The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #80

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The Weekly Drone Publication

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UAS Digest

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


Drone crashes into Buffalo City Hall
World first: CAA of Isreal approval of autonomous drone flight



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uas digest news

→  Drone crashes into Buffalo City Hall – Buffalo Police are working out how to handle public safety incidents related to drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), after a drone crashed through a window in City Hall sometime last Wednesday.

→  Helicopter regularly flown by Prince William escapes drone crash – The helicopter avoided a potentially deadly mid-air crash with the drone by “chance”, 580 metres (1,900ft) above north London at 7.45pm on 26 August.

→  Drones pose threat to Washoe County Sheriff’s helicopter – The Washoe County Sheriff’s helicopter, also called RAVEN, has been the unintended target from amateur drone pilots. In the past year, it’s had four very close calls.

Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication

→  How Drones and Electric Trucks Will Change the Package Delivery Business – Rather than having our drones make individual trips from a warehouse of packages, we’ve simply put each drone on top of a delivery truck.

→  Amazon debuts first U.S. drone delivery, shows off Blue Origin rocket – Video surfaced Friday showing a Prime Air drone dropping off tubes of sunscreen to attendees at Amazon’s exclusive MARS 2017 conference in California. Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket also made a cameo appearance in the video, shot by CNET’s Ben Fox Rubin.

→  3DR Expands Site Scan Drone Solution in AEC Industry – Diversified technology company Advanced Solutions Inc. has announced a partnership with commercial drone technology provider 3DR. 3DR is the developer of Site Scan, a drone data platform for construction. It enables consumers to inspect, survey and scan worksites in order to deliver data for processing and analysis in the cloud.

→  How businesses are now using drone videos for marketing – From marketing properties to capturing sports coverage, more and more industries are starting to look at the potential opportunities that drone videos present.

→  Top 5 Projects Bridging the Gap Between Drones and Virtual Reality – It is safe to say the future is looking bright for the technology sector.

→  Commercial UAV Expo Releases a Series of Reports Assessing the Outlook for the Commercial Drone Market in 2017 – The free series of reports  showcase how and where professionals charged with the inspection and monitoring of industrial assets such as electricity pylons, pipelines, and rails are actually using drones to make these tasks more efficient and safer. Additionally, the reports focus on the many ways in which professionals working in land surveying, precision agriculture, mining, construction and more have been and are set to leverage UAV technology in 2017.

→  AI-Powered Drone Will Follow You Around and Take Pictures – Startup Skydio is prepping a consumer drone that uses machine vision to keep track of you while avoiding obstacles.

→  New DroneDeploy Report Reveals Drone Industry Trends Across 160 Countries – The Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report underscores the tremendous growth in commercial drone adoption over the last year and explores trends in drone hardware, the economic impact of drone mapping and usage of drone data across industries.

Economic Development

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drone economic development

→  The Domino’s CEO says pizza delivery drones will create even more jobs than the ones they replace – Domino’s this week expanded its mission to add drones to its delivery workforce.

→  Drone dangers probed as MPs assess risks of new flying vehicles – How drones can be used can be used safely while delivering the greatest economic boost to the country is being investigated by the government.

Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation

→  Gov’t urged to use drone to regulate mining industry – Following the call of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez to hold strict environmental standards in mining, students from the University of the Philippines (UP) are now pushing for the use of drone technology that will make auditing mining firms cheaper, faster, and more accessible.
→  Got a drone? Check local regulations before you fly it – Local authorities had adopted them because they felt the FAA’s regulations are not comprehensive and strict enough to prevent abuses of the technology.

→  Tighter drone regs affect agricultural use – Restrictions to within nine kilometres of an ‘aerodrome’ affect much of agricultural Manitoba.

→  Trump’s Regulation Limit Hits Transportation Department Head-On – DOT regulates self-driving cars and drones by allowing the private sector to develop new technologies before making rules that could potentially limit the private sector.

Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication

→  The first ever anti-drone competition: DroneClash – On 4 December the TU Delft Micro Air Vehicle Lab (MAVLab) will host the first ever anti-drone competition DroneClash. During this competition participants use their own drone(s) to take down as many other drones as possible. They also need to avoid a whole series of anti-drone interventions.

→  World’s largest FPV racing drone by T-Motor and flite test – The world’s largest FPV Racing Drone is using Vector flight controller. Initially the giant drone took flight with two 12,000mAh batteries and then upped the ante with two 26,000mAh batteries. The beast flew like butter; especially with the 26,000mAh batteries.

→  Drone league allows racers to crash, and survive, at 160 km/h – Peering through goggles that offer a first-person view, competitors race around an indoor course.

→  Baltimore’s first drone racing league is taking flight – You can catch some high-flying excitement this weekend at the inaugural Baltimore Drone Prix.

→  This new GTA 5 drone mod lets you race the skies in glorious first-person view –  With the popularity of Grand Theft Auto V‘s Drones, someone was bound to find a way to mod them and use the drones for more than what’s available at their in-game disposal. Well, that time has come. This GTA 5 drone mod will let you race your fellow drone-mates and, instead of viewing it from the ground, you pilot the drone directly from the glory of the sky.

→  Drone racing gets off the ground – Enthusiasts enjoy everything about drone racing: building the drones, strapping on goggles that put them inside the cockpit, and hurtling through hoops and around hairpin turns while trying not to smash into anything. A quick search of Meetup shows more than 150 drone-racing enthusiast groups worldwide. Accomplished pilots compete in racing leagues and championships backed by big-name sponsors and watched by fans on the internet and ESPN.

Education & Training

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uas digest education

→  The Unmanned Safety Institute launches drone STEM program – The program provides teacher credentialing and all course materials, including a 400-page academic textbook, to secondary educational institutions throughout the United States. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take USI’s credentialing exam leading to the Small UAS Safety Certification™ making them highly qualified for careers in the burgeoning UAS industry.

→  Flyryte Drone Academy – The FlyRyte Drone Academy is the centre of excellence for unmanned aviation training in Ireland. We have the most experienced drone instructors in Ireland, each one with a background of instruction in the Irish Air Corps. We are dedicated to designing and delivering the most comprehensive drone training programmes and we are committed to providing unparalleled support to our students as they embark on their career, or hobby, in unmanned aviation.

→  Beck’s, ISU Collaborate on Drone Pilot Training – Hamilton County-based Beck’s Hybrids is joining forces with Indiana State University to train 50 unmanned aerial vehicle pilots. The program involves FAA certification for Beck’s employees to help customers scout crops during growing season.

Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication

→  Permitting police to use drones with deadly weapons mulled in one state – Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and civil liberties advocates.

→  Privacy Concerns Highlighted in Chula Vista Policy for Police Drones – The city of Chula Vista Thursday released a draft policy on drone use by its police and fire departments, which prohibit random surveillance and targeting of individuals based on race, nationality or other factors. Use of drones would be allowed when they can “enhance the department’s mission of protecting lives and property when other means and resources are not available or are less effective.

→  Harford police have no plans to use drones – “The Harford County Sheriff’s Office has not advanced the discussion on drone usage past how the Sheriff’s Office could use this technology, costs and the benefits to be gained by citizens of Harford County and the Agency,” Kyle Andersen, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, wrote in an email last week.
→  Drones pose threat to Washoe County Sheriff’s helicopter – The Washoe County Sheriff’s helicopter, also called RAVEN, has been the unintended target from amateur drone pilots. In the past year, it’s had four very close calls.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication

→  Drone crashes into city hall: FAA handling investigation – A drone crashed through a window on the 23rd floor of Buffalo City Hall. Workers had already gone home for the day when the unmanned aircraft landed in an office last week. The FAA is now investigating.

→  Speech – “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium Opening Remarks” – “Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us as we kick off the second annual UAS Symposium. It’s great to have so many of you here today, and from so many different industries and areas of expertise…”

→  FAA UAS Symposium 2017 C-UAS Security Challenges – The UAS Security Challenges break out group was part of the FAA UAS Symposium. What is being done to help improve security issues and identify “bad actors,” who from the FAA’s view, can be anyone posing a threat to safety, including acts of terrorism to airspace violations.

→  FAA UAS Symposium (Fear & Loathing in DC) – A personal report on the event.

→  FAA, Industry Work To Automate Drone Airspace Authorizations – Under an initiative called the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), the FAA has developed maps with pre-approved flight zones and maximum altitudes for operating drones near airports. The agency expects to activate a prototype LAANC system by the end of the year, executives said March 27, during the FAA UAS Symposium in Reston, Virginia.

→  U.S. drone registrations reach 770,000 with no end in sight, says FAA administrator – The online drone registry has received 770,000 registrations in a little over 15 months, Administrator Huerta said at the second annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium on March 27.

→  With Rulemaking In Limbo, FAA Works To Advance UAS Ops – Rulemaking to allow expanded operations by sUAS is in limbo, but the FAA is continuing efforts to prepare for regulations that will enable wider and safer commercial drone use.

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.

→  The Drone Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017: Overdue or Over-reaching? – The proposed legislation  purports to be a necessary response to the threat of “invasive and pervasive” drone surveillance that is predicted to occur as commercial drone use in the U.S. continues to expand.2  However, while certain privacy concerns based on the ever-increasing use and rapidly evolving technological capabilities of drones may be warranted, the proposed legislation appears to be both underinclusive and overbroad in its attempt to address potential violations of personal privacy.

→  Drone bill soars through Georgia Senate – Georgia Senators unanimously passed legislation that would regulate the launching and landing of drones in the state. House Bill 481, sponsored by House Transportation Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner, would prevent local governments from passing regulations regarding drone activity on top of state law.

→  Bill would allow Connecticut police to put weapons on drones – Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates.
→  Ohio Lawmakers Consider Requiring Warrants for Police Drones – A new bill being considered at the Statehouse would restrict the way police agencies could use drones. The legislation has bipartisan support for different reasons.

→  DJI Wants to Protect Our Privacy, But Congress is a Roadblock – DJI is putting forward its proposal for an electronic identification framework for small drones. The current system of drone registration with the FAA exposes personal information of each registrant.

International Developments

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international drone market

→  First Commercial Drone Flight Conducted Beyond Visual Line of Sight in Canada – February 24 – Ventus Geospatial, a Canadian company using an Aeryon Skyranger performed a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight at the Foremost UAS Range in Alberta.

→  Favourable wind for fully autonomous drones – Earlier this week, Ran Krauss, Israeli CEO and co-founder of Airobotics, had just scored a world first, gaining approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel to fly his company’s UAVs in the country’s airspace without a ‘human in the loop’.

→  China’s Drone Industry Marks Its Presence In Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia has permitted a Chinese firm to set up a factory to manufacture hunter-killer aerial drones for the first time in the Middle East, in a boost to China’s drone manufacturing industry.

→  Drone Delivery Canada (CSE: FLT) CEO: Drones Are the New Marijuana Stocks – Contributor Mark Bunting of Capital Ideas Research interviews the CEO of Drone Delivery Canada.

→  GoPro launches the Karma in Europe – Karma seemed like a promising product when it launched last fall, but a swift recall sunk a lot of the enthusiasm around the drone. It also didn’t help GoPro’s bottom line during the holidays either, as Karma didn’t make it back onto store shelves until February.

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→  DJI, Loveland Innovations Roll out Drone Solution for Insurance Biz – Alpine, Utah-based Loveland Innovations, maker of an autonomous drone inspection solution for the insurance industry, has announced a new partnership with DJI, which will be supplying the Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, Inspire 2.0 and the Matrice 200 families of drones to Loveland Innovations.

→  Significant increase in drone insurance cover, expert says – New Zealand – “Insurance will cover the policyholder for a range of things including damage to the drone in flight, on the ground or in transit; liability to third parties for damage caused by the drone; and cover for prosecutions under certain statutes including privacy legislation, health and safety legislation and the civil aviation legislation.”

→  UK: 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.

→  New Partnership Mates Autonomous Drone Inspections, On-Demand Insurance – According to the companies, the new partnership will make it easier for adjusters and contractors using IMGING to get the insurance coverage they need to conduct autonomous property inspections via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Users can purchase an insurance policy starting at $10 an hour for a single drone flight with coverage as high as $2.5 million.

→  So you have a drone: Does your insurance cover damage? – Barrick said a standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for drone damage. What is new, she said, is that some insurers are adding an “exclusionary endorsement,” sometimes called a rider, that removes or limits coverage otherwise provided by the policy.

→  Drone insurance more common as Kiwis take flight – “Insurance premium start at $500 and goes up from there depending on the value and nature of the drone, what it is being used for and the experience and capability of the drone pilot,” says Craig Kirk, GM of Delta Insurance.

Legal Information

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weekly drone publication

→  In a Victory for the “Drone Slayer,” Federal Judge Rejects Pilot’s Attempt to Create Federal Question Jurisdiction – On March 21, 2017, a federal judge in the Western District of Kentucky dismissed a lawsuit brought by a drone pilot, David Boggs, against the “Drone Slayer” William Merideth, a Kentucky man who shot down a drone that he believed was flying over his own property in 2015. Dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, the ruling leaves open many questions concerning aerial trespass and federal authority.

→  Send in the drones: Privacy issues dominate debate among Texas lawmakers – The 2013 Texas Privacy Act, not to be confused with this session’s bathroom bill, was set up to address drones within the context of private property rights, and includes about two dozen exceptions for capturing images. But technological advancements in the past four years put those exceptions in the spotlight, with multiple bills filed this session related to drones and privacy.

→  Drone law: How new rules and evolving tech are changing the path of UAVs in construction – In construction, drones are here to stay. What their contribution will be has everything to do with how willing today’s operators are to fly in the face of the law — legally, that is. The legislative landscape for drones in this industry is only beginning to take shape, and regulatory changes and technological evolution are poised to keep it continually in flux. Here’s what you need to know about how to keep up.

→  How Flying a Drone Could Send You to the Slammer Even When the FAA Says It’s OK – Although the FAA is in charge of regulating drones—as it regulates conventional airplanes—numerous states and local governments have been enacting their own drone rules. In some cases, these local drone laws conflict with the FAA’s drone rules, resulting in hefty fines and even jail time even though the pilot may not be violating federal laws.


Media Use

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weekly drone publication

→  WATCH: Apple’s $5 billion ‘spaceship’ campus in a drone video – Apple’s biggest launch for 2017 will neither be the iPhone nor the MacBook, instead, it will be its campus, the Apple Park.

→  The Rise Of Drone-Based Social Media – In the not-too-distant future, it’s conceivable that a good portion of the earth’s land mass will be documented by a DJI camera and posted on the internet, providing scientists, travelers and news gatherers with information on an unprecedented scale. But without some way to organize and search these photos and videos, the data would be scattershot and significantly less useful.


Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication

→  Natilus releases pictures of near-complete cargo drone prototype – Cargo delivery drone startup Natilus has released pictures of a prototype vehicle that the company hopes will eventually conduct 30-hour test runs, carrying up to 315 kilograms of cargo, between Los Angeles and Hawaii.

→  Dp14 hawk drone could evac wounded soldiers over 100 miles – Dragonfly Pictures’ DP14 Hawk, a dual-rotor unmanned aerial system, could one day evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield. It resembles a miniature CH-47 Chinook helicopter, can carry 430 pounds in its six-foot by 20-inch cargo space for about 2.4 hours. It has a cruising speed of about 82 miles per hour and is capable of flying in crosswinds up to 46 mph.

→  The Past, Present and Future of BVLOS Operations for Drones – As the drone industry grows, beyond visual line of sight operations (BVLOS) continue to be an important topic. Different industries have show an interest in the potential around new ways to use drones, while some countries have granted the very first BVLOS licenses.

→  The world’s first poop scooping drone – The 30-year old founder and strategy director of, a Netherlands-based canine price comparison website, Lievers said that the one thing that upsets him about dog ownership is the 220 million pounds of dog droppings that are not properly disposed of in the Netherlands alone each year.

→  What can drones learn from bees? – In surveillance they may have similar tasks: explore the environment looking for particular targets while avoiding obstacles and eventually return home. They also have similar payload and power constraints: neither can afford a heavy, power hungry brain.

→  Is it a bird? Is it a bug? No it’s a biomimetic microdrone with flapping wings – UK biomimetic engineering startup Animal Dynamics is building a microdrone with wings inspired by the flapping flight of a dragonfly. The project, which started in June 2015 with a feasibility study, is being funded with £1.5 million from the UK Ministry of Defence, via DSTL, the Defence Science and Technology Lab.


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication

→  Weaponized civilian drones a ‘tangible reality’, US officials – The use of small drones as weapons has already been used by terrorist groups in the Middle East, raising concerns that homegrown extremists could do the same in the US.

→  Drones attack power outages to improve post-tornado resiliency – Drones get into the air faster than a helicopter and can video downed power lines and other equipment.

→  Drone dogfight event aims to draw out the best drone safety tech – DroneClash is a drone dogfighting event organized by Delft University that pits pilots against one another not to be the first across a finish line, but to take down as many drones as possible in the name of safety.

→  Should drones transmit identifier for security? – DJI said in a paper released Monday that radio transmissions of an identification code, possibly the operator’s FAA’s registration number, could help allay security concerns while also protecting the operator’s privacy.

→  Transport Committee to look at drone safety – Thursday, as the Commons Transport select committee launched an inquiry into the civilian use of the remote-controlled flying machines. The committee said the aim of the inquiry was to consider how the benefits of drone technology could be maximised, with a “robust” safety framework.



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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 #80"

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