Drone Stakeholders, You’re Invited to ANSI’s UAS Standardization Collaborative

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has launched an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC), which will kick off with a meeting next month in Washington, D.C. The UASSC’s mission will be to coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe, mass integration of unmanned aircraft […]

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Eight Stages of the Commercial Drone Technology Evolution

The commercial drone technology ecosystem has come a long way in the last half-decade. Enterprises around the world that have spent several years exploring drones’ potential are finding that the business insight that can be achieved from this technology can be a catalyst for profound transformation. There have been at least eight distinct levels of […]

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Border Patrol Spots Meth-Carrying UAV in San Diego

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it recently arrested a man for using a consumer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to transport several pounds of methamphetamine across the Mexican border. On Aug. 8 at about 11:25 p.m., a border patrol agent observed a drone flying over the border fence at an […]

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SoCal School District Teams with Tesla Foundation for UAS Education

The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) in California says it has become the first public school district in the nation to partner with the Tesla Foundation to provide students with training to work in the field of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). A nonprofit science and technology think tank, the Tesla Foundation is launching its […]

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Federally Supported Drone Flights Help Maintain Great Lakes Ecosystems

Michigan Technological University has been conducting a series of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flights over the Hiawatha National Forest on the Stonington (Wedens Bay area) and Garden (Ogontz Bay area) Peninsulas of Michigan. The Federal Aviation Administration-approved flights, which began earlier this month, will gather information to assess the health and condition of the National […]

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Sharper Shape Rolls out New Drone Inspection Service for Electric Utilities

Sharper Shape Inc., a provider of drone-based inspections, has announced that its new automatic detail inspection (ADI) service is now available for commercial use by electric utilities. Having completed field trials, the ADI service is available as a complete end-to-end inspection package, or, rather, companies can use their own aircraft and personnel and use Sharper […]

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Kansas State, PrecisionHawk Continue Tackling BVLOS UAS Flight

The Applied Aviation Research Center on Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is continuing its work with PrecisionHawk, a provider of advanced commercial drone technologies, on operational testing with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This partnership comes from PrecisionHawk’s continued work with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Pathfinder program, which involves industry partners exploring the expansion of […]

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Aerialtronics Looks to ‘Restart,’ Seeks Partners & Investors

Netherlands-based drone developer Aerialtronics has applied for a solvency procedure, following a postponement of payment, to start a bidding procedure in search for new financers and investors. Aerialtronics says it has made the decision in order to “elevate the company to a new level of long-term financial stability and success.” With trustee Mark Aukema of […]

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UAS Education Comes to Arkansas High School’s JROTC Program

An Arkansas high school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) is putting to use $10,000 worth of consumer unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to teach its students science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. According to a local report from KAIT, the JROTC program at Westside High School in Jonesboro received an $8,600 grant […]

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UAV Incident at Michigan Prison Prompts Call for Stricter Drone Laws

On early Thursday morning, the Michigan Department of Corrections caught three individuals trying to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to smuggle a cell phone and drugs into a prison. Shortly before 4 a.m., two corrections officers heard the sound of a drone in the yard area of the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in […]

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Air Force, Fire Department Deploy sUAS in Aircraft Crash Scenario

In conjunction with a local fire department, the Edwards Air Force Base in California recently used a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) during two aircraft crash exercises. The scenarios allowed the Edwards Fire Department and the 812th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight to respond to a simulated crashed B-52 Stratofortress on Rogers Dry Lake. During the […]

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Avion Unmanned Helps Local Utility Get UAS Program Off the Ground

With the help of Avion Unmanned, Huntsville Utilities in Alabama will soon be able to employ unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in their daily operations. Avion Unmanned – based in Huntsville, Ala. – is a branch of Avion Solutions Inc., a government defense contractor. Avion Unmanned conducts nationwide UAS services and provides online, classroom and hands-on […]

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FAA-Sponsored UAS-STEM Camp at NMSU Goes off Without a Hitch

With the increasing popularity of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), New Mexico State University (NMSU) recently capitalized on the opportunity to educate students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and hosted its first-ever UAS-STEM camp. NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory and STEM Outreach Center in the College of Education collaborated to offer morning and afternoon sessions […]

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Dronecode’s Meier Named to MIT Technology Review’s Prestigious List

Dronecode has announced that Lorenz Meier, the creator of Dronecode’s PX4 project, has been recognized by MIT Technology Review in its annual list of Innovators Under 35. Meier created the PX4 flight stack platform for drones and released it as open source in 2011. According to Dronecode, which is hosted by The Linux Foundation, the […]

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Dronecode’s Meier Named to MIT Technology Review’s Prestigious List

Dronecode has announced that Lorenz Meier, the creator of Dronecode’s PX4 project, has been recognized by MIT Technology Review in its annual list of Innovators Under 35. Meier created the PX4 flight stack platform for drones and released it as open source in 2011. According to Dronecode, which is hosted by The Linux Foundation, the […]

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Rescue Group, Sheriff’s Dept. Deploy Drones in Successful Water Mission

On Tuesday, the Danville Life Saving Crew (DLSC) in Virginia used drones to help rescue a man who was trapped on the south side of the Dan River after his hand had been caught underneath a fallen tree. According to a press release from the DLSC, its dive team was dispatched at 10:43 a.m. to […]

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Homeland Security Announces Kickoff for New sUAS Research Project

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will officially kick off its partnership with Mississippi for the test and evaluation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) next Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi. DHS, acting under William N. Bryan, secretary for science and technology, […]

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AT&T Exploring Artificial Intelligence for UAV Tower Inspections

Aiming for “next-level automation” for cell tower inspections with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), AT&T Labs, the research and development arm of AT&T, is teaming up with the company’s national drone team. AT&T, which has partnered with major tech companies including Intel and Qualcomm to test UAVs on LTE networks, is now bringing together “drones, machine […]

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Drones Help Precious-Metal Mining Company Save Time and Money

Commercial drone solutions company Identified Technologies, based out of Pittsburgh, has entered into a partnership with SSR Mining Inc., which is using the company’s drone solution at its Marigold mine in Nevada. SSR is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based mining company focused on the operation, development, exploration and acquisition of precious-metal projects. Under the new partnership, […]

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The Importance of Advanced Weather Data for Commercial Drone Operations

In December 2016, Amazon executed its first customer delivery by drone outside of Cambridge, the U.K., and more recently, the e-commerce giant’s patent was published for a “multi-layered fulfillment center” that would allow its drones to better and more rapidly serve customers in urban areas. But as Amazon (Prime Air), Google (Project Wing) and others […]

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Former BlackBerry Exec Joins UAS Manufacturer Aeryon Labs

Waterloo, Ontario-based Aeryon Labs Inc., a manufacturer of small, industrial-grade unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), is welcoming Dietmar Wennemer as the company’s chief product officer. Wennemer will spearhead engineering and production/operations worldwide, says Aeryon. Wennemer has held a number of high-ranking roles at tech companies, including Center and Siemens. As senior vice president of product development […]

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UAS Repair Network Robotic Skies Raises VC Funding

Robotic Skies LLC, a provider of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) maintenance around the globe, has raised a round of venture capital financing. The investment round was led by Kickstart Seed Fund of Salt Lake City and included participation by Sun Mountain Capital of Santa Fe, N.M. The company says the capital will accelerate the expansion […]

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Agribotix, senseFly Roll out ‘Gateway to Precision Ag’ Drone Program

Agribotix and senseFly have announced their Gateway to Precision Ag promotion for the U.S. and Canada. Designed to help growers and retailers get ahead of the 2018 growing season, the promotion offers a discount on a package of tools enabling professionals to begin working with drones now, the companies say. “Precision programs are significantly more […]

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Agribotix, senseFly Roll out ‘Gateway to Precision Ag’ Drone Program

Agribotix and senseFly have announced their Gateway to Precision Ag promotion for the U.S. and Canada. Designed to help growers and retailers get ahead of the 2018 growing season, the promotion offers a discount on a package of tools enabling professionals to begin working with drones now, the companies say. “Precision programs are significantly more […]

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Sandia Labs Sends Up UAS and Balloon to Collect Arctic Climate Data

Last week, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories flew a tethered balloon and an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) together to collect weather data in the Arctic. In addition to providing more precise data for weather and climate models, being able to effectively operate UAS in the Arctic is important for national security, according to Sandia, which […]

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Sandia Labs Sends Up UAS and Balloon to Collect Arctic Climate Data

Last week, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories flew a tethered balloon and an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) together to collect weather data in the Arctic. In addition to providing more precise data for weather and climate models, being able to effectively operate UAS in the Arctic is important for national security, according to Sandia, which […]

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Antonelli Law Successfully Defends Part 107 Pilot in Chicago Drone Ordinance Case

Good news for all drone pilots   By Jeffrey Antonelli In June, licensed drone pilot Jerrick Hakim flew his DJI Inspire 2 for one solitary flight on Chicago’s lakefront. A slow, cinematic flight, the drone flew above Lake Michigan perhaps several hundred feet from shore. After about 15 minutes, the professional photographer landed his drone […]

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Plumas National Forest Uses UAV for Fire Reconnaissance

Yesterday morning, the Plumas National Forest, located in the Sierra Nevada in northern California, flew an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Minerva Fire. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the drone was equipped with a FLIR infrared camera, which detected heat and produced thermal imagery so that the fire managers would be able to […]

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SkyHOPPER ONE Link Offers Secure Communications for DIY Drones

Mobilicom has released the SkyHopper ONE UAV data link, which allows DIY drone users to equip their aircraft with a secure communication link. According to the company, DIY drone enthusiasts often use separate solutions for control, telemetry and payload, thereby increasing costs and weight. However, HowSkyHopper ONE is a plug-and-play device that packages all drone […]

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DJI Beefs Up Drone Data Privacy

DJI is developing a new local data mode that stops internet traffic to and from its drone flight control apps. According to the company, the change has been made in order to provide enhanced data privacy assurances for sensitive government and enterprise customers. Earlier this month, DJI came under fire by the U.S. Army, who […]

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Canadian University’s New UAV Ground School Open to the Public

Manitoba-based Brandon University (BU) is touting its new course on drones, Applied Topics in Geography: UAV Ground School, offered to both students and the public beginning this fall. According to BU, the course will prepare drone pilots for stiff new Transport Canada regulations. Existing rules exempt people who fly drones recreationally, while the proposed new […]

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CompassDrone Creates All-in-One UAS Package for Public Safety

Centennial, Colo.-based CompassDrone has unveiled a comprehensive drone-based mapping program designed specifically for public safety applications. According to the company, the Complete Incident Response Recovery Unmanned Aerial System (CIRRUAS) program is designed primarily for accident reconstruction and crime scene mapping but is also applicable for search and rescue and reconnaissance missions. “CIRRUAS was designed by […]

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Drone to Document Entire Cross-Country Canada Trip

In celebration of Canada’s 150th year, a drone is streaming footage of an entire cross-country trip totaling more than 11,000 kilometers. Duracell’s Explorer150 trip starts in the most westerly community of Beavercreek, Yukon, and travels across the country with stops in each province and territory, ending in the most eastern tip of Canada in St. […]

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U.S. Sen. Warner to Make the Rounds at Virginia College’s Drone Event

Next Tuesday, a community college in Big Stone Gap, Va., is hosting a “Drone Demo Day” that will be attended by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. According to a Facebook post from Mountain Empire Community College (MECC), the event – held Aug. 15 from 2:25-3:25 p.m. at the college’s Dalton-Cantrell Hall Fugate Training Center – […]

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Daytona Beach Police Launching UAS Program With Help from Embry-Riddle

The Daytona Beach, Fla., Police Department (DBPD) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) have announced a new aviation program made up of five officers and two unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). According to an ERAU press release, the program is expected to be officially launched by the end of 2017 or early 2018. The DBPD says the […]

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UAV Education Programs Reach New Heights

We devote pages and pages in every issue of RotorDrone to the ever-expanding role that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) of all types play in our world. Much of our focus is recreational, but increasingly you see us documenting (and celebrating!) the commercial, environmental, and public-safety advancements that drones are ushering in. UAS is far and […]

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A Guide to NOTAMs, TFRs and Airspace Classification

If flying a drone/UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) commercially under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules is your first foray into the aviation world, the alphabet soup of information you need to know can be intimidating. Reading sectional charts or deciphering NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) and TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions) can send chills […]

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University Researchers Seek to Cut Down Risks of Flying UAS Over People

Atilla Dogan, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, is using a $550,000 National Science Foundation grant to quantify risks posed by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); then, he will create algorithms to reduce those risks while the vehicles perform specific tasks. UTA researchers Manfred Huber, professor in the Department […]

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New Insitu Partnership Augments UAV Firefighting Efforts

Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, has joined forces with FireWhat and Esri for enhanced firefighting efforts using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and geographic information system (GIS) software. Through this partnership, aerial reconnaissance for fighting wildfires will be provided by Insitu’s INEXA Solutions, comprising INEXA Control, Insitu air vehicles such as the […]

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Sentera Double 4K Sensor, Meet the DJI Phantom 4

Sentera has announced the availability of its Double 4K precision agriculture sensor on the DJI Phantom 4 Professional, Advanced and Standard drones. According to the company, the offering provides Double 4K quality at entry-level pricing – expanding late-season data collection options for agronomists, crop consultants and growers. “We’ve experienced tremendous demand for our Double 4K […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Flying Your Drone During the Solar Eclipse

What if you had the chance to film something 55 miles wide traveling just over Mach3 with your drone? As it turns out, on Aug. 21, you’ll have that very opportunity. A solar eclipse – or alignment of the sun, moon and earth – is taking place for the first time in 38 years. The […]

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ULC’s Fixed-Wing, VTOL Drone Designed for Utility Inspections

Last week, ULC Robotics Inc. says its new aerial services division successfully tested its newly developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a fixed-wing, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft designed for utility inspections. The company says the commercial-grade drone has a 10-foot wingspan and a sensor payload capacity of 10 pounds for conducting fully autonomous aerial […]

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Sporty’s Expands Availability of Remote Pilot Test Study App

As the drone community continues to expand, Sporty’s latest Study Buddy App, designed for those looking to become remote pilots, is now available for Android devices. The app is organized into categories based on subject matter and includes questions, answers and detailed explanations. Users can review the material in learning mode, which allows them to […]

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DJI Names Roger Luo Company President

Roger Luo, previously DJI’s vice president of operations, has been named president of the company. Luo’s role, effective immediately, will focus on developing DJI’s business internationally in markets that have seen a significant increase in demand for drones, the company says. “DJI now has over 11,000 staff worldwide, with offices in 17 cities around the […]

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Yuneec Rolls out New Extended Service Plan for its Drones

Drone manufacturer Yuneec has announced its new Yuneec Extended Service – or YES! – plan, offering unlimited manufacturer-defect repairs. According to the company, YES! is available as a one- or two-year plan for the Breeze, Typhoon H and Typhoon H drones with Intel RealSense technology. Plans are available directly from Yuneec via phone, the Web […]

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Yuneec Rolls out New Extended Service Plan for its Drones

Drone manufacturer Yuneec has announced its new Yuneec Extended Service – or YES! – plan, offering unlimited manufacturer-defect repairs. According to the company, YES! is available as a one- or two-year plan for the Breeze, Typhoon H and Typhoon H drones with Intel RealSense technology. Plans are available directly from Yuneec via phone, the Web […]

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Tynker, Parrot Offer All-in-One Drone Coding Bundle for Kids

Tynker, a game-based platform that teaches kids how to code, has teamed up with Parrot to create the Parrot Mambo Code bundle, offering a Parrot Mambo minidrone and a six-month premium subscription to Tynker. The minidrone comes with a mini-ball launcher and grabber for aerial combat, 50 plastic balls, a USB cable, and a battery; […]

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