The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #64

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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 &
Competition
International Development Foreign Regulation Non-FAA Restrictions Innovative Products Events

Highlights

Eagle v. UAV – Nature Wins
NASA and AT&T pioneering UAS management system
Drone delivery approved in 2 Chinese cities
New Zealand claims first pizza drone delivery
Colombian drone drug smuggling
Drone street lights
Class action lawsuit filed against GoPro

 

News

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drone news


→  Drone crashes into World Heritage-listed Himeji Castle – The small drone hit two parts of the main Daitenshu donjon and fell to the ground at around 12:45 p.m. Two groups of people preparing to fly drones had been seen at the castle site earlier, but their whereabouts were unknown, the officials said, adding no one was injured in the incident.

→  Wedge-tailed eagles do battle with mining giant’s drones, knocking nine out of sky – Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have become unlikely prey for wedge-tailed eagles in Western Australia’s Goldfields, costing a mining giant more than $100,000 to replace its newest surveying tool.

→  2 injured as Toronto-bound passenger jet narrowly avoids collision with ‘drone’ – A Porter Airlines plane in Canada with 54 passengers on board took a risky maneuver, plunging at the altitude of just 3,000 meters in a bid to avoid a midair collision with what seemed to be a civilian drone east of Toronto on Monday.

→  Drone had ‘very near-miss’ with plane near London’s Shard – The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport on July 18 and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window. The UK Airprox Board report says “chance played a major part” in avoiding a collision and called it a “very near-miss.”

→  Drone v. Airplane: A Near Miss in Canada – The Canadian Transportation Safety Board has announced that it is investigating an incident on Monday that resulted in the injury of two persons on a Porter Airlines flight from Ottawa to Toronto.  Tahe plane was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with what the flight crew believes was a UAS that crossed its path when the aircraft was making a landing at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.  The two injuries were to flight crew, who were up securing the cabin for landing when the aircraft made its sudden dive.

 

 


Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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drone publication


→  Workhorse Group Truck-Launched Drone Package Delivery System to Meet FAA Regs – Electric truck and drone package delivery manufacturer Workhorse Group said it is making progress developing a truck-mounted drone system that will comply with FAA regulations.

drone delivery

→  JD’s Air Force Drone Delivery Approval: Game Changer – China’s logistics industry is now making history as large scale drone deliveries are allowed for the first time. JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) revealed it has been authorized by China’s Air Force to use drones to deliver parcels to remote areas in two cities and two provinces.

→  DJI’s biggest competition in drones is itself – The hardware side of the drone business will be quickly commodified and the real value would be collected by the software makers who built platforms that were used by a wide range of manufacturers. DJI’s dominance has positioned its hardware as the platform, with every major drone software provider working to integrate their offering with DJI’s mobile app and SDK.

→  Disney’s Latest Attraction? 300 Drones Flying in Formation – WITH THE PUSH of a button, 300 drones ascend from a ground station and float over a nearby lake. You can’t see them at first—it’s well after sundown—but you can hear them falling into formation. The music starts, the drones light up, and the choreography begins. This isn’t just the latest Disney World attraction. It’s a whole new breed of entertainment.

drone publication

→  Fly-off Provides Direct Comparison of Aerial Survey Drones – As the number of choices for drone based photogrammetry continue to grow it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which platform to select. A recent CH2M Hill sponsored fly-off provided a unique opportunity to compare between available platforms, and the resulting analysis reveals significant differences between leading systems.

→  GoPro’s Drone Initiative Crashes With Karma Recall – GoPro’s ambitious plans to be a player in the fledgling drone market crashed last week when it had to announce a product recall due to Karma UAV units falling from the sky.

→  Can GoPro Inc (GPRO) Stock Bounce Back After the Karma Fiasco? – GoPro issued upbeat 2017 guidance, saying it expects double-digit revenue growth and a GAAP net profit. If those predictions turn out to be true, it will mark the first time the company recorded growth and returned to the black in five quarters. GoPro says that its main focus next year will be to cut costs in a bid to maintain profitability. Investors should use the fourth quarter to check how well the company performs on that score.

→  PCS Edventures! Thrust UAV Announces $1.7MM Blanket Purchase Order – Thrust UAV, a wholly owned subsidiary of PCS Edventures! (PCSV) and a leader in the drone racing market, today announced that it had received a blanket purchase order for $1.7MM with Unmanned Aerial Systems Ltd., a United Kingdom based company delivering products and services to the retail, commercial, and military markets. The agreement specifies order expectations of 5,000 RIOT 250R Pro Series race drones and accessories over the next 14 months.

→  Consumer drone business stumbles, but commercial markets beckon – The fledgling drone industry is in the throes of change as weak consumer demand and falling prices drive startups to shift their focus to specialized business applications.

→  AeroVironment unveils VTOL drone for commercial markets – AeroVironment Inc., a manufacturer and developer of unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, has launched its new integrated commercial information solution featuring the trademarked Quantix drone and Decision Support System. Available spring 2017, these technologies allow users to gain actionable insights that can improve operational efficiencies, minimize risk and increase profitability.

→  Drone makers reach for the sky – Foreign and domestic drone manufactures are competing fiercely in the burgeoning market and investing more in the compact and foldable drones.

 

 

 

 

Economic Development

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→  Drone Technology Creating Exciting Career Opportunities – The Federal Aviation Administration has released new rules governing drones and related technology. A career that involves drone technology is worth considering, especially since the new FAA rules are expected to create 100,000 new jobs in this field.

→  ‘Drones can help farmers increase productivity’ – Prof. David Halliwell, Director of Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) at Deakin University, Australia, spoke to The Sunday Guardian about the benefits of adoption of “Smart Agriculture” techniques into the Indian agricultural system.

→  Commercial drone makers, users descend on San Jose – Government officials and business people flocked to the San Jose Convention Center on Tuesday and Wednesday to hear about the promise and challenges of commercial drone use in sectors that include insurance, construction, agriculture and law enforcement.

Bringing drones to mining – Using the nation’s resources efficiently ought to be of supreme national interest. Thus, the Government’s proposal to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), popularly called as drones, in the mining sector should be studiously welcomed. Nations that know how to use resources and deploy them for citizens’ welfare have social and economic advantage over those that do not know how to put the natural resources bestowed on them efficiently, albeit, also justly, for industrial advancement and citizens’ welfare. The Government’s decision to use drones for plan preparation, area inspection and for the significant purpose of mineral exploration is evidentially solid and rests on firm empirical ground. Although, India is not the first nation to use drones for mining purposes.

→  Upstate NY To Host 50-Mile Drone Testing Area – New York state officials plan to establish a 50-mile corridor for testing aerial drone technology in hopes of luring drone makers, sensor developers and other high-tech companies to the area.

 

 



Regulatory Action

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→  On His Way Out, US Transportation Chief Anthony Foxx Sets Drones Free – As the CEO of Zipline makes his pitch, Foxx nods. He’s all for the technology and is impressed by what Zipline has pulled off so far. But he knows the field, knows the FAA values safety above any commercial goal, and that, with some 30,000 domestic flights everyday, American airspace is the world’s most complicated. He sympathizes, but promises nothing. “I can’t push the FAA that fast,” he says.

→  Drone use regulations outlined by Hanover Park board – By a 7-0 vote, a new policy outlining use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, was approved by the Hanover Park Regional High School District Board of Education Wednesday, Nov. 16. Board members Richard Ford of East Hanover and Francine Ling of Florham Park absent.

→  Drone regulations on hold to discuss Donald Trump’s security – Palm Beach officials are waiting to discuss changes to a recently adopted drone ordinance until town staff works with the federal government on how those changes might affect President-elect and part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump. The Town Council passed an ordinance in June regulating the operation of drones or model aircrafts within town. Soon after, town staff decided to study the ordinance again because of claims the town overstepped its authority. Officials realized that the Federal Aviation Administration governs air space, and the town only has jurisdiction over takeoff and landing.

 

 


Racing & Competition

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drone racing


→  Drone Racing League partners with Bud Light for simulator tourney – Now the league is headed to the simulator, with the launch of the Drone Racing Simulator Tournament in Partnership with Bud Light. With Bud Light as the title sponsor, the DRL hopes to bring more prominence to the game and find the next great First Person View (FPV) Drone Racing Pilot.

→  Drone racing your way to the top – This week, I talk to Matt Higgins, president and CEO of RSE Ventures, the sports, entertainment and technology firm investing in drone racing and other cutting edge sports enterprises. He talks about his strategies behind identifying winning sports properties and his philosophy toward successful entrepreneurship.

→  Drone racing becomes reality in SADrone Racing Africa (DRA) is funding the racing league and is in the process of securing a number of corporate partners and sponsors as founding partners of SA’s first drone racing series. The first fully-funded drone racing league and series in Africa will see junior school children through to adults being catered for.

→  Download of the day: DRL Drone Racing Simulator – This free download has been developed by the US-based Drone Racing League to help you master the fine control needed to ace a real obstacle course at over 60mph. It’s also great fun as a flight sim in its own right – realistic and demanding.

 

 

Education

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drone publication


→  OUR OPINION: MSU strengthens hold in unmanned aerial science – Mississippi, not just MSU, has joined Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii as a full member in the University of Alaska Fairbanks-led Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC). The Mississippi program is led by Mississippi State University, and will include several UAS test and evaluation sites in the state. MSU is also the lead for the FAA’s UAS Center of Excellence – the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, or ASSURE.

→  Getting Down to Business – Drone World Expo Attracts over 2,700 Commercial Drone Attendees to Learn from the Experts and Find New Solutions – The 2nd Annual Drone World Expo attracted 2,711 commercial drone professionals this week to the San Jose Convention Center. The exhibit hall featured nearly 100 exhibiting companies showcasing the newest products and solutions with a world-class education program featuring a stellar line up of 120 end users, industry and government experts.

→  Easy-to-use drones becoming crop tool – At the Ag Drone Flight School held at the Ag In Motion grounds near Langham, Sask, participants were taught how drones can be used in agriculture and what the regulatory requirements are for using drones commercially.

→  Boynton Beach High students ready to soar in commercial drone careers – The students, all participants in the Boynton Beach Aerospace Science Academy, imagine themselves in an assortment of after-school and summer jobs, including helping perform inspections for utilities such as FPL, offering aerial photographs to real estate and agriculture companies, and assisting with search and rescue for police departments.

→  Last Public Drone Pilot Short Class Offered – The unmanned aircraft systems program on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina is providing professionals one last opportunity in 2016 to obtain a remote pilot in command certification.

→  Drone operator certification course set for January – Southern Illinois University Carbondale is again offering a two-day course that will allow drone operators to gain Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate unmanned aircraft systems.

→  College classes now cover drone technology for farmers – Piedmont Virginia Community College became the first college in the nation to receive approval from the FAA to conduct research and development of aircraft and sensors, including small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, used for public safety. The college held a course for emergency services personnel and first responders in May.

→  Easy-to-use drones becoming crop tool – At the Ag Drone Flight School held at the Ag In Motion grounds near Langham, Sask, participants were taught how drones can be used in agriculture and what the regulatory requirements are for using drones commercially.

 



Law Enforcement & Threats

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drone law enforcement


→  Colombian traffickers have added drones to their smuggling arsenal – Drug traffickers in northern Colombia have turned to drone aircraft to move illicit cargoes across borders. Police in the coastal town of Bahía Solano, in the department of Chocó on Colombia’s northwest coast, uncovered 286.6 pounds of cocaine buried on a beach. Along with it they found parts of an aircraft that were ready for assembly.

columbian drone drug smuggling

→  Police Foundation offers recommendations for law enforcement use of small drones – The Police Foundation has released new recommendations for local law enforcement agencies considering the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for public safety purposes.

→  Echodyne’s amazing miniature UAV radar: A huge step towards legal, autonomous drone deliveries – Under FAA law, unmanned aircraft can’t fly beyond the line of sight of their pilot. That’s why you can’t get Amazon to fly you a book yet, or get a pizza air-dropped into your back yard. And before the FAA relaxes that law, they’re going to need to be convinced that drones can sense and avoid other air traffic far better than they can now.

 →  Wave of drones hits ‘Game of Thrones’, says G4S – G4S, the private security company that is guarding the sets in Northern Ireland, where most of the filming takes place, says the drones are being flown overhead by curious amateurs and people looking to sell plot spoilers to media and entertainment websites. HBO is currently filming the seventh series of Game of Thrones and although it has not released any details, spoilers and photographs are widely available online.
→  Drone helps find missing man, Sheriffs debate use – Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association officials say the recent use of a drone in the search for a vulnerable man who had disappeared from his Woodbury home is a sign that drone use is going to increase. Director Jim Franklin tells the Pioneer Press the association is scrambling to put together standardized recommendations for drone use by law enforcement agencies.
→  More and more law enforcement are happily expanding their drone fleets – Speaking at the Drone World Expo on Tuesday, a panel of four law enforcement officers resoundingly approved their use and likely near-term expansion of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles.

 

 

 


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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faa action and reaction


→  FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems Around Denver – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) that enter the protected airspace around airports can pose serious threats to safety. The FAA is coordinating with our government and industry partners to evaluate technologies that can be used safely to detect drones near airports.

→  FAA pushing more drone regs – The FAA issued new requirements for drone operators in June, requiring people piloting these unmanned aircraft to pass an aviation test and register their drones with the government, but they must maintain a visual line of sight when they are flying these devices.

→  FAA tests antidrone tech at Denver International Airport – To find the best tools to keep drones from messing with your takeoffs and landings, the FAA is testing drone-detection technology at the Denver International Airport, the agency said Wednesday. It’s one of six tests the agency will run in an 18-month program at various locations in the US.

→  New Drone Regulations Advanced by Obama Administration – The FAA submitted a draft proposal to the White House that would allow commercial drones to fly over people not participating in the flight. The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs reported Nov. 14 that it received the draft proposal, which is possibly one of the final regulatory moves of the Obama administration. OIRA reviews rules prior to their release. The FAA submission means that a draft rule for small commercial drone flights over people should be coming soon and that the White House is open to meeting with interested stakeholders, according to Lisa Ellman and Patrick R. Rizzi of Hogan Lovells. Ellman is a partner at the firm and Rizzi is of counsel.

 

 


Congress & Legislative Action

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faa reauthorization


GovTrack.us 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.

→  New Drone Regulations Advanced by Obama Administration – The FAA submitted a draft proposal to the White House that would allow commercial drones to fly over people not participating in the flight. The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs reported Nov. 14 that it received the draft proposal, which is possibly one of the final regulatory moves of the Obama administration. OIRA reviews rules prior to their release. The FAA submission means that a draft rule for small commercial drone flights over people should be coming soon and that the White House is open to meeting with interested stakeholders, according to Lisa Ellman and Patrick R. Rizzi of Hogan Lovells. Ellman is a partner at the firm and Rizzi is of counsel.




Foreign Regulatory Actions

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→  European Parliament clears drone regulations for takeoff – Under the European Union’s proposed regulations, drones will have to be registered so that their owners can be identified. While that won’t in itself stop drones from falling, it could lead pilots to take their responsibilities more seriously, legislators hope.

→  UK Pilots Call for More Control Over Drones, UAV Owners – Trade Union – UK pilots call for more control over unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and for more responsibility of people, who used them in restricted areas, Steve Landells, who is flight safety specialist at the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), said.

→  City Council grounds proposed drone bill – A proposed local drone bill was grounded by the City Council on Monday night. Two months ago, a North Indiana Avenue resident requested that council members consider putting together local legislation to restrict drones, those unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with cameras. Council members agreed on Monday night to hold off on any local legislation. Instead, the city will rely on drone restrictions outlined by the Federal Aviation Administration that went into effect last year.

 

 

International Developments

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→  S. Korea to expand use of drones to delivery, life-saving missions – South Korean firefighters may soon start using drones in their search and rescue missions, while remote controlled drones may also help save lives by airlifting much needed medicine and other emergency supplies to people in areas often stranded by seasonal floods or heavy snowfall, the government said Thursday.

→  JD’s Air Force Drone Delivery Approval: Game Changer – China’s logistics industry is now making history as large scale drone deliveries are allowed for the first time. JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) revealed it has been authorized by China’s Air Force to use drones to deliver parcels to remote areas in two cities and two provinces.

→  New Zealand claims first pizza delivery by drone – Fast food giant Domino’s has reported the first successful delivery of pizzas by a drone in New Zealand. The company proved that foodstuff deliveries by drones were no longer just “a pie in the sky.”

drone pizza delivery

→  Drones: Opportunity or threat to the construction industry? According to the UK Drone Usage Report 2016, the construction sector is one of the top five industry’s leading the way in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with 17 per cent of firms having utilised flying robots to scope out work and monitor projects.

→  Tech intervention: Surveying mines with a drone’s eye view – India – While the Union mines ministry in its November 1 letter to all state governments and public sector units (PSUs) involved in mining asked to “explore the usage and deployment of drone technology in your respective organisations”, it has already asked its exploration company — Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) — to buy one or two drones and start using them so that others can see the benefits themselves.

→  Astral targets ‘drone airport’ in Lokichar by next February – Astral Aviation, a Kenyan based logistics firm, is opening a “drone airport” at Kapese Airstrip in Lokichar.

 



Person in Drone Nation

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If you know of someone or a company influencing the drone industry and would like them featured, please send information to pmontalvo@jdasolutions.aero.

 

 

 

 

Media Use

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drone publication


→  Drones training program raises the bar for safety in aerial journalism – The Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership has developed a training program for journalists that is being used by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., one of the country’s largest broadcasting companies.

 

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UAS Digest #64"

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