter is proving to be a good one since Max crashes the thing a lot.