The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #67

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The Weekly Drone Publication

Every Friday!

weekly drone publicatioecon

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

Amazon completes first Prime Air drone delivery
Drone ID is a major step forward for drone security
World’s first Hybrid Drone: doubles flight time and recharges during flight
The first and only co-branded, racing toy drone
Lia Reich: Person in Drone Nation

 


News

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weekly drone publication


→  Ford wants to use drones to guide its self-driving cars: UAVs could help autonomous vehicles navigate the streets

  • A drone would launch from an autonomous vehicle and relay navigation data
  • Through digital mapping, the drone would augment the vehicles limited sensors
  • It could prove most beneficial for hard to access or poorly mapped regions, where GPS may not be able to map the terrain accurately

→  Fruity Chutes Can Prevent Drone Destruction – Unlike a helicopter, multi-rotor drones cannot autorotate to the ground after losing power, and a ballistic system that pops out a parachute can save an expensive vehicle from certain destruction as well as protect people on the ground from the impact of something falling out of the sky.

drone parachute

 

 



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication


→  Amazon’s Prime Air takes flight with first commercial drone delivery – The test flight, heralded on Twitter by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, occurred on Dec. 7, involved an Amazon Fire TV device and a box of popcorn, and reportedly took about 13 minutes from the time of order placement to delivery.

→  Green light for DPDgroup’s “regular commercial” drone delivery service – France’s General Directorate for Civil Aviation (DGAC) has authorised DPDgroup to operate a regular commercial drone delivery service.

→  Intel acquires ESA incubator company – Intel has chosen to acquire Mavinci, a start-up from one of ESA’s business incubators in Germany that has developed an easy-to-use system for land surveillance. “They focus on precision payloads for construction and inspections,” noted Anil Nanduri, heading Intel’s drone business.

→  The Best Drone Stocks of 2016 – As much press as drones have gotten, they’re a very difficult business to invest in today. Companies like Amazon.com, Alphabet, and UPS are testing drones, but it’s to augment their core business and drones are a small fraction of what they do. But there are some companies who either make drones or supply the components that make drones great devices. And while they haven’t had a great year on the stock market, AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV), Ambarella (NASDAQ: AMBA), and Boeing (NYSE: BA) are three that have done a lot to improve their drone businesses in 2016.

→  Unmanned Systems and Solutions Launches Professional Drone Repair Facility – Over 2.5 million drones are expected to enter US skies this year, many of them requiring repairs after operational use. Unmanned Systems and Solutions (USAS) has opened their 120,000 square foot professional drone repair facility capable of quickly repairing drones from most major manufacturers. In partnership with a 36-year-old telecommunications and technology repair business, USAS can receive, evaluate, and repair drones with its team of American based, highly experienced technicians.

→  Why 2017 Could Be Big For GoPro Inc Stock – We believe GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) stock is well deserving of its 50% loss over the last year, and its 90% loss from 2014 high. Nonetheless, the question is not whether we like GoPro’s business, or believe it is sustainable over the next decade. The question is will GPRO stock trade higher in 2017? Quite frankly, it is more likely than not. Here’s why. The only thing that matters to Wall Street is year-over-year growth, and a company’s revenue run-rate outlook.

→  Commercial drones will take off in 2017. Are you ready? – Industry experts are predicting that drones will have a large impact on the U.S. commercial sectors in five to 10 years. But given my experience in Finland, I think there is a strong case to be made that commercial drones will land next year. Here’s why.

→  Agriculture drone market is booming by increasing technological advancements in equipment – According to the report, global agriculture drone market was valued at around USD 673.79 Million in 2015 and is expected to reach approximately USD 2,978.69 Million by 2021, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 28.11% between 2016 and 2021.

 

 


Economic Development

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drone economic development


→  Mohawk Valley economy trending upward, Lt. Gov. says – “I cannot overstate the importance of the STEM field,” she said. “We have the largest potential development in unmanned aerial systems not just in New York, but in the entire planet. There are 350,000 unfilled jobs in drone technology being developed between Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome and Syracuse.”

→  SESAR European Drones Outlook Study Published – With an estimated value of EUR 15 billion annually, this market represents a huge potential for Europe and its global competitiveness. However the next years will be critical to ensuring the right ecosystem at European level is in place, all the main stakeholders are on board and research and innovation efforts are identified. The “SESAR Drones Outlook Study” provides a snapshot of the drone landscape in 2050 and how  new markets will unfold.

→  Nigeria to benefit from $120bn drone global market by 2020 – Nigeria is expected to join the league of countries which have adopted the use of UASs, with the enactment of a legislative framework which seeks to regulate the use of the technological device in the most populous African nation, Nigeria.

→  Commercial Drones are Officially Here – The infographic comes to us from IFLY, a Drone Economy Strategy ETF focusing on the “development, research, and utilization of drones”.

commercial drones

 


Regulatory Action


→  Orlando OKs drone regulations – In the end, it was unanimous: Orlando City Commissioners voted to approve, on first reading, an ordinance to regulate the use of aerial drones in The City Beautiful. But members of the public spoke up, and spoke out on the new rules, which still must be approved after a second and final public hearing Jan. 9.

→  Harmonising UAS Regulations and Standards – GIM interviews Peter van Blyenburgh, president of UVS International.

→  The World’s CAAs Work on UASs Benefit from Walden’s Counsel – The Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) announced that Gregory Walden, former Federal Aviation Administration chief counsel, has been elected chair of the Stakeholder Consultation Body (SCB). Mr. Walden, not to be confused with Rep. Walden (R-OR), is Senior Counsel at Akin Gump and numbers among his clients the Small UAV Coalition.

→  MP calls for greater drone safety after recent near miss at Heathrow Airport ‘endangered lives‘ – A campaign has been launched to increase the safety of drones after the number of near misses with aircraft rose dramatically in a year. The number of reported incidents has almost doubled from 2015 to 2016.

 



Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication


→  The Drone Racing League and Toy State Announce Multi-Year, Racing Toy-Drone Partnership – The Drone Racing League (DRL) announced a three-year licensing deal with Toy State. The deal centers on the first and only co-branded, racing toy drone from Toy State’s upcoming drone line, Nikko Air.

→  Plett drone-racing training for kids – Africa – Starting on Saturday, Plett will be hosting a two-day introductory drone racing course for school kids aged eight to 16 years old. The clinics are being held by Drone Racing Africa (DRA), which was launched in South Africa last month and is the first fully funded drone racing league and series in Africa.

→  LA drone expo hosts races, with 1,500 drone enthusiasts expected to attend – A fleet of 60 drones takes flight at this weekend’s third annual International Drone Expo and Business Conference.

la-drone-expo

→  Drone racing more than a hobby for many Surrey enthusiasts – On Nov. 27, the Agriplex was set up for aerial combat. On the floor, a wide variety of hoops, obstacles and markers made up the course. Surrounding much of the floor was ground-to-ceiling netting designed to keep wayward drones from crashing into innocent humans.

→  Drone Racing Comes to Greenville! – ESPN’s newest competitive sport, drone racing, is taking off in Greenville! SC’s first chapter of the MultiGP drone racing league Happy Quads just hosted their first tiny drone race.

→  High-tech carnival: Drone racing, VR, robotics, and more come together at new geeky event – The first-ever GE2 event is taking place Saturday and Sunday in Seattle, where attendees can participate in drone racing, virtual reality, eSports, laser tag, robotics, dodgeball, and more.

 

 


Education

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weekly drone publication


→  University of North Dakota students learn how to build drone businesses On course for future – They are learning to fly drones, with the hopes of earning a Federal Aviation Administration pilot’s license, and are getting real-world business experience. At semester’s end, students will pitch their enterprise ideas to venture capitalists and executives in a “Shark Tank” style setting.

→  GV Expo: Moving Drone Regulation Forward Through Education – “It’s been a very exciting time for this industry, but it’s also been a time of education and educating policy makers.” The technology can move right along, but if we don’t have the right policies in place we’re not going to be able to properly enable it, Ellman said. “The U.S. has, frankly, struggled a little bit responding to this growth in the emergence of this technology. Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and China are way ahead of us in terms of allowances and regulations. But we’ve made substantial progress and [educating policy makers] is where we need to play a critical role.”

→  Pittsburgh Filmmakers helps students soar with first-ever drone class – The school will introduce its first drone filmmaking class, Drones for Photo and Video. Set to debut in the spring, the course teaches students how to assemble, set up and operate small ready-to-fly (RTF) drone models.

 


Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication


→  Illegal drone flights persist in Great Smoky Mountains – If you’re ready to shoot some spectacular scenery with your drone, be sure not to do it in the Great Smoky Mountains or any other property operated by the National Park Service. All 84 million acres of NPS land, national monuments and scenic rivers are off limits to drones. “It infringes on our visitors’ privacy and it can also disrupt our wildlife,” said Jamie Sanders, GSMNP spokesperson.

→  Public Safety Drone Courses For Law Enforcement – The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Education department, in conjunction with Fly Robotics, is proud to announce the release of our UAS 4 Public Safety course. This hands-on training course will provide public safety officers the knowledge needed to use UAS technology safely and effectively in their daily jobs.

→  Drones not welcome at Quabbin Reservoir – He said violations of this or any of the access plan regulations are subject to a civil citation issued by state Department of Conservation and Recreation rangers, adding there has been at least one instance in which an individual had been fined for flying a drone in Quabbin Park.

→  How drones are already being used by NJ law enforcement – “Different sheriffs’ departments are using drones not only for search and rescue purposes, but also we can use a drone at crime scenes. Some counties are using them at crime scenes to get an overall picture of what’s happening,” said Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada, president of the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey. He said drones are also used at the scenes of serious crashes — Specifically, fatal motor vehicle accidents where you can get a good shot, get a great picture or a video from up above of the whole scene.”

→  New Swiss map shows no-fly zones for drones – In a statement, the federal government said the new map was necessary since the number of remote-controlled aircraft in the country had greatly increased in the past few years, however people are not always aware of the dangers drones pose if operated near airports and aerodromes.

swiss federal aviation office

 

 


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication


FAA Action

→  FAA Updates Thousands Of Section 333 Exemptions With Blanket Agreement – Allows new capabilities that were not previously available. There are four important points to consider, according to the firm: 1) Many can now register via Part 48 or Part 47. Some of the older 333’s were ONLY Part 47. Please remember that the Part 48 registration database is being challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by John Taylor.

Reaction to the FAA

→  DOT’s Office of Inspector General Critical of FAA’s Drone Oversight – In a critical audit on UAS operations released earlier this month, the OIG said the agency does not have a “fully developed risk-based process to oversee UAS operations, a key tool for focusing resources on a range of emerging risks, such as increased reports of UAS operating near airports.” Safety experts have believed for years that reducing the risk of a collision between a drone and a manned aircraft should remain as one of the FAA’s top priorities during the integration process.

→  The next administration should let commercial drones soar – One of many areas of federal policy desperately in need of a new course is the regulation of small commercial drones. In the not-so-distant future, drones delivering crucial medical equipment to the scene of a crash or lifesaving supplies to families stranded by natural disasters could be commonplace. That is, if regulators don’t send such innovations the way of the dodo before they take flight.

 

 



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.

 



International Developments

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→  S. Korea, Israel Unveil Drone with Hybrid Engine – The South Korean government and the Israeli Ministry of Economy unveiled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, with a hybrid engine. Combining an old electric battery system with an internal combustion engine and an electric power generator for the first time in the world, it has doubled its flight time and can charge a battery while operating.

→  Green light for DPDgroup’s “regular commercial” drone delivery service – France’s General Directorate for Civil Aviation (DGAC) has authorised DPDgroup to operate a regular commercial drone delivery service.

→  Malawi launches Africa’s first humanitarian drone testing corridor – Malawi will be home to the first air corridor in Africa to test the application of unmanned aircraft system for humanitarian and development use. The humanitarian drone testing corridor, announced today by the government of Malawi and UNICEF will become operational by April 2017. It will facilitate testing for projects related to imagery, connectivity and transport.

malawi doctor drone

 





Person in Drone Nation

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Lia Reich

women in drones

The Women in Drones luncheon that took place at the 2016 Commercial UAV Expo brought together industry leaders to discuss the successes, challenges and opportunities that women across the commercial drone space are encountering. It provided attendees with a venue to specifically explore how issues like collaboration and confidence impact the entire drone community.

lia reich

Women in Drones: Embracing the Value of Collaboration

Lia Reich helped lead the discussion during the event, and as the VP of Marketing & Communications at PrecisionHawk, she was able to offer a perspective that demonstrated what it means to be a leader within an organization and an entire industry. Her efforts to showcase PrecisionHawk’s focus on building a drone platform that will deliver better answers more effectively while enabling safe, low altitude flight have helped position the company as one of the most recognizable in the space.

I caught up with Lia to ask her about some of the topics she talked through during the event. We discussed what aspect of the discussion she found to be most notable, what sort of opportunity she’s seen open up under Part 107, how she sees the industry evolving in the short and long-term, plus plenty more.

 

lia reich

2015 – Lia Reich holds up PrecisionHaw Lancaster, an agricultural and insurance drone,  after an event with the sUAV Coalition.

Experience

PrecisionHawk

  • VP Marketing Communications
  • Sr. Director of Communications & Marketing

Webonise Lab

  • Director of Communications

 

Social Media

lia reichTwitter: @LiaReich

LinkedIn Summary:

The opportunities I’ve been given over the past five years in sports and technology have allowed me to develop skills in broadcasting/production: on-camera, directing, producing, editing, shooting and writing; public relations: writing, media management, organization, editing; and marketing: developing outreach opportunities by leveraging relationships, social media and sales to drive brand growth and awareness.

Fun Facts:

  • Received an athletic scholarship for swimming at University of Maryland
  • Father, Frank Riech, was selected third round of the 1985 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills (played in the league for the first 9 years of Lia’s life)

 

 


Insurance

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drone publication


→  Getting a Drone as a Gift? Check Your Insurance – MANY people will receive drones as gifts this holiday season. But before heading to the nearest field to fly the devices, recipients may want to check their insurance coverage.

→  Insurance industry expanding drone use – The use of drones is enhancing the ability to spot issues developing in farm fields. Country Financial is among the insurance companies looking for the most ways to benefit from the capabilities of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV’s. The company held a seminar Tuesday at the Macon County Farm Bureau office in Decatur to update area farmers on its latest uses for drone technology and possible changes to crop insurance coverage.

 

 


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication


→  The Future of UAS: Q&A with Embry-Riddle Aviation Law Professor Sarah Nilsson – As an expert in UAS, Nilsson frequently makes media and public speaking appearances. Recently Nilsson participated in a panel discussion at the Arizona Summit & Expo where she spoke about the effects of federal preemption on UAS in which federal law supersedes state law. She discusses the current issues of UAS use in the following Q&A.

→  Drone law UK: Where you can fly drones in the UK and other countries. PLUS: Dronecode explained – a simple set of rules to let you know where you can and can’t fly one. We’ll also list places where you’re not allowed to fly – such as the Royal Parks – and explain the equivalent rules in other countries in case you want to take your drone on holiday to capture some great aerial video.

→  New toolkit to help drone pilots stay within the law – The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has launched a ‘toolkit’ aimed at ensuring that operators of unmanned aircraft systems (‘drones’) stay within the rules and avoid endangering other planes.

 

 

 


Media Use

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weekly drone publication


→  Sinclair Equipping 45 Stations With Drones – Sinclair Broadcast Group is making a commitment to drone-based newsgathering with the goal of equipping 45 of the company’s TV stations with the miniature remote-controlled hovering aircraft by the end of 2017.

→  Drone regulations highlight limits on atmospheric commons, free speech – Garrett proceeds to examine the ways atmospheric commons are dwindling; namely that the right to fly drones over politically important places and events such as the Standing Rock protests and refugee encampments are being taken away by governments aiming to protect their image.

 



Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication


→  AirMap, DigiCert Introduces ‘Drone ID’ Certificate for Drones – Drone ID is a major step forward for drone security, laying the groundwork for a future in which millions of drones can share the airspace safely and efficiently.Drone operators that register their drone online will receive a digital Drone ID certificate, including a unique, validated aircraft identity number that can be loaded onto the drone and shared with others in the drone ecosystem.

→  5 Most Significant Drone Developments Of 2016 – Lighter, Faster, Longer – Everything in 4k – VR Goggles and 360 Video – Safety Features – Vision Positioning System

→  NASA Study on Air Traffic Controller Acceptability of UAS Detect-and-Avoid Thresholds – NASA conducted a human-in-the-loop experiment with 15 retired air traffic controllers to investigate two research questions: (a) what procedures are appropriate for the use of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) detect-and-avoid systems, and (b) how long in advance of a predicted close encounter should pilots request or execute a separation maneuver.

→  How Dayton has won the ‘long game’ of UAV development – Three years ago this month, Dayton was not selected as one of six FAA-designated sites where drone development could take place. But, leaders say, the advancement of the industry has come here anyway. While the loss of the test sites were seen as a setback for Dayton’s tech scene at the time, the “long game” has seen this area be a center for drone research, officials say.

 



Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication


→  Heat-Seeking Drones Could Reduce Fire Deaths – The small UAV, barely noticeable above the smoking ruins, belonged to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and was equipped with a thermal imaging camera. It enabled firefighters to scan for lingering hotspots, which, if not extinguished, can reignite fires and hamper recovery efforts.

heat seeking drone

→  PrecisionHawk Releases Pathfinder Data Showing Risk for Drones Flying BVLOS Missions – The Phase 2 report, which will be presented during  “Pathfinder Initiative for sUAS BVLOS” at 3 p.m. MT, identifies the operational risk associated with visual detection of an incoming aircraft and the ability to make a safety decision while operating a drone beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The report concludes that due to human variation, technology assist is critical to make the safety case for BVLOS flight.

→  MP calls for greater drone safety after recent near miss at Heathrow Airport ‘endangered lives‘ – A campaign has been launched to increase the safety of drones after the number of near misses with aircraft rose dramatically in a year. The number of reported incidents has almost doubled from 2015 to 2016.

→  Illegal drone flights persist in Great Smoky Mountains – If you’re ready to shoot some spectacular scenery with your drone, be sure not to do it in the Great Smoky Mountains or any other property operated by the National Park Service. All 84 million acres of NPS land, national monuments and scenic rivers are off limits to drones. “It infringes on our visitors’ privacy and it can also disrupt our wildlife,” said Jamie Sanders, GSMNP spokesperson.

→  The Impending Threat Of Drones On National Security – Infiltration of commercial airspace – Need for regulation – Preventing malicious hacks

→  Will Drones Become Weapons For Terror Attacks? – On Dec. 16, 11 a.m. Eastern, American Military University (AMU) and Purdue University’s Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE) will explore the threat of drone terror attacks and valuable research tools available to prevent them, including the Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) Portal.

→  Fruity Chutes Can Prevent Drone Destruction – Unlike a helicopter, multi-rotor drones cannot autorotate to the ground after losing power, and a ballistic system that pops out a parachute can save an expensive vehicle from certain destruction as well as protect people on the ground from the impact of something falling out of the sky.

drone parachute


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Innovative Products

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→  Best drones 2016/2017: The best drones to buy, with and without cameras – Here we explain what you need to know about buying a drone, and review the best drones to buy.

→  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 #67"

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