Payload

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

March 27, 2018

Aspen, Sensurion join forces to develop certified UAS avionics

BY Patrick C. MillerAspen Avionics of New Mexico and Minnesota-based Sensurion Aerospace have formed a partnership aimed at filling the certified avionics gap between hobbyist and military drones. This will include autopilot, communications and navigation systems. READ MORE

February 28, 2018

U.S. Army collaborates on advanced UAV engine design

BY Patrick C. MillerMiami-based Locust USA Inc.—a subsidiary of UAV Turbines—has signed a $19 million agreement to collaborate with the U.S. Army on the development of a small turboprop engine for unmanned aircraft. The engine will also have commercial applications. READ MORE

February 14, 2018

Drones deliver green transportation option

BY Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Drone delivery isn't just about speed and efficiency. It's also good for the environment, according to new research from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Using drones to deliver packages uses less energy and lowers cO2 emissions. READ MORE

January 31, 2018

Company uses drones for surveys in Nepal’s rough terrain

BY Patrick C. MillerDroNepal is proving the value of drones to conduct surveying and mapping missions in remote regions of Nepal that can be mountainous and heavily forested. The company is doing work for clients planning hydropower projects to generate electricity. READ MORE

January 31, 2018

PrecisionHawk secures $75 million for commercial drone technology

BY PrecisionHawk Inc. PrecisionHawk has raised $75 million from a group of venture and strategic investors, bringing its total funding to more than $100 million since its founding in 2010. PrecisionHawk plans to use the investment to focus on innovation and acquisitions. READ MORE

January 17, 2018

Elevation maps added to Sentera’s precision ag software

BY Patrick C. MillerSentera has added elevation maps to FieldAgent, its software analytics platform for UAS precision agriculture applications. The map data can be used to increase efficiencies and create plans to improve drainage on cropland. READ MORE

January 03, 2018

NV5 acquires Skyscene to add unmanned aerial mapping

BY Patrick C. MillerFlorida-based NV5, an engineering consulting firm, has acquired Skyscene, a California UAS service provider, to add unmanned aerial mapping to its services. NV5 has traditionally relied on manned aircraft for this application. READ MORE

January 03, 2018

Ballard, Insitu partner on UAS fuel cell propulsion system

BY Patrick C. MillerBallard Power Systems and Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, recently signed a contract to integrate a next-generation fuel cell propulsion system into the ScanEagle fixed-wing UAS. The new fuel cells increase power with little increase in size or weight. READ MORE

December 19, 2017

UAS startup finalists selected for Central New York program

BY Patrick C. MillerSix UAS startup finalists have been selected for a Central New York business accelerator program called GENIUS NY. It's aimed at providing resources to companies with potential and establishing the region as a leader in the UAS industry. READ MORE

December 07, 2017

U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee tackles UAS issues

BY Patrick C. MillerThe U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee last week held its first hearing dedicated to UAS. Committee members heard from government, industry and academia about measures to advance the drone industry. Safety issues continue to be a key concern. READ MORE

December 06, 2017

Intel sees positive signs in Drone Integration Pilot Program

BY Patrick C. MillerAlthough Intel doesn't yet know what part it will play in the U.S. Drone Integration Pilot program, Anil Nanduri, the company's UAS general manager, believes the ability to test technology in real-world environments will benefit the UAS industry. READ MORE

November 22, 2017

Intelsat General successfully tests satellite tech with UAS

BY Patrick C. MillerIntelsat General's high throughput satellite technology was successfully tested earlier this year with a General Atomics Predator. But company president Skot Butler believes HTS will also benefit the commercial UAS industry. READ MORE

November 08, 2017

DroneTracker 3 improves drone detection and tracking

BY Patrick C. MillerDedrone Inc. has released DroneTracker 3, an updated version of its security system for detecting and tracking drones being used for spying, hacking and other activities. The update is designed for integration into existing security systems. READ MORE

November 07, 2017

Workhorse optimizes last-mile delivery with integrated drone

BY Workhorse Group Inc. Workhorse Group Inc. has begun implementing agreements to test and operate its new N-Gen electric van equipped with an integrated delivery drone. The aircraft launches from the roof of the van and can deliver packages weighing up to 10 pounds. READ MORE

October 26, 2017

Trump administration seeks to advance UAS integration

BY Patrick C. MillerCalling the current unmanned aircraft regulatory framework "outdated," the Trump administration this week launched the UAS Integration Pilot Program. The goal is to speed up the safe integration of drones and provide an economic boost. READ MORE

October 25, 2017

Drones in service: Oilfield transformation from above

BY Patrick C. MillerSmall unmanned aircraft systems are already at work in the oil and gas industry, but major players in aviation are making plans for even more capable drones READ MORE

October 25, 2017

New Caltech autonomous systems center features drone research

BY Patrick C. MillerThe new Caltech Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies is a 10,000-square-foot facility in which engineers and scientists will collaborate to develop the next generation of drones, robots and driverless cars. READ MORE

October 24, 2017

Wingtra’s VTOL drone now available with Pix4D’s software

BY Patrick C. MillerEuropean drone manufacturer Wingtra is partnering with Pix4D to provide 2D mapping and 3D model construction software for the vertical-takeoff-and-landing WingtraOne. The drone is used primarily for surveying and precision agriculture applications. READ MORE

October 10, 2017

Intel UAS technology aids environmental researchers

BY Patrick C. MillerStudying polar bears and whales in the wild helps researchers take the pulse of earth's environment. Intel drones and artificial intelligence are helping scientists learn more about the world's health in a safer, less invasive manner. READ MORE

October 10, 2017

Partnership develops UAS, GIS solution to assist firefighters

BY Patrick C. MillerWith wildfires continuing to rage across California, Insitu, FireWhat and Esri have teamed up to assist incident commanders and firefighters. The companies developed a system using UAS and GIS technology that provides near-real time information. READ MORE

October 10, 2017

Long-range, solar-powered UAS earns award from US DoD-linked team

BY Silent Falcon UAS Silent Falcon UAS Technologies solar-electric, fixed-wing, long-endurance, long-range unmanned aircraft system has been recognized with the 2017 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award. READ MORE

September 27, 2017

Drone measures effect of wind turbines on farmland

BY Patrick C. MillerDepending on weather conditions, air disturbances from wind turbines can positively or negatively impact the farmland beneath the blades. Researchers from Embry-Riddle and Mississippi State used an instrument-equipped drone to study the effects. READ MORE

September 21, 2017

Textron Systems UAS team deploys multicast feed during Harvey

BY Patrick C. MillerEarlier this year, Textron Systems deployed a UAS team to assist a town in Oklahoma struck by a tornado. The company's team gained more firsthand experience when it was embedded with a group of first responders headed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey. READ MORE

September 13, 2017

FlightWave, Intelligent Energy introduce fuel cell-powered drone

BY Patrick C. MillerIn partnership with Intelligent Energy, FlightWave Aerospace Systems is launching its second new unmanned aircraft system in less than a month. The Jupiter-H2 aircraft runs on a 650W fuel cell, providing longer endurance and greater payload capacity. READ MORE

September 08, 2017

Industry experts, major companies featured at Arizona UAS Summit

BY John NelsonFocused on both small and large unmanned aircraft systems, the 2nd Annual Arizona UAS Summit & Expo will reveal how Arizona and surrounding southwestern states are leading in the commercialization of UAVs. The event will be held in Mesa Nov. 6-8. READ MORE

August 30, 2017

Northrop Grumman expansion brings jobs to Grand Sky facility

BY Patrick C. MillerNorthrop Grumman last week began construction on a new 35,000-square-foot hanger with space to house two Global Hawks at its Grand Sky facility in North Dakota. The company expects to have 100 employees working at the facility by year's end. READ MORE

August 30, 2017

Drones bring greater efficiency to inventory management

BY Patrick C. MillerRFID tags to make inventory management in large warehouses more efficient didn't live up to their promise. But now a research team at MIT has developed a system using drones and RFID tags that could save the retail industry billions of dollars. READ MORE

August 16, 2017

Farmers Insurance turns to Kespry for roof inspections

BY Patrick C. MillerAfter four years of studying the use of drones to inspect roof damage, an FAA policy change and Kespry's UAS technology led Farmers Insurance to introduce UAS for commercial operations. Safety and faster claims for customers are among the advantages. READ MORE

August 16, 2017

FlightWave introduces a cost-effective high-tech drone

BY Patrick C. MillerFlightWave this week announced its Edge unmanned aircraft, a vehicle designed to provide customers with a long-endurance, cost-effective platform capable of flying remote missions in difficult conditions. It can also carry a wide variety of payloads. READ MORE