The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #66

weekly drone publication
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The Weekly Drone Publication

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Congress &
Legislative Action
FAA Action &
Reaction to FAA
Enforcement, Restriction & 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 Innovative Products Events

Highlights

Another drone crashes on White House grounds
Ford patent to equip autonomous vehicles with a drone
Drones and holograms to fight wildfires
5 most significant drone technology developments of 2016

 

News

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weekly drone publication


→  Crashed Drone Is A Security Wake Up Call For White House – On Monday, a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) crashed into the grounds of White House. The incident has again bought into the spotlight the security threats being faced by White House.  The Secret Service said that the drone was 2-foot-long “quadcopter” that posed no threat to White House security. As Missy Cummings, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University, said, “I do think it’s a wake-up call for the government to start thinking about how it will protect against this type of thing — it’s important for the government and the military in general,” “This [White House drone] was harmless, but in the future it might not be.”

→  Football-sized drone flown 20m from passenger jet over London – A drone the size of a football was flown as close as 65ft (20 metres) from a passenger jet, according to an official investigation.


 

Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication


→  Ford leads auto industry in patents for 1st time in 2016 – Ford reports they have had around 1,500 patents accepted through the U.S. office which is a 25 percent increase from 2015. One of the patents highlighted by the company is an invention that would equip autonomous vehicles with a drone. With this patent, a drone would be deployed by a vehicle to map out areas undetectable by the standard sensors. If there is a passenger in the vehicle at the time, Ford reports that they would control the drone using the vehicle’s “infotainment or navigation system.”

ford drone patent


→  Boeing drones and Microsoft holograms to fight wildfires – Mix a large drone as the ScanEagle from Insitu with the Microsoft HoloLens and suddenly you’ve holographic tactical maps that operators can manipulate to direct resources to where they’re most needed. It looks like a science-fiction story but it’s real, although we’re still starting to see the potential of the whole system.

 

→  Google in talks to launch drone food delivery service – Google parent company Alphabet plans to build an online marketplace for $6 drone deliveries called “Wing Marketplace.” The drone delivery efforts are part of Project Wing, which is a unit of Alphabet’s moonshot lab known as X. The Wing team currently has about 85 workers designing drones to transport packages, per the Journal.

→  Everything You Need to Know About the Market Potential for Industrial Drones – In this clip from Industry Focus: EnergyOpens a New Window., Taylor Muckerman and Dylan Lewis talk about how the energy and industrials sectors are using drones today, why many of the biggest players are investing in the technology to get it off the ground, some of the most exciting potential-use cases that drones offer companies all across the board from BP (NYSE: BP) to Total (NYSE: TOT), and how massive the industrial drone market could be once it takes off.

→  Seattle startup Unearth raises $1.3M to use drones and IoT to manage construction projects – Seattle startup Unearth is finishing up its first fundraising round as it continues to build a product that will help construction teams avoid information and communications breakdowns that can cause major projects to go over budget or be delayed.

→  Rising applications in the industrial services sector have drone companies positioned for rapid ascent – Drones offer two big advantages over manual inspections, users say: improved safety and enhanced profits. Workers don’t have to climb scaffolds or crawl into tight spaces, and equipment such as flare stacks can be inspected while still operating.

→  Two growing startups – NavStik and Tagalys – share how a scalerator programme is aiding their growth – “While observing the transition, we realised that all drone-makers were facing a common set of problems and were being forced to reinvent the wheel. We saw an opportunity to build a platform that would help developers focus on solving the business problem, and leave the common or lower-level issues to the operating system,” says Nitin Gupta, Founder of NavStik.

 

 

Economic Development

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→  Market Update for UAVs in Civil Infrastructure: Living in the Drone Age – From bridge inspections in Minnesota to railways in Canada, drones are helping to create better infrastructures, bridging many time distances and obstacles that otherwise would not be possible to cover as quickly and safely. They are also helping to save lives, and recent report show those numbers are significant.

→  Central New York drone corridor will help develop unmanned aircrafts – A 50-mile drone corridor from Rome to Syracuse will be the center of the burgeoning unmanned aircraft systems industry in central New York. Larry Brinker, the executive director of the NUAIR Alliance, said it will be able to help developers try to solve some of the technological glitches that are grounding the industry at this point.

→  Automation doesn’t always kill jobs. Sometimes, it adds them – Automation has taken away millions of American jobs. But the booming aerospace industry shows how the story about automation is nuanced.

→  Drone Technology Takes Off in New Jersey – Top researchers from the state schools met with legislators to talk about research, development and new applications, plus where the science is headed in the future.

 



Regulatory Action


→  Taiwan to take tougher action against drones in restricted areas – The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said civilian drones that enter restricted air spaces in Taiwan will either be intercepted or shot down. The military will also report such incidents to the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the police, and the operators of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be liable to a penalty of up to five years in prison, the MND said.

 


Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication


→  Are Apple and Samsung Racing to bring a Drone to Market? Evidence Discovered this week Suggests they may be – Yesterday Patently Apple posted a patent application report titled “Apple Invents an Improved Graphics System for Gaming or Possibly an Autonomous Drone Device.” It was evident early on that this patent was not for Project Titan but rather aimed at a graphics system possibly for Apple’s Metal API’s or a future drone that could be controlled with an iPhone, iPad, MacBook which were listed in the patent. You’re not going to drive your autonomous vehicle that way but you can a drone. This is why Apple pointed to an autonomous agent.

→  Astana to Host First Major Drone Racing Event – Drone Racing Kazakhstan dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Independence will be held for the first time in Kazakhstan Dec.16. The championship will include racers from all regions of the country and feature a one million tenge (US$2,938) prize. The event is being sponsored by Kazakhstan Engineering and will be at the Barys Arena Ice Palace.

→  Korea takes the lead in drone sports – The Korea Drone Racing Association hosted the International Drone Sports Conference and International Drone Sports Competition 2016 over the weekend at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium, Pyeongchang County, Gangwon. Co-hosted by the JoongAng Ilbo and the Provincial Government of Gangwon, the events marked Korea’s latest initiative to become a leader in the industry.

 

 

Education

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weekly drone publication


→  For Developing World, 2016 Brought Education, Drones, Big Data – 2016 opened new technology frontiers for developing countries in education and healthcare, thanks to mobile devices and a little help from nonprofits and tech giants.

→  Virginia Students Taking Courses on Drones Help Communities – A course on drones is being offered jointly by James Madison, George Mason and Old Dominion universities. Students have helped firefighters find blazes in remote areas and aided law enforcement officials with water rescues.

→  Unmanned Safety Institute Launches SAFEGUARD Program for Drone Hobbyists – The first-ever online training course designed by its team of leading aviation safety experts to teach drone enthusiasts how to fly safely and minimize risk. The course, known as SAFEGUARD™, is a self-paced online course that is approximately one-hour in length, and covers essential safety topics, including understanding airspace, identifying and avoiding hazards, weather effects on drones, planning safe flights, current FAA rules and regulations, and much more.

→  Youth discover the science of drones – The Scratch program is a free, online computer program designed for youth ages 8 to 16 years old. It introduces youth to coding, allowing them to program by stacking commands like building blocks. Youth learn strategies for solving problems, designing projects and communicating ideas. The simulation gives youth the opportunity to discover practical engineering design solutions to real world problems. At the same time, youth learn about careers related to drone technology. They also become familiar with safety measures and regulations.

 

Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication


→  Man charged with flying drone downtown, a first for EPS – Bennett Alexander Hojka, 23, is facing two charges. The first is operating a model aircraft without a permit on park land which is a municipal bylaw. The second charge is flying a model aircraft in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety under the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

→  Taiwan to take tougher action against drones in restricted areas – The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said civilian drones that enter restricted air spaces in Taiwan will either be intercepted or shot down. The military will also report such incidents to the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the police, and the operators of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be liable to a penalty of up to five years in prison, the MND said.

→  Sacramento Police Confiscate Drone – A Sacramento man who flew his DJI Mavic drone over the Winter Wonderland festival at California Exposition last month had his aircraft confiscated by the Sacramento Police.

→  Orlando Police propose new drone ordinance – Under the proposed ordinance, operators would need to apply for a drone permit in order to fly over specific public areas within the city of Orlando, such as Lake Eola or City Hall.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication


→  The DOT’s Damning Investigation on FAA Oversight of Commercial Drones – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General has issued a damning report on the FAA’s oversight of commercial drones, saying that the agency has “limited knowledge of where UAS actually operate and limited means to oversee [commercial] operators.” The Inspector General’s Audit Report, reposted here by Insurance Journal, concludes that the FAA is insufficiently trained, has poor communication systems,lacks good oversight process, and has not enforced drone laws sufficiently.

→  Inspector General Audits FAA on Drones: How Does the Agency Measure Up? – Though recognizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) continuous steps to advance the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into national airspace, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) says in a newly released audit that the FAA is still, however, taking a “reactive approach to UAS oversight.”

→  FAA Reverses Course, Grants Drone Journalist Permission To Fly In No-Fly Zone Over Standing Rock – In a dramatic reversal of its prior refusal to allow drone journalists in the no-fly zone over the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, the FAA has granted drone photographer Robert Levine of Minneapolis, Minnesota a three-day waiver to fly in the so-called TFR or temporary flight restriction zone.


Congress & Legislative Action

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weekly drone publication


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.

→  Drone groups reach out to Trump – The Commercial Drone Alliance and the Drone Manufacturers Alliance have each penned a letter to Trump:

“America is witnessing a renaissance in computing and robotics that promises to revolutionize the way we work, connect and even see the world,” said Michael Latiner, chairman of the board for CDA and the chief strategy officer for Uplift Data Partners. “Of all these exciting advancements, perhaps none holds as much potential for doing good and advancing the country’s wealth and economic prosperity as UAS.”

→  No drone zone ordinance pursued – KENNEBUNK, ME — At their Nov. 22 meeting, selectmen approved final wording of a proposed new “Park Use Ordinance” and sent it to a public hearing. However, because the board’s next regular meeting on Dec. 13 is, in the words of Selectman Christopher Cluff, “getting crowded,” the vote was to leave scheduling open-ended to, “the next available meeting.”

→  Commercial drone rules could loosen if Elaine Chao becomes transportation secretary – The former labor secretary is not overbearing when it comes to regulations, so commercial drone rules could see an expansion under her oversight, industry insiders told The Times.

 

 

International Developments

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→  S. Korea to invest 500 bln won to foster drone industry in next 3 yrs – “The drone technology generates massive ripple effects on conventional industries, improving productivity dramatically and creating related service markets,” Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan said in a meeting with businessmen in Daejeon. “The government will lift regulations and open the market to let the private sector develop technologies and customize them.”

→  Decoding China’s home-developed drone Wing Loong – The Wing Loong UAS has staged at the world arena and gained a fame for China’s UAS industry in the global market. Xinhua journalist had an exclusive interview with its developing team at its cradle of the CADI, a low-profile yet top-level research & development institute dedicated to leading-edge aerospace technologies.

→  Toronto-based The Sky Guys launch new DX-3 long-distance drone – The Sky Guys, a Toronto-based company that offers drone videography, mapping and inspection services, has launched its first drone, the DX-3, through a new technology division called Defiant Labs.

→  For Developing World, 2016 Brought Education, Drones, Big Data – 2016 opened new technology frontiers for developing countries in education and healthcare, thanks to mobile devices and a little help from nonprofits and tech giants.

→  senseFly Selects Gap Wireless to Expand Canadian Inspection Reach – senseFly has selected Gap Wireless, a leading distributor of products and services for the mobile broadband and wireless markets, as a Canadian distributor of its intelligent mapping and inspection drone, albris.

 



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 Patrick Montalvo at pmontalvo@jdasolutions.aero.

 

 

 

Media Use

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weekly drone publication


→  FAA Reverses Course, Grants Drone Journalist Permission To Fly In No-Fly Zone Over Standing Rock – In a dramatic reversal of its prior refusal to allow drone journalists in the no-fly zone over the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, the FAA has granted drone photographer Robert Levine of Minneapolis, Minnesota a three-day waiver to fly in the so-called TFR or temporary flight restriction zone.

→  Broadcasters Embrace Drones for Live News Coverage – More recently, news agencies have begun to embrace UAVs, more commonly known as drones, for aerial newsgathering. In early October, drone footage became an integral part of the coverage by many media outlets to show the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.

→  China Daily partners with EHang on drone journalism – China Daily website has joined forces with a drone maker to improve digital news coverage. The website and domestic drone company EHang Inc signed a collaboration agreement on Wednesday, which will see reporters given training on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) photography. The workshops will address the industry’s development and the use of UAV in news reports and post-production.



Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication


→  $10 million data center in the works at Grand Sky drone park in Grand Forks – Tom Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., said the data center will allow tenants and companies from other industries to safely store data “and more easily convert it into consumable information.”

→  MIT System Simplifies DIY Drone Building – A new system allows users to design, simulate, and build their own custom drone based on specific requirements including payload, cost, flight time, battery usage, and other factors.

→  Testing of drones beyond ‘line of sight’ coming to Ohio airport – The Ohio Controlling Board approved the funding Monday, the last piece of a puzzle for a $5 million project to build a ground-based sense and avoid radar system at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

→  The 5 Most Significant Drone Technology Developments of 2016 – Let’s have a look at a few significant drone developments that we’ve seen make their mark in 2016.

drone publication

 

 


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication


→  How to shoot a drone out of the sky – A backlash is brewing against the growing armada of consumer drones overhead. Here come the drone hunters.

→  NCDOT urges safety for drone pilots – The N.C. Department of Transportation is cautioning those who get drones for Christmas to use them responsibly. State officials and industry groups have established safety guidelines for drone use.

→  Conference studies security threats posed by consumer drones – Nearly 80% of people surveyed by Defence IQ, the conference organisers, said they believed a major security incident involving drones in civilian airspace was strongly likely or almost certain to happen in the next five years.

→  Privacy and Data Security Top List of Questions for Legal Experts About Drones – Uncertainty continues for legal experts and policymakers around issues of privacy and data security raised by the influx of drones circling the skies.

→  K-State Polytechnic instructors formulate safety list for drone owners – The growing popularity of unmanned aircraft has motivated two Kansas State Polytechnic instructors to come up with a safety checklist to help people who find a drone under the tree on Christmas morning.

→  Unmanned Safety Institute Launches SAFEGUARD Program for Drone Hobbyists – The first-ever online training course designed by its team of leading aviation safety experts to teach drone enthusiasts how to fly safely and minimize risk. The course, known as SAFEGUARD™, is a self-paced online course that is approximately one-hour in length, and covers essential safety topics, including understanding airspace, identifying and avoiding hazards, weather effects on drones, planning safe flights, current FAA rules and regulations, and much more.

 

 

Upcoming Events [UPDATED WEEKLY]

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Innovative Products

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→  DroneSimPro – $29.99 – Dronethusiast’s #1 choice for training – A Drone Flight Simulator is a great choice when you’re considering investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a new UAV quadcopter. Multirotor drones can be very expensive and it’s smart to get some practice using a much less expensive method, a UAV simulator, before unpacking your new drone.

 

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UAS Digest #66"

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