The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #81

weekly uas drone industry publication
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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



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uas digest news

→  Drone in near-miss with aircraft at London Heathrow – A passenger jet approaching Heathrow was involved in a ‘near-miss’ with a drone. The incident raises questions again about the control and regulation of unmanned aircraft.


Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication

→  3 Drone Stocks to Buy Now – STMicroelectronics NV STM, Lockheed Martin LMT, AeroVironment AVAV

→  Industries are buzzing about drones – Each week about 5,000 to 7,000 drones are registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA anticipates a dramatic rise in the number of commercial drones over the next five years. It predicts that the U.S. commercial fleet will grow 10 times larger by 2021.

→  These Giant Drones Could Seriously Disrupt the Shipping Industry – Natilus is building a 30-foot prototype drone that could take to the air for the first time later this year. If all goes as planned, the firm will develop an 80-foot drone that will begin flying routes from Los Angeles to Hawaii in 2019. A 140-foot drone with a 200,000-pound cargo capacity could be flying routes to China starting in 2020.

→  Autonomous drones in the oil and gas industry – As drone technology advances the applications for their use increase. In this case, the 24/7 autonomous surveillance oil and gas lines is a possibility.

→  Mobile Industry Spies Opportunity in Drones – The most obvious problem is connectivity. 83% of commercial operators used SD cards in flight because of the lack of a good connection to the cloud. Just 30% used the cloud and 97% of them said they needed a data uplink.

→  Use of agricultural drones on rise as farms seek ways to improve production and crop quality – Farms eventually will account for an 80 percent share of the global commercial drone market, according to a 2013 report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

→  You Name the Drone, They’ll Build It – DJI, the leading quadcopter maker, is refining models for crop spraying, industrial surveying, and high-end filmmaking.

→  Drone Identification Market Worth 15,968.2 Million USD by 2022 – The market is estimated to grow from USD 801.8 Million in 2016 to USD 15,968.2 Million by 2022, at a CAGR of 64.64% during the forecast period.


Economic Development

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drone economic development

→  How New Jersey is trying to become the ‘Silicon Valley’ for the commercial drone industry – Luftronix, a startup working on navigation systems for small drones, has rented space in historic Hangar 1, the home of the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at the Cape May County Airport. In a corner of the cavernous museum, the company plans to test and demonstrate a system using drones to inspect aircraft.

→  Haymore: Keep economic development funds for coalfields united – Last week, the Roanoke Times published a story that continued a discussion about the relationship between leaders in Richmond and rural areas of the state like Southwest or my home of Southside. The story reported on a budget amendment Gov. McAuliffe submitted rejecting an attempt to take money away from the Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and use it to create a new marketing entity in the region.

Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation

→  US Restricts Drone Flights Over 133 Military Facilities – Drone flights over 133 military facilities will be restricted for security reasons, marking the first time such flight restrictions have been applied only to drones rather than aircraft in general, the U.S. aviation safety authority said today.

→  5 Solutions to the Problem of Drone Registration – A recent call for proposals for new systems of drone regulation shows that the industry is well aware of the problem, but no one idea seems adequate to address those problems, thus far. Here are some potential solutions to the looming problem of keeping track of drones.

→  San Diego is mostly a no-drone zone, at least according to the rules – According to the FAA, there have been 81 incidents involving drones in San Diego County. Most of these incidents involve a drone flying higher than the 400-foot-high limit or entering restricted airspace.

Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication

→  Drone Racing League files to say it raised about $13 million in equity financing

→  High-speed drone race coming to Fitchburg – Professional drone racing is coming to Fitchburg this spring and, with it, local economic benefits, according to the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

→  Competitive Drone Racing Takes Off in Baltimore – An international sport soars into Baltimore. The first Baltimore Drone Prix is open to participants of all levels.

→  Drone Racing League’s new drone will go 0-80 MPH in under a second – The drone, called the Racer3, has a top speed of 85 MPH, and can go from 0-80 MPH in under one second. They also have 210 LED lights for pilot identification and visibility to the audience.


Education & Training

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uas digest education

→  PCS Edventures And MultiGP Announce Free WebinarFree webinar will address the exciting connection between drone racing and STEM Education.

→  Drones Classes and Workshops: Processing UAV Imagery with a GIS – Robert Goodwin, the Senior Geospatial Analyst at Remote Sensing & GIS (RS&GIS), Michigan State University is involved with drones in agriculture and hands-on drone training, as the University has created these training programs to tie how to fly UAVs together with data collection and geographic data analysis. The three-day workshop is focused on what it means to use drones to collect, process and analyze data through a Geographic Information System (GIS).

→  Beck’s Hybrids, ISU partner on drone training – Indiana-based seed company Beck’s Hybrids is looking to Indiana State University to train employees under a new Federal Aviation Administration rule related to use of drones for commercial purposes.

Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication

→  Police May Get Deadly Drones: Should We Worry? – Connecticut lawmakers are mulling a bill that would let police deploy drones with deadly weapons, the Associated Press reports. If it passes, cops in the Nutmeg state could one day use drones to release tear gas, bullets or even bombs.

→  Police departments are using drones to find and chase down suspects – At least 160 police and fire departments acquired drones in 2016, more than in the past three years combined.

→  Authorities to use eye in the sky for Marathon Monday – A pair of tethered drones built by a local company will hover over the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton for the first time as part of a high-tech security plan targeting low-tech terror attacks.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication

→  FAA Releases New Forecast on Hobbyist and Commercial Drone Operations –  The FAA released a new report predicting tremendous growth over the next five years, in “nearly every aspect of air transportation” including UAS. Specifically, the FAA predicts that the model hobbyist drone fleet will triple from 1.1 million in 2016 to 3.55 million by 2021. For commercial drones, the FAA says that the growth will depend on the “regulatory environment.” Ironic, since the FAA itself is the agency deciding just how much the commercial drone industry can advance. However, the FAA predicts that the 216,000 commercial drones that were active at the end of 2016 could rise to 442,000 by 2021. This is a growth rate of 58.6 percent.

→  FAA institutes airspace restriction banning drones over military facilities – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that it, for the first time, has instituted airspace restrictions specifically apply only to unmanned aircraft, or “drones”, banning them from unauthorized operations over 133 military facilities, starting a week from today.

→  Shore’s FAA Tech chief questioned in D.C. about drone traffic control – “The FAA is looking at everything involved in integrating drones in a safe way into our airspace,” Yak said. “We’re working hard with rulings we’ve just put out, and working with industry to develop concepts and operations. It’s ongoing work.”

→  UAS Symposium: FAA Can’t Take On Cybersecurity Alone – The FAA cannot tackle the issue of cybersecurity without industry, FAA’s Wes Ryan told the crowd during a cybersecurity panel at the 2017 FAA UAS (unmanned aerial system) Symposium last week.

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. 

→  State bill will not impact existing Warner Robins drone rules – The state’s bill would make it impossible for local governments to create their own regulations with a few exemptions.

→  Is the US ready for police drones outfitted with tasers, tear gas, and lethal weapons? – The new bill, designed to regulate the use of drones in Connecticut, forbids civilians from outfitting them with weapons but includes a very crucial exemption for the police. Although the details are yet to be hammered out, the bill would allow officers to use drones with both lethal weapons and non-lethal ones, such as tasers or tear-gas canisters.

International Developments

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international drone market

→  Industry leaders to advise on new drone air safety measures – Dubai – The aviation industry is working to address the challenges brought on by the increase in number and popularity of drones around the world, and will be discussed among other topics at the World Aviation Safety Summit, taking place in Dubai on April 11 and 12.

→  Canada: Drones could aid Nova Scotia wild blueberry growers – Flying drones could save the Nova Scotia wild blueberry industry millions of dollars in the next few years, in what one industry head says could be a “revolutionary development.” The airborne drones can spot troubled areas of a massive blueberry patch in a fraction of the time it takes a farmer on foot to find them.

→  German police hunt sunbather drone perverts in Munich – A young, naked Munich woman noticed a drone flying above her rooftop spot on a sunny day. She ran down to confront two men who were hastily packing up the drone.

→  Tighter federal drone rules could drive Canadian innovation – Ottawa’s tough new drone regulations may mark a downward spiral for Canada’s recreational market. But the clouds may be clearing for researchers and private firms investing in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) innovations as regulators try to make the skies safer.

→  Bill on tighter regulation, monitoring of drones filed – Philippines – Citing the dangers posed by the criminal use of drones, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo has filed a bill on the mandatory registration of all drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in the country.

→  Drone Complaints In The UK Have Increased Significantly – The police have received more complaints about the drones in the last two years, complaints rose to 3,456 in 2016 which is around 10 complaints per day.


Person in Drone Nation

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drone publication

→  What You Should Know About Insuring Your Drone – This guide explains the basics and lists some questions you may need to ask your insurance agent.

→  Through the Roof: Drone Startup Cites Milestone of 6,000 Inspections – BetterView, an insurance technology startup that captures and analyzes data from drones, said it has performed more than 6,000 roof top inspections for insurers since its inception two years ago.

→  Next time your roof gets hit by hail, a drone may inspect damage – When Pam Wilson got a recent call asking if her insurance company could use a drone to inspect her hail-damaged roof, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

→  See which insurance company is using drones for property claims in NM – With storm season underway, Allstate Insurance said it plans to use a fleet of drones to assess property damage claims in New Mexico.


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication

→  Report: Over-regulation and litigation could threaten innovation as commercial drone use takes off – Liability challenges over the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are expected to grow as the skies become thoroughfares for millions of commercial and recreational drones in the coming years.

→  A Federal Court in Kentucky Shoots Down Drone Airspace Case – This is the first case implicating property rights to airspace over dwellings in drone flights, but the battle between the state’s use of its police power to regulate and control drone flights and federal preemption of aviation is far from over.

 →  Report Probes Local Drone Laws: What’s Going on Around the Country? – There are roughly 30 million people living in U.S. localities that have enacted their own rules for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – including many ordinances that conflict with already existing state and federal laws.


Media Use

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weekly drone publication

→  North Shore’s oldest college uses drone image to promote 140th celebrations – To celebrate 140 years of schooling at Northcote College the school’s roughly 1000 students formed a ‘140’ on the field.

→  An Industry First: Dialogue-Based Film Captured by Drone – “We shot it in a single 10-minute take, with no cuts,” Trillo explains. “A 10-minute take is hard to execute even with traditional filmmaking equipment, and using a drone added even more complexities.”


Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication

→  NASA’s Global Hawk Drones Make Science, Not War – All the skills that make it ideal for military surveillance also make it fit for civilian missions. NASA’s “science birds” fly high over vicious hurricanes, measure airborne pollutants, and help researchers figure out if it’s going to be an El Niño year.

→  Integrating Drones into the Airspace in Europe and Across the World with UTM Systems – Benoit Curdy, Secretary General at Global UTM Association, discusses how he defines a UTM system, how this development will impact commercial markets, the organization’s three main goals for this year and plenty more.

→  Growers struggling to make use of ‘overwhelming’ data, experts say – Advances in drone and sensor technology have created a wealth of data for growers, but putting it all together and making it easy to use has been a challenge.


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication

→  Terrorist drone threat: US unprepared for growing danger, experts say – Underscoring the accessibility and affordability of these drones: During the last two months, the U.S. military has destroyed at least five ISIS drone facilities, including one factory and four storage facilities.

→  Drones to play a bigger role in Boston Marathon security – Authorities say they’ll make greater use of trucks and drones to secure this month’s Boston Marathon. Law enforcement officials and marathon organizers said Wednesday that security will be tight for the April 17 race.

→  New Drone Laws? Drone Privacy Act Moving Through Congress – The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act may become the newest drone law.

→  Drone complaints soar as concerns grow over snooping – Complaints to police include claims of burglary ‘scoping’, mid-air near-misses and the smuggling of contraband into prisons.



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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 #81"

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