Payload

March 25, 2019

Consumer DBUS2 drone features new autonomous flight technology

BY Patrick C. MillerVisual inertial odometry—or VIO—is a new technology that enables drones to navigate on their own without human input. The DBUS2 is the first consumer drone equipped with the system. DbUS calls VIO the first step on the road to autonomous flight. READ MORE

March 25, 2019

Sabrewing, Alaska tribe to develop Bering Sea UAS test site

BY Patrick C. MillerSabrewing Aircraft Co. and a native Alaskan tribe have signed an agreement with an estimated value of $43 million to test 10 aircraft—both manned and unmanned—at a site centered on Saint Paul Island in the Bering Sea 770 miles west of Anchorage. READ MORE

March 13, 2019

Flirtey and Reno receive FAA approval for BVLOS drone delivery

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has approved BVLOS flights for the city of Reno, Nevada, and Flirtey, its partner in the UAS Integration Pilot Program. Flirtey will use its latest drone to deliver emergency defibrillators to heart attack victims. READ MORE

March 12, 2019

Kaman developing next generation of optionally-manned K-MAX

BY Patrick C. MillerWork is underway at Kaman Aerospace Group in Connecticut on the next generation of the optionally-manned K-MAX helicopter. Updated unmanned systems kits will be available for new and existing K-MAX helicopters beginning next year. READ MORE

February 28, 2019

Former Insitu CEO picked to lead Arizona-based World View

BY Patrick C. MillerRyan Hartman, former Insitu CEO, has been selected to lead World View, a company based in Arizona that specializes in advanced stratospheric balloons controlled by UAS technology. He is expected to lead the company into commercial operations. READ MORE

February 27, 2019

Innovation program explores UAS satellite communications

BY Patrick C. MillerLondon-based Inmarsat is partnering with Cobham and Starburst to launch a grassroots innovation program studying the role of satellite communications in the commercial UAS market. The goal is to integrate satellite connectivity into drone operations. READ MORE

February 26, 2019

Demonstration shows value of drones at crime scene investigations

BY Patrick C. MillerThe use of drones for crime scene investigation was demonstrated in Nevada last month by Sundance Media Group and five other companies. After two drones surveyed the mock murder scene, images and maps were produced within minutes. READ MORE

February 21, 2019

Insitu begins commercial UAS operations in Papua New Guinea

BY Insitu Inc. Insitu Commercial Solutions has conducted a series of aerial data collection operations in Papua New Guinea after obtaining its first approval for commercial UAS operations in the country. Insitu conducted remote sensing operations using LiDAR. READ MORE

February 21, 2019

Drone Delivery Canada unveils Condor large delivery UAS

BY Patrick C. MillerToronto-based Drone Delivery Canada has unveiled a new cargo delivery drone it says pushes the limits of payload capacity and flight range. The 22-foot-long Condor has a 400 pound payload capacity and a range of up to 120 miles. READ MORE

February 15, 2019

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered drone sets new flight time record

BY Patrick C. MillerMetaVista Inc., a South Korean company specializing in hydrogen power, flew a quadcopter drone for nearly 11 hours by pairing its technology with an Intelligent Energy fuel cell module. It's believed to be the longest flight time of its kind. READ MORE

February 13, 2019

Drone Graffiti Project launched at Mexico City street art fair

BY Patrick C. MillerEarlier this month, the Drone Graffiti Project was launched during Mexico City’s Art Week, one of the top street art festivals in Latin America. Innovative technology enabled graffiti artists to reach places never before possible. READ MORE

February 04, 2019

NFL Super Bowl halftime show featured Intel drones

BY Intel Corp. During the Super Bowl, Intel Corp. partnered with the NFL to create the first-ever live drone lightshow during halftime. Intel and the NFL have also made advanced Intel True View highlights available for fans to relive big moments from from the game. READ MORE

February 04, 2019

Drones track bees to improve pollination and crop production

BY Patrick C. MillerA collaboration between Bee Innovative, an Australian startup company, and the University of North Dakota's UAS program will use drones to track bees. The technology has been used successfully by Australian farmers to increase crop yields. READ MORE

January 30, 2019

FLIR Systems acquires Aeryon Labs for $200 million

BY Patrick C. MillerFLIR Systems Inc. has acquired Canadian drone developer Aeryon Labs for $200 million to reinforce its long-term strategy aimed at becoming a provider of complete UAS solutions. FLIR will continue expanding its UAS capabilities into other markets. READ MORE

January 29, 2019

General Atomics collaborates with businesses in UK, Belgium

BY Patrick C. MillerGeneral Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is collaborating with businesses in the United Kingdom and Belgium to support its operational and new remotely piloted aircraft systems. The Belgian team includes five businesses while the UK group has 12. READ MORE

January 29, 2019

Amazon testing commercial UAS traffic management system

BY Patrick C. MillerA team at Amazon Prime Air is working with NASA and Single European Sky ATM Research to develop a traffic management system for small UAS conducting commercial operations in the same airspace. The goal is safe operations for all drones. READ MORE

January 09, 2019

Drone powered by fuel cell sets new UAS industry benchmark

BY Patrick C. MillerThe advantages of hydrogen fuel cells as a UAS power source were recently demonstrated when a 44-pound drone carried an 11-pound payload nonstop for 70 minutes, a new industry benchmark. The project is supported by Innovate UK. READ MORE

January 08, 2019

UAS could improve management of complex forest environments

BY Patrick C. MillerA research paper from the University of New Hampshire Department of Natural Resources says that drones have the potential to provide timely and accurate reference data on forests to help make better make better forest management decisions. READ MORE

January 03, 2019

High-Tech Inspections

BY Patrick C. MillerDrones and robots are seeing increasing use in the energy industry, but this technical revolution hasn’t yet caught on in the biomass energy industry. Black & Veatch and Interactive Aerial discuss potential UAS uses for the biomass market. READ MORE

January 02, 2019

FLIR Lepton camera integrated into DJI Mavic 2 Dual drone

BY Patrick C. MillerFLIR Systems and DJI will further their collaborative efforts with the integration of FLIR's Lepton micro thermal imaging camera into DJI's Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drone. It marks their second collaboration under the Thermal by FLIR program. READ MORE

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 18, 2018

Kansas State Polytechnic offers scholarships to first responders

BY Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus The Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is offering $500 scholarships to first responders interested in attending its 2019 small UAS commercial pilot training course. The course includes three days of training and the FAA exam. 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

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 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