The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #70

uas digest drone industry news
Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

The Weekly Drone Publication

Clicking the drone below to receive the UAS Digest every Friday by email!

weekly drone publicatioecon

Congress &
Legislative Action
FAA Action &
Reaction to FAA
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 future of Amazon‘s drone delivery
Alphabet shuts down Titan drone internet project
The world’s first drone airport

 



News

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  A look at the world’s first drone airport – The Eldorado Droneport in Boulder City, Nevada is the world’s first airport for drones. It sits in the valley some 6,000 feet below restricted airspace. It recently opened and is now offering a place for hobbyists and professionals to race, fly and train their personal unmanned aircraft.

&
→  Watch: Drone crashes into Space Needle – A spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, which is investigating the collision, said such crashes are an increasing concern in the city. The Space Needle incident is the sixth significant investigation involving a drone since summer 2014, according to the department. Space Needle spokesman Dave Mandapat said the New Year’s Eve crash was the third one in recent years at the landmark alone.

→  DRONE SHOT DOWN: Duck hunter shoots, hits #DJI Inspire 2 in Utah – In an incident that has enraged drone enthusiasts and prompted a massive online debate, an outdoorsman in Utah shot at and hit a DJI Inspire 2 drone he apparently felt was interfering with his duck hunting efforts. That’s against the law, and the duck hunter has been charged with criminal mischief and could face further charges.

→  Mozambique incident NOT a drone collision – Damage to a passenger-carrying Boeing 737-700 in Mozambique that was widely reported as being a drone strike…was not. “On Jan 10th 2017 Mozambique’s Civil Aviation Authority reported that they concluded the radome most probably failed as result of a structural failure caused by air flow pressure, contributing factors probably were a defective installation of the radome and inspection of the ribs. A foreign object was ruled out.”

mozambique drone collision

→  A wayward drone almost hit a senator’s plane. Now she’s a drone safety hawk. – Elaine Chao: “I have flown not too far from here and was flying at 2,500 feet when a remotely controlled vehicle flew off the nose of my aircraft and missed my propeller by about 2 feet,” Duckworth said. “Let me just say it scared the living heck out of me. It should not have been there. And so I will be monitoring the drone rules and programs very closely.”

elaine chao drone incident

 



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  Amazon’s drone patents offer a glimpse of the future – Illustrations accompanying Seattle-based Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) patent applications since 2016 offer a glimpse into what the future of Amazon-branded drone delivery could look like.
amazon drone delivery future

Alphabet shuts down Tital drone internet project – Alphabet canceled Titan because of economic and technical challenges. Project Loon, another X project to beam internet from high-altitude balloons, is still going. So is Project Wing, an effort to use drones for deliveries, rather than internet service.

→  Mercedes’ self-driving van sheds light on the future of drone delivery – Mercedes-Benz showed off a self-driving concept van at CES that serves as a hub and charging station for drones. The automaker partnered with drone manufacturer Matternet to develop the van, which it unveiled in September. While the van merely represents an idea and likely won’t be deployed anytime soon, it could shed some light on the competing models of drone delivery when such services become legally and technologically feasible.

→  Qualcomm lets drones learn as they fly –  Qualcomm showcased the latest version of the company’s Snapdragon Flight Drone Program, which includes a new technology that enables drones to learn about the environment around them while they’re in the air, reports Recode.

→  The Drone Industry Isn’t As Healthy As It Seems – According to Gadfly’s Leila Abboud, the “once-hyped” drone industry is experiencing a “chill.” For instance, Parrot SA, the France-based maker of non-military drones, said it needs to fire one-third of its entire staff because the margins it is recording on drone sales isn’t large enough to support profitable growth.

→  Parrot cutting a third of drone staff in latest industry downturn – French drone maker Parrot said today it would be laying off a third of employees, or about 290 people, in its drone division. The news was announced as part of its most recent quarterly earnings report, and it underscores Parrot’s broader struggles to succeed in the consumer drone market largely dominated by Chinese firm DJI. In its fourth-quarter earnings results, Parrot said it generated sales of about $90 million, coming in below its roughly $106 million target. It now plans to place a larger emphasis on the commercial drone market, including markets like mapping and agriculture.

→  Personal Reflections on the 2017 Predictions for Commercial Drones – I read with interest the “7 Commercial Drone Predictions for 2017” report by Jeremiah Karpowicz, and even though there are seven distinct forecasts for the drone industry in this coming year, a few themes seemed to emerge from his analysis. They’re issues that will influence anyone looking to fly a drone for commercial purposes in 2017 and beyond.

→ Drone usage to rise among industries globally – The global market for businesses using drones is expected to rise to at least US 27 billion in 2020 from an estimated $2 billion now, says consulting firm PwC. Infrastructure, agriculture and transport are key industries that will spur growth in the market for drone services, according to a PwC report entitled “Clarity From Above”.

drone services market forecast

 

 


Economic Development

(Jump to Top)

drone economic development


→  Plans for Eldorado Droneport unveiled – “There is no road map for what this building should be; it is a first-of-a-kind facility. It has to be invented, and that is a daunting, and thrilling, challenge. The building is designed as a geometric white cloud that hovers over the sand. It is futuristic and lightweight like the unmanned vehicles it supports.”

→  Drone test site breaks ground in Henderson – “We are proud to be in a partnership that will lead the way on research and development in this new age of unmanned aerial systems technology,” said Mayor Andy Hafen . “Henderson supports cutting-edge technologies and we look forward to seeing increased testing and the advancement of drone development right here in our community.”

→  Maine power company deploying drones to respond to power outages – Central Maine Power has hired Coutts Bros, a utility construction, maintenance, and inspection company, to fly a drone over power lines and patrol for transmission issues.

→  Gov. Cuomo delivers State of the State Address in Syracuse – Saab will enter a partnership with the state where the state will invest $30 million dollars and Saab will establish their North American headquarters for defense and security division right here in Onondaga County. That is 260 new high tech jobs, $450 million for a total of 710 jobs retained. The training program will enable Saab defense and security to develop a customized US product schedule they are very excited about it. The development of radar and sensing technology will strengthen Central New York Rising as the verging drone industry.

 


Regulatory Action

(Jump to Top)

faa drone regulation


→  Amazon concerned about leaving drone regulations to individual states – Amazon is concerned that allowing individual U.S. states to create their own drone delivery regulations could lead to a patchwork of widely varying regulatory environments that would greatly inhibit drone delivery operators, according to Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications.

→  Cyberhawk involved in development of UK drone guidelines for offshore oil and gas – Cyberhawk Innovations, the world leader in aerial inspection and survey using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones, has welcomed Oil & Gas UK’s new guidelines on the use of drones in offshore environments.

→  Orlando City Commission eyes scaling back drone regulations – Orlando city commissioners will meet Monday to decide whether to pass an ordinance that would allow drone operators to fly in some areas without a permit. But there would be some exceptions to that rule. Though the popularity of drones has taken off, currently, operators can’t fly drones over public property within the city of Orlando without the city’s permission. That soon could change.

→  Drone journalism in Sri Lanka: Ethics, regulations and guidelines – We recognise that many events today in their promotional material or live coverage feature the use of drones, and we also note their use in health applications,precision agriculture practices (smart farming), the coverage of public rallies, the aftermath of natural disasters, around disaster risk reduction, sporting events and private functions like weddings and parties.

→  Drone boom sparks warning from EU and Irish data chief –  The commercial drone boom comes as EU policymakers prepare to federalise drone law across the 28 member states this year. A draft regulation to centralise drone laws has been approved by the European Council, with common new rules set to apply to drone operators across the continent.

 

 


Racing & Competition

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  This Unbreakable Racing Drone Is Perfect For Terrible Pilots – Aerodyne RC, the creators of the Nimbus 195, have created an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with the hopes of raising $30,000 to help put its racing drone into production—but that doesn’t mean it’s going to come cheap.


→  LSP TV to shoot drone and rally races in 4K and VR – Series Producer James Capira said “We’re excited to be the first producers to incorporate drone racing into an entertainment format.  We’re also shooting in 360 so with an interactive VR headset, the viewer will be thrown into the pilot’s seat and will experience flight in first person view.”

→  Students build drone to help catch poachers – For this year’s First Lego League Challenge, an annual robotics competition, the threesome decided to meet the theme of “animal allies” by designing a drone that was capable of searching for poachers, complete with a night-vision camera that can be moved with the remote controller.

→  Cyberhawk involved in development of UK drone guidelines for offshore oil and gas – Cyberhawk Innovations, the world leader in aerial inspection and survey using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones, has welcomed Oil & Gas UK’s new guidelines on the use of drones in offshore environments.

 


Education & Training

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  West Point map new drone course – The US Military Academy at West Point has introduced a UAV geospatial mapping module into its cadet training, which it hopes will pave the way for operations of this type by active duty personnel.

→  3 state colleges combine skills to build ambulance drones – On Dec. 6, two new Health Integrated Rescue Operation (HIRO) ambulance drones made their debuts at a successful active shooter simulation at the John Bell Williams Airport that was witnessed by officials with the Department of Homeland Security, the United Nations, federal law enforcement officers and the governor’s office. The event was in concert with the nationwide Homeland Security “Stop the Bleed” campaign.

→  Sky-Futures Training Academy (SFTA) Launches Basic Drone Certification Course in UK – Sky-Futures is rolling out a Basic Drone Certification Course; the new course will enable persons and organisations in the UK to reach the basic standard required to operate drones under a CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

→  UAVAir Offers Conversion Drone Training for EuroUSC Students on BNUC-S Course – EuroUSC opened up the UAS industry with its course. However, businesses must continually innovate, adapt and most of all provide a premium and professional service to their customers if they are to survive in a competitive market. This is where ConsortiQ identified there was much more that could be done to enable the growth of the drone industry such as specialist industry-specific courses such as the UAQ-Media or UAQ-Fire.

→  UA course to focus on using drones in research – Students will gather weekly for three hours to learn how to fly unmanned aerial systems for research purposes in what Ham said is a first-of-its-kind college course offering for the UA System and perhaps the state.

→  Several school districts to offer drone programs – Arkansas – Five or six districts will take part, funded by a federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical grant of at least $100,000 to pay for instructor training and the unmanned aerial systems, Johnston said.

 

 


Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  Sheriff launches first police drones in LA County – Sheriff’s officials hope to use the tool in situations where deputies otherwise might be forced to move into harm’s way. For instance, if a suspect is barricaded, a deputy usually needs to move close in to figure out where the suspect is hiding and the layout of the property. A drone can do that more safely and better than a robot.
→  California Bill Seeks Police Surveillance Transparency – The surveillance cameras mounted on the airplane can cover an area of 30 square miles. With the help of the equipment police could track where suspects came from before a shooting or theft and where they went afterwards. If enacted into law the California bill would require that police departments disclose information about the surveillance equipment they use on or by July 1, 2018. The bill would also prohibit police from acquiring new surveillance tools without approval from local officials.
drone surveillance
→  Sahuarita Police drones are now on the job – The Sahuarita Police Department has two drones up and running and one of their primary functions is to map traffic accidents. The battery-operated drones, which cost $1,300 each and can fly up to 30 minutes, can map accidents in much less time, Lt. Matt McGlone said.
→  Application Spectrum of Multirotor Drones Expands Beyond Law Enforcement – Multirotor drones are much simpler to operate and such simplicity of operation encourages users to prefer it over other forms of drone. The multirotor drone is controlled by changing the relative speed of the rotor and adjusting the thrust produced by each of the rotor. The multirotor drone market is expected to grow at a potential rate in the next decade. Increase in use of multirotor drones in law enforcement is driving the multirotor drones market.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


FAA Action

→  FAA Is Looking Into Systems To Defend Against Drones – As drones become a more common sight overhead, the government has started to think more and more about how to protect the skies. At CES 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that it is researching new ways to detect and defend against drones.

→  FAA Chief Says Drone Flight-Over-People Rule Still In Works – The FAA chief said Friday that the agency is still ironing out privacy and security concerns before it can finalize proposed regulations allowing the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, over people for the first time.

→  FAA Tees Up to Draft Next Drone Rule for Flights Out of Sight – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will likely draft a rule allowing commercial drones to fly beyond an operator’s line of sight after the agency finishes its draft rule for flights over people, FAA administrator Michael Huerta told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 6.

→  FAA investigates Space Needle crash – The FAA is investigating a video that surfaced online showing a drone crashing into the Space Needle in Seattle.

→  FAA Sees Growing Need For Drone Detection Technology – The unlawful use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) near airports and other critical infrastructure remains a growing problem, underscoring the need to continue developing drone-detection technology.

Reactions to the FAA

→  FAA’s Huerta Speaks at CES – “The pace of change is breathtaking,” said Huerta.  “It seems like someone is coming up with a new way to use drones every day.”  FAA must approach regulatory challenges “with the same kind of creativity and open mindedness as is fueling this drone revolution,” Huerta continued.

→  Drone Registrations Are Still Soaring – Over the past year, people have registered over 670,000 drones with the federal government, according to the FAA.

 

 


Congress & Legislative Action

(Jump to Top)

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.

→  You Could Get Legal Right To Say ‘Don’t Fly That Drone Over My House!’ – “What this bill really addresses is all the weird stuff that we’re trying to not have happen with this great technology: stalking, voyeurism, harassment,” said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Jeff Morris.

→  State legislators grapple with drone privacy and safety issues as UAVs take off – What’s the difference between photographing a piece of private property from a Cessna airplane and doing the same thing with a drone? And does Washington state want to allow drones flying around its prisons? Those are two of the questions that popped up Tuesday during a short hearing on a bill to regulate private drones flying over private land.

→  Cobb GOP lawmakers to address drones, GPS tracking, education – State Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology, said a bill codifying restrictions on the use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles is likely to garner attention this year as it moves through his committee. A bill on the same subject made it to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk last year, but the governor vetoed it. Setzler said he thinks Deal vetoed last year’s bill because the governor thought the state was “getting ahead” of the federal regulators, which has issued new guidelines on the subject since the 2016 session ended.
→  California Bill Seeks Police Surveillance Transparency – The surveillance cameras mounted on the airplane can cover an area of 30 square miles. With the help of the equipment police could track where suspects came from before a shooting or theft and where they went afterwards. If enacted into law the California bill would require that police departments disclose information about the surveillance equipment they use on or by July 1, 2018. The bill would also prohibit police from acquiring new surveillance tools without approval from local officials.
drone surveillance



International Developments

(Jump to Top)

international drone market


→  Time for traffic system for drones – A traffic management system for drones will replicate in the air the laws that prevail on the road. Given Singapore’s densely populated landscape and busy airspace, the flying of drones – officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles – must be carried out in a safe manner. It is thus timely that researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are undertaking a study to enable drones to fly safely and efficiently in the urban airspace.

→  The Mine of the Future Is Run by Drones – According to Rio Tinto, these vehicles can boost productivity while helping to improve mine safety at the same time. In the company’s Australian mines, for example, many first generation driverless vehicles are actually operated remotely by crew hundreds of kilometers away, taking drivers away from the punishing summer heat (sometimes in excess of 110° F) and cutting down the risk of errors induced by fatigue or environmental stress.

→  Drone boom sparks warning from EU and Irish data chief –  The commercial drone boom comes as EU policymakers prepare to federalise drone law across the 28 member states this year. A draft regulation to centralise drone laws has been approved by the European Council, with common new rules set to apply to drone operators across the continent.

→  Drone delivers soup to surfers in Fukushima – Following a pre-determined course along the coast in Minamisoma, the drone flew about 20 minutes at about 40 kph to deliver a 500-gram thermal mug filled with hot soup.

fukushima drone delivery

 

 


Person in Drone Nation

(Jump to Top)

If you would like someone to be highlighted as UAS Digest’s Person in Drone Nation, please send info to pmontalvo@jdasolutions.aero.

 


Insurance

(Jump to Top)

drone publication


→  On Your Side: Insurance may be needed to fly drones – An insurance expert said to keep these tips in mind when buying drone insurance:

  • Know where you plan to fly it
  • Know what you plan to use it for
  • Evaluate how much experience you have actually flying a drone
  • Be aware of different scenarios if something goes wrong

→  Droning on at New Bern City Hall – A drone from Skyview Aerial Solutions is used to inspect New Bern City Hall for roof damage on Wednesday. The city’s insurance carrier used the drone to help determine the amount of damaged caused to the roof during Hurricane Matthew.

→  Drones and Entrepreneurship – These drone crashes can be a bit more complicated than someone just throwing a ball through your window. It’s not only the average entrepreneur; in fact there are some high profile cases currently under review. So if by chance you are a hobbyist or local enthusiast looking to purchase the consumer-level drone, you should check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you may or may not have in the event this flying device goes villain. Coverage is also circumstantial, as it depends on possible negligence, the type of property damage and…or persons involved in the accident.

 


Legal Information

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  Redefining “Aircraft,” Defining “Drone”: A Job for the 115th Congress – The federal criminal code makes clear that certain aviation-related conduct is criminal, but few if any of these statutes make sense when applied to drones. To avoid attaching criminal liability to harmless backyard drone operations, Congress should rein in the FAA’s regulatory flights of fancy and clarify that drones are not aircraft for purposes of federal law.

→  Connecticut must pass legislation to outlaw weaponized drones – An important piece of legislation before the General Assembly needs the immediate attention of lawmakers. There is a proposal that would make it a felony to carry a weapon or an explosive in a drone. It was approved by the House during the 2016 session, but the Senate failed to take action due to budget deliberations.

→  5 ways how not to fly a drone in Dubai – Photographers use it to take amazing photos that wouldn’t normally be possible without booking a helicopter; some Dubai residents even have ‘drone racing’ competitions. But here’s the thing – using a drone requires some knowledge of the law otherwise you might run into trouble with the authorities, facing heavy fines and even jail time.

→  Special Announcement: State Drone Law! – The Ausley McMullen Law Firm has created the first ever book addressing the State Drone Laws in place around the United States: State Drone Law: State Regulations on Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

 

 


Media Use

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  UNL College of Journalism joins Google News Lab University Network –  The CoJMC was recently accepted into Google News Lab’s new program, the Google News Lab University Network. UNL and 48 other colleges and universities across the world will integrate Google’s tools into already existing classes.

→  Drone journalism in Sri Lanka: Ethics, regulations and guidelines – We recognise that many events today in their promotional material or live coverage feature the use of drones, and we also note their use in health applications,precision agriculture practices (smart farming), the coverage of public rallies, the aftermath of natural disasters, around disaster risk reduction, sporting events and private functions like weddings and parties.

 

 


Operational Research & Development

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


 Now Amazon plans MEGADRONES: Firm patents design for giant flying fleet of connected aircraft to deliver big packages – Flying in convoy would mean drones could cover longer distances and carry heavier loads. The average drone can typically fly continuously for up to 30 minutes and can only transport items weighing up to 10 pounds. A collective aerial drone would be capable of transporting ‘virtually any size, weight, or quantity of items’.

google collective unmanned aerial vehicle

 

→  Passenger Drone May Be Available By 2020 – Called the Cormorant, the aircraft recently demonstrated the ability to follow terrain autonomously. The company envisions the aircraft being used as an air ambulance or for evacuation in times of natural or man-made disasters.

cormarant passenger drone

→  These paper-airplane drones may one day save your life – DARPA is funding autonomous cardboard airplanes that can carry medical supplies.

darpa paper airplane drone

→  Drone test site breaks ground in Henderson – “We are proud to be in a partnership that will lead the way on research and development in this new age of unmanned aerial systems technology,” said Mayor Andy Hafen . “Henderson supports cutting-edge technologies and we look forward to seeing increased testing and the advancement of drone development right here in our community.”

→  Plans for Eldorado Droneport unveiled – “There is no road map for what this building should be; it is a first-of-a-kind facility. It has to be invented, and that is a daunting, and thrilling, challenge. The building is designed as a geometric white cloud that hovers over the sand. It is futuristic and lightweight like the unmanned vehicles it supports.”

→  Industry Leaders Join Energy Drone Coalition 2017 Advisory Board – Energy Drone Coalition is pleased to announce the newest members of the distinguished industry advisory board for 2017, as well as finalized details on the upcoming EDC Summit, taking place June 20-21 in Houston, TX at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

→  Assessing injury risk from unmanned aircraft will pave the way for new applications – Researchers at Virginia Tech are developing methods to evaluate the risk posed by small unmanned aircraft to anyone on the ground. This research is key to enabling flights over people.

 

 


Privacy, Safety & Security

(Jump to Top)

weekly drone publication


→  Assessing injury risk from unmanned aircraft will pave the way for new applications – Researchers at Virginia Tech are developing methods to evaluate the risk posed by small unmanned aircraft to anyone on the ground. This research is key to enabling flights over people.

→  That drone above you could save your life – It lands nearby, carrying a kit stuffed with meds, gauze and bandages, a chest seal, clotting sponges, scissors, and tourniquets. As you rummage through it, a video screen inside lights up and a face appears. “I’m an emergency care physician. I’m here to help.”

→  State legislators grapple with drone privacy and safety issues as UAVs take off – What’s the difference between photographing a piece of private property from a Cessna airplane and doing the same thing with a drone? And does Washington state want to allow drones flying around its prisons? Those are two of the questions that popped up Tuesday during a short hearing on a bill to regulate private drones flying over private land.

→  You Could Get Legal Right To Say ‘Don’t Fly That Drone Over My House!’ – “What this bill really addresses is all the weird stuff that we’re trying to not have happen with this great technology: stalking, voyeurism, harassment,” said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Jeff Morris.

→  Santa Delivered the Drone. But Not the Safety and Skill to Fly Them. – If this Christmas was the season of the drone, it was also a time of crashes, losses and tweeted laments. Social media is rich with commentary about fathers (major targets) crashing drones, girlfriends with tiny blades enmeshed in their hair (mothers removed them) and crying children whose favorite present went poof in the sky.

drone twitter

 


Events

(Jump to Top)


JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

 


Innovative Products

(Jump to Top)

 


→  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.

 

(Jump to Top)

Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Be the first to comment on "The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #70"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.