The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #79

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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
Operational Research
& Development
Economic Development News Media Use Racing &
International Development Innovative Products Events


Amazon Prime Air drone completes its first US public delivery



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uas digest news

→  Dog Rescued by Drone After Being Trapped in Mine for 5 Days – Within 20 minutes of surveying the area with heat-seeking technology, they found Cherry trapped inside an abandoned mine.

Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication

→  Amazon Prime Air drone completes its first US public delivery – At the MARS 2017 conference, Amazon’s drone delivery arm ships over some sunscreen.

→  7 Key Facts You Need to Know Before Investing In Drone Technology – As in any rapidly developing market, it’s hard to know which drone companies operating today will be moneymakers and which ones will flame out, so hedge your bets when investing in the industry.

→  Here’s how Walmart plans to use in-store drones to move merchandise – The mega retailer has been granted a patent to use in-store drones to shuttle merchandise from one department to another. The company believes the small, unmanned aircraft systems would increase efficiency and in some cases eliminate the need for employees to traverse the entire length of its massive stores to move items around.

→  Hydrogen fuel cell maker inks first deal with US drone operator – Hydrogen fuel cell designer Intelligent Energy has signed its first deal for the supply of the U.K.-based firm’s drone power system. PINC, a California-based warehouse and logistics solutions provider that began deploying drones at warehouse and outdoor logistics hubs last year, will purchase IE’s air-cooled fuel cell system designed to power small unmanned aircraft vehicles.

→  Underwater Drones Gaining Market Depth – Signs that the underwater drone market is growing have surfaced as Aquabotix Technology Corporation, a six-year old underwater robotics company, is looking to raise investment after industry analysts estimated the sector’s worth as approximately US$4 billion in 2020.

→  Best Uses for Drones in Business – Although delivery seems the most obvious use of a drone for business, there are ways your company can put a drone to good use.

→  How drones are used in Houston’s oil and gas industry

Economic Development

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drone economic development

→  Turning old Coal Jobs Into new Drone Jobs – Technology and automation threaten to replace many jobs, but they also promise the opportunity of new, exciting jobs that we could ever imagine.

→  Getting ready to open a drone incubator in South Jersey – The so-called ‘incubator zone’ will be used for drone testing, development and research, and to incorporate a variety of cameras and sensors onto drones to perform a variety of different tasks in the public and private sectors.

→  Will future truckers be more like drone operators?Starsky Robotics‘ goal is to retrofit trucks with radar, cameras and all the other gadgets that have proven their worth in point-to-point superslab trials like Otto hauling beer. But it’s the ‘last mile’ that makes the difference. Currently, autonomous trucks need a driver in the seat to negotiate the more complex trips to-and-from the interstates, and that’s where Starsky Robotics is changing the rules.

Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation

→  Council Unanimously Approves City Regulation of Drones – Given the rising popularity of drones and the potential for conflicts with public safety, the Pasadena City Council Monday voted unanimously to direct the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance “regulating the operation of unmanned aircraft systems commonly referred to as drones, above or near critical infrastructure, and over permitted special events.”

→  New recreational drone regulations have Atlantic Canadian drone users buzzing – The new rules announced March 16 for model aircraft include restrictions on when and where drones are used for fun.

→  Vague Drone Regulations Have Left Residents of Aiken, S.C., Nervous – Residents have voiced concerns about drones flying around their houses and not knowing who pilots them.

→  Drone regulations welcomed at Yarmouth airport – The new measures are tailored for model aircraft, recreational drones and unmanned aerial vehicles in Canada to immediately improve aviation safety.

→  New regulation on drones planned in Germany – On January 18 2017 the government introduced a draft regulation to create sufficient regulations to deal with these risks by amending the existing fragmented provisions and establishing rules to liberalise the commercial use of drones.

→  Breslau airport welcomes new federal regulations governing use of drones – Chris Wood, general manager at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau, says they haven’t run into many issues with drones being flown too close to the airport, but the new safety measures are a welcome addition all the same.

Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication

→  Freedom Drone Sports™ is proud to announce a partnership with Hionos, a subsidiary of the French company Sogilis – Hionos will bring unprecedented safety systems to drone racing by providing its autopilot firmware, which complies with the highest level of safety in aeronautics –  DO-178C with the highest level of certification and testing (DAL-A).

→  Sky-high fun at Liberty Science Center’s ‘Day of Drones’ – The annual “Day of Drones” event returned to the science center this year, bringing films, races, and exhibits that explored what drones can do.

→  Drone Racing League Offers Drone’s Eye View Of The Action – They’re constructing a course in Baltimore. Spectators are welcome to watch about 25 amateurs and professionals race the course. Not only can you see these buzzy bees live, they’ll have monitors up so you too get the drone’s eye view.

Education & Training

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uas digest education

→  NCDOT sets drone best practices for use in disaster response – The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has created a set of best practices and recommended policies for agencies using drones in disaster and emergency response situations. The agency developed a final report on these policies following a workshop on the subject put on by NCDOT’s Division of Aviation earlier this year.

→  New TCC course to offer commercial drone training – Tulsa Community College announced Monday that it will offer a new pilot training program tailored for commercial users of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones. TCC’s UAS pilot training class will take place April 25-27 at the college’s Riverside Community Campus and Aviation Center at Jones Riverside Airport.

→  Millville hangar leased for drone training – “The facility is not large enough to accommodate fixed wings, but any of the rotary hover type drones will work fine,” LaSure said. “One of the things we’re planning is a course for first responders. Because so many in New Jersey are starting to put these in their inventory. How do they know how to operate them?”

→  School drone club hopes to propel students into employment – Matthew Johnson, a teacher and commercially licensed drone pilot and instructor, started a drone club at Elmwood High School. It’s a club he hopes will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to get a job flying drones right out of school.

Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication

→  Cops launch spy drone ‘flying squad’ to chase criminals and hunt for missing people – The technology is cheaper to operate than helicopters and can perform some duties typically carried out by officers – prompting concerns it could lead to cuts as well as privacy issues.

→  The UK is getting its first 24/7 police drone unit – The United Kingdom is launching what will end up being the first ever 24/7 police drone unit in all of Great Britain. The finer details about the drone force still need to be ironed out, namely who will be managing the new unit. The unit is being assembled by the Devon and Cornish Police, according to a local publication, and it may be followed soon by a similar unit in Sussex and Surrey.

→  Judge rules in favor of “Drone Slayer,” dismisses lawsuit filed by pilot – Is it trespassing if you fly over your neighbor’s land? The answer remains unclear.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication

→  FAA anticipates 1.6 million commercial drones by 2021 – Hobbyist and commercial drone fleets are both expected to grow rapidly over the next four years. Complications are inevitable.

→  FAA’s 2017 Aerospace Forecast Shows Steady Growth in Most Areas – According to the agency, the forecast is considered the industry standard for US aviation related activities, and is developed using a variety of economic data and projections, “such as generally accepted projections for the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

→   FAA Admits Unmanned Aircraft Systems, i.e. Drones, are a Severely Underfunded Mandate – Last week the FAA publicly declared what has been evident to many observers – it lacks the resources necessary to keep up with the demand for UAS services and to take the steps necessary to fully integrate drones into the NAS. The FAA’s confession came via the announcement of its Drone Advisory Committee (“DAC”) Task Group 3 – Tasking on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Funding.

→  SF Drone School Research Center Receives Night Waiver – “This waiver will give us the ability to expand our testing capabilities for companies working on applications and innovations that will help them grow market share. Someday commercial drone operators will be able to do more than is in Part 107, and we are doing what we can to help them be ready.” – Werner Von Stein

→  Beyond line of sight tech tested in New Mexico – As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Pathfinder Program to expand use of unmanned aerial systems, Leidos Flight Service is expanding research on “beyond visual line of sight” flight by testing a system that provides automatic notifications of nearby drone operations.

Congress & Legislative Action

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weekly drone publication 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.

→  U.S. legislators move to limit drone surveillance and facial recognition – Bicameral legislation was introduced last week to the U.S. houses of congress by Senator Edward J. Markey and Rep. Peter Welch to protect individual privacy from the growing number of government and commercial drones in use. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act has been referred to the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and Commerce.

→  Drone legislation expected to breeze through state Senate – With state-level guidelines for Federal Aviation Administration rules settled, legislation that would regulate state use of drones could soar toward the governor’s desk. So says state House Transportation Chairman Kevin Tanner, the sponsor of House Bill 481, which would pre-empt local governments from enacting regulations regarding drone activity on top of state law.

→  Bill would mandate search warrant for drone use by law enforcement – Law enforcement agencies would have to obtain search warrants to use drones to gather evidence to be used in criminal proceedings, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate. SB 60 seeks to establish procedures for officers’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

→  West Virginia Implements Drone Legislation – As an illustration of that, on March 2nd the West Virginia senate announced that it passed a bill that would require police to get a warrant before engaging in drone surveillance in most situations. The law applies to personal as well as commercial use of UAV’s.

→  Utah Gov. Signs Drone Livestock Harassment Bill into Law – Gov. Gary R. Herbert, R-Utah, has signed into law H.B.217, a bill that keeps unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators from “harassing” livestock. Rolled out earlier this year by chief sponsor Rep. Scott Chew, R-District 55, and floor sponsor Sen. Don Ipson, R-District 29, the legislation says “a person is guilty of harassment of livestock if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly chases or otherwise disturbs the peace of livestock” via UAS. The bill also covers harming livestock via motorized vehicles/ATVs and dogs.

→  New legislation protects medevac crews from drones – Now, avoiding the danger of drones won’t be one of them. A new law just signed by the governor gives first responders the ability to take down drones in emergency airspace.

International Developments

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international drone market

→  China’s obsession with flying machines – The Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) is essentially a “drone taxi” that can fly for 23 minutes flat. The rider can engage the vehicle through a convenient mobile app. Once the destination is entered, the automatic flight control system chooses the fastest, safest route, cruising at a speed of 100 km per hour. The Guangzhou-based company is already turning many heads, especially in Dubai, the futuristic city of ultra-modern skyscrapers and much more that rises from the barren sands of the UAE. Authorities in the metropolis now plan to induct the pilotless aircraft in July, as part of its smart transportation system.

→  Interaerial Solutions 2017 to Attract Global UAS Industry to Berlin – Interaerial Solutions, which is taking place from 26 to 28 September as part of Intergeo, the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, is not only bringing Europe’s largest drone show to the German capital. It also has the clear aspiration of becoming established as the number one industry gathering for commercial and civil drone applications in Europe.

→  Intersec 2017 review: SIRA, the Drone Zone and more – As the Middle East security industry’s most important trade show closes for another year, Security News Desk brings together some of the latest news and views from Intersec 2017, including the launch of Middle East regulatory body, SIRA, some news from the Drone Zone, and some of the most significant launches.

→  LIMA 2017: Aselsan debuts ‘anti-drone jammer’ system, targets Asia-Pacific countries – Aselsan has developed a man-portable system designed to incapacitate hostile unmanned aerial vehicles. System has been developed against the backdrop of a proliferation in small commercial off-the-shelf UAV systems.

→  Drone Heroes take Europe by Storm! – From June 20th until June 22nd the pinnacle of the drone industry in Europe will gather at Commercial UAV Expo in Brussels. During this highly-anticipated conference and exhibition, an international jury of drone professionals will present “Drone Hero” awards to the most innovative and creative drone innovations. The contest and these awards represent a cooperation between the European drone cluster EUKA and Commercial UAV Expo.

Person in Drone Nation

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→  Liability insurance of drones under household and commercial policies – Analysts have estimated that, by 2022, there will be a global market of $90bn for drone related business. The affordability and lack of regulation regarding drone use gives rise to new and untested issues for insurers.

→  Loveland Innovations To Publicly Discuss IMGING Drone Solution For First Time – Loveland Innovations®, the unabashed leader in drone inspection solutions specifically for the Insurance industry, will exhibit at the upcoming PLRB Claims Conference to be held at the John B. Hynes Convention Center March 26 – 28 in Boston in booth #1209.


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication

→  New Drone Laws Limit Air Space Over Northeast Avalon – As of last week, the new regulations will have a big impact on anyone who is not commercially certified to fly over the metro area and beyond. Those who are caught could face fines of up to $3000.

→  CrimeBeat Q&A: Can I shoot down a drone that flies over my house?

→  Flyers beware: Councils clamp down on use of drones and model planes in public places – A growing number of councils and local government departments are introducing by-laws to restrict where drones can be flown.

Media Use

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weekly drone publication

→  Joanne Lipman becomes editor in chief of USA Today – Lipman said, will be drone journalism with a training program beginning soon for journalists at USA Today and nine of the community papers.

→  What You Missed at SXSW This Year – Three drone and tech experts debated the ethics of drone journalism.


Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication

→  Drone Delivery Canada, University of Toronto and Defence Research & Development Canada Announce Partnership – Development of Next Generation Drone Auto-Pilot Beyond Visual Line of Sight Technology. Partnership with University of Toronto and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). DC will have rights to use the developed intellectual property and integrate into its Proprietary FLYTE Auto-Pilot System.

→  SF Drone School Research Center Receives Night Waiver – “This waiver will give us the ability to expand our testing capabilities for companies working on applications and innovations that will help them grow market share. Someday commercial drone operators will be able to do more than is in Part 107, and we are doing what we can to help them be ready.” – Werner Von Stein

→  Drone company lands at Embry-Riddle’s research park – Aerial Applications uses drones to rapidly create images after disasters. It’s the first tenant, or established company that isn’t in the startup or acceleration phase, to join the new John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex, or MicaPlex.

→  Researchers develop a drone that swoops and lands like a bird – Watch out, birds. The drones are coming for your jobs. Researchers at BMT Defence Services (BMT) and the University of Bristol in Britain have built a fixed-wing UAV that can land as well as its avian counterparts, reports Popular Mechanics. Although BMT’s project is currently part of a wider defense program called Autonomous Systems Underpinning Research, the team believes their drone could one day be used for other tasks like putting out fires or delivering packages.

→  Beyond line of sight tech tested in New Mexico – As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Pathfinder Program to expand use of unmanned aerial systems, Leidos Flight Service is expanding research on “beyond visual line of sight” flight by testing a system that provides automatic notifications of nearby drone operations.

→  Amazon patents single-blade drone propellers to save energy during flight – The single-blade propellers would require less energy to spin and could further save power by shutting down when the drone is flying forward at cruising altitude. It’s the latest patent to come out of the Seattle-based company’s futuristic Prime Air delivery program.


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication

→  New Integrated ADS-B Tech to Improve Drone Safety – Kongsberg Geospatial and uAvionix, will be integrating Kongsberg Geospatial’s IRIS UAS Airspace Situational Awareness Display with uAvionix’s PingStation ADS-B receiver. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast, or ADS-B transceivers help track the exact position of aircraft or drones in real time.

→  Drones over Aiken cause worries of privacy invasion – Drones, or unmanned aircraft, have recently been spotted flying over local neighborhoods, and some residents feel they are an invasion of privacy.

→  Drones are helping police, but not everyone is happy – “The coalition’s rejection of the deployment of drones by LASD arises from deep concerns and history of violence, brutality, disregard for privacy rights, and several other factors,” said Hamid Khan, campaign coordinator with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.

→  As drone usage soars, potential for misuse also rises – “It’s just a lot of privacy and security issues we are still about to face in the near future,” said Ibrahim (Abe) Baggili, PhD with the Cyber Forensics Lab at the University of New Haven.



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Innovative Products

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


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UAS Digest #79"

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