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Rank #72 in Aviation category

Technology
Leisure
Aviation

The UAV Digest

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #72 in Aviation category

Technology
Leisure
Aviation
Read more

The weekly audio podcast bringing you coverage of unmanned aerial vehicles and systems.

Read more

The weekly audio podcast bringing you coverage of unmanned aerial vehicles and systems.

iTunes Ratings

55 Ratings
Average Ratings
50
0
3
1
1

Great Listen!!!

By Pilotwithoutaplane - Jan 07 2019
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Thank you for your weekly shows!! I look forward to listening to you guys on my drive to work!!!

Great industry and hobby news

By CamboSliced - Jan 04 2019
Read more
Great industry and hobby news

iTunes Ratings

55 Ratings
Average Ratings
50
0
3
1
1

Great Listen!!!

By Pilotwithoutaplane - Jan 07 2019
Read more
Thank you for your weekly shows!! I look forward to listening to you guys on my drive to work!!!

Great industry and hobby news

By CamboSliced - Jan 04 2019
Read more
Great industry and hobby news

Listen to:

Cover image of The UAV Digest

The UAV Digest

Updated 2 days ago

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The weekly audio podcast bringing you coverage of unmanned aerial vehicles and systems.

277 NUAIR Alliance and UAS Integration into the NAS

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NUAIR Alliance and UAS stakeholders establish a plan to support integration into the NAS, drone privacy bill killed, drone tech for bee populations, applications for LiDAR-equipped drones, complaints in the UK, new drone marking rule, shoot-down in Australia, SWAT team UAV, ag drone fleet, Boeing’s UAS from Australia.

Mar 01 2019

35mins

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303 Ehang Autonomous Aerial Vehicle

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EHang is flying its urban air mobility vehicle contender. Remote identification of drones is moving forward. Also, using drones to measure methane emissions, find standing water where mosquitoes breed, assess hurricane damage, explore Titan, and plant trees.

UAV News

EHang completes first passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle demonstration flight

The EHang 216 passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle (or AAV) was flown at the 2019 Northeast Asia Expo in August. Ehang has been demonstrating the aircraft at several cities in China as well as in Austria, the Netherlands, and Qatar. Ehang says, “This is a critical step towards making our dream [a] reality and to make urban air mobility broadly available and affordable as a safe, fast, and eco-friendly transportation alternative.”

Video: EHang AAV Trial Flights Across Cities in China

https://youtu.be/7RjstNDRuCQ

Electronic License Plates for Drones May Come Soon

A draft of the proposed ASTM standard for electronic identification of drones is available as ASTM WK65041, “New Specification for UAS Remote ID and Tracking.” During operation, a drone would transmit a unique ID, location, and vector. The chairman of ASTM International’s Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems said, “You can just take a phone, point it up at a drone and get its electronic ID if you see it doing something dangerous. [And you can report it] just like reporting a car’s license plate number.” Old drones can be retrofitted with ID chips that would plug into their USB ports and might cost $7 to $12.

BP deploys continuous methane measurement for new major oil and gas projects

BP said it is going to monitor its methane emissions around the world using a technology called gas cloud imaging and drones. Inspections would take 30 minutes instead of seven days. The sensor technology was originally designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover. This is a key part of BP’s strategy to deploy a suite of complementary methane detecting techniques across new and existing facilities.

Anthropology professor deploys drone to fight disease in Africa

Mosquitoes are the main transmitters of malaria, and they breed in standing water. Agricultural irrigation can create standing water which is difficult to detect with satellite imagery. In the East African nation of Malawi, Professor Jon Carroll and other researchers from Oakland University spent nine days collecting data on the effectiveness of drone imagery to detect standing water.

AIRT uses UAS to perform damage assessment operations in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian

Two organizations have formed a joint-reconnaissance team to survey the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian: the Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) and the Southeast Florida Region 7 All-Hazards Incident Management Team (SEFL-R7 AHIMT). Disaster scenes were mapped by UAS with high-resolution camera systems.

Meet The Nuclear-Powered Self-Driving Drone NASA Is Sending To A Moon Of Saturn

The Dragonfly is a dual-rotor quadcopter, about the size of a compact car, autonomous, and nuclear powered. Expected to launch from Earth in 2026 and arrive on Titan in 2034, Dragonfly will explore Titan’s dunes, mountains, gullies, and rivers and lakes of liquid methane.

NASA Video: New Dragonfly Mission Flying Landing Sequence Animation.

https://youtu.be/IdYeWN9ZivE

Middle East drones signal end to era of fast jet air supremacy

Air superiority has been key to winning wars since airplanes were invented. But compared to the world’s major air forces, drones are small, low cost, and they don’t put a pilot into the war-zone.

This startup lets you subscribe to support an army of drones that’s planting millions of trees

A new startup called Now wants to “mobilize humanity to reverse the climate crisis.” The organization was created by 19-year-old activist and musical artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez who says that if a trillion trees are planted, they could capture two-thirds of the carbon that humans have emitted since the industrial revolution. The subscription concept of Now would fund planting trees with drones. See also 19-Year-Old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Isn’t Waiting For Permission to Solve the Climate Crisis: “The Time Is NOW.”

Conference

Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2019, October 28-30, 2019 in Las Vegas. Video: Commercial UAV Expo 2018 in a minute.

https://youtu.be/J-Yr0IuswtI

Sep 20 2019

31mins

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274 A Nano-UAV for the Army

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A FLIR Systems acquisition and a nano-UAV contract, proposed drone rules for Australia, testing UAS in the wind, a market forecast for drones, and Amazon tests UTM.

Feb 01 2019

31mins

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285 Tethered UAS for First Responders

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Actively tethered UAS, drone studies the atmosphere, hive drone releases swarm of smaller drones, Virgin Atlantic reports a near-hit, drone plants tree seeds, Wing receives FAA approval for delivery service in the US, a drone powered by variable buoyancy.

Apr 26 2019

30mins

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302 Drones for Border Protection

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US Customs and Border Protection plans to test drones that provide agents with situational awareness. Also, a modular hydrogen fuel cell UAV platform, a UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program concludes, FPV drones that use your phone for video, a traffic control drone in China, a new all-electric helicopter UAS, and a test that teams manned and unmanned aircraft and munitions.

UAV News

UAVs Recruited for Border Detection

US Customs and Border Protection has been working with the Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to build and test small drones. Planck Aerosystems will be granted $200,000 to test its prototype in operational environments over the next three to six months. The autonomous small UAV will launch from and land on the bed of a moving vehicle, provide fully autonomous navigation, have advanced computer vision capability, and include customized communications interfaces.

ISS Aerospace Launches Sensus Hydrogen Fuel Cell UAV with AMS Cylinders

ISS Aerospace has developed the Sensus, a modular hydrogen fuel cell UAV platform. It includes an ultra-lightweight, carbon composite gas cylinder from AMS Composite Cylinders and the air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell module was developed by Intelligent Energy.

Video: Fuel cell power for UAVs

https://youtu.be/EMcfE-zr9qw

FAA, Nasa and UAS partners conclude pilot programme

This portion of the UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program sought to test safe drone operations beyond visual line of sight at less than 400 feet altitude. Technology tests and evaluation included flight planning, communications, aircraft separation, and weather services for drones. Also, connections to FAA flight management servers and LAANC services (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability). Based on the results, the FAA will form the UTM regulatory framework.

See also, Unmanned Traffic Management Pilot Program: FAA Drone Flight Testing Lands First Milestone.

10 of the most popular FPV drones on Amazon this fall

This is a list of FPV drones that use your phone for the video.

Police Drone Caught Barking Orders at Chinese Driver

In this video from China, a police drone sees a group of scooters stopped at a traffic light and one of the riders isn’t wearing his helmet. The drone has a loudspeaker and can be heard ordering the man to put his helmet on, which he does.

Video: Traffic officer in China uses drones to give orders from above.

https://youtu.be/ynEZrPdJ6gE

AeroVironment Unveils VAPOR All-Electric Helicopter UAS at DSEI, Adding New and Expanded Mission Capabilities to Its Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

AeroVironment announced the VAPOR all-electric helicopter UAS, now added to their line of fixed-wing tactical systems. With a GTOW of up to 55 pounds, the copter has a maximum cruise endurance of 60 minutes with a full payload.

Army Night Stalker Chinook Teamed Up With Bomb-Slinging Drone In Complex AI-Enabled Test

The test integrated an MH-47 Chinook special operations helicopter, an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, a Dynetics GBU-69/B glide bomb, and personnel on the ground using an AI-driven networked sensor system. The Air Force has a similar project, called Golden Horde.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone follows a rollercoaster and takes you on a wild ride in this epic video

https://youtu.be/iDCIRvyeMxk

Sep 13 2019

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286 Professional-Grade UAS

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Professional-grade UAS components, a fuel cell system for UAVs, drone flying in national parks, the Choctaw Nation UAS Integration Pilot Program, new life for Piaggio Hammerhead, and the Northrop Grumman Firebird surveillance aircraft.

May 03 2019

33mins

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270 Our Predictions for 2019

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Recent drone news and a few predictions for the unmanned aircraft industry in 2019.
UAV News
NYC police to use camera drones for security at Times Square NYE party
What’s the best anti-drone technology? Rain, it turns out. The New York Police Department had planned to utilize drones with cameras for the Times Square New Year’s Eve party, but inclement weather prevented their use.
Drones likely to be regulated by state, city governments in 2019
With Gatwick and the Aeromexico 737 incident, safety is on people’s minds. State and local governments are likely to continue to legislate drone rules that address safety and privacy.
Gatwick Cops: Some of Those Drones Could've Been Ours
The Sussex Police department's chief constable says some of drone sightings might have been police surveillance drones. However, 92 of the 115 reported sightings have been confirmed.
Gatwick drones: Army withdrawn from airport
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the “military capability” has been withdrawn from Gatwick. That capability is believed to include the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system. Also, Gatwick said it had spent £5m to prevent future attacks.
‘Just look at Gatwick': Drone regulations welcomed, but WA Senator calls for 'deeper' focus
A bipartisan Senate inquiry into drone safety regulations reported out in July 2018, but the Australian federal government didn’t respond. Until now.
Severn Bridge shuts after man scales tower to fly a drone
On Dec 31, 2018, the M48 motorway crossing the Severn River between England and Wales was closed for a time until the drone operator came off the tower. He was arrested and is out on bail.
Camera drones to hunt killer sharks in new patrols on Australian beaches
A fleet of drones will monitor 50 beaches along a 1,300-mile coastline for sharks. The drones will use "SharkSpotter" software developed by the University of Technology Sydney. From the Press Release:
In a collaboration with industry partner The Ripper Group, SharkSpotter is a world-first software system that allows for faster reaction times to potential shark threats. Westpac Little Ripper has a suite of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS, drones) created to react quickly and efficiently to situations at sea where lives are at risk. The drones are loaded with the SharkSpotter AI application which can efficiently distinguish and identify sharks in real-time using image processing techniques, state-of-the-art sensors and software.
Video: Little Ripper Lifesaver Drones Spot Sharks Electronically
https://youtu.be/HItdecoGK3A
See SharkAttackData.com for worldwide shark attack data.
Predictions for 2019
David and Max offer a few industry predictions for 2019.
Mentioned
The Lego Sky Police Drone Chase.
Counter UAS Conference 2019
The UAV Digest is pleased to be a media partner for Counter UAS Conference 2019 aimed at the defense industry and to be held April 16-88, 2019 at the Hilton London Kensington, 179-199 Holland Park Ave London W11 4UL, United Kingdom.
Counter UAS 2019 addresses the key questions being asked by joint forces about the nature of the growing UAS threat and the appropriate tactics, techniques, technologies, and procedures to counter it.
The UAS industry has grown considerably in recent years and our ability to counter these new threats is becoming more strained. These rapidly developing systems are becoming harder to identify and track, as well as being capable of carrying larger payloads. Their potential is devastating and the consequences of inaction are growing larger.
The third annual C-UAS Conference provides a platform for military and industry to discuss the current developments in C-UAS capabilities, emerging technologies, and the latest case studies to give a real-world context to the conceptual and theoretical discussions. The proliferation of inexpensive commercial UAS democratises capabilities previously held by militaries and enha...

Jan 04 2019

38mins

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299 Aeronautical Knowledge Test

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Aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone pilots, UPS medical deliveries, drone technician college degree, drone flights over people, drone strikes on airliners, environmental BVLOS missions, FAA on drones and dangerous weapons.

Aug 23 2019

33mins

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300 It’s Called a Drone

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The Commercial Drone Alliance wants to see regulations for large drones, sUAS are vulnerable to impacts, using AI-enabled drones to identify specific individuals (human and otherwise), drones donated to universities for precision ag, and BVLOS for the UAS Integration Pilot Program.

Aug 30 2019

35mins

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282 Drones and Wildlife

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Drones for studying wildlife, wetlands, and tornadoes. Using them to resupplying troops and support a Mars rover. Also, gender diversity study of the drone industry, and airplane incidents that turn out to not be caused by drones.

Apr 08 2019

24mins

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297 Nano Drones, Swarms, and AI

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Package delivery halted after crash, AI and drones, swarming nano-drones, mesh networked drones for precision ag, drone mesh for event security, UAS for airport and public safety, reliability of drone sightings from aircraft.

Aug 09 2019

35mins

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276 Drones for Wildlife Management

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Drones for wildlife management and conservation: bears and drone noise, elephants and poachers, Kakapos and artificial insemination, and STEM drone projects. Also, DHS and the Northern border, an Iranian drone, and a base jumping video.

Feb 15 2019

28mins

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298 High Altitude Pseudo Satellite

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HAPSMobile plans to fly a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) over Hawaii, Amazon petitions for drone delivery exemptions, NASA plans to test UAS traffic management in Texas, researchers find that drones are better than people studying whales, a female drone pilot seeks to encourage women, and drones that provide medical assistance.
UAV News
FAA Approves Solar Drone Flights Over Hawaiian Island
Japanese drone company HAPSMobile has a waiver to fly a solar-powered UAV over Lanai. The HAWK30 will act as a stratospheric telecommunications platform - a High Altitude Platform Station, also called a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite. The project is a collaboration between HAPSMobile, the University of Hawaii, and the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex which is managed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. AeroVironment is HAPSMobile’s aircraft development partner for the HAWK30.
In related news, see HAPSMobile Working Together with Facebook to Accelerate the Adoption of HAPS.
Amazon requests FAA approval of delivery-drone plans
Amazon has filed a 29-page petition with the FAA requesting approval to use their MK27 delivery drone before getting a certificate of airworthiness. Amazon would like to fly BVLOS and they ask for exemptions from certain aviation regulations that are more applicable to manned aircraft. The petition says delivery drones will fly autonomously but with one operator for each drone in flight. Eventually, Amazon would like to have one operator for multiple drones "subject to FAA approval based on flights and simulations that demonstrate required levels of safety."The FAA will take public comments on the petition until August 28, 2019. See Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Amazon Prime Air in the Federal Register.
NASA drone testing schedule in Corpus Christi: What you need to know
NASA selected the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation as a nationwide drone testing site. Testing will focus on urban UAS traffic management and they plan to close or restrict access to several downtown streets.
Tests show multi-rotor UAVs can improve cetacean behavioral studies
New Zealand researchers found that small, multi-rotor UAVs are better than expert observers on research vessels. When it comes to surveying and studying humpback whales, the drones captured some social activities not detected by the observer and there was no observable effect on the whales’ behavior. See Insights into the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to investigate the behavior of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga.
Introducing Derbyshire Police’s First Female Drone Pilot
Victoria Atherton, Derbyshire Police’s first female drone pilot, has said she wants to inspire others and fight crime. She was recently deployed to a damaged dam that forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents. She commented: “Personally, I think the best way to encourage women to get involved is to support each other. The future of aviation appears to be heading in the direction of unmanned aircraft and it’s important that men and women are equally represented in this field.” Also, “It’s an achievement to be labeled the first, however, I think it’s more important to ensure that I am not the last.”
Drones, smartphones and sensors could provide a new solution to elderly falls
Researchers from Baghdad's Middle Technical University and the University of South Australia have designed a system to remotely monitor elderly people. It detects heart rate and temperature abnormalities and provides urgent first aid via a drone if a fall occurs.
UAV Video of the Week
DARPA video shows autonomous drones swarming a building
The demonstration took place under the agency’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, which “envisions future small-unit infantry forces using swarms comprising upwards of 250 unmanned aircraft systems ...

Aug 16 2019

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271 Fuel Cell Drone

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A long endurance fuel cell drone, new drone laws for Canada and the UK, another airport incursion, terrorists and UAVs, the world’s smallest and lightest weather station, and using drones to insert sensors in the soil.

Jan 11 2019

28mins

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287 Embry-Riddle UAS Program

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Embry-Riddle UAS degree, delivery drone noise, Uber Eats UAS specialist hiring, AUVSI humanitarian award winners, autonomous BVLOS patrol drones for the Australian coastline.

May 17 2019

30mins

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262 Fly Like a Dragonfly

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A drone based on dragonfly wings, a drone community for women pilots, DJI demands a retraction, Uber wants to deliver food by drone, BVLOS testing in Alaska, a parachute system for flights over people, and a drone-equipped search and rescue vehicle.

Oct 26 2018

32mins

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283 NPRM for sUAS Operations over People

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An NPRM for sUAS operations over people and an ANPRM for safe sUAS operations. Advice for drone operators near agricultural aircraft, rogue drones in China, Wing authority to operate in Australia, FAA to award drone airline license, GENIUS NY awards.

Apr 12 2019

36mins

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284 Lithium Metal Batteries

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Lithium metal batteries for greater capacity. Parrot’s Anafi Thermal drone, quadcopter over Boston, sugarcane agriculture, drones and the Notre Dame fire, parts delivery by drone for manufacturing, indigenous people use drones to assert territory rights.

Apr 19 2019

34mins

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304 UAS Flight Demonstrations

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Several UAS flight demonstrations are in the news: the Boeing MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler, a microturbine propulsion system, and a high altitude pseudo-satellite. Also, counter-drone tech from both the Secret Service and Raytheon, and drones that study dust devils.

UAV News

Boeing shows capability of unmanned aircraft refueler

The MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler has been demonstrated through an autonomous taxi and takeoff, followed by a flight over a pre-determined route. Boeing test pilots directed the flight from a ground control station, validating basic flight functions and operations. The intended mission is a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

UAV Turbines Unveils Microturbine Propulsion System for Drones

UAV Turbines announced the first flight of their Monarch Microturbine engine at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY. Two successful test flights were conducted with what the company calls the turboprop a “microturbine propulsion system.” Intended for mid-sized commercial and military drones, the small gas turbine engine produces about 20 HP.

Video: UAV Turbines Introduction to the Monarch Microturbine

https://youtu.be/rBG65VUsaxs

Solar drone makes historic flight

AeroVironment Inc. announced the successful first flight of the HAWK30 high altitude pseudo-satellite UAS, The flight occurred on September 11, 2019, at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The 260-foot wingspan HAWK30 is powered by 10 electric motors and solar panels cover the surface of the wing. The aircraft is designed for continuous operation for months at a time at an altitude of approximately 65,000 feet. HAPSMobile Inc. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc.

Secret Service testing counter-drone tech at U.N. General Assembly

The Secret Service is piloting counter-unmanned aircraft systems or C-UAS technology at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City. The Secret Service is employing radio frequency (RF) detection, radar imagery, and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras to identify objects flying in the area and differentiate drones from birds and flying debris.

Raytheon developing advanced high-power microwave system for USAF deployment to counter enemy drones

Under a U.S. Air Force contract, Raytheon Company will deliver a prototype high-power microwave (HPM) system that troops would use it to destroy hostile drones. The HPM system uses directed energy to take down drones. The HPM beam is wide so it could disable multiple targets at one time. Under another UASF contract, Raytheon will build two prototype high-energy laser (HEL) systems. Both systems are designed to be deployed overseas and can be used independently or used together to counter UAS threats.

Raytheon video: Using directed-energy systems to down drones

https://youtu.be/h9uDEM9vI0c

Scientists use drones to probe earthly dust devils, with an eye toward Mars

The Boise State Dust Devil Collaboration has been flying drones through dust devils to better understand the phenomena on Earth and on Mars. Scientific models of dust devils don’t align with what occurs in nature. The drones carry cameras, pressure sensors, and temperature loggers. They measure the structures of the dust devil and take particle samples.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone camera captures magpie swooping at it

Sep 27 2019

28mins

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290 FAA UAS Symposium 2019

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Highlights of the FAA UAS Symposium held June 3-5, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Presented by the Federal Aviation Administration and AUVSI.
Diana Cooper, PrecisionHawk SVP of Policy & Strategy, and Brendan Schulman, DJI VP of Policy and Legal Affairs.
FAA UAS Symposium 2019
Over 1000 attendees from industry, the government, and academia gathered for three days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and “how to” sessions.
We discuss some highlights of the Symposium, including industry/government collaboration, drone remote identification, education and outreach, urban air mobility, drone delivery, public agency use of drones, counter-UAV issues, UAS traffic management, and more.
Mentioned
Alliance for Drone Innovation
Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports
Flight Plan 2030 white paper on Urban Air Traffic Management from Embraer.
Innovations in Flight Family Day and Aviation Display at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Jun 07 2019

34mins

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310 Hexa Electric VTOL

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Rides available in the Hexa Electric VTOL, mapping a railway project, low-altitude hurricane hunting, another reported drone strike, a DHS warning for private industry, another round of financing for PrecisionHawk, and spying on hippos with drones.

The Hexa electric VTOL passenger drone. Courtesy Lift Aircraft.

Lift Aircraft says 13,000 people have signed up for drone rides; flights begin in beta mode in Texas

In 2020, Lift Aircraft plans a 25-city tour of it’s Hexa electric VTOL passenger drone. You can register for a flight on Lift’s website. It will cost $149-$249 depending on flight duration. The 432-pound electric VTOL uses 18 independent electric motors and propellers and is controlled through a triply redundant autopilot computer and a single 3-axis joystick. Or you can tap on the seven-inch touchscreen for a “Look mom, no hands!” mode.

https://youtu.be/YBKFVE_h2r8
Flying the Hexa electric VTOL passenger drone.

What if? Norfolk Southern develops effective UAV program, but it did not come without some trial and error

Norfolk Southern Railway asked themselves if they could use lower-cost UAVs to image project areas and stitch them into survey-grade 3D mosaics for the project team. They formed a UAV field team, got a Part 107 license, and designated a 5-mile linear project. What they learned will help them (and others) in future projects.

Drones Provide a New Frontier in Hurricane Observations

Hurricane hunters fly through hurricanes, but not at sea level where the winds are strongest. Scientists flew expendable Raytheon Coyote drones as low as 360 feet into several hurricanes and measured atmospheric conditions in winds as high as 194 miles per hour. These were deployed NOAA’s P-3 reconnaissance aircraft. The Coyote UAS is adaptable for a variety of missions including surveillance, electronic warfare and strike. A swarm of Coyote drones has successfully flown and demonstrated autonomous networking. A paper was recently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: “Eye of the Storm: Observing Hurricanes with a Small Unmanned Aircraft System.”

AIR7 HD struck by suspected drone over downtown LA, makes precautionary landing

Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC reports that their helicopter was struck midair by an object. At first, the pilot and reporter thought it was a bird strike but after landing and inspecting the damage to the helicopter tail, they believe it was a drone strike. The incident occurred at 7:15 pm, flying at 1100 feet.

DHS Continues to Warn Private Industry Against Using Foreign-Made Drones

In late November, the FBI’s Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a bulletin to private industry warning about the risk of exposing private data when using UAS manufactured abroad. The bulletin warns of possible data compromise when operating UAS “designed, manufactured, or supplied abroad where the data is stored, transferred to, or accessible by servers in a foreign country.”

PrecisionHawk Raises $32 Million to Advance Next Phase of Growth in Commercial Drones

PrecisionHawk announced $32 million in funding by a group of venture investors. The company says this will allow them to innovate with their PrecisionAnalytics A.I.-powered aerial data analytics platform, accelerate sales initiatives, and support further market expansion. In total, PrecisionHawk has raised $130 million from leading venture capital firms. See also, We’ve Raised $32 Million to Build the Next Generation of Drone Software and Services.

Spying With Drones to Help Hippo Conservation Efforts

University of New South Wales conservationists used drones to monitor threatened hippos in Africa. They used a DJI Phantom 4 to film the hippos from a safe distance. The wild hippo population is declining because of habitat loss, and hunting for meat and ivory. They are under-studied because they are nocturnal, amphibious and aggressive.

Dec 13 2019

31mins

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309 X-Wing Drones

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Disney is reportedly testing X-Wing drones for its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge promotion. Also, counter UAS technology tested at Dover AF Base, drones that help manage weed infestations, using a UAV to safely sample water in a volcano crater, and a large fine for landing a quadcopter at an airport.

UAV News

Disney Testing X-Wing Drones to Fly Over Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Reportedly, Disney is testing large X-Wing drones to fly over Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Blog Mickey has aerial spy photos to support the speculation, and they received a grainy photo of one of the X-Wing drones. They say Disney has been working on the secret project from a temporary tent in the cast member parking lot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Dover AFB partners with Delaware CAP for counter UAS testing

A UAS is an obvious potential threat to military installations, and U.S. military forces are training and equipping to counter the threat. At a Dover Operational Readiness for a Multi-domain Agile Response Exercise this month, the 436th Airlift Wing tested its C-UAS counter unmanned aerial system capabilities. The Delaware Civil Air Patrol provided commercial drones for the test, as well as trained and certified pilots.

Drone Tech Takes Weed Control on the Farm to a New Level

This article discusses agricultural drone applications, including weed identification and mapping, the aerial application of herbicides, and UAVs for aquatic weed management.

Volcano Watch: Pondering the pond — what Halema‘uma‘u water chemistry tells us

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) used a multi-rotor to take a sample from a water lake in a collapsed crater. The water has been rising a meter a week since July and the water’s chemistry can tell scientists a lot about what is going on underground.

Video: Fissure 8 view from UAS provides critical geologic information

Drone pilot fined $20,000 after fly-away DJI Phantom 3 lands at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas

After a drone landed right next to an active runway at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, the pilot was fined $14,700 by the FAA. When the man failed to pay the fine, or appeal the fine, it increased to $20,000. The FAA had to expend some effort to identify the pilot because the drone registration number was invalid.

Nov 29 2019

32mins

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308 Droneresponders Working Group

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Droneresponders forms a working group for public safety agencies, protestors and C-UAS, TSA and C-UAS, cannon-launched drones, the QF-16 target drone, names for different types of passenger drones, and drone light shows.

UAV News

Droneresponders Major Cities Working Group

Non-profit Droneresponders announced the formation of a Major Cities Working Group designed to “unite and assist public safety agencies operating UAS in urban and large metropolitan areas.” The group will establish communications with other public safety agencies and partner with other non-profit organizations like AIRT (Airborne International Response Team), AUVSI, and the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association).

Chilean Protestors Down Drone By Dazzling It With Dozens Of Laser Pointers

Protesters aimed high-powered handheld laser pointers at a drone observing them. The lasers blinded the optical sensors, causing the drone to crash.

‘Sorely lacking:’ Congress Members Blast Homeland Security Counter-drone Plan

The Department of Homeland Security planned to allow TSA air marshals to neutralize drones over airports. However, two House Republicans sent a letter to the DHS saying the plan overreaches the agency’s congressional authority. The lawmakers say the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 gives DHS narrow authority to deploy counter-drone technology, but that authorization doesn’t apply to airports. The other concern is that the TSA lacks the training and skills to operate C-UAS technology.

This transforming drone can be fired straight out of a cannon

Researchers from Caltech University and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have come up with a drone that can be launched with a cannon. It’s a quadcopter called SQUID, short for Streamlined Quick Unfolding Investigation Drone. The 27-centimeter long drone weighs 18 ounces and has four spring-loaded rotor arms that open after launch.

Video: Design of a Ballistically-Launched Foldable Multirotor

https://youtu.be/sQuKJfllyRM

What It Takes to Turn a Vintage F-16 Into a Drone

The F-16 has computer systems that are easily modified to turn the fighters into drones. Boeing installs Drone Peculiar Equipment at a cost of $1.9 million on old aircraft from an Arizona boneyard. The automatic flight system enables takeoffs and landings at the press of a button.

Passenger Drones: Understanding Their Varieties and Specifications

Drone Industry Insights notes the confusing names being used for passenger drones: air taxis, flying cars, eVTOLs, etc. They present a graphic that defines these names based on the power source (gasoline/kerosene, battery, hydrogen) and takeoff and landing type (VTOL, STOL, CTOL).

Forget fireworks. SeaWorld wants to test 500 drones for a new nighttime light show in San Diego

SeaWorld in San Diego has been given permission to test a 15-night light show in February 2020 using up to 500 Intel “Shooting Star” drones. The show could eventually replace fireworks.

UAV Video of the Week

Incredible Video Shows Giant Plane Made Of 800 Drones Floating Through Sky. This demonstration was flown during this year’s Nanchang Flight Convention.

Nov 22 2019

32mins

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307 UAV Battery Technology

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Airbus funds new UAV battery technology and flys a rotary-wing UAV, an upcoming UAS Traffic Management workshop, a hydrogen-powered UAV for the Navy, a heavy-payload long-range drone, drones for all budgets, drone racing at Daytona, and how mosquitoes might help drones make less noise.

UAV News

Airbus’s VSR700 Rotary-wing UAV Takes Flight

Airbus Helicopters has flown their VSR700 prototype at a drone test center in France. It’s a rotary-wing, multi-mission Naval UAS (RWUAS) that was tethered on 30-meter cables and fitted with stabilizing outriggers. A year ago, Airbus flew an optionally piloted demonstrator for the VSR700 that was based on an existing light helicopter. This new prototype is redesigned with a payload bay replacing the flight deck.

Airbus Funds Next-Gen UAV Battery Technology

Airbus Defence and Space is providing financing to battery technology company Amprius. That company manufactures high energy density lithium-ion batteries based on silicon nanowire anode technology. Amprius says their batteries provide up to 50% more power than standard lithium-ion batteries. The Airbus funding is expected to help Amprius develop a higher volume production capacity as well as even higher energy density cells.

FAA and NASA Drone Industry Workshop

The FAA and NASA will jointly host an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP) Phase 2 Industry Workshop. The half-day workshop is scheduled for December 9, 2019, at NASA’s Ames Conference Center in Mountain View, California. Registration is free but attendance will be limited to the first 150 to register, with a limit of two attendees per organization. For additional background, see: FAA/NASA UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) [PDF]

Navy Accepts First-of-its-kind HYCOPTER Hydrogen Powered UAS

The six-rotor HYCOPTER from H3 Dynamics is the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered rotary-wing UAS for the US Navy. The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California took delivery of their HYCOPTER on October 25, 2019. With a takeoff weight of about 35 pounds and a blade tip-to-blade tip diameter of 7 feet, the UAS can carry a five-pound payload in an open bay for about 2 ½ hours. The HYCOPTER uses an ultralight PEM fuel cell and compressed hydrogen gas. Austin, Texas-based HES Energy Systems is a subsidiary of H3 Dynamics and describes the HYCOPTER on its website as “Designed and manufactured in the USA.”

UAVita Showcases a Heavy-Payload, Long-Range UAV Drone

The UAVita Discovery is a medium-sized, fixed-wing UAV that can carry heavy payloads over a long range. Originally used for crop dusting and precision ag, it’s now being used for other long-range missions such as search and rescue, highway monitoring, and powerline inspections.

Video: UAvita Systems Showcases Their Heavy-payload Drone at Commercial UAV Expo 2019

https://youtu.be/saWL5w2b8X8

Seasoned Pilot or Aviation Amateur, Here Are 5 Drones for All Budgets

Consider the DROCON Bugs 3, Syma X5C, Parrot Mambo Drone FPV Kit, DJI Spark, or even the DJI Inspire 2.

Drone racing takes a whirl in Daytona Stadium

Over 1,000 drone racers tried to qualify for the 5th annual RaceDayQuads 2019 MultiGP Drone Racing Championship in Daytona Stadium. The sports class saw 125 racers qualify, while 85 qualified for the pro-competition. MultiGP is a global, professional, drone racing league with hundreds of international chapters and over 27,000 registered drone racers.

Sounds of mosquito mating rituals could lead to quieter drones

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that mosquitoes can focus the buzz they make in the direction of potential mates. A paper published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics says, “…understanding the strategies and adaptations employed by insects such as mosquitoes to control their aeroacoustic noise could eventually provide insights into the development of quiet drones and other bioinspired micro-aerial vehicles.”

Nov 15 2019

31mins

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306 Drone Registration

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Drone registration requirements in the UK and Singapore, automated safe landing technology, the speed of drone technology development, package delivery progress and issues, and counter-UAS technology funding.

UAV News

UK Drone Operators Have Until the End of November to Register With the Government

All drone owners and operators in the UK with droves that weigh more than 250g have to register them by November 30, 2019. Registration costs £9. Failure to register can result in a fine of as much as £1,000. In addition to registration, anyone flying a drone over 250g must also take an online education and test to receive a flyer ID. Users can now register as a drone operator and/or flyer at: register-drones.caa.co.uk.

Drones Reunited

In the UK, 26% of drone owners say they lost a drone. Drones United leverages off the new UK drone registration system to help owners reconnect with their lost drones.

Singapore mandates unmanned aircraft registration

Starting January 2, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will require all unmanned aircraft over 250 grams to be registered before it can be operated. A sticker with a unique registration number must be affixed to each unmanned aircraft. The penalty for flying an unregistered aircraft could be up to S$10,000 or jail for six months, or both.

Are UAVs Properly Tested, or is Development Rushed?

Satellite-based drone connectivity encompasses a number of issues such as cost, weight, and power. “Validation of stable and reliable connectivity under all circumstances is paramount to the success of Beyond Line of Sight UAV operations.”

Automated Emergency Safe Landing Technology

Black Swift Technologies SwiftSTL (Swift Safe-To-Land) technology was developed to address catastrophic in-flight failures. It captures and segments images and autonomously identifies a safe landing location. This is accomplished through machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and onboard processors to identify obstacles like people, buildings, vehicles, structures, etc. To learn more, see the white paper, AI and Machine Learning’s Role in Enabling Automated Emergency Safe Landings of UAS – A Key Enabler for Safe Beyond Visible Line of Sight (BVLOS) Flights.” [PDF]

What if a delivery drone falls on your head? Thorny legal questions loom as services increase

This article poses questions about airspace ownership, privacy, and liability.

UPS drone makes first home prescription deliveries for CVS

CVS and UPS announced the first commercial delivery of prescription medications by drones to customers. UPS’ Flight Forward drones delivered to the front lawn of a private home and a retirement center. The drones hovered at an altitude of about 20 feet and lowered the packages.

UK government funds 18 projects to develop anti-drone technologies

The UK government approved £2 million ($2.57 million) to fund 18 projects to develop anti-drone and drone detection technologies. In April, 2019, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) program under the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) asked the private sector to come up with new technologies that could detect approaching drones, and neutralize the threat.

Nov 08 2019

29mins

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305 Mavic Mini, First Look

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The new Mavic Mini is so light that FAA registration is not required. Meanwhile, the US Department of the Interior has grounded Chinese drones, additional sensitive facilities have been added to the no-fly list, Uber Eats unveiled a delivery drone, a Navy submarine was resupplied by a drone, a white paper looks at drones at live broadcast events, and an airport welcomes drones – for facilities inspections.

The Mavic Mini, Courtesy DJI.

UAV News

The Mavic Mini is DJI’s first drone that doesn’t need FAA registration

DJI says the new Mavic Mini is the smallest and lightest drone they have ever made. The “everyday flycam” weighs 249 grams, one gram under the threshold for FAA registration. With folding legs, creative shooting modes, automatic return to home, and up to 30 minutes flight time, the Mavic Mini shoots 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second from a three-axis gimbal. The quadcopter is available for preorder and will ship on November 11, 2019.

Entire drone fleet grounded by US government agency

The US Department of the Interior has grounded drones made in China, or that use Chinese parts. The Department has initiated a security investigation and depending on the results, the Department may resume drone flights. The Department of the Interior uses drones to inspect dams, inspect land, monitor environmental damage and endangered species, and aid emergency workers with wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. The agency is concerned the drones could transmit images and video to China about key installations.

UAS Operations Restricted At More Federal Facilities

The FAA is restricting UAS operations over 60 additional Department of Defense and Department of Justice facilities. An FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), FDC 9/7752, defines these special security instructions and the FAA UAS Data Delivery System has the restrictions, including a list of restrictions (National Security UAS Flight Restrictions) and a map of the restrictions (Map of FAA UAS Data). The FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app will also include the restrictions.

Here’s what the Uber Eats delivery drone looks like

Uber has unveiled the Uber Eats VTOL delivery drone with two rotating wings, each with three rotors. The maximum flight time is eight minutes over a 12-mile round trip delivery range. Uber doesn’t plan restaurant-to-doorstep delivery. Rather orders will be flown to predetermined drop-off locations and an Eats driver will make the “last-mile” delivery.

First Navy Submarine Resupplied By Commercial Drone

A small quadcopter resupplied the USS Hawaii (SSN 776), a fast attack submarine, one mile off Oahu, Hawaii. The 5-pound payload in this test included circuit cards, medical supplies, and food.

White Paper: Rethinking Drone Usage on Live Broadcasts

Drone use in live sports broadcasts hasn’t been as successful as some had hoped. Issues include the safety of spectators and athletes, the noise of drones, short flight times, and the need for immediate response during live broadcasts. The author explains why live motorsports may be a good application.

Drone collects runway maintenance data at Edmonton airport

At Edmonton International Airport, drones are becoming a regular part of safety inspections of runways, taxiways, and aircraft handling aprons. Canadian UAV services provider AERIUM Analytics has conducted about 3,000 drone flights at the airport over the past four years.

Nov 01 2019

33mins

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304 UAS Flight Demonstrations

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Several UAS flight demonstrations are in the news: the Boeing MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler, a microturbine propulsion system, and a high altitude pseudo-satellite. Also, counter-drone tech from both the Secret Service and Raytheon, and drones that study dust devils.

UAV News

Boeing shows capability of unmanned aircraft refueler

The MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler has been demonstrated through an autonomous taxi and takeoff, followed by a flight over a pre-determined route. Boeing test pilots directed the flight from a ground control station, validating basic flight functions and operations. The intended mission is a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

UAV Turbines Unveils Microturbine Propulsion System for Drones

UAV Turbines announced the first flight of their Monarch Microturbine engine at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY. Two successful test flights were conducted with what the company calls the turboprop a “microturbine propulsion system.” Intended for mid-sized commercial and military drones, the small gas turbine engine produces about 20 HP.

Video: UAV Turbines Introduction to the Monarch Microturbine

https://youtu.be/rBG65VUsaxs

Solar drone makes historic flight

AeroVironment Inc. announced the successful first flight of the HAWK30 high altitude pseudo-satellite UAS, The flight occurred on September 11, 2019, at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The 260-foot wingspan HAWK30 is powered by 10 electric motors and solar panels cover the surface of the wing. The aircraft is designed for continuous operation for months at a time at an altitude of approximately 65,000 feet. HAPSMobile Inc. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc.

Secret Service testing counter-drone tech at U.N. General Assembly

The Secret Service is piloting counter-unmanned aircraft systems or C-UAS technology at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City. The Secret Service is employing radio frequency (RF) detection, radar imagery, and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras to identify objects flying in the area and differentiate drones from birds and flying debris.

Raytheon developing advanced high-power microwave system for USAF deployment to counter enemy drones

Under a U.S. Air Force contract, Raytheon Company will deliver a prototype high-power microwave (HPM) system that troops would use it to destroy hostile drones. The HPM system uses directed energy to take down drones. The HPM beam is wide so it could disable multiple targets at one time. Under another UASF contract, Raytheon will build two prototype high-energy laser (HEL) systems. Both systems are designed to be deployed overseas and can be used independently or used together to counter UAS threats.

Raytheon video: Using directed-energy systems to down drones

https://youtu.be/h9uDEM9vI0c

Scientists use drones to probe earthly dust devils, with an eye toward Mars

The Boise State Dust Devil Collaboration has been flying drones through dust devils to better understand the phenomena on Earth and on Mars. Scientific models of dust devils don’t align with what occurs in nature. The drones carry cameras, pressure sensors, and temperature loggers. They measure the structures of the dust devil and take particle samples.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone camera captures magpie swooping at it

Sep 27 2019

28mins

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303 Ehang Autonomous Aerial Vehicle

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EHang is flying its urban air mobility vehicle contender. Remote identification of drones is moving forward. Also, using drones to measure methane emissions, find standing water where mosquitoes breed, assess hurricane damage, explore Titan, and plant trees.

UAV News

EHang completes first passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle demonstration flight

The EHang 216 passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle (or AAV) was flown at the 2019 Northeast Asia Expo in August. Ehang has been demonstrating the aircraft at several cities in China as well as in Austria, the Netherlands, and Qatar. Ehang says, “This is a critical step towards making our dream [a] reality and to make urban air mobility broadly available and affordable as a safe, fast, and eco-friendly transportation alternative.”

Video: EHang AAV Trial Flights Across Cities in China

https://youtu.be/7RjstNDRuCQ

Electronic License Plates for Drones May Come Soon

A draft of the proposed ASTM standard for electronic identification of drones is available as ASTM WK65041, “New Specification for UAS Remote ID and Tracking.” During operation, a drone would transmit a unique ID, location, and vector. The chairman of ASTM International’s Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems said, “You can just take a phone, point it up at a drone and get its electronic ID if you see it doing something dangerous. [And you can report it] just like reporting a car’s license plate number.” Old drones can be retrofitted with ID chips that would plug into their USB ports and might cost $7 to $12.

BP deploys continuous methane measurement for new major oil and gas projects

BP said it is going to monitor its methane emissions around the world using a technology called gas cloud imaging and drones. Inspections would take 30 minutes instead of seven days. The sensor technology was originally designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover. This is a key part of BP’s strategy to deploy a suite of complementary methane detecting techniques across new and existing facilities.

Anthropology professor deploys drone to fight disease in Africa

Mosquitoes are the main transmitters of malaria, and they breed in standing water. Agricultural irrigation can create standing water which is difficult to detect with satellite imagery. In the East African nation of Malawi, Professor Jon Carroll and other researchers from Oakland University spent nine days collecting data on the effectiveness of drone imagery to detect standing water.

AIRT uses UAS to perform damage assessment operations in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian

Two organizations have formed a joint-reconnaissance team to survey the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian: the Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) and the Southeast Florida Region 7 All-Hazards Incident Management Team (SEFL-R7 AHIMT). Disaster scenes were mapped by UAS with high-resolution camera systems.

Meet The Nuclear-Powered Self-Driving Drone NASA Is Sending To A Moon Of Saturn

The Dragonfly is a dual-rotor quadcopter, about the size of a compact car, autonomous, and nuclear powered. Expected to launch from Earth in 2026 and arrive on Titan in 2034, Dragonfly will explore Titan’s dunes, mountains, gullies, and rivers and lakes of liquid methane.

NASA Video: New Dragonfly Mission Flying Landing Sequence Animation.

https://youtu.be/IdYeWN9ZivE

Middle East drones signal end to era of fast jet air supremacy

Air superiority has been key to winning wars since airplanes were invented. But compared to the world’s major air forces, drones are small, low cost, and they don’t put a pilot into the war-zone.

This startup lets you subscribe to support an army of drones that’s planting millions of trees

A new startup called Now wants to “mobilize humanity to reverse the climate crisis.” The organization was created by 19-year-old activist and musical artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez who says that if a trillion trees are planted, they could capture two-thirds of the carbon that humans have emitted since the industrial revolution. The subscription concept of Now would fund planting trees with drones. See also 19-Year-Old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Isn’t Waiting For Permission to Solve the Climate Crisis: “The Time Is NOW.”

Conference

Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2019, October 28-30, 2019 in Las Vegas. Video: Commercial UAV Expo 2018 in a minute.

https://youtu.be/J-Yr0IuswtI

Sep 20 2019

31mins

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302 Drones for Border Protection

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US Customs and Border Protection plans to test drones that provide agents with situational awareness. Also, a modular hydrogen fuel cell UAV platform, a UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program concludes, FPV drones that use your phone for video, a traffic control drone in China, a new all-electric helicopter UAS, and a test that teams manned and unmanned aircraft and munitions.

UAV News

UAVs Recruited for Border Detection

US Customs and Border Protection has been working with the Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to build and test small drones. Planck Aerosystems will be granted $200,000 to test its prototype in operational environments over the next three to six months. The autonomous small UAV will launch from and land on the bed of a moving vehicle, provide fully autonomous navigation, have advanced computer vision capability, and include customized communications interfaces.

ISS Aerospace Launches Sensus Hydrogen Fuel Cell UAV with AMS Cylinders

ISS Aerospace has developed the Sensus, a modular hydrogen fuel cell UAV platform. It includes an ultra-lightweight, carbon composite gas cylinder from AMS Composite Cylinders and the air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell module was developed by Intelligent Energy.

Video: Fuel cell power for UAVs

https://youtu.be/EMcfE-zr9qw

FAA, Nasa and UAS partners conclude pilot programme

This portion of the UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program sought to test safe drone operations beyond visual line of sight at less than 400 feet altitude. Technology tests and evaluation included flight planning, communications, aircraft separation, and weather services for drones. Also, connections to FAA flight management servers and LAANC services (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability). Based on the results, the FAA will form the UTM regulatory framework.

See also, Unmanned Traffic Management Pilot Program: FAA Drone Flight Testing Lands First Milestone.

10 of the most popular FPV drones on Amazon this fall

This is a list of FPV drones that use your phone for the video.

Police Drone Caught Barking Orders at Chinese Driver

In this video from China, a police drone sees a group of scooters stopped at a traffic light and one of the riders isn’t wearing his helmet. The drone has a loudspeaker and can be heard ordering the man to put his helmet on, which he does.

Video: Traffic officer in China uses drones to give orders from above.

https://youtu.be/ynEZrPdJ6gE

AeroVironment Unveils VAPOR All-Electric Helicopter UAS at DSEI, Adding New and Expanded Mission Capabilities to Its Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

AeroVironment announced the VAPOR all-electric helicopter UAS, now added to their line of fixed-wing tactical systems. With a GTOW of up to 55 pounds, the copter has a maximum cruise endurance of 60 minutes with a full payload.

Army Night Stalker Chinook Teamed Up With Bomb-Slinging Drone In Complex AI-Enabled Test

The test integrated an MH-47 Chinook special operations helicopter, an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, a Dynetics GBU-69/B glide bomb, and personnel on the ground using an AI-driven networked sensor system. The Air Force has a similar project, called Golden Horde.

UAV Video of the Week

Drone follows a rollercoaster and takes you on a wild ride in this epic video

https://youtu.be/iDCIRvyeMxk

Sep 13 2019

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301 Drones for Activism

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Climate activists plan to use drones for activism at Heathrow Airport. Also, how the trade war is impacting the drone community, the FAA is issuing more emergency COA’s, the RAAF is working closely with the U.S. Navy on the MQ-4C Triton, a startup is using a drone to generate electricity, an anonymous reporting portal for drone incidents is coming, and a look at the “drone bubble.”

UAV News

Climate activists plan to use drones to shut down Heathrow Airport next month

UK organization Heathrow Pause says they will fly drones for activism near Heathrow to protest the third runway proposed for the airport. Starting on September 13, 2019, they intend to fly toy drones at up to 6 feet high inside the airport 5km no-fly zone, not within flight paths, and early in the morning when no flights are scheduled. Travelers who may be impacted by this drone activism can read a statement by Heathrow Pause on their website: About the Disruption to Travellers.

Tariffs with a Capital T: How the Trade War with China is Affecting the Drone Community

Tariffs are paid to Customs when certain goods are imported. They are generally baked into the price charged to consumers, like any cost of doing business. How are Chinese drones and replacement parts affected by tariffs, and how are sellers responding?

FAA Requests for Emergency UAS Airspace Authorizations on the Rise

The number of requests and approvals for emergency COAs are up over last year. In 2018, FAA issued 708 Special Government Interest (SGI) airspace authorizations while through July 2019, more than 600 had been issued by the FAA System Operations Security Directorate to law enforcement for major events like fires and hurricanes.

U.S., Australia work side-by-side on Triton UAS development

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has been working with the U.S. Navy’s Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton team. The HALE UAV is designed to provide ISR over the ocean and coastal regions. The RAAF has agreed to purchase up to six Triton aircraft and associated Mission Control Stations.

Swiss start-up dreams of powering homes using drones

Swiss startup company Skypull wants to use drones to generate electricity from high-altitude winds. The wind generator that can be deployed almost anywhere. A high-lift, low drag “box wing” drone pulls a tether to a drum on the ground that converts the force into electricity.
Video: Skypull promo 2017.

https://youtu.be/6s-Izqb_GVs

Altitude Angel launches industry first “just culture” reporting system

In Episode 294 we reported that UK company Altitude Angel planned to launch a UTM conflict resolution service as an API. Now Altitude Angel says they’ll launch an anonymous web portal reporting system for drone pilots and operators, similar to that used in manned aviation.

Drone bubble bursts, wiping out startups and hammering VC firms

Teal Group says venture capitalists poured $2.6 billion into drones from the beginning of 2012 to June 2019. Now we are seeing startups fold or consolidate. Kay Wackwitz, founder and chief executive officer of research group Drone Industry Insights says, “There was some irrationality around drones, a period of hype driven by the popularity of the hobby sector. We’re getting past that and people are coming back to reality.”

UAV Video of the Week

Dronehackers was created to showcase how drones can be used to help solve real-world problems. The project seeks to inspire the next generation of builders, DIY’ers, and creators with something entertaining and educational.

The sizzle reel: Dronehackers – Episode 0 (Sizzle Reel)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHO9rOkPd6I

The full episode: Dronehackers – Episode 0.

Sep 06 2019

30mins

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300 It’s Called a Drone

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The Commercial Drone Alliance wants to see regulations for large drones, sUAS are vulnerable to impacts, using AI-enabled drones to identify specific individuals (human and otherwise), drones donated to universities for precision ag, and BVLOS for the UAS Integration Pilot Program.

Aug 30 2019

35mins

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299 Aeronautical Knowledge Test

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Aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone pilots, UPS medical deliveries, drone technician college degree, drone flights over people, drone strikes on airliners, environmental BVLOS missions, FAA on drones and dangerous weapons.

Aug 23 2019

33mins

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298 High Altitude Pseudo Satellite

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HAPSMobile plans to fly a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) over Hawaii, Amazon petitions for drone delivery exemptions, NASA plans to test UAS traffic management in Texas, researchers find that drones are better than people studying whales, a female drone pilot seeks to encourage women, and drones that provide medical assistance.
UAV News
FAA Approves Solar Drone Flights Over Hawaiian Island
Japanese drone company HAPSMobile has a waiver to fly a solar-powered UAV over Lanai. The HAWK30 will act as a stratospheric telecommunications platform - a High Altitude Platform Station, also called a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite. The project is a collaboration between HAPSMobile, the University of Hawaii, and the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex which is managed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. AeroVironment is HAPSMobile’s aircraft development partner for the HAWK30.
In related news, see HAPSMobile Working Together with Facebook to Accelerate the Adoption of HAPS.
Amazon requests FAA approval of delivery-drone plans
Amazon has filed a 29-page petition with the FAA requesting approval to use their MK27 delivery drone before getting a certificate of airworthiness. Amazon would like to fly BVLOS and they ask for exemptions from certain aviation regulations that are more applicable to manned aircraft. The petition says delivery drones will fly autonomously but with one operator for each drone in flight. Eventually, Amazon would like to have one operator for multiple drones "subject to FAA approval based on flights and simulations that demonstrate required levels of safety."The FAA will take public comments on the petition until August 28, 2019. See Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Amazon Prime Air in the Federal Register.
NASA drone testing schedule in Corpus Christi: What you need to know
NASA selected the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation as a nationwide drone testing site. Testing will focus on urban UAS traffic management and they plan to close or restrict access to several downtown streets.
Tests show multi-rotor UAVs can improve cetacean behavioral studies
New Zealand researchers found that small, multi-rotor UAVs are better than expert observers on research vessels. When it comes to surveying and studying humpback whales, the drones captured some social activities not detected by the observer and there was no observable effect on the whales’ behavior. See Insights into the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to investigate the behavior of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga.
Introducing Derbyshire Police’s First Female Drone Pilot
Victoria Atherton, Derbyshire Police’s first female drone pilot, has said she wants to inspire others and fight crime. She was recently deployed to a damaged dam that forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents. She commented: “Personally, I think the best way to encourage women to get involved is to support each other. The future of aviation appears to be heading in the direction of unmanned aircraft and it’s important that men and women are equally represented in this field.” Also, “It’s an achievement to be labeled the first, however, I think it’s more important to ensure that I am not the last.”
Drones, smartphones and sensors could provide a new solution to elderly falls
Researchers from Baghdad's Middle Technical University and the University of South Australia have designed a system to remotely monitor elderly people. It detects heart rate and temperature abnormalities and provides urgent first aid via a drone if a fall occurs.
UAV Video of the Week
DARPA video shows autonomous drones swarming a building
The demonstration took place under the agency’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, which “envisions future small-unit infantry forces using swarms comprising upwards of 250 unmanned aircraft systems ...

Aug 16 2019

33mins

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297 Nano Drones, Swarms, and AI

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Package delivery halted after crash, AI and drones, swarming nano-drones, mesh networked drones for precision ag, drone mesh for event security, UAS for airport and public safety, reliability of drone sightings from aircraft.

Aug 09 2019

35mins

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296 Bio-inspired Drones

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Bio-inspired drones are getting attention and a general contractor receives a waiver for flights over people with a parachute-equipped drone. Also, six Israeli drone companies, a drone-mounted flamethrower, BVLOS critical infrastructure inspection, and an online drone survey.

Aug 02 2019

34mins

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295 Hybrid Drone Controllers

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Hybrid drone controllers from MIT, UPS drone delivery subsidiary, LAANC expanded to recreational Part 107, Australian drone registration delayed, gas detecting micro-drone, quadcopter that shrinks to get through small openings.

Jul 26 2019

29mins

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294 DJI Government Edition

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DJI Government Edition, public safety alliance board of advisers, a USV rescues swimmers, interim report on UAS mitigation at airports, drone operations app is launched in Australia, a de-confliction service for drone flights via API.

Jul 19 2019

24mins

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293 CTA Drone Market Research

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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) performed drone market research studies, including a consumer study titled Drones: Public Perceptions & Consumer Attitudes.

Jul 04 2019

35mins

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292 PrecisionHawk’s Diana Cooper

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Diana Cooper is the SVP of Policy & Strategy at PrecisionHawk, a company that provides training, drone consulting, and global flight services.

Jun 28 2019

28mins

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291 Kashmir World Foundation

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Princess Aliyah Pandolfi from the Kashmir World Foundation. Recorded at the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, held June 15, 2019 at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Jun 21 2019

27mins

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