Operations

June 29, 2018

Facebook ends solar-powered Aquila UAS project

BY Patrick C. MillerFour years after starting an attempt to build its own high-altitude, solar-powered UAS as part of an effort to provide global internet connectivity, Facebook announced that it's shutting down the Aquila project based in Bridgwater, U.K. READ MORE

June 29, 2018

Drone maker Delair earns award shared with Google, Airbnb

BY Luke GeiverDelair, a drone manufacturer and solutions provider based in France, has been recognized for an award won previously by Airbnb, Google and Spotify. The World Economic Forum has awarded Delair. READ MORE

June 25, 2018

General Atomics plans MALE UAV flight from ND to UK

BY General Atomics General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. plans to make the first-ever trans-Atlantic flight of a Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft. READ MORE

June 20, 2018

Dropcoter drone helps bees pollinate 350,000 apple trees

BY Patrick C. Miller As part of the GENIUS NY program, Dropcoter drones are assisting Beak & Skiff, one of central New York's top apple producers, in pollinating the 350,000 trees in its orchard. The job is normally performed by bees living in 400 hives. READ MORE

June 20, 2018

Wilhelmsen Ship Service, Airbus plan drones deliveries at sea

BY Wilhelmsen Ships Service Launching at Singapore ports Marina South Pier in quarter three 2018, Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Airbus will be piloting the delivery of spare parts, documents, water test kits and 3D printed materials to anchored vessels. READ MORE

June 19, 2018

Forensic images help law enforcement catch drone criminals

BY Patrick C. MillerThanks to an online database compiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), law enforcement investigators are learning how to effectively gather forensic data from drones used to commit crimes. READ MORE

June 19, 2018

General Atomics selects Pratt & Whitney engine for MQ-25

BY Patrick C. MillerGeneral Atomics has selected the Pratt & Whitney PW815 turbofan engine to power its proposed MQ-25, an unmanned aerial refueling aircraft to operate aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

Indoor drone production firm earns $18M financing round

BY Luke GeiverVerity Studios AG will use $18 million in Series A funding to expand its indoor drone service into the U.S. The Zurich-based company that spun-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2014 has performed for Metallica, Cirque du Soliel. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

New York plans to move ahead with UAS program

BY Patrick C. Miller Although New York's proposal wasn't among the 10 selected for the U.S. Department of Transportation's UAS Integration Pilot Program, the state is pressing ahead with plans to use its done corridor to test a variety of commercial applications. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

GAO says FAA needs better data on small UAS operations

BY Patrick C. MillerA report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommends that the FAA do a better job of collecting data on the safe operation of small UAS in the national airspace. GAO said the FAA's data is often not accurate or complete. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

Navy to outfit drones with fuel cell systems

BY Luke GeiverThe U.S. Navy is looking for fuel cell propulsion systems to power unmanned aerial vehicles. Protonex, a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems, recently received an order from the Navy for 13 fuel cell systems. READ MORE

May 23, 2018

Italy power plant deploys automated drone full-time

BY Luke GeiverIn Italy, a multinational power company had deployed a drone full-time. Enel, an integrated power company in the global, power, gas and renewables markets has acquired a multi rotor unmanned aircraft system to support operations and maintenance. READ MORE

May 23, 2018

DOI unveils first ever $17M contract option for UAS providers

BY U.S. Department of Interior The contract consists of one base year with four option years. The total potential contract value is $17 million. Aircraft selected under the contract will be able to operate day or night, without a runway in sustained winds up to 25 knots. READ MORE

May 23, 2018

New project to create drone software to understand human movement

BY University of Nebraska-Lincoln University of Nebraska–Lincoln computer scientist Brittany Duncan wants to ease people's discomfort by enabling drones to communicate with the humans around them. Communication could also make drones valuable coworkers in numerous settings. READ MORE

May 21, 2018

Department of Homeland Security beefs up counter-UAS efforts

BY Patrick C. MillerThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security is collecting data on counter-UAS technologies in urban environments to deal with the potential threat of unwanted or malicious drones. The agency has developed a program to collect drone mitigation data. READ MORE

May 18, 2018

University of Washington creates first insect drones

BY University of Washington Researchers at the University of Washington have developed wireless robotic drones the size of insects that can easily access areas in which even a small UAS could not fit. A swarm of insect drones might one day detect methane leaks. READ MORE

May 16, 2018

U.S. DOT selects 10 projects for UAS integration program

BY Patrick C. MillerSecretary of Transportation Elaine Chao not only announced the 10 projects selected for the UAS Pilot Integration Program, but also said new drone rulemaking and potentially dozens of other projects to assist with UAS integration are in the works. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

Insitu, Dedrone partner with University of North Dakota Aerospace

BY Patrick C. MillerTwo new partnerships with Insitu and Dedrone will give UAS students at the University of North Dakota the opportunity to learn about the latest software, gain experience with a new unmanned aircraft platform and benefit from counter-drone technology. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

Textron Systems unveils test bed for future UAS technology

BY Patrick C. MillerWith an eye toward the future, Textron Systems Unmanned Systems revealed the X5-55, a UAS that will serve as an engineering test bed for the company's new technologies. The VTOL aircraft features a vectored flight control system. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

DJI report documents 65 lives saved by drones in past year

BY Patrick C. MillerDJI Technology's second annual report on the number of lives saved by drones says at least 65 people were rescued by UAS during the past year, partly because regulations now provide a clearer path for the use of drones in search and rescue efforts. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

Small UAV Coalition approves of new U.S. DOT policy

BY Patrick C. MillerThe Small UAV Coalition says a new policy announced by the Department of Transportation will help speed up the development of drone delivery systems in the U.S. while maintaining safe airspace. READ MORE

May 07, 2018

Deveron, John Deere connect on UAS flights and data sharing

BY Deveron UAS Corp. Deveron UAS Corp., a leading drone data services company for farming, is pleased to announce that it has completed integration with the John Deere Operations Center. READ MORE

April 25, 2018

UL developing standards to make drone batteries safer

BY Patrick C. MillerSafer lithium ion batteries manufactured under UL-certified standards will soon be coming to the UAS industry. The science safety company has been working to finalize standards that will be implemented in the U.S. and Canada and, later, worldwide. READ MORE

April 25, 2018

Cyberhawk assisting with major U.S. construction project

BY Patrick C. MillerCyberhawk, a UAS operator based in Scotland, is using its drones and software to provide digital asset management during the construction of a major petrochemical plant in the U.S. Its iHawk software is being used on a large scale for the first time. READ MORE

April 25, 2018

DARPA contract for drone swarm technology goes to Dynetics

BY Patrick C. MillerUnder a 21-month, $38.6 million contract with DARPA, Dynetics Inc. will assist in developing and demonstrating Gremlins, a program which uses a swarm of low-cost drones launched and recovered from a military cargo aircraft. READ MORE

April 22, 2018

Exyn, Velodyne partner to showcase indoor drones, 3D Lidar

BY Exyn Technologies Originating from the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Labs, Exyn Technologies has commercialized groundbreaking research to build its proprietary trademarked AI software, exynAI, to help indoor drone flights. READ MORE

April 22, 2018

Near Denver airport, Xcel energy set for routine BVLOS drone ops

BY Xcel Energy Xcel Energy, a leader in using drone technology to inspect energy infrastructure, will be the first utility in the nation to routinely fly unmanned aircraft beyond the operator's line of sight when it flies near the Denver airport. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

With fastest delivery drone in world, Zipline eyes US market

BY Luke GeiverA Silicon Valley-based drone developer believes it has created the fastest drone delivery system in the world. Based on a fixed-wing design, Zipline's unmanned aircraft vehicle can reach speeds of 80 mph. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

General Atomics earns contract to further develop MQ-9B Protector

BY General Atomics General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has announce the recent award of a $81M Foreign Military Sales contract by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to develop a different version of the MQ-9B Predator UAV. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

Global airspace group headed to NY for UAS UTM work

BY Luke GeiverAn unmanned traffic management testing (UTM) agreement will help Thales Group expand its work in upstate New York. Through an agreement with NASA, the global air traffic management firm Thales, will work with groups at the FAA's New York UAS site. READ MORE