The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #62

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The Weekly Drone Publication

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Congress &
Legislative Action
FAA Action &
Reaction to FAA
Law Enforcement
& Threats
Regulatory Action Person in
Drone Nation
Business, Market Forecast & Investing Privacy, Safety & Security Legal Information Education Insurance
Operational Research
& Development
Economic Development News Media Use Racing &
International Development Foreign Regulation Non-FAA Restrictions Innovative Products Events


The first drone industry app store
Drone Golf Championship
Airbus developing a flying car
Intel wants to replace fireworks with drones
DJI and DroneSAR launch rescue app for first responders
Build/snap together your own drone snap together your own drone
FAA allows Disney to fly over theme parks



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drone news

→  A Group of Friends from MIT Might Just Have Solved “the Battery Problem” – Asylon – taken loosely from the ancient Greek word for “safe harbor” – is an autonomous battery swap station, which can change, and charge, the battery for whichever drone you use.

drone publication

→  Drone disrupts air traffic at Dubai Airport, 22 flights diverted – “Airspace around Dubai International was closed from 1925 hrs (7:25pm) to 2045 hrs (8:45pm) on Saturday due to unauthorised drone activity resulting in the diversion of 22 inbound flights,” a Dubai Airports spokesperson confirmed.

→  ScanEagle lands in SmithsonianScanEagle conducted the first commercial operation in the lower 48 states in which the unmanned aircraft was guided beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot.

drone publication

→  Drones help locate 2 missing cows hiding in woods – “Turns out that they were hiding from me,” said Kirsten Ennis. “When I showed up, they would run in the woods. I had been to that area several times.”




Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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drone publication

→  DroneDeploy Launches App Market and Unlocks the World’s Largest Drone Imagery Dataset – DroneDeploy, the leading cloud-based drone software platform, announced the launch of the App Market, the first drone industry app store. The new DroneDeploy App Market launched with more than 15 inaugural apps, and offers third-party developers access to the largest dataset in the world of drone 2D maps and 3D models, to help solve business challenges.

dronedeploy app market

→  Airbus is building flying taxis so that it can become the Uber of the skies – Uber released a 98-page white paper last week outlining its plans to bring “flying cars” to commuters by 2026. Google co-founder Larry Page is also funding a “flying car” project, but Airbus, which offers a legacy of building civil aircrafts and working with the FAA, is also developing its own “flying car” as part of its Project Vahana — and its aviation experience could give it an edge.

airbus project vahana flying car

→  6 ways to invest in the drone revolution – If you can get past your fears of drones stalking your every move, you may want to consider profiting from what is sure to be a surge in drone-related business under the new guidelines. Here are a few ways to play this trend.

→  Energy Giants Turn to Drones and Sensors in New Embrace of the Digital World – Sky-Futures flies unmanned aircraft around offshore platforms, oil rigs and other sites, collecting high-resolution videos and images that can spot potential infrastructure problems and cost roughly 80% less than traditional inspections.

→  Telstra eyes entry into drone market – The telco last week unveiled plans to bring a drone technology expert into its chief technology office, with responsibility for “developing Telstra’s capabilities within the area of UAV technologies”.

→  Intel’s first commercial drone lands in the U.S. – The Falcon 8+ drone, which was announced two weeks ago, was on show at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas that opened on Tuesday. Intel has been building its drone expertise throughout the year with a series of acquisitions, and the Falcon 8+ has grown out of its January purchase of Germany’s Ascend Technologies.

Intel Wants to Replace Fireworks With Drones – Using small quadcopters that fly in numbers, dubbed Shooting Stars, the company reckons that its drone light shows can “redefine entertainment” by creating “new experiences.”

→  Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) acquires commercial drone startup MAVinci – Intel has acquired German commercial drone software startup MAVinci for an undisclosed price. Intel’s Anil Nanduri, head of the drone business, said that the startup has best-in-class flight-planning software. It may seem odd for the world’s biggest chip maker to acquire a drone software maker, but Intel is serious about being a leader in the drone market, which can produce a vast amount of data for Intel-based computers to process in data centers.

→  GoPro Is Betting This Slick Drone Will Save the Day – With sales and shares plummeting, the company desperately needs a hit.

gopro karma drone

→  Global drones market 2016 trends, opportunities & 2020 forecasts made available by top research firm – The report titled “Global Drones Market: Trends and Opportunities (2016-2020)” provides an in-depth analysis of the global drones market with detailed analysis of market sizing and growth, market share and economic impact of the industry. The report also provides market size of global video surveillance system market.

→  Drones: Reporting for Work – (Infographics about the drone market) – Like the internet and GPS before them, drones are evolving beyond their military origin to become powerful business tools. They’ve already made the leap to the consumer market, and now they’re being put to work in commercial and civil government applications from firefighting to farming. That’s creating a market opportunity that’s too large to ignore.



Economic Development

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→  Virginia gets investment for drone workforce – The administration’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization program helps areas negatively affected by the changes in the coal and power industries by investing in training and economic development. POWER awarded a $2.2 million grant to the Industrial Development Authority in Wise, Va., for the Virginia Emerging Drone Industry Cluster Project, according to the White House blog.

→  The home for drones? – Virginia wants to become ‘the Silicon Valley’ for unmanned vehicles, and has become a key player in drone research. Much of the research today is focused on how these aerial systems could be flown safely if the FAA lifts these restrictions or changes its regulations

→  Obama is pledging more than $2 million to train coal miners to pilot drones – This week, the White House announced nearly $28 million in federal grants to fund 42 workforce and economic redevelopment projects in Appalachian states hit hardest, including $1.5 million to build a new education and technology training center in Tennessee and $2.2 million to train former coal workers to fly drones in southwest Virginia.

→  Once worried about drones, Naperville now sees benefits – The city’s economic development agency, the Naperville Development Partnership, has contracted with a startup drone video company to produce two promotional spots highlighting the city as a destination for tourists and corporations.


Regulatory Action

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→  Drone Rules Could Stifle Student Interest – This is about how the FAA’s new drone rules—a real boon for commercial operations—have quite the opposite potential effect on hobbyists (particularly students) and on teachers, whom the FAA has determined are “commercial” operators in all but the most limited circumstances.



Racing & Competition

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drone racing

→  Turkish Airlines Just Held a Drone Golf Championship – Turkish Airlines held its first Drone Golf Championship on Wednesday. The game tasked professional golfers Danny Willett, Lee Westwood, and Andrew Johnston with piloting drones to the Carya Golf Club’s 16th tee. Once there, they had to drop a ball inside circles surrounding the tee.

→  “Drone Racing Experience” To Be Featured At U.S. Army All-American Bowl – Led By Expert Drones, in collaboration with Momentum Worldwide, the upcoming U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX will feature a customized drone obstacle course for attendees to experience the latest action sport of drone racing.

→  Drone Racing League: Project Manhattan on Sky Sports Mix – Having already taken in Miami and LA, the Drone Racing League heads to New York with Project Manhattan on Sky Sports Mix on Saturday from 8pm.

→  The UK’s first pro drone race will be hosted in London next June – Pilots will face off in a winner-takes-all event at Alexandra Palace on June 13th, 2017.

→  Dubai drone racing competition goes live on TV – There’s still many challenges and kinks to be worked for this burgeoning sport. But if money can talk, the investment the big networks are pouring into broadcasting these competitions perhaps shows the sky’s the limit for drone racing.

→  Drone Racing in Romanian Salt Mine Set to Go – Just as spectacular and unique as the drones’ manoeuvres are the Drone Champions League race venues: the inaugural race in August was played out against the backdrop of the historic ruins of Schlosskopf fortress in Reutte, Austria. From 18 to 20 November, the drones will tackle the 3D race track at the Romanian Turda Salt Mine, hitting speeds of 130 km/h.

drone race salt mine

→  Nano-Racing scales down racing with 3D printed drones that fit in the palm of your hand – French startup Nano-Racing has been using 3D printing to create a very small line of drones that have all the functionality of professional-grade drones, and none of the drawbacks of the large 3D printed ones.




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drone publication

→  Drone program to begin in fall 2017 – In the fall of 2017, Southeast Missouri State University will be offering a four-year Bachelor of Science degree program in unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones. The program will teach students how to operate drones in a commercial setting.

→  Drone World Expo to Feature 50% More Speakers Including Representatives from Facebook, Southern California Edison, UK Civil Aviation Authority and Dow AgroSciences – In two weeks, Drone World Expo will bring together thousands of commercial drone professionals to see products and services on an expansive show floor and hear from 120 thought leaders and industry experts. The trade show and conference will take place at the San Jose Convention Center from Tuesday, November 15 – Wednesday, November 16,with pre-event education programs scheduled for Monday, November 14.

→  C-FC 4H students participate in National Youth Science Day – 4-H National Youth Science Day is the world’s largest youth-led engineering design challenge. The 2016 challenge, called Drone Discovery, focused on teaching youth a wide variety of topics related to unmanned flight including flight dynamics, aircraft types, safety and flight control.

drone publication




Law Enforcement & Threats

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drone law enforcement

→  Drones, So Useful in War, May Be Too Costly for Border Duty – The drones are intended to compensate for the Department of Homeland Security’s lack of personnel and other surveillance equipment to adequately patrol the longest international border in the world.

→  Sahuarita police expect to use drones by December – The Sahuarita Police Department will be the first police agency in the Tucson area to use aerial drones as part of its regular investigative tools beginning around mid-December.

→  Sheriff gets drone cameras – The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) is the second sheriff’s office in the state to have drone-mounted cameras for surveillance from above.

→  Ernesto ‘Nesto’ Rhea’s short film ‘No Shots Fired’ looks at drone technology for policing – After speaking with Drone aficionado Damon Darnall, AKA “The Drone Boss” and his wife “Mrs. Drone Boss,” Nesto decided to produce a short film that explored a practice that has been successful in some cities but not federally mandated so police departments across the country are required to utilize it.

FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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faa action and reaction

→  Disney gets federal permission to fly drones over theme parks – The FAA issued a waiver this week allowing Disney to use drones through November 2020. Disney asked for permission last year to fly the drones at Disneyland and Disney World for entertainment purposes, including fireworks shows. The waiver will allow nighttime use of drones. “You have established adequate mitigations for risks,” the waiver says.

→  Part 107: What We Got, What We Didn’t, What We Need – The FAA did give solid guidance for the private and commercial drone industry. The rules are relatively restrictive, as I’ll discuss. But there is hope—every restriction I’ll mention can be waived if applicants can devise mitigating measures acceptable to the FAA. The problem is the FAA isn’t giving guidelines on what they will—and won’t—accept in a waiver package.

→  FAA investigates drone close call at local airport – The FAA is investigating a close call between a drone and a passenger jet just south of the Colorado Springs airport on Wednesday. Around 10:45am, the pilot of an MD-80 jet contacted the air traffic control tower to report an unidentified UAV flying at approximately 8,000 feet near the area of Powers and Bradley, about 3/4 of a mile south of the runway.



Congress & Legislative Action

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faa reauthorization tracks the United States Congress and helps Americans understand what is going on in their national legislature. Click here for a list of drone legislation.

→  Law concerning drones effective Tuesday – HB 2599 restricts flights of drones over “critical infrastructure” less than 400 feet above ground level or past their fence lines. The bill also requires signage on such property forbidding flight of drones without site authorization. Violators can be found civilly liable for damages to the property, environment or human health.

→  Obama is pledging more than $2 million to train coal miners to pilot drones – This week, the White House announced nearly $28 million in federal grants to fund 42 workforce and economic redevelopment projects in Appalachian states hit hardest, including $1.5 million to build a new education and technology training center in Tennessee and $2.2 million to train former coal workers to fly drones in southwest Virginia.

→  Udall tours NMSU drone facility – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-Santa Fe, on Tuesday toured New Mexico State University’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Site at the Las Cruces International Airport. Udall recently helped the facility, operated through the university’s Physical Science Laboratory, receive designation from the FAA as a designated UAS Test Site.

Foreign Regulatory Actions

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→  To fight wayward drones, Dubai’s deploying a drone hunter – After several incidents of drones violating airspace at Dubai’s International Airport, the country is looking to deploy a drone-hunting drone.

→  No-fly zones to be imposed over jails as Government aims to crackdown on drones being used to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into prison – Ministers have vowed to crackdown on the problem because prisoners are understood to be ordering illicit cargo using phone smuggled into cells and then a ‘pilot’ controlling the drone from outside the walls lands the device or makes it hover outside a cell window.

→  Civil Aviation Ministry Awaits Home Minister’s Inputs On Policy For Using Drones – NEW DELHI: After stakeholder consultations, the Civil Aviation Ministry is now awaiting final inputs from the Home Ministry for deciding the regulations on the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including drones.

→  Discovering Drones: New European drone regulation – the jury is out – There is much to commend in the proposed regulations, but there remain some details to iron out. It will be interesting to see how the different stakeholder groups respond in the months ahead – especially when considering the millions of drones already in circulation.

→  Sweden bans camera-fitted drones – Under the terms of the new ruling, permits to operate camera drones can be expensive, and paying the application fee for one does not guarantee it will eventually be granted. Also there is exception made for journalists.

→  DPP felt drone prosecution too heavy-handed, forum hears – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided against bringing Ireland’s first prosecution against drone users because it felt the criminal sanctions “too heavy-handed.” “Enforcement is an issue across Europe and it is an issue here,” Mr James said. “We tried to get one major prosecution through, in fact two, but the DPP wouldn’t run with the prosecution . . . The reason . . . was what we have in the Aviation Act is a criminal offence, and they felt that that was too heavy-handed for owning a drone that goes out of control.”



International Developments

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→  Business drones soar – CHINESE drone makers are showing models that can stay in the air longer, operate in harsh environments and offer more versatility at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai to cash in on a potential of higher profit margins.

→  Drones for healthcare: Rwanda starts delivery of life-saving blood – The world’s first national drone delivery service for life-saving blood was launched in Rwanda on 13 October, an initiative that is expected to partly solve the inability to deliver medicine to remote areas with no adequate transportation or supply chain infrastructure.

→  Drones may soon deliver medical supplies in Australia – The Australian RPAS Consortium (ARC) recently launched its Angel Drone project, whose mission is to eventually deliver medical supplies in Australia via drones. While the consortium will start by testing drone delivery of blood samples, it hopes to ultimately deliver both medical supplies and samples.


Person in Drone Nation

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Media Use

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drone publication

→  Q&A: Sinclair Drone Chief Jeff Rose – TV Technology queried Sinclair’s chief drone pilot, Jeff Rose, about the broadcaster’s drone strategy as well as its approach to privacy. He is joined here by Rebecca Hanson, Sinclair’s senior vice president of strategy and policy.

→  Police Shoot Down Aerial Drones Over Standing Rock Demonstration – The FAA No Fly Zone was enacted today over the areas of our camp in the work zone for the DAPL workers. Their main purpose was for us, as media, no longer to fly their drones in the air to be able to gather information and report a good story.

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UAS Digest #62"

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