FAA progress in meeting the UAS mandate, an update on plans at the Griffiss International Airport UAS test site, a former United States governor is hiding from the drones, a system to monitor river environments, maintaining UAS control in the airspace with satellites, and drones at the Olympics.
A Congressional hearing was held to check on the progress made by the FAA in meeting the roughly 200 mandates of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The FAA is behind schedule on the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and integration of UAS into the national airspace system.
A panel has described the activities expected at the UAS test site at Griffiss International Airport in upstate New York. This site is a partnership between Griffiss and the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) based in Syracuse.
Testing at Griffiss will begin around April 1, with a focus on agricultural, not military applications. Flyterra (@Flyterra on Twitter) will be the first commercial flyer of drones at the base, and they expect to test for about eight months.
Jesse Ventura is a former professional wrestler, Minnesota Mayor and Governor, actor, and current host of the Conspiracy Theory television series. He says he’s “gone off the grid” down in Mexico. Why? So the drones can’t find him.
A system that combines a multi-rotor UAV with an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) has been developed for environmental monitoring of rivers. The “Riverwatch” system automatically measures conditions above the water, below the water, and on the surface.
The six-rotor UAV is based on the VBrain from the Italian company Virtualrobotix. It uses open-source control software and hardware, and has a FLIR Quark 336 thermal imaging camera equipped with a GoPro Hero 3 WiFi camera, and a webcam.
The DeSIRE project (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in Europe) looks to test UAS control via satellite communications. The European Defense Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA) will cooperate to demonstrate that UAS can operate commercial and government missions beyond radio line-of-sight using satellite-based command-and-control data links.
UAVs are providing HD video of Olympic events for television broadcast.
Video of the Week: DJI Phantom – Niagara Falls
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