The Weekly Drone Publication
UAS Digest #76

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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


FAA Releases Updated Drone Sighting Reports
1st long-distance BVLOS urban package delivery in the country
Drone flamethrowers, a new way to clean power lines



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weekly drone publication

→ Drone Vs. Drone Association Battle— It’s All About Serving Members’ Needs – The entities that best meet the needs of drone pilots will succeed. Which approach captures the long-term loyalty of UAS flyers will be demonstrated by the payment of association dues over the next few years.

Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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weekly drone publication

→  Nevada drone industry edges closer to commercial delivery – Nevada-headquartered Drone America led a team Feb. 15 completing the first long-distance beyond visual line-of-sight urban package delivery in the country. In a simulated lost hiker scenario, a fixed-wing drone — called the Savant — carried a package containing emergency supplies at an elevation of 1,500 feet in a roughly 39-mile loop from the Hawthorne Industrial Airport.

first bvlos delivery

→  UPS tests drone deliveries in Florida, with eye to cost cuts – A drone launched from a UPS car roof, flew autonomously toward its destination, dropped a package and then returned to the vehicle, as the driver separately continued on a delivery route.

→  Microsoft’s bet on drone mapping – Microsoft is betting that as drones proliferate, demand for mapping services and platforms will grow; this was recently demonstrated by the tech giant’s investment in the real-time drone-mapping startup AirMap. The larger $26 million Series B funding round was completed earlier this month and included Qualcomm and Airbus.

→  Rakuten digs deeper into drone industry by taking part in AirMap’s US$26M Series B round – Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten is taking part in a US$26 million Series B round for Santa Monica-based airspace management platform for drone AirMap. The funding round is led by Microsoft Ventures, with participation from Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sony, and Yuneec. Existing investors General Catalyst and Lux Capital also took part in the round, bringing AirMap’s total funding to more US$43 million.

→  Verizon acquires Skyward drone operations technology – The collaboration between the two technology companies combines Verizon’s broad and reliable wireless connectivity with Skyward’s deep operations functions. Users will be able to manage each job from pre-flight planning to end-of-job invoicing.

→  How DJI has crushed the consumer drone industry, and the rivals that could still take flight – There are other companies still fighting for the dwindling market share that DJI does not own. Mota Group Inc. hopes to go public with its lineup of cheaper drones. Yuneec International and Autel Robotics, both Chinese drone manufacturers, are solid contenders to hang on in the high-end drone fight with DJI, and they’re working to avoid or face down the many problems that damaged other competitors.

→  Global Ambulance Drone Market – Industry Insights, Trends, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2016-2024 – Drones hold the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare services. Drones can be especially useful in emergency situations. Applications include dropping of emergency equipment and medicines, conducting search and rescue operations, responding to natural disasters, collection of blood and tissue samples, and reaching out to remote locations for medical help. Drones are already operating in countries such as the U.S., Haiti, and some parts of Europe. Emerging economies are yet to commercialize the technology. Effective implementation of the technology would spur growth of the ambulance drones market.


Economic Development

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drone economic development

→  NASA in Tooele County? Lawmakers endorse resolution encouraging new testing facility – NASA has its eye on a site about 10 miles south of Tooele for a new testing facility. A House committee supported a resolution that would encourage NASA to choose Tooele County for a new drone testing facility. HCR21, sponsored by Rep. Doug Sagers, R-Tooele, passed the House Political Subdivisions Committee with a unanimous vote and now goes to the House floor. A NASA facility would not only put Tooele County on the map for the high-tech sector, but it would also increase educational opportunities for schoolchildren and provide a few hundred jobs for the rural county’s workforce.

→  It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a drone! Gryphon Sensors to build $10.1M drone detection system – According to ESD, the economic benefits of this project (fiscal plus total net resident disposable income from project employment) will total $41,927,855. For each permanent job created by the Gryphon project, ESD projects that 1.58 indirect jobs will be generated for New York state’s economy.

→  Drone Obsession Brings Out Manufacturers’ Worst Fears – The Associate for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the drone industry will create 100,000 jobs and contribute $82 billion to the U.S. economy in the next decade.

→  Amid Brexit, Amazon eyes 5K new UK jobs – E-retail giant Amazon has announced it’s adding 5,000 new U.K.-based jobs despite fears surrounding Brexit, according to a CNN report. The company plans to hire engineers, software developers, technicians, HR specialists and management level employees.

→  Dark mood overshadows Singapore’s economic view – On Feb. 7, Singapore’s Committee on the Future Economy — a 30-member group of leading businesspeople, co-chaired by the ministers of finance and trade and industry — presented a landmark report that will set the tone for the direction of economic policy in Singapore over the next few years. The report, which was initially intended to focus on the impact of disruptive technology and demographic change, is understood to have been delayed to take into account the result of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

Regulatory Action

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faa drone regulation

→  On collision course? Working out rules for drones – An overview of international regulation aimed at limiting the dangers. How many incidents? Are there worldwide rules? What about Europe? And the US?

→  New Mexico panel to hear bill aimed at regulating drones – A proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants and refineries in New Mexico is scheduled to face its first hurdle. The Senate Public Affairs Committee is slated Friday to hear the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen.

→  Are drones disturbing marine mammals? – Marine researchers have made sure that their research drones aren’t disturbing their research subjects, shows a report in Frontiers in Marine Science. And they’re hoping that others will follow their example to help protect wildlife in the future.

→  Sask. jail package drop highlights difficulties in regulating where drones can fly – As Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice looks at what it can do to prevent drones from flying over correctional facilities, Transport Canada is examining what changes it needs to make to better regulate the technology. The ministry confirmed Friday that a drone dropped a package of contraband at the Regina Correctional Centre a few weeks ago.

→  Regulate Frankenstein: the European Parliament calls for new rules for robots – Last week, the European Parliament took a step to introduce new regulation of robots in Europe. Declaring that the EU needs to “take the lead” in this area, the Parliament endorsed a Report that asks the European Commission to propose rules on robotics and artificial intelligence, in order to fully exploit their economic potential and to guarantee a standard level of safety and security. The Report addresses various kinds of robots, amongst others autonomous vehicles, care robots, medical robots, or drones.

Racing & Competition

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weekly drone publication

→  Drone racing league coming to Baltimore – Global Air Media, a Baltimore drone mapping and cinematography company, plans to launch a league for teams that will build and race the unmanned aerial vehicles. While open to adults, the Baltimore Drone Racing League is geared toward youth as a way to stoke their interest in the science and technology involved in building drones, and the potential careers available in the fast-growing field.

→  Air Hogs racing drone lets you experience crashes first-hand – The $100 DR1 FPV Race Drone (about £80 or AU$130) is a palm-sized quad with a camera in front that will live stream video to a phone you place in the included headset. The drone has ducted propellers for safety and a built-in pressure sensor so you can concentrate on learning control and flying by first-person-view (FPV) through a headset while worrying less about dropping out of the sky.

→  World’s first indoor drone racing arena being built in Nottingham – The UKDS Racing Arena will open on Saturday, March 11, in a unit next to Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium. UKDS Racing Ltd, an arm of UK Drone Store Ltd, has bought a 25,000 square-foot warehouse which will include a full-size, neon-lit iSeries Race Circuit, along with rooms for beginners and children to practice.

→  Studioshaw proposes drone-racing arena and shipping-container offices for Dundee waterfront – Sponsored by the Dundee Institute of Architects (DIA) and the Scottish Enterprise, the Seabraes Yards Sketch Design contest called for a new public facility for children and young people at the Digital Media Park in Seabraes Yards.


Education & Training

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weekly drone publication

→  Venture T: the first drone package optimized for training schools – Pro S3 is pleased to announce the release of the Venture T lines of mutirotor UAVs. The intense usage requires a large number of batteries in order to allow continuous training activities during the day while serving a high number of students. The Venture T has been configured to allow for changing the flight performance and response to command in accordance with the student skill level, and so that novice pilots simply cannot over fly the unit reducing the possibility of damage due to panicky stick inputs in the “float” mode of operation.

→  Drones in agriculture and hands-on drone training – While many workshops exist that teach professionals how to fly drones, training opportunities that tie together data collection and geographic data analysis are rare to nonexistent. This is unfortunate since drone imagery by itself is not terribly useful. To educate professionals on the entire drone workflow, Michigan State University’s Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (RS&GIS) has teamed up with MSU’s Institute of Agricultural Technology and Northwestern Michigan College Aviation to offer a three-day, Hands-On Drone-to-GIS workshop focused on the process of using drones to collect, process and analyze data.

→  ISU program helps students become drone pilots – Idaho State University is in its first year of offering a new program, called the Unmanned Aerial Systems certificate.

→  Drone-pilot class to debut at UAFS – “This is our first official course, and we are developing more coursework to implement a full, noncredit program of study,” said Ken Warden, dean of UA-Fort Smith’s College of Applied Science and Technology.

→  Arkansas drone-pilot courses cleared for takeoff – Six high schools in Arkansas will be teaching students to pilot drones this fall as part of an initiative by the state Department of Career Education. Courses will teach principles of flight and materials science as well as practical skills related to the building and maintenance of unmanned aerial systems.

→  UND rolls out plan for integrated drone institute – According to a news release, university President Mark Kennedy has forwarded a plan to establish a UND Institute for Unmanned and Autonomous Research. Such an institute would work with UAS functions such as physical flying and testing as well as data capture and management. It would also focus on developing national UAS policy and fostering new innovations in the field.

Law Enforcement, Restriction & Threats

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weekly drone publication

→  ND House: Nonlethal drone weapons stay legal for law enforcement – The North Dakota House voted against a bill that would have barred law enforcement from using nonlethal weapons on drones Tuesday, but officials say they have no intent to weaponize drones. House Bill 1167 would have amended the state’s current laws on unmanned aircraft systems to prohibit lethal and nonlethal weapons from being attached to drones. The current law, passed in 2015, requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using drones for surveillance. It also disallowed the use of lethal weapons on the drones.

→  Drones, Law Enforcement and Privacy – In January 2017, The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced they will be using a drone to help search and rescue operations, bomb detection, hazardous material spills and hostage situations. After protests from the Drone-Free LASD/No Drones, LA! Campaign to prohibit the use of this drone, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has decided to take action. Supervisor Hilda Solis requested that the Inspector General’s office work with the county’s Civilian Oversight Commission, to provide the public with transparency on what the drone program is.

→  La Vista police officers learn how to operate their new tool: a drone – For two days, Thompson taught La Vista Police Department officers how to operate and fly drones. The department has purchased a $2,500 model with money from a donation. On Wednesday, the officers practiced flying outside with Thompson’s drones.

→  Kent Police plan to purchase drones to improve investigations – The Kent Police Department plans to purchase two drones this year in order to enhance major traffic collision investigations, outdoor crime scenes and SWAT operations. But police use of drones also raises Big Brother concerns and the public’s right to privacy.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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weekly drone publication

→  FAA Releases Updated Drone Sighting Reports – Reports of possible drone sightings to FAA air traffic facilities continued to increase during FY 2016. There were 1,274 such reports from February through September last year, compared with 874 for the same period in 2015. Although the data contain several reports of pilots claiming drone strikes on their aircraft, to date the FAA has not verified any collision between a civil aircraft and a civil drone. Every investigation has found the reported collisions were either birds, impact with other items such as wires and posts, or structural failure not related to colliding with an unmanned aircraft.

→  Xcel, FAA research using drones to inspect electric lines – Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will partner with the federal agency to research inspecting electric grids using unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, beyond the line of sight. The electrical company that provides power for eight states in the Midwest will use drones to inspect more than 20,000 miles of Xcel transmission lines in 10 states, including North Dakota and Minnesota.

→  FAA Certificate OKs Drone Tests – A new era of unmanned flight became a reality in Cape May County Jan. 24. That’s when the Federal Aviation Administration approved a “Public Use COA” (certificate of authorization) that allows the county to operate an RS-20 unmanned aerial system (UAS) over the southern peninsula of the county and Delaware Bay.

→  FAA Updates Airman Testing Website – Pilots who stay informed on training, testing, and certification requirements have had an enormous amount of new and revised official material to keep track of in recent times.

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.

→  McAuliffe awards $300,000 grant to Virginia Drone Project – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has awarded $300,000 in grant money to promote commercial drone use in Southwest Virginia. News 5’s Kristi O’Connor found out how Wise County leaders will use this money to bring people from all over the world to their community for drone training.

→  New Mexico panel to hear bill aimed at regulating drones – A proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants and refineries in New Mexico is scheduled to face its first hurdle. The Senate Public Affairs Committee is slated Friday to hear the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen. Under the proposed bill, drones would be banned within 500 feet of critical-infrastructure facilities and from interfering with firefighters battling wild fires.

→  Lawmakers wrestle with drone abilities and limits – The state Legislature is trying to find its way on balancing the public interests affected by unmanned aerial vehicles. The Senate Judiciary Committee was the most recent stop for debate over drones. In their Monday afternoon discussion of Senate Bill 9, West Virginia lawmakers touched on issues of private property, policing, safety and how news media could use drones for their work without colliding directly with the rest of those issues. Both houses of the Legislature passed a bill governing the use of drones last year, but the legislation died when it wasn’t communicated back to the Senate in time at the end of last year’s regular session.

→  ND House: Nonlethal drone weapons stay legal for law enforcement – The North Dakota House voted against a bill that would have barred law enforcement from using nonlethal weapons on drones Tuesday, but officials say they have no intent to weaponize drones. House Bill 1167 would have amended the state’s current laws on unmanned aircraft systems to prohibit lethal and nonlethal weapons from being attached to drones. The current law, passed in 2015, requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using drones for surveillance. It also disallowed the use of lethal weapons on the drones.

International Developments

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international drone market

→  China is Using Drones Equipped With Flamethrowers for an Unexpected Purpose – A power company in Xiangyang, China has established a hot, new way to clean power lines. Rather than having people try to reach the far corners of the city scraping off caked-on debris that’s been lodged in hard-to-reach-spots, the power company will now have drones perform this task.

drone flame thrower

→  Chinese Company Rushes to Develop Autonomous Passenger Drone – The full-electric passenger drones are being developed by Chinese company Ehang and aim to be capable of fully autonomous flight. The particular drone in question, the Ehang 184, will be capable of carrying a passenger up to 220 lbs in weight along with some light cargo. Passengers will be able to select pre-determined destination stops within 30 miles via an onboard tablet interface. Ehang projects that each drone will be able to remain in flight for up to 25 minutes in between charges.

→  Duchess Catherine watched over by drones – The South Wales police force used the robot vehicle to watch over the 35-year-old royal as she visited the Multi-disciplinary Intervention Service Torfaen (MIST), a project which helps support children and their families with mental health issues.

→  EE’s Drones, Balloons Provide Cell Service in Rural UK – Patent-pending technology will service the most remote parts of the UK, providing coverage in the wake of natural disasters. In a recent demonstration, the company showcased mini mobile sites attached to a helium balloon, dubbed “Helikite,” to provide 4G mobile coverage where it does not exist. The balloon can be fully inflated and launched in 50 minutes, and stays airborne for weeks at a time.

→  Absence of regulations casts shadow on China’s booming UAV industry – Chinese experts and media outlets have called for the implementation of clear regulations on China’s drone industry, as recent incidents stemming from unregulated flights have been deemed by many as a threat to the country’s air safety.

→  Rwanda Introduces Drones to Deliver Supplies to Farmers – Following its success in delivering the first drone guided medical supplies, Zipline is now focusing on highest impact deliveries to support government plans of improving agriculture and livestock production.

→  France Is Training Eagles to Kill Drones – Faced with the specter of a terrorist threat from rogue drones, the French are recruiting an avian ally. At a base in the southwest of the country, a special army unit has for months been training four golden eagles to spot drones and perform mid-air takedowns.

→  Overwhelming popularity for new NATS drones app – A new app to help drone pilots comply with UK rules that was launched by NATS just 10 weeks ago, has seen over 10,000 registered users sign up.

→  Aurora Gold Mines shares emerging technology with Guyanese media and the Guyana Police Force – Guyana Goldfields/AGM Inc. recently introduced a dozen media personnel and nearly twenty officers and ranks of the Guyana police force to the immense possibilities of the application of drone technology to their respective jobs, the company said in a statement.


Person in Drone Nation

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Nicholas Horbaczewski drlNicholas Horbaczewski

Founder of Drone Racing League (DRL)

Few stories represent the meteoric rise of the drone industry better than that of the Drone Racing League. DRL founder Nicholas Horbaczewski was busy helping turn events company Tough Mudder into a global brand when he first came across drone racing in 2015. He quickly saw the potential for a professional league and set about making that ambition a reality. DRL’s first season was broadcast on YouTube, ESPN, Sky and ProSieben, with short, edited episodes providing the same FPV view that pilots were experiencing.

And while the series’ popularity grew online, plenty of work was continuing behind the scenes; DRL had to build its own drones and racing technology to stay ahead of the competition. Pretty quickly major broadcasters signed up to take drone racing to the masses and DRL’s first season ended up consisting of five races that were broadcast across 150 hours of content to more than 28 million people.

Nicholas Horbaczewski spoke with DroneLife about DRL’s last twelve months. “We’re thrilled to have experienced an unprecedented amount of growth over this past year, solidifying FPV racing as a mainstream sport. This week, Fast Company named DRL as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017 and ranked DRL as this year’s 3rd most innovative sports companies. It is a massive accomplishment for a year-old startup that has now joined the ranks of Amazon, Google, and Apple.”

Speaking with Business Insider, Horbaczewski admits that there have been challenges along the way. “There were many dark days where we thought this wasn’t going to be possible,” he said. “There were moments of greatness, there was a moment of excitement where all the tech worked for four seconds in a row, or one drone overtook another one, or someone was trash talking someone else, overtook them, and won a race. And those moments of greatness are what you see on TV today in the professional league.”

As DRL heads towards its second season, fans can look forward to a global six-race tournament set to play out between Miami and London. It will be televised in June on Sky Sports and ESPN, and broadcast in over 75 countries.

Horbaczewski makes the influential list because DRL – although not the only racing organization to have signed big media deals for future races – has without doubt set the standard for competitors to follow and already introduced millions to the sport of drone racing.

The Most Influential People in The Drone Industry



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drone publication

→  Drone Obsession Brings Out Manufacturers’ Worst Fears – Unsurprising, given the rapid increase in drone ownership and use, the impact of drones on the insurance industry is ­estimated to be $6.8 billion. Specialty insurers, like Unmanned Risk Management and Avion Insurance, offer insurance to drone owners and operators for the drone itself, as well as general commercial liability policies for drone manufacturers and sellers in the event of personal injury or property damage claims. But it is not just aviation-specific insurance carriers who have recognized the potential for additional business. The larger insurance companies, like AIG, are getting in on the act as well. AIG now offers drone insurance to its commercial customers, ­protecting them from damage caused by their drones.

→  Drone Insurance Provider Increases Product Accessibility – The UAS online portal is designed to provide drone owners and operators the ability to quickly and efficiently purchase an annual policy online and pay securely via credit card. The portal is available via affiliated producers.

→  Insurance Experts Weigh In on Future of Drone Use – What insurance industry application for drones do you think holds the most potential? What makes that application appealing?  Safety improvements, cost savings, faster service? What is the biggest barrier to widespread implementation of drones by insurance companies? Do you think most carriers will create in-house programs (buy drones and train pilots) or will they outsource to contractors? Why?

→  AOPA welcomes drone pilots – Feb. 21, AOPA stayed true to its values when it launched a new line of membership options created for drone pilots, a key part of an ongoing effort to unite manned and unmanned pilots for the common purpose of safe integration of all users within the airspace we share.


Legal Information

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weekly drone publication

→  Drones Flying Free 2017 Recap: When do you need a lawyer? – Video presentation by Jonathan Rupprecht, Esq., Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor – As we enter this new world of drone possibilities, our ideas are forced to navigate the regulatory requirements of aviation law. In addition to federal aviation law, drones intersect with other areas of the law. This brings up questions like “When do I need a lawyer to help guide me through aviation law?”

→  Don’t outlaw drones in Montana – Sen. Steve Hinebauch’s bill is essentially a drone ban. As written, SB170 makes it impossible to meaningfully operate a drone in Montana. Banning or severely limiting unmanned aircraft usage in Montana will hurt our economy and cost jobs. SB170 was reportedly written to curtail rogue drone operators. As written, it isn’t legal (as it steps on federal authority over airspace) and it won’t likely stop any criminals either.

→  DJI Drone Manufacturer Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Firmware Update – Last week, a class action law suit was filed against leader in the drone industry, DJI Technology, Inc. (DJI), for an allegedly harmful firmware update that occurred in December 2015 that rendered certain commercial drones in its Phantom 2 line of drones unable to record video or take photographs. DJI is accused of ignoring the injury that thousands of Phantom 2 drone owners faced in light of this damaging update. DJI allegedly refused to reimburse them, replace the product or take responsibility for the alleged flaw. The complaint states, “The lost functionality of the Phantom 2 drones occurred because the defective firmware update created and released by defendants, which critically affected the drones’ range extender and Wi-Fi modules, which are component parts of the drones.”

→   Taipower drone purchase broke law: legislator – Allegations of misappropriation of public funds by a Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) Research Institute member, surnamed Hsieh (謝), that surfaced on Wednesday snowballed into the possibility of threats to national security yesterday when it emerged the institute had purchased drones linked to a Chinese satellite system.


Media Use

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weekly drone publication

→  A disturbing reality behind that Chinese tiger drone video making the Internet rounds – When the tigers struck the drone from the sky, as seen in a recent and popular YouTube video, the act of animal destruction at first seemed playful. the video was filmed at China’s Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in Heilongjiang province. One of China’s largest tiger farms, the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park is home to hundreds of tigers as well as lynx, lions and other types of big cats. The park has also been implicated in the tiger bone and wine trade.

→   Flying umbrella drones – Alan Kwan, an artist and technology designer, recently demonstrated his latest art project entitled Flying Umbrella Project, an aerial robotic performance consisting of two artificial flying creatures in the form of umbrellas mating in the air.

→  Video drone business takes off in Keego Harbor – Effigy Media Arts Co. is an all around multi-media business, ranging from logo and web design, small computer repair, sound engineering, event photography, live streaming service and cinematography. Most recently concentrating primarily on drone technology and the multitude of benefits/services it provides. My drone service is now used in construction, real estate, security, journalism, and agriculture. The possibilities and applications are endless.


Operational Research & Development

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weekly drone publication

→  UAV industry demonstrates innovation – A new system using RF detection of drone radio transmissions to warn of incoming drones is just one of several interesting developments in the unmanned systems sector this month.

→  Drones are now being used to study bird songs – By suspending a “simple, lightweight recorder” below a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter drone, Gettysburg College environmental studies professor Andrew Wilson and two undergraduate students studied songbirds and published their results in The Auk: Ornithological Advances. The study, called “The feasibility of counting songbirds using unmanned aerial vehicles,” found that data on songbirds compiled with a drone was comparable to that of “standard counts for most species.”

→  Exyn unveils AI to help drones fly autonomously, even indoors or off the grid – A startup called Exyn Technologies Inc. today revealed AI software that enables drones to fly autonomously, even in dark, obstacle-filled environments or beyond the reaches of GPS. A spin-out of the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Labs, Exyn uses sensor fusion to give drones situational awareness much like a human’s.

→  This tiny camera could give drones predator vision – The camera’s multi-lens design gives it vision similar to that of a flying predator, leading researchers to dub it an “eagle eye” camera. The lens in the center allows you to resolve high levels of detail far out in the distance, while other lenses pick up a wide range of peripheral vision at a lower degree of resolution.

→  From drones to 3D printing, QBE invests in emerging tech with new Sun Prairie lab – No matter where you looked during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for the new “Global Innovation Lab” on QBE North America’s campus in Sun Prairie, a small technological treat was on display.

→  UND rolls out plan for integrated drone institute – According to a news release, university President Mark Kennedy has forwarded a plan to establish a UND Institute for Unmanned and Autonomous Research. Such an institute would work with UAS functions such as physical flying and testing as well as data capture and management. It would also focus on developing national UAS policy and fostering new innovations in the field.


Privacy, Safety & Security

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weekly drone publication

→  Drones can steal data from infected PCs by spying on blinking LEDs – Researchers at Ben-Gurion University’s Negev Cyber Security Research Center this month demonstrated this type of espionage technique: one that can defeat an air gap. An air gap is a network security measure in which highly sensitive computers are physically isolated, kept away from both the public internet or from unsecured local area networks and the hackers who could get at their data.

→  A new use for drones: on-site safety – By showing team members 3D models of potential hazardous conditions on site, Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Current Builders hopes to optimize worker safety. The company is in the R&D phase of drone flights over projects that will take daily and even hourly photos to capture ‘as-built’ conditions, says virtual design and construction director Kar Ho. That information will then be overlaid into a 3D model, which will allow workers to make adjustments to reflect on-site realities.

→  AirMap and senseFly Partner to Advance Safety for Commercial Drones – AirMap’s airspace platform services will be directly integrated into senseFly’s eMotion flight and data management software, providing professional operators and their drones with critical information and tools to enable safe missions. AirMap’s industry-leading situational awareness data include airspace rules and advisories, locations of critical infrastructure and real-time alerts about nearby manned air traffic flying in the surrounding airspace. senseFly drones will also begin leveraging AirMap’s flight planning tools and solutions for Unmanned Traffic Management, including technology that will allow senseFly drones to submit digital flight notices to more than 125 airports.

→  Drone licence central to safety – In light of recent calls for new suggestions of improving drone safety in British airspace, UK drone training academy UAVAir is stressing the importance of gaining a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved drone licence.

→  Sierra Wireless selected by PrecisionHawk to enable drone safety and traffic management – “As tens of thousands of new operators join the drone space around the world, our goal is to provide an easy to use and reliable safety tool that gives drone operators a complete picture of their surroundings and how those surroundings are changing in real-time.”

→  NATS drone safety app proves popular – Drone Assist, the new app launched by the UK’s NATS to help drone pilots comply with UK rules has seen over 10,000 registered users sign up within the first ten weeks. NATS said feedback from users of the app has been overwhelmingly positive, with huge levels of early engagement.



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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 #76"

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