The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #72

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The Weekly Drone Publication

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

Highlights

FAA’s RTCA Drone Advisory Committee’s Second Meeting
Orlando Drone Ordinance Passed
Droneboarding engineering feat: drone pulls 4 snowboarders  
Person in Drone Nation: Jamie Nafziger, Drone Attorney

 



News

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weekly drone publication


→  Revealed: 13 near misses with drones at London airports last year – The shocking figures fuelled fears that the sharp growth in drone use could lead to a catastrophic crash over the capital. Overall, the number of drone incidents involving Heathrow planes nearly quadrupled from seven in 2015 to 26 last year, according to reports by the UK Airprox Board. Ten of them were category-A, meaning there was a “serious risk of collision”.

→  Passenger aeroplane was involved in a near-miss with a drone just 500 feet above a primary school – Aircraft holding up to 78 people passed near drone on Birmingham approach. Pilot spotted drone hovering above a primary school at the same altitude as him. Near-misses between planes and drones in Britain last year nearly trebled to 23. Two fighter jets passed within 300ft of each other over RAF Lossiemouth.



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication


→  Amazon patents in-flight transformer drones – Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) originally filed for the patent in October 2014 under the name “in-flight reconfigurable hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle.” The patent filing shows several types of hybrid drones whose wings can collapse for vertical takeoff and extend during horizontal flight to generate upward lift like a conventional airplane.

amazon transformer drone

→  Exploring the Must-Have Competencies for Drone Success – On episode #31 of the Commercial Drones FM podcast, entitled The U.S. Department of the Interior: 500 Million Acres & 1,200 Aircraft (Drones Included) with Mark Bathrick, host Ian Smith sat down with Mark to explore how an organization of 70,000 employees make use of drones and how aviation is a big part of what they’re doing in the present and will be doing in the future.

→  Drones: Losing Altitude or Gaining Control – If we look at the investment landscape, the picture might not seem as glamorous as it once did. As per the venture data reported by CB Insights, 2016 was yet another record-breaking year for the number of deals in the drone segment. However, upon closer look many smaller deals are happening instead of few larger ones.

drone uas investment landscape

→  Delivering an Integrated End-to-End Drone Solution: An Interview with Kespry CEO George Mathew – I caught up with Mathew to elaborate around what those new uses look like for specific users, how that will change the approach professionals can take, and plenty more.

→  $18.02 Billion Drone Services Market Global Forecast to 2022 – The drone services market is estimated to be USD 705.3 million in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 18,022.7 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 71.62% during the forecast period.

→  How Drone-Friendly Are the Biggest U.S. Construction Markets in 2017? – Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the largest construction markets in the USA, and how friendly their airspace is to commercial drone operations. I’ve used the Skyward Airspace Map, which makes it easy for operators to understand global airspace regulations under 500 feet AGL.

 


Economic Development

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drone economic development


→  Drone industry expands in Cambridge – Cambridge Aerial Imaging Ltd, which set up shop in Hardwick in September last year, is the latest innovative addition to the city’s tech scene. The company provides high quality aerial photography and video for land surveying, building inspections and marketing material for estate agents and events.

 

→  Another sign drones will be a major part of the economy – The government is making a big bet that drones—and the skills required to operate them—will help put out-of-work coal miners get back in business, but not necessarily in coal. Recently, The White House announced $28 million in federal grants to support 42 economic and workforce development projects in 13 coal-producing states. One of these grants will send $2.2 million to support the Virginia Emerging Drone Industry Cluster Project in which Mountain Empire Community College will offer courses to train students, including former coal industry workers, to fly drones.

→  Grant funds will help launch business incubator, officials say – The KY-WV Regional Drone Technology Workforce Project has received a $1,290,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to train students for the rapidly growing drone industry.

 



Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation


→  City of Orlando in US passes new drone regulation – The Orlando City Council in the US has passed a new ordinance with an aim to regulate drones flying in the commercial airspace of the city, as well as ensure safety. Following the approval, local law enforcement will be able to take action against users flying their drones near public venues and for snooping purposes.

→  Conn. police want to invest in drones but want rules set first – Many police chiefs are waiting for state lawmakers to establish legislation concerning drone use before they invest in the technology.

→  Tempe explores more drone restrictions near Sky Harbor International Airport – The number of pilots encountering drones while flying in the U.S. climbed over 200 percent from 2014 to 2015 as safety regulations try to catch up to the popularity of the unmanned devices. The incidents have a Tempe councilman exploring the possibility of tighter drone rules at city parks near Sky Harbor International Airport and beyond.

→  CBP Regulatory curve ball could drastically slow drone industry – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may change import duty and classification for DJI and other drones currently imported as toys watch out for Aerial Photography Aircraft.

→  Drone Operation Is Ripe for Regulation in New York, Lawyers at State Bar Meeting Say – The state bar has been holding its annual meeting this week at the Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. “Right now, this area of the law is gray.” By themselves, the federal guidelines put lawyers in New York and in many other places in a “tough spot, because you’re going to have to advise your clients in an area where the law’s not clear.”

→  NDSU has new policy on drones – NDSU has a new policy impacting students and faculty. All drone operators on campus must adhere to FAA rules. “It is the law and the penalty is $10,000,” Hall says. “And if you want to fly, you can fly in the open field of south Fargo and you won’t hurt anybody or yourself.

→  Pine Knob release drone policy – Out of safety concerns for guests, employees, and resort property, as well as concerns for individual privacy, Pine Knob Ski Resort, Inc. prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public – including recreational users and hobbyists – without the prior written authorization from the Pine Knob.

 


Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication


→  The International Drone Racing Association launches insurance to for Drone Pilots – The International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) will launch the first primary UAV Aircraft Liability Insurance policy to cover drone pilots worldwide. Included with the rollout of IDRA’s membership service, each IDRA member will be insured, with a US$1,000,000 UAV Liability coverage limit including operations for Recreational Use, UAS training for competitions, and Racing/Competitions around the world.

→  Drone racing league CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski: ‘We’re a technology company’ – Why the Drone Racing League is a technology company, how that affects broadcasting deals and how it compares to traditional sports leagues.

→  Watch MultiGP Drone Racing live at the First Annual Sebring Drone Race 2017! – This MultiGP sanctioned event has attracted the fastest drone racing pilots in the world, from as far away as South Africa, to the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. Pilots will be competing for the $20,000 prize purse, with one pilot being crowned champion and walking away with $10,000 for the 1st place prize.

→  Taking flight! It’s lift off for the FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2017 – Stand by drone racing fans: the FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2017 is coming – and it looks set to be better and more exciting than ever before. A total of 15 events have already been confirmed for the 2017 edition of the FAI Drone Racing World Cup.

→  TVN to stream Drone Racing League – TVN is set to debut Drone Racing League in Poland via its over-the-top streaming service player.pl. DRL races will be available to view via player.pl’s premium Player Plus pay-monthly offering.

 


Education & Training

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weekly drone publication


→  Student group promotes interdisciplinary collaboration to build drones – Students competing in the AUVSI SUAS competition, hosted at Maryland’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station, are working on creating a vehicle that will do just this — fly autonomously, avoid areas where the rescue helicopters are flying, identify and read plywood signs, and locate and deliver water to the firefighter. Jonathan Ready, who founded Penn State’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) team, is leading the charge.

→  Grant funds will help launch business incubator, officials say – The KY-WV Regional Drone Technology Workforce Project has received a $1,290,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to train students for the rapidly growing drone industry.

→  Robots and drones take over classrooms – Tynker, a company that has already brought its coding-through-games philosophy to 60,000 schools in the US, recently launched a new project – teaching coding through drone lessons.

tynker drone education

→  Drones could be used as a tool to enhance precision ag – At the Colorado Farm show on Thursday at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley, producers had a chance to learn more about the way drones can help them with precision agriculture. Precision ag is the ability to make the most of everything utilized in growing crops. It offers answers to questions such as: Where is the best place to put more seeds? Where is fertilizer most needed? Where can farmers water less. And drone technology is helping with just that.

→  Bergen’s Drone Pilot Training Takes Flight – Outfitted with approval by the federal government and in response to the explosive interest in unmanned aerial vehicles, Bergen Community College will offer an information session on its drone courses in February.



Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication


→  3 arrested after crashing drone into Cannonball River, fleeing law enforcement – Three people leaving a Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp were arrested after a pursuit Tuesday night. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department says the occupants in the vehicle left the camp and parked at Turtle Island. They say the individuals flew a drone and officers saw it crash on the south side of the Cannonball River. When officers attempted to arrest the group for trespass, the individuals ran to their vehicle and left.

→  San Diego Sheriff’s Department begins using drones to find missing people, document crime scenes – Sheriff’s homicide detectives showed up at the house first. Next came the drone. As detectives began investigating the fatal shooting of a Pala woman early Monday, two deputies flew the drone over the outdoor homicide scene, taking aerial photos and videos that would become evidence.

→  Police the sheriff’s drones – Some civil libertarians argue that no law enforcement agency should even possess drones, for any purpose, because history shows that such tools will inevitably be misused. But any tool — even flashlights — can be misused. We have more faith in the ability of the sheriff to make responsible, limited use of drones, as long as he is working cooperatively with the oversight commission and the Board of Supervisors.

 



FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication


FAA Action

→  FAA Issued Notice Advising Public of RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Second Meeting for Jan 31 – The FAA has announced that this meeting, which is open to the public, will focus on the FAA’s efforts to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Drones into the national airspace.

→  Drone Tests New Tech to Help FAA Track Commercial Spacecraft – Near Space Corporation (NSC), a private spaceflight company that operates at the Tillamook Naval Air Station in Oregon, sent its High Altitude Shuttle System (HASS) into flight using a stratospheric balloon on Oct. 3. The unmanned drone, which regularly carries new technologies for in-flight testing, brought along a payload of equipment designed to help the FAA detect and track commercial spacecraft.

Reaction to the FAA

→  $200K deal to end FAA action vs commercial drone operator Skypan delivers message to other drone users – But while the deal saved the company nearly $1.7 million compared to the fine the FAA had initially sought, the case should send a message to drone operators of all kinds that the FAA is serious about enforcing its rules on private and commercial drone operation.

→  New AUVSI council aims to bring FAA, industry together – AUVSI is launching a new initiative, the Remote Pilots Council (RPC). The council has kicked off with a national tour to promote education and dialogue between commercial UAS operators, industry leaders and the FAA. Through a combination of in-person meetings, webinars and surveys, the council of AUVSI members will discuss opportunities and challenges to ensure safe and responsible use of the National Airspace System (NAS).

 

 


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 bills not yet ready to take off in House of Delegates – After determining the three bills its members heard Monday trying to regulate flying recreational drones were not yet ready, a House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee subcommittee created a work group to be led by Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax. The bills either are under construction or under negotiation.

→  Newton Drone Owner Files Federal Lawsuit Against City – A Newton resident filed suit against the city this week, claiming a recently passed drone ordinance is trumped by federal law and violates his First, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights. In the suit, first published by the Newton TAB, Michael Singer also alleges the ordinance violates his statutory rights of navigation and the Massachusetts Privacy Act. Singer filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.



International Developments

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international drone market


→  Drones Lure Young Chinese Back to Farming – China’s drone industry is in flux. Instead of creating machines exclusively for amateur photographers, manufacturers are catching on to the vast potential for drones in commercial agriculture. Drones can spray crops with pesticides, weed-killers, and growth regulators 30 to 60 times faster than a person wandering the fields with a tank strapped to their back. Because of their efficient, even spraying, drones also use half as much chemical formula and 90 percent less water. In Japan, drones already help to manage 54 percent of all farmland. In China, that percentage is still in the single digits, though it’s steadily rising.

→  Chinavasion Launches Top New Drones from Xiaomi and Wingsland – These cool electronic gadgets let consumers take to the skies for a fraction of the price of big name brands and have just been made available to the Western market by Chinavasion.

→  Could Drones Be the Next Big Thing for the Australian Olive Industry? – Many Australian farmers are turning to agricultural drones as a cost and time effective means of keeping tabs on their herds and fields — and olive farmers are no different.

→  Finalists for London’s Top Public Art Spot Include a Drone-Topped Dessert – A sculpture by Londoner Heather Phillipson, who combines dessert and drones to present a sleek, seductive work with sinister undertones. Described as “a monument to over-confidence and impending collapse.”

heather phillipson london drone sculpture

Australian government opens cheque book for industry assistance – The state government has granted $415,000 to 20 local defence industry businesses on the same day it announced applications were open for a pool of $400,000 of innovation vouchers.
→  Time to Build an Australian National Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) System – The Association of Certified UAV Operators (ACUO) is calling for the Federal Government to launch a program to design, develop and implement a continent-wide unmanned traffic management (UTM) system as the only viable means of achieving the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) into national airspace.
→  Despite tight regulations, this startup looks to fly drones on Indian airspace soon – A group of four IITians have come up with drones that can be used for topography surveying, precision agriculture, and industrial inspections.

→  Drone technology to be trialled in fight against water leaks – England – With almost 24,000 miles of water pipe to keep an eye on, Anglian Water will trial thermal imaging drones to detect leaks in Newmarket and Wisbech.

 


Person in Drone Nation

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jamie nafziger

Jamie N. Nafziger, Partner/Drone Attorney at Dorsey

Twitter: @JamieNafziger
LinkedIn: Jamie Nafziger

For over eighteen years, Jamie has helped clients grow their businesses by developing stellar brands, advertising their products and services, and launching cutting-edge online services and mobile apps. She is Chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Social Media Practice Group.

As part of the firm’s top-ranked trademark team, Jamie helps clients develop branding strategies and acquire and enforce U.S. and international rights in trademarks and copyrights. Jamie has deep experience with domain names and is assisting several clients with applications to run .brand generic top level domain names. Jamie also develops defensive domain name strategies and handles domain name disputes.

A technology lover, Jamie guides clients through complex and ever-changing privacy laws and internet regulations. She has extensive experience advising on website and mobile app terms of use and privacy policies and licensing agreements. She also helps clients comply with email and text messaging laws and regulations and deal with internet fraud.

She is a frequent author and national lecturer on mobile apps, privacy, trademark law, internet law, social networking, and domain names. Jamie serves on the board of The Works, a kids’ hands-on engineering museum.

jamie n nafzigerArticles

Client Achievements

Education & Admissions

  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) (J.D., 1997), Prosser Prize, Advanced Legal Research; Prosser Prize, Copyright and Unfair Competition
  • Northwestern University School of Law (1994)
  • Stanford University (B.A., 1991)

Accolades

  • Listed in “Top 250 Women in IP” by Managing Intellectual Property, 2014
  • Recognized as a Leading Practitioner in World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, 2013 – 2017
  • Author of the Year – E-commerce USA, Lexology (Association of Corporate Counsel), 2010
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2012 and 2014
  • Pro Bono Scales of Justice Awards, 2009; 2012
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2005; 2011

 


Insurance

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drone publication


→  The International Drone Racing Association launches insurance to for Drone Pilots – The International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) will launch the first primary UAV Aircraft Liability Insurance policy to cover drone pilots worldwide. Included with the rollout of IDRA’s membership service, each IDRA member will be insured, with a US$1,000,000 UAV Liability coverage limit including operations for Recreational Use, UAS training for competitions, and Racing/Competitions around the world.

→  AUVSI Hosting Drone Insurance Info Session – AUVSI is hosting a webinar featuring insight from insurance providers and the drone pilots who use them. The webinar will be on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

→  How to prevent your new drone from landing you in court – Maine’s insurance bureau wants this year’s newest batch of drone pilots to prepare for the worst. The Maine Bureau of Insurance last week issued a consumer notice urging drone owners to make sure they explore what kind of insurance coverage they have before taking to the skies.

→  The Robins Kaplan Insurance Insight – Vol. 1, No. 1 – Drones: The FAA’s Efforts for Timely Integration into Society

 


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication


→  Newton Drone Owner Files Federal Lawsuit Against City – A Newton resident filed suit against the city this week, claiming a recently passed drone ordinance is trumped by federal law and violates his First, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights. In the suit, first published by the Newton TAB, Michael Singer also alleges the ordinance violates his statutory rights of navigation and the Massachusetts Privacy Act. Singer filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

→  Orlando Drone Ordinance Passed – On January 23, 2017, the City of Orlando’s Council had a meeting and passed the proposed drone ordinance. A video of the hearing along with arguments from the police department and the community can be viewed below. If you are confused as to how the ordinance was voted on, read Robert’s Rules of Order Chapter 3.

 

→ A proposed “Code of Conduct” – Flitelab, a UAV resources company offering imaging and support based in Nova Scotia, Canada, posted a proposed “Code of Conduct” on its blog section. We contacted Flitelab partner Mark Langille to ask him a few questions, and also request permission to reprint the proposed code.

→  Jamie Nafziger helps clients offer sophisticated online services on a global scale by applying her extensive knowledge of the internet and mobile apps. She also guides companies through the complexities of developing, protecting and enforcing their brands and copyrightable works.

 


Media Use

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weekly drone publication


→  Police Are Making It Impossible To Use Drones To Document Protests – While these ad hoc no-fly-zones are ostensibly created for air safety reasons, like clearing the way for rescue helicopters during a natural disaster, some drone journalists say law enforcement are abusing them as a way to block news coverage.

→  Workshop on Drone Journalism on January 31 – Department of Government Information will conduct a workshop on the ethics and laws of using drone cameras for journalists and persons using this technology. It will be held on 31st January and will consist of two sessions ie the theory and practical. Any person can log on to the websites www.news.lk or www.dgi.gov.lk  and register for the program. The persons who register first will be given priority.

→  NFL will use drone to drop the ball – NFL Drones has upped the excitement in the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown. In this latest twist, drones are used to drop the ball to a player.

nfl drone ball drop

 


Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication


→  NASA Tracks Air Flow Generated By Drones – At NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, researchers recently used computer models to simulate the flow of air around air around a modified DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter.

nasa drone aerodynamics

→  Student group promotes interdisciplinary collaboration to build drones – Students competing in the AUVSI SUAS competition, hosted at Maryland’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station, are working on creating a vehicle that will do just this — fly autonomously, avoid areas where the rescue helicopters are flying, identify and read plywood signs, and locate and deliver water to the firefighter.

→  UAS Colorado Joins Wohnrade Civil Engineers for Great Sand Dunes National Park Mapping Project – Working in conjunction with NPS park staff, the goal of this project was to develop precision mapping approaches using high-fidelity remote sensing to monitor change detection, measure dune height in the vicinity of the Star Dune, and to visualise and document the natural resources that the NPS is responsible for protecting.

→  Aerones make droneboarding history by pulling four snowboarders at once – Almost one year ago to the day, Aerones published footage of snowboarder Kaspars Balamovskis being towed by one of its heavy-duty drones. In its latest test conducted Jan. 14, Aerones managed to pull four snowboarders simultaneously, a remarkable feat of engineering (and coordination).

 

→  How Direct Line used drone technology to disrupt insurance – Direct Line’s belief that, as a result of shifts in technology, the centre of gravity for insurance will transition from being a business of restitution to being a business of prevention. What if the streetlights were focused on the people and not the street? What if the same five streetlights could go wherever you wanted to go?

→  The World Outdoors: Researchers flock to drones – Bird scientists have realized drones can be deployed to do some bird census work and gather data in remote or otherwise inaccessible locations.

drone research bird science

→  Mt. Pleasant High students earn $5,000 to pursue project aimed at Zika virus – The grant will help fund the next step in the program’s multi-disciplinary project of developing an amphibious drone to help detect the presence of the Zika virus in stagnant bodies of water.

 

 


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication


→  Crash test dummy gets it in the head in the name of drone safety – Virginia Tech – currently one of several FAA-designated drone test sites that dot the nation – hopes its research will help the aviation administration to better understand the level of injury risk when it comes to using drones in everyday settings.

→  Top 5 Drone Intercepting Methods You Should Know About – SkyWall, Anti-Drone Birds, DroneDefender, Dedrone, AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System).

→  Drones on track to boost safety – Escalators at stations, and boundary walls along tracks have cut the death rate on Mumbai’s railways, and it will now be the turn of drones. The Western Railway is close to finalising a plan to deploy small unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor its tracks, and cut the number of train-hit deaths due to trespassing. The death toll along Mumbai rail tracks was 3,304 in 2015, and 3,349 persons were injured, according to official data.

 


Events

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FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

 


Innovative Products

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→  Is This $1,600 Umbrella Drone Worth It? – The drone automatically follows you via your smartphone’s GPS. Presumably the camera still works, so you can get excellent 4K videos of how wet you are.

drone umbrella

→  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 #72"

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