The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #75

weekly uas drone industry publication
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The Weekly Drone Publication

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weekly drone publication

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

The driverless MEGADRONE big enough to carry a passenger
Giant drone racing
The First BVLOS License in Switzerland

 



News

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weekly drone publication


→  The driverless MEGADRONE big enough to carry a passenger could be flying around Dubai in July – A giant quadcopter big enough to fit a passenger will be flying people around Dubai as early as July. The all-electric vehicle has four arms with eight propellers at the end allowing it to travel up to 60mph. Ehang says the 184 is autonomous, so all the passenger has to do is enter their final destination into an app.

driverless megadrone

→  InterDrone among Fastest Growing Shows in United States – BZ Media LLC announced today that InterDrone – the international drone conference & exposition – has been named to the Trade Show Executive magazine list of fastest growing shows in 2016. InterDrone was one of only 14 shows in the country that was named in each of the three categories; fastest growth in exhibit space, growth in number of exhibitors and in attendance. InterDrone 2016 drew 3,518 attendees from 54 different countries on 6 continents and the event featured 155 exhibitors and sponsors in 222 booths.



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication


→  Verizon acquires Skyward, aims to manage drone operations, connections – The acquisition of Skyward, based in Portland, Oregon, will bring tools for drone operations into Verizon’s Internet of Things portfolio. Verizon has been investing in IoT tools for the enterprise and its IoT business ended 2016 with nearly $1 billion in revenue.

→  A company that detects and disarms drones engaging in illegal activity just raised $15 million – San Francisco-based anti-drone company Dedrone announced Monday that it has raised $15 million in its Series B funding round led by Felicis Ventures and by John Chambers, the executive chairman of Cisco.

At the recent meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, Swiss police used a drone detection system made by the Dedrone to detect and disarm unpermitted unmanned aircraft.

→  How Will Drone Mapping Impact the LiDAR Market? – Part 107 has gotten the mapping industry as a whole to take a closer look at what UAVs can do in terms of complementing or completely replacing some current mapping approaches. At the ASPRS Hot Topics session, which took place at the International LiDAR Mapping Forum, this topic was explored in great detail by numerous organizations that have created the products that are enabling those new approaches.

→  Three reasons golf courses are the next drone mapping territory – Drone technology and Pix4D mapping software are two technologies entering the golf industry with the potential to create more efficient and attractive courses. We interviewed tech industry leaders to see where drone mapping applies to golf.

drone golf course

→  Delivery drones will be just 1% of commercial market by 2020 – Production of drones for personal and commercial use is growing rapidly, with global market revenue expected to increase 34% to reach more than $6 billion in 2017 and grow to more than $11.2 billion by 2020, according to a new forecast from Gartner Inc.

→  Global UAV Flight Controllers Market 2017 Import, Export, Supply and Consumption Analysis-2024 – (Purchase required) – The MRS Research Group report research highlights informative data and in-depth analysis of UAV Flight Controllers market and its corresponding segments that are based on technology, geography, and applications.

→  Discover the smart commercial drones : market shares, market strategies, and market forecasts from 2017 to 2021 – (Purchase required) – Smart commercial drones drone markets at $3.4 billion in 2014 are anticipated to reach $27.1 billion by 2021. Segments are Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Border Patrol, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Disaster Response, Package Delivery, Photography, Videography.

 


Economic Development

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drone economic development


→  Drones are Everywhere! Here’s How They Affect Businesses, the Earth and Even You



Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation


→  How To Stop, Or Slow Local Drone Ordinances – It seems like every day, we’re seeing another story about a state, city or town that is crafting or has passed new regulations related to drones. But such so-called “subdivisions” of government don’t have unlimited power. Writing on the blog A Medium Corporation, author Vic Moss has some suggestions about how you can work with those smaller governments to defeat bad drone laws, or at least help them understand their limitations relative to unmanned aircraft.

→  Drone Group Airs Concern About Trump’s 2-for-1 Regulatory Rollback – In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget—the clearinghouse of federal regulations—the Commercial Drone Alliance expressed concern that Trump’s directive could have “unintended negative consequences on the growth of our industry” as the administration pushes to offset compliance costs for U.S. companies.

→  RSA 2017: National Drone Rules Remain Unsettled – During a panel about drone rights, privacy and security held Feb. 15 at the 2017 RSA conference, experts from law enforcement, the federal courts and industry discussed the gray area that surrounds drone operation in the United States. One of the overarching issues in the UAS space is that of who has enforcement authority. While many would agree the FAA has staked a substantial claim in making the rules, the lines blur considerably when context is added around specific cases.

→  Anchorage Assemblyman seeks to restrict ‘modern nuisance’ of drones over private property – An ordinance being introduced to the Assembly this week would bar drones from flying within 50 feet above a house, business or even a shed without permission from the property owner.


Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication


→  Giant drone racing is here, and it’s just as awesome as it sounds – The Australian founder of Freedom Class Giant Drone Racing, Ballard is the founder of a startup that’s designing, building and testing giant racing drones for what he believes may well be the next mainstream motorsport.

→  Recipe For New Sports? Just Add A Drone – One of the latest twists on drone sports comes from Latvia. A company called Aerones has developed a drone to use for droneboarding, a new sport that’s just what it sounds like — a snowboarder being pulled through the snow by a powerful drone.

→  How Drone Racing Is Quickly Growing As An International Sport – The emerging sport of drone racing is already attracting big sponsorship deals and venues all over the world.

→  International Drone Racing Association Launches Primary Coverage for Drone Pilots – Included with the rollout of IDRA’s membership service, each IDRA member will be insured, with a $1 million UAV liability coverage limit including operations for recreational use, UAS training for competitions, and racing/competitions around the world.

 


Education & Training

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weekly drone publication


→  Use these strategies to incorporate drones in STEAM education – Marisa Vickery, facilitator of learning and innovation at Walnut Elementary School in the Dripping Springs ISD, ran an after-school drone club that evolved into a full-fledged program after Dennis Baldwin, a software engineer and school parent who created an app called DroneBlocks. The app lets users program missions using block programming with the DJI Phantom 3, DJI Phantom 4, and Inspire 1 drones. Users drag and drop blocks onto the canvas to command their drone to follow a basic flight plan. The next step was to link the drones to relevant content areas, and the team realized drones covered the entire STEAM spectrum.

→  Open Works drone partnership aims to help kids score jobs in growing industry – The Open Works makerspace is trying to bring some of those job opportunities to Baltimore through a new partnership with Global Air Media, a Baltimore drone company that specializes in aerial cinematography and mapping services. The company will host workshops for young people and adults in drone construction, piloting and photography.



Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication


→  Utah couple arrested for allegedly peering into neighbors’ windows with drone – Orem police said in December they recovered a drone that was being used to watch other people. Police were alerted to the drone after a man found the high-tech quadrocopter hovering outside his bathroom window. The man rushed outside his house, got into his truck and followed the drone. The drone landed in a church parking lot near the man’s house. The Desert News reported that when no one came around to claim the drone the man took it home and discovered hours of footage of the drone peering into the homes of houses around the neighborhood.

→  Suffolk police to buy drones as part of tech upgrade – Suffolk police are close to buying a pair of drones capable of providing investigators with a bird’s-eye view of crime scenes, car accidents and emergency situations that they say will cut down on traffic tie-ups and save money.

→  Morrow police launch drone to keep neighborhoods safe – CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. – A local police department has a new crime-fighting tool that gives it eyes in the sky. Police in Morrow say they are already putting the new technology to good use. “We were able to search places that we normally wouldn’t be able to search on foot,” Morrow Police Chief James Callaway said. The police department has a new drone. Officers plan to use the tool to help keep the city safe, and it won’t cost taxpayers a dime. “We were able to use drug-seized funds to purchase this, so this didn’t cost our citizens anything,” Callaway said.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication


→  FAA Uses GIS Software to Manage Data, Drone Communication – Drone operators are required to notify air traffic controllers when their devices are within five miles of an airport, and there are 19,000 airports in the United States. To moderate this massive data collection effort and facilitate communication, FAA uses Esri’s GIS tools for its “FAA Drone and Plane Safe Integration” map. Through this map, which is constantly updated with flight requests, the FAA can determine how close drones can fly to runways, depending on the day’s air traffic.

→  Xcel, FAA partner in study of drone safety – Xcel Energy announced this week a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration to research the safe operation of drone technology to inspect critical infrastructure. The agreement involves using unmanned aircraft systems to inspect more than 20,000 miles of Xcel Energy transmission lines in 10 states. The data collected from diverse climates, conditions and geographies will be used by the federal agency to secure the nation’s airspace now and in the future.

→  Why it’s a big deal that commercial drones flew around the Atlanta airport – Experts say the approval indicates that as the drone market matures, the FAA is more willing to consider broader applications for the new technology.


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.

→  Bill would prohibit drones flown over private property – Senate Bill 170 is being carried by Rep. Steve Hinebauch, R-Wibaux. As written, it creates a civil penalty for anyone who flies a drone over private property below 500 feet. Most drones cannot fly above that altitude, either because of how they are built or Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

→  Drone regulations taking flight at Iowa Statehouse – House Study Bill 88 sets parameters for the use of unmanned aircraft systems employed by farmers, engineers, surveyors, utilities railroads, photographers, hobbyists, law enforcement and other government agencies and sets penalties for the misuse of aerial vehicles in photographing or gathering data on private property without permission.

→  N.H. House to Debate Drone Policy – New Hampshire has few regulations when it comes to the use of drones. But Rep. Neal Kurk hopes to change that with a bill that would prohibit drones from flying within 250 feet of private property. Kurk’s bill would also require drones to steer clear of critical infrastructure such as prisons.



International Developments

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international drone market


→  The First BVLOS License in Switzerland – Granted by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), senseFly became the first drone operator to obtain an anytime BVLOS License in Switzerland. With this license, senseFly can operate anywhere in the country, at any time, without the need to set-up a flight operation ‘Danger Area’ beforehand.

Related Article:  UAS Digest #46

→  Kenya has approved the commercial use of drones – Flying a drone will soon be legal in Kenya, which has effectively banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for anyone outside of the military for the past two years. A spokesperson for the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said that draft regulations for the commercial use of drones had been approved by security officials. The agency said details of the law would be released soon.

→  Taiwan Threatens To Shoot Down Drones Found Flying Into Airports – Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said that officers can shoot down any drones that fly into the airports’ territory without prior approval. He also noted that a rise in drone use has posed security concerns to airports.

→  South Africa’s constrained commercial drone industry – Good news bad news, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has announced that to the end of January 2017 there are 368 licensed RPL pilots in South Africa. That number up from 33 in 2016.

→  Hungary to introduce new law on drones to prevent further accidents – Drones below 250 grammes are to be classed as toys, while drones of up to 2kg will require online certification under the proposed law. Operators of drones weighing between 2kg and 25kg would have to obtain a licence. A mobile application would allow operators to get timely information on whether it is permissible to fly their drones in any given area. The law would also require operators to obtain liability insurance covering any accidents their drones may cause.

→  Drones in the UK: Upgrading and Renewing the Country’s Energy, Water and Transportation Infrastructure – Interview with Peter Slater, Aerial Solutions UAV Manager at Costain Group PLC – Part 1 explained how drones have impacted the approach Costain is able to take on certain projects, what kind of value propositions the technology has created for their customers, and the logistical challenges they’ve had to work through. In Part 2, we explore the regulatory environment that currently exists in the UK and how it impacts what Costain is doing in the present and how those rules factors into future considerations.

 


Person in Drone Nation

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If you’d like a person or company highlighted, please submit materials to pmontalvo@jdasolutions.aero.

 


Insurance

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drone publication


→  International Drone Racing Association Launches Primary Coverage for Drone Pilots – Included with the rollout of IDRA’s membership service, each IDRA member will be insured, with a $1 million UAV liability coverage limit including operations for recreational use, UAS training for competitions, and racing/competitions around the world.

→  How to Insure Your Drone So You Don’t Fly Into Financial Disaster – Topics: You may already be insured; What about liability?; Training.

→  Online Insurance Portal Launched for Unmanned Aircraft Systems – The UAS online portal is designed to provide drone owners and operators the ability to quickly and efficiently purchase an annual policy online and pay securely via credit card. The portal is available via affiliated producers.

→  Comprehensive insurance to meet needs of UAV industry – Delta Insurance New Zealand Limited, launched New Zealand’s most comprehensive UAV (drone) operator’s insurance solution. This launch took place in conjunction with Delta’s sponsorship of the NZ UAV Conference held at the Auckland University of Technology today.

→  How a little-known insurance lawyer became a symbol of (drone) liberty – When the Federal Aviation Administration started enforcing new rules around model aircraft pilots, John Taylor went from drone hobbyist to crusader. His lawsuit has been scheduled for oral argument on March 14. What happens then is anyone’s guess, but Taylor thinks — and hopes — he will win.

 


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication


→  Attorney: What governments need to consider when putting a drone into service – Sean Pribyl offers some tips to governments that are thinking of acquiring a drone for law enforcement or other applications. Pribyl is an attorney in Blank Rome’s Drone practice group. In addition to his experience at Blank Rome, Pribyl was an attorney with the U.S. Coast Guard, where he frequently advised government entities on the use of drones.

→  How a little-known insurance lawyer became a symbol of (drone) liberty – When the Federal Aviation Administration started enforcing new rules around model aircraft pilots, John Taylor went from drone hobbyist to crusader. His lawsuit has been scheduled for oral argument on March 14. What happens then is anyone’s guess, but Taylor thinks — and hopes — he will win.

 


Media Use

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weekly drone publication


→  SU one of four colleges to host “Drone Journalism” course – Syracuse University has just been picked as one of only four schools in the U.S. to host a three day workshop in drone journalism this April. Seating at each seminar site will be limited to 60 participants.



Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication


→  Disney patent seeks to ground peeping drones – Specifically, the technology would detect a drone on Disney property, determine if it is Disney-owned or not, and if it’s not Disney’s, the technology could track the communication frequency of the drone to intercept any photos, video or audio the drone captures.

→  Tools of the Trade: Drones for the 21st Century Investigator – The NTSB began experimenting with small UAS (sUAS) technology that could support on-scene accident investigation in 2013. By 2015, we had taken the first real steps toward using UASs to support multimodal accident documentation, obtaining authorization to research sUAS methods and to fly in the DC Special Flight Rules Area, and we began test flights. In early 2016, we started the process of obtaining a public agency Certificate of Authorization (COA) and also began procedures to expedite access to controlled airspace. In April, we made our first flights over an accident site under the COA.

→  Amazon’s Vision of Drone Deliveries Now Involves Parachutes – The patent describes a way to reliably eject a payload from a drone in midflight. Usually, such a drop would see the package descend along a parabolic arc, caused by the forward motion of the aircraft—but that might not jive too well with the neighbors. Instead, Amazon’s idea is to apply a force as the package leaves the drone to have it descend vertically.

 


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication


→  Xcel, FAA partner in study of drone safety – Xcel Energy announced this week a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration to research the safe operation of drone technology to inspect critical infrastructure. The agreement involves using unmanned aircraft systems to inspect more than 20,000 miles of Xcel Energy transmission lines in 10 states. The data collected from diverse climates, conditions and geographies will be used by the federal agency to secure the nation’s airspace now and in the future.

→  DJI And AMA Launch Joint Drone Safety And Training Program – DJ  and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) are launching a joint program to promote safe and responsible drone operations, train public safety officers to use drones effectively, and support educational outreach efforts.

→  Drones help power companies mechanize most dangerous jobs – The company estimates it has eliminated about 15,000 hours of “hazardous work” in the 10 countries where it has deployed drones since 2014. Shelton says the drone fleet has also reduced the need for expensive scaffolding at power plants.

→  Valparaiso police say drones helpful tools, not invasion of privacy – “It gives us the capability to have an overview … in the city that we couldn’t get to before without actually physically walking through them,” Grennes said. Still, there are a lot of restrictions the department has to follow. For instance, they still have to get a warrant, just as they would if they went on someone’s property, Grennes said.

 


Events

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AUGUST

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OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

 


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 #75"

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