The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #68

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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

Not the end of the world as predicted: Drone Registration Marks First Anniversary
First testing ground for beyond-line-of-site (BLOS)

 


News

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weekly drone publication


→  U.S. Investigators Blame Autopilot in Facebook’s Big Drone Crash – The wing on Facebook Inc.’s experimental high-altitude drone broke last summer in Arizona after the massive aircraft hit an updraft and its autopilot overcompensated seconds before touchdown on its maiden flight, a U.S. investigation has concluded.

→  Crucial Unanswered Questions Remain In Amazon’s Pre-Christmas UK Drone Delivery Announcement – Amazon claim that this first delivery was achieved in 13 minutes from the purchaser’s click to the package being delivered at their home. A heavily choreographed positive-message video was released showing the delivery being made. Even with this carefully scripted video however it was possible to see obvious pointers to the thorny issues that are likely to be prevalent where drones are used as delivery vehicles.

→  Drone complaints soar as flying machines get cheaper, more popular – Complaints about drones being flown recklessly have surged as the machines become more popular, and stricter new rules come into effect. But some professional operators argue the new rules, introduced in 2015, gave operators and customers much-needed certainty, and brought the industry into line with other trades. They say amateur pilots are likely to blame as incidents and complaints about drones to the Civil Aviation Authority soared from 33 in 2014 to 172 thus far in 2016.



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication


→  Contracting and Providing Drone Survey Services – What Does it Mean to be an Aerial Surveyor? The Costs of a UAV Business. Drone Strategy.

→  Anti-drone market likely to expand as fast as drones themselves – While the age of the drone is only just dawning, the U.S. military is already pursuing anti-drone technology for use by troops in combat zones.

→  Drone Year Retrospective, Uncertain Karma – The August effective date of the FAA’s Part 107 regulation for the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems capped a consequential year for both the commercial and consumer drone markets. Summarized below are some noteworthy developments, ironies and observations.

→  Approaching and Evaluating UAV Acquisition with Bechtel – Being able to appropriately consider how enterprises can and should utilize drone technology is a process that various companies are working through, but when you’re talking about a massive and global organization like Bechtel, that consideration is taken to a whole new level. Nate Fuller’s job is to help the company as a whole do just that, and he talked through what that means for him and for Bechtel during episode #26 of the Commercial Drones FM podcast.

→  UAS company brings drone industry to Minot – The announcement marks Minot’s entry into a technology field targeted by MADC in its new MAGIC Sky initiative. MAGIC Sky is aimed at promoting the city as a destination for unmanned aerial systems companies.

→  2017 set to be a ‘vital year’ for the drone industry – The global commercial drone industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, with industries from agriculture to mining tapping into the real business benefits that drones can deliver.

→  Flying Into The Mainstream With Goldman Sachs’ Noah Poponak – Noah Poponak is a senior equity research analyst from aerospace and defense at Goldman Sachs Research. We found this video of him and he explains how he views the drone industry evolving into a $100 Billion dollar industry by the year 2020.

 

 


Economic Development

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drone economic development


→  How Do Drones and Driverless Trucks Factor into the Future of Waste Technology? – The waste and recycling industry has made great strides to improve productivity and efficiency while reducing exposure to liability and costs through the use of technology. Industry experts predict that over the next few years, drones and other technologies will continue to reshape the industry.

→  2017 set to be a ‘vital year’ for the drone industry – The global commercial drone industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, with industries from agriculture to mining tapping into the real business benefits that drointnes can deliver.

→  Drone sales soaring this Christmas, capping a record year for the industry – The FAA says twice as many drones will be sold in 2016 as in the previous year, numbering 2.5 million. The Consumer Technology Association says sales during the Christmas season will more than double over last year.

 


Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation


Domestic

→  The US Laps Europe On UAS Innovation And Regulation – After having read numerous stories over the years that the US is falling behind Europe in the race to integrate UAS, it is nice to see a comprehensive study that shows the opposite.  Of course, this challenge comes at a bad time for Europe, with Brexit in full swing, and the possibilities of Frexit, Grexit, Oexit, etc., looming, it may become increasingly difficult to find the will to make the substantial investments in technology and systems the report calls for.  Only time will tell whether Europe will be able to take advantage of the bright future the study predicts.

→  Orlando considers drone rules as enthusiasts, lobbyist object – The City Council plans to vote Jan. 9 on new rules that would govern drone use in Orlando, prohibiting use of drones near certain landmarks and large gatherings but also creating a specialized permit officials say would be easier to obtain.

→  Drone Makers Hope Regulations Under Trump Will Set Their Swarms Free – Tethered by strict FAA rules, the drone industry hopes that a pro-business, anti-regulation president will let the fledgling technology soar.

Foreign

→  Vodafone Proposes Drone Air Traffic Control Network – Vodafone has been meeting European airspace regulators, but it’s not about spectrum and masts. It thinks that its network might be ideally placed to be used as the drone and UAV air traffic control method of the future.

→  UK Government Suggest Mandatory Registration Proposal For Drones – The announcement that a new safety test is likely to be imposed for all types of drone users has sent shockwaves across the industry. With those companies who cater mainly to the consumer market beating the war drums that this is bad for the future of the industry, Coptrz takes a different stand.

→  Drone controversy continues in Europe – The debate is heating up in Europe about the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS or drones) in the same airspace as helicopters, as proponents see a business opportunity and opponents warn against a safety threat. Meanwhile, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is writing rules expected to be issued in 2018.

→  Regulation of drones needed to keep Singapore in top flight – There is little doubt that the development of drone technology offers some exciting new opportunities. For Singapore, in particular, it poses an interesting challenge. Our small land area means we have limited airspace to spare. Yet, we also want to encourage entrepreneurship and allow room for innovative industries, including drone technology, to grow and thrive.

→  European Union Moving Forward with Drone Rules – The European Union (EU) is on the verge of revising its regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) operations in Europe. The revisions will shift the regulation of UAS away from EU Member States to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as incorporate a risk and performance-based approach for UAS regulation.

 


Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication


→  Preview of Drone Rodeo, 3D printing at CES and drone racing with UVify – UVify is a company based in the U.S with Korean roots and Sculpteo held an interview with them recently to learn more about their relationship with 3D printing. The team at UVify will be present at drone rodeo as well as at CES at the beginning of January showcasing their 3D printed drones. Drone rodeo is a pre-CES ‘high desert event featuring the latest and greatest developments in drone technology‘.

drone rodeo

→  MultiGP Drone Racing – The largest drone racing league in the world reached a major milestone recently. Last month MultiGP registered its 11,000th pilot, an amazing accomplishment from a racing league less than two years old.

→  Droiko Gaming Drone – Luis Rodenas has created a new gaming drone, which he is marketing as the very “first true gaming drone” which has been specifically designed for drone battles.

 

 


Education

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weekly drone publication


→  Want to become a drone pilot? Get your FAA certification soon in Norfolk – The city and a trade school are teaming to offer the training starting mid-January. The six-week classes will prepare students to get Federal Aviation Administration certification as drone operators.

→  CSU grad helps Amazon’s first drone delivery get airborne – Eric Berlinberg, a Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Business, has been serving as a program manager with Amazon Prime Air since 2015, leading the project’s global business operations and program management offices.
→  Maine university teaching students to fly drones – Professor Dan Leclair says students learn about weather patterns and airport maps. Students also learn about regulations they must know in order to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s test for commercial pilots.

→  Nevada State College Raises Funds To Expand School Of Education – It’s creating its first master’s program, in speech pathology, and the college recently partnered with the city of Henderson to develop an aerial drone testing facility, which it plans to demonstrate during next month’s Consumer Electronics Show.
→   US students helping firefighters, law enforcement through drone class – Rather, they’ve focused on projects to help firefighters find blazes in remote areas and aid law enforcement in navigating water rescues. They’ve worked with crews in Carova, North Carolina, an Outer Banks community filled with dirt and sand roads and long stretches of beach that aren’t easy to reach.

 


Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication


→  UAVs Could Replace Tucson Police Helicopters – “We have an air-support unit that is incredibly costly,” he said “Why wouldn’t it make sense to look at drones as a possible option? From a cost standpoint (drones are) far less costly potentially than some of the costs over the long-term.”

→  Drone Investigated For Interrupting Hollywood Hills Firefight – No injuries were reported, but an unauthorized UAV, or hobby drone, was reported over the fire, distracting firefighters and endangering an assigned LAFD helicopter, Humphrey said.

→  Getting a drone for Christmas? Here’s what police and emergency officials say not to do – On Christmas morning, hundreds of folks all over town will unwrap one of the most requested gifts of the year – a remote- controlled flying drone. The lucky recipients will head out to their backyards or local parks, turn their new toys on, and promptly break the law.

→  Canadian government launches drone safety website, snitch line – Bracing for thousands of Canadians unwrapping their first drones Christmas morning, the federal government has launched a snitch line to report reckless and dangerous use of the miniature aircraft.

→  The Use of Killer Robots By Police – This past July, Dallas police used a ground robot to kill a man who had killed five police officers in a mass shooting. The incident kicked off a national discussion about lethal robots and what role if any they should have in law enforcement.

 



FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication


FAA Action

→  Drone Registration Marks First Anniversary – During the last year, the system has registered more than 616,000 owners and individual drones. As part of the process, applicants receive and must acknowledge some basic safety information. That means more than 600,000 drone operators now have the basic aviation knowledge to keep themselves and their friends and neighbors safe when they fly.

Reactions to the FAA

→  Did UTM Turn The Corner At Syracuse? – The FAA didn’t like NASA telling them how to manage air traffic. All I can say is—“Wow. What a difference a year makes!” The mood at the Syracuse UTM conference was completely different. So what happened? Why the change at FAA? We could blame it on Congress. Congressional budget language was clear that NASA and the FAA must work together to develop UTM and the language prompted the aggressive FAA/NASA timeline.

→  The FAA has issued nearly 23,000 drone pilot licenses in just three months – That means more than 300 people a day (that’s weekdays) across the United States have become certified drone operators in roughly three months. The number of certified unmanned aircraft pilots, however, pales in comparison to the number of drones registered with the FAA, which was over 550,000 as of September and amounts to an average rate of 2,000 drones registered a day.

 



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.

Local leaders, activists weigh in on statewide drone bill headed to governor’s desk – With the growing popularity of the controversial item comes the need to regulate it, and a Michigan Senate bill that would create a policy framework for how to operate drones on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk could be signed into law before 2017 hits.

→  Fly a drone? NH works on law to regulate it – A bill was filed by state Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, and co-sponsored by state Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, to establish state laws for drones, or unmanned aircraft systems. The Federal Aviation Administration has ultimate jurisdiction over civil aviation, but Kurk said FAA regulations for drones generally do not address privacy concerns, only safety.

 


International Developments

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international drone market


→  A ‘Drone City’ Is Being Designed in Time for Tokyo’s Olympic Games – By 2019, a year before the Olympic Games come to Tokyo, 200 drones should be zipping through the skies, delivering goods to residents of Chiba City, about an hour southeast of Tokyo by train. There, new construction is underway to accommodate 10,000 new residents with condominium towers that are being designed with drones in mine. Think: landing ports as well as technology and staff to monitor the air traffic.

→  France gives tech seal of approval for mail deliveries – France’s airspace regulator, the General Directorate for Civil Aviation, cleared the drones for take off. But that doesn’t mean French skies will suddenly be abuzz with unmanned aircraft—at present, the drones will only work on a prescribed nine-mile route once a week in the southern region of Provence, as a feasibility test for the tech and regulations.

→  Sweden set to reverse controversial ‘drone ban’ – Sweden’s controversial drone ban could soon be reversed as the country’s government seeks to change the introduction of a new rule that was heavily criticized by media companies and trade associations.

→  Transport Canada: Drone safety improving – Transport Canada (TC) said yesterday that its new online reporting tool, along with other safety initiatives, has helped to improve drone safety. As the use of drones has boomed, so too have the safety and regulatory issues that surround them.

→  Canadian government launches drone safety website, snitch line – Bracing for thousands of Canadians unwrapping their first drones Christmas morning, the federal government has launched a snitch line to report reckless and dangerous use of the miniature aircraft.

 





Person in Drone Nation

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Stay tuned next Friday!

 

 


Insurance

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drone publication


→  Drones left high and dry without insurance –  “With companies like Amazon pioneering the use of drones, it looks like there is only one way the popularity of drones is going and that’s up. The rules governing drones is evolving so it could be very easy to not have the right insurance cover if an issue arises. Drones with cameras are being used for commercial purposes as well as for fun. However, the case of a Nottinghamshire man being fined £1,800 for flying drones over football stadia highlights the risks and costs if they are misused”.

→  Drones Game of Drones: Liability and Insurance Coverage Issues Coming – Liability for drone use, however, is not limited to bodily injury or property damage claims — drone operators also face significant exposure to claims of invasion of privacy.

→  If you invade someone’s privacy with a drone, your insurance might not cover it – Drones flying over a person or backyard would be lower than 400 feet, creating conditions for a forthcoming storm of invasion-of-privacy claims arising out of drone surveillance.

→  You Crashed Your Drone. Now What? – A comprehensive guide to getting back in the air.

 

 


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication


→  Drone laws in Australia: how to fly your drone legally and safely – Do I need a license? What are ‘standard drone operating conditions’? Where can’t I fly my drone?

→  MHC Tech Law: Regulating drones for safety, security and privacy – The use of drones has become much more prevalent, but how does this affect our privacy? The team at Mason Hayes & Curran investigate their regulation at EU level.

 

 


Media Use

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weekly drone publication


→  Milwaukee Market Gets First Drone – WDJT became the first station in the market to use a drone for news coverage. Sky Drone 58 made its debut on the CBS affiliate’s 4 p.m. newscast yesterday.

 sky drone 58

→  With phones and drones, capturing Standing Rock images the public was never supposed to see – Tech-savvy photographers on the front lines of the Dakota Access Pipeline fight have been instrumental in challenging the official narrative of events and calling the tactics of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department into question.

 



Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication


→  Grand Sky to test revolutionary drone practices – On Thursday, it was learned the new Grand Sky business park will be the first testing ground for beyond-line-of-sight flights for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

→  Medical relief providers conduct first US ship-to-store drone delivery – Drone delivery firm Flirtey and a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor successfully sent a drone from a medical relief camp at Cape May to an off-coast vessel, and back again.

→  USDA funds drone research to improve wheat yields – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is turning its eyes to the sky to find the next breeding breakthrough in U.S. wheat fields. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a Kansas State University researcher $300,000 to perform a research project aimed at improving wheat yield and speeding up plant breeding processes with the help of small unmanned aircraft vehicles.

→  If Drone Swarms Are the Future, China May Be Winning – Although large Predator and Reaper drones are the face of modern militaries, drone swarms—dozens of fixed-wing drones flying in coordinated formation— could be the future of unmanned combat. And if these aerobatic flock of drones are in our future, then the Chinese believe they’re firmly in the lead after releasing a video last month of the largest swarm of fixed-wing drones ever flown.

 


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication


→  How some drone companies are creating virtual fences for security – “We have certain restriction areas that’s built into the drone already, so you physically cannot go in there,” DJI marketing director Willis Chung said.

→  The Use of Killer Robots By Police – This past July, Dallas police used a ground robot to kill a man who had killed five police officers in a mass shooting. The incident kicked off a national discussion about lethal robots and what role if any they should have in law enforcement.

→  Training for and Simulating a Safer Way to Practice Drone Operations – Many working professionals struggle with the logistics of operating a UAV safely and effectively if they haven’t been properly trained to do so. Vampire Pro from AEgis Technologies was created to provide that exact type of instruction in a customized way. This powerful UAS simulation provides a set of features that can be modified as needed to ensure operators have the necessary training and insight to safely maximize the technology.

→  New drone safety app helps bring order to the UK skies following a collaboration between public and private sector aviation experts – Drone Assist is the product of a partnership between air traffic control provider NATS, the handlers of 2.3 million flights in 2015, and Altitude Angel, a British company behind a cloud plaftorm that connects drones with their environment in an ecosystem it calls “The Internet of Flying Things”.

drone assist

→  Transport Canada: Drone safety improving – Transport Canada (TC) said yesterday that its new online reporting tool, along with other safety initiatives, has helped to improve drone safety. As the use of drones has boomed, so too have the safety and regulatory issues that surround them.

→  Safety test proposal for drone users – Anyone who buys a drone in future in the UK may have to register it and take a safety test.

 


Events

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JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

 



Innovative Products

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→  New drone safety app helps bring order to the UK skies following a collaboration between public and private sector aviation experts – Drone Assist is the product of a partnership between air traffic control provider NATS, the handlers of 2.3 million flights in 2015, and Altitude Angel, a British company behind a cloud plaftorm that connects drones with their environment in an ecosystem it calls “The Internet of Flying Things”.

drone assist

→  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 #68"

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