Engineering & Design

December 19, 2018

Austrian company develops parachute rescue system for DJI drone

BY Patrick C. MillerAustrian company Drone Rescue Systems has developed an emergency parachute system for the widely used DJI M600 drone. The lightweight system is designed to deploy a parachute in the event of a drone malfunction or total failure. READ MORE

December 18, 2018

Intel's UAS technology inspects Minnesota, Kentucky bridges

BY Patrick C. MillerIntel collaborated with transportation departments in Minnesota and Kentucky to demonstrate how its UAS technology can make bridge inspections safer and more efficient, as well as improve the reliability of data collection. READ MORE

December 14, 2018

Utility successfully conducts 60-mile BVLOS inspection flight

BY Patrick C. MillerA 60-mile BVLOS transmission line inspection test flight was successfully conducted last month by Ameren Corp., a utility with customers in Missouri and Illinois. Black & Veatch and Collins Aerospace collaborated with Ameren on the project. READ MORE

December 10, 2018

AeroVironment aids National Park Service wildfire recovery effort

BY Aeroenvironment Inc. AeroVironment Inc. is working with the National Park Service on a comprehensive drone-based aerial imaging and environmental impact study to assess fire damage in key areas of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area. READ MORE

December 05, 2018

Airbus opens flight base in Australia for Zephyr UAS operations

BY Patrick C. MillerAirbus Defense and Space has opened a flight base in Western Australia for its Zephyr S high-altitude, solar-powered UAS. The base is the first operational launch site from which Airbus will fly campaigns for a variety of customers. READ MORE

December 03, 2018

FAA names Merkle new head of UAS Integration Office

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has named Jay Merkle, former deputy vice president of the agency's Air Traffic Organization Program Management Office, to lead the UAS Integration Office. He has more than 25 years of experience in engineering and program management. READ MORE

December 03, 2018

DARPA shows UAS can operate with limited communications

BY Patrick C. MillerCan UAS flying in contested airspace with degraded communications operate effectively? Recent tests demonstrated that DARPA's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environments (CODE) technology enabled drones to function with minimal communications. READ MORE

November 30, 2018

Tragic South African fires inspire search and rescue drone

BY Patrick C. MillerThe loss of a helicopter pilot while fighting fires in South Africa inspired drone developer and manufacturer ALTI UAS to create the Transition SAR Orange, a vertical-takeoff-and-landing UAS specialized for search-and-rescue missions. READ MORE

November 29, 2018

Belgium, Australia to acquire General Atomics UAS platforms

BY Patrick C. MillerThe defense forces of Belgium and Australia have been authorized to acquire UAS designed and built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Belgium will negotiate to buy the SkyGuardian and Australia will purchase the armed Reaper. READ MORE

November 29, 2018

Honeywell Aerospace starts UAV inspection service in India

BY Honeywell Aerospace Honeywell Aerospace is launching a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Inspection and Data Analytics Service in India. Targeted at utilities and oil and gas companies, the service helps customers across the country improve and modernize. READ MORE

November 21, 2018

Flexible hybrid electronics have commercial UAS applications

BY Patrick C. MillerLockheed Martin and Georgia Tech are exploring ways to use flexible hybrid electronics to give small UAS beyond-line-of-sight capability using satellite communications. They are members of NextFlex, an organization that advances FHE technologies. READ MORE

November 20, 2018

Hyundai partners with American company to speed UAS development

BY Patrick C. MillerSouth Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. has formed a partnership with Boston-based Top Flight Technologies to cultivate new UAS business opportunities based on Top Flight's hybrid-electric power systems that provide longer flight times and heavier payloads. READ MORE

November 15, 2018

Solar-powered Odysseus will gather data for climate research

BY Patrick C. MillerBoeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences has unveiled Odysseus, a solar-powered, autonomous UAS capable of flying in the stratosphere for indefinite periods of time. The aircraft is designed to assist weather and climate researchers. READ MORE

November 13, 2018

DHS explores machine learning to improve drone detection

BY Patrick C. MillerCombining cameras with machine learning technology, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Sandia National Labs are developing ways to make the visual identification of drones as precise and reliable as thermal, radio or acoustic signatures. READ MORE

November 09, 2018

Micro-weather forecasts for UAS will be tested in New York

BY Patrick C. MillerCustomWeather Inc. and TruWeather Solutions have formed a partnership aimed at developing micro-weather forecasts for BVLOS UAS operations. The technology will be tested in the NUAIR Alliance UAS traffic management corridor. READ MORE

November 08, 2018

NASA selects NextNav's technology for urban drone operations

BY NextNav LLC NASA has selected NextNav's Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS) as part of its City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) program. MBS enables urban drone operations in areas where GPS signals may not reach. READ MORE

November 07, 2018

Uplift Data Partners becomes PrecisionHawk's latest acquistion

BY Patrick C. MillerPrecisionHawk made its fifth acquisition of the year by purchasing Chicago-based Uplift Data Partners, which specializes in commercial drone services for the construction industry. PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen says more acquisitions are planned. READ MORE

November 07, 2018

Robird drone convinces bird flocks to move away from airports

BY Patrick C. MillerA drone that looks and flies like a peregrine falcon is convincing flocks of birds to move away from busy airports where they're a threat to manned aviation. The Robird has proved its worth at the Grand Forks International Airport in North Dakota. READ MORE

October 30, 2018

Delair expands commercial operations with Airware acquisition

BY Patrick C. MillerFrench drone solutions supplier Delair is expanding its commercial drone operations with the acquisition of California-based Airware's key assets. The deal is expected to strengthen the company's expertise and technology across a range of industries. READ MORE

October 29, 2018

Digital vineyard of the future features drone data collection

BY Patrick C. MillerDrones could play a role in making better wine, thanks to the "Digital Vineyard of the Future" project. A recent demonstration in Nova Scotia, Canada, showed how a drone can gather scientific data in real-time and transfer it via a cell network. READ MORE

October 29, 2018

Insitu, FAA hold meeting to demonstrate UAS type certification

BY Insitu Inc. Insitu Inc. recently collaborated with the FAA to complete the first Type Certification Board Meeting in support of its ScanEagle 3. Four FAA teams met at Insitu's headquarters in Bingen, Washington, to review the proposed 2019 type certification. READ MORE

October 25, 2018

PrecisionHawk chosen as DJI’s airspace data provider

BY PrecisionHawk Inc. PrecisionHawk has been named as DJI's new provider of North American airspace data. Under the partnership, PrecisionHawk's Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety platform will be used to improve DJI's geofencing technology. READ MORE

October 23, 2018

Resolute Eagle UAS to be equipped with TASE400 LD system

BY Patrick C. MillerAn optical and laser designation system made by UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected to equip the PAE ISR Resolute Eagle UAS. The TASE400 LD provides integrated onboard video processing with image stabilization and enhancement capability. READ MORE

October 22, 2018

DJI demands drone strike research, video be withdrawn

BY Patrick C. MillerResearch comparing the results of drone and bird strikes on manned aircraft drew a critical response from DJI, the world's largest drone manufacturer. The company demanded that the University of Dayton Research Institute withdraw its research. READ MORE

October 18, 2018

PaintCopter developed by Disney Research shows potential

BY Patrick C. MillerDisney Research has developed the PaintCopter, a UAV with the ability to fly autonomously while applying textured paint to 3D surfaces. Researchers believe the technology provides safety benefits at a lower cost, as well as consistent results. READ MORE

October 18, 2018

Study shows need for small UAS geofencing near busy airports

BY Patrick C. MillerA new study from Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University of DJI drone flights near Daytona Beach International Airport in Florida shows the need for geofencing. The study found that about 20 percent of the flights presented a risk to manned aircraft. READ MORE

October 16, 2018

FLIR unveils Black Hornet vehicle reconaissance drone system

BY FLIR Systems Inc. FLIR Systems has launched the Black Hornet 3 vehicle reconnaissance system for military, government and first responder operations. The nano-drone enables users to gather information on their surroundings while remaining inside a vehicle. READ MORE

October 05, 2018

Kansas tech company unveils two new drone detection radars

BY Patrick C. MillerKansas-based Ainstein has introduced a new air-to-air radar for UAS platforms and a new ground-based radar capable of detecting drones more than 3,200 feet away. Both feature digital beam forming for precise measurements and 3D detection. READ MORE

October 04, 2018

General Atomics’ second SkyGuardian completes first flight

BY Patrick C. MillerGeneral Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. last week successfully completed the first flight of a second SkyGuardian MQ-9B, the remotely piloted aircraft the company says will be the first certified to fly in civil airspace. READ MORE

October 02, 2018

Skyfish introduces platform to automate inspection, measurement

BY Patrick C. MillerMontana-based Skyfish has unveiled a new computing platform to fully automate drone infrastructure inspection and measurement tasks. The platform pre-processes infrastructure data and metadata to help create detailed 3D models. READ MORE