Payload

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

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 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 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 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

September 20, 2018

Kansas State using drones to improve agriculture, human health

BY Patrick C. MillerUAS flown by Kansas State University researchers and students are part of a project designed to collect data on the prescribed burns used to maintain agricultural productivity. The goal is to limit the human health impacts from smoke. READ MORE

September 18, 2018

Drones could detect air pollutants after a disaster or accident

BY Patrick C. MillerBased on experience from Hurricane Harvey, Texas researchers and engineers are developing a fleet of autonomous drones equipped to detect, track and model hazardous air pollutants released during accidents and natural disasters. READ MORE

September 10, 2018

New senseFly eBee X improves geospatial data collection

BY Patrick C. MillerThe eBee X, the latest version of senseFly's fixed-wing drone, offers three new camera options, greater durability and longer flight times for a wide variety of mapping applications. The objective is more efficient, higher quality data collection. READ MORE

September 10, 2018

Bell Helicopter collaborates on NASA UAS demonstration project

BY Bell Helicopter Bell Helicopter will collaborate with several other organizations under a cooperative agreement with NASA to conduct a UAS flight demonstration in the national airspace scheduled for 2020. Bell will use its Autonomous Pod Transport for the flight. READ MORE

September 07, 2018

PrecisionHawk strengthens positions in energy, insurance markets

BY Patrick C. MillerPrecisionHawk has purchased HAZON Solutions and InspecTools to strengthen its position in the drone inspection of energy infrastructure. In addition, the company formed a partnership with EagleView Technologies, which works in the insurance industry. READ MORE

September 06, 2018

U.S. Navy awards Boeing $805 million MQ-25 contract

BY The Boeing Co. The Boeing Co. will build the U.S. Navy's MQ-25, its first carrier-based unmanned aircraft. The MQ-25 will be deployed as an aerial refueler for manned aircraft. The Navy recently awarded Boeing an $805 million contract for four aircraft. READ MORE

August 29, 2018

Drone Delivery Canada conducts successful tests

BY Patrick C. MillerUAS technology company Drone Delivery Canada has successfully completed beyond visual line of sight testing in Alma, Quebec, using its software platform and delivery drone. The company says it's close to commercializing its technology. READ MORE

August 29, 2018

Insitu uses ScanEagle to assist firefighters in Oregon

BY Insitu Insitu is once again employing its ScanEagle UAS to help battle wildfires in the northwest U.S. The company's Mobile Response Team has been assisting firefighters in Oregon by providing data collection and analysis for fire suppression activities. READ MORE

August 15, 2018

Komatsu America selects Propeller Aero's drone mapping software

BY Patrick C. MillerKomatsu America has selected Propeller Aero's drone mapping and analytics software for its Smart Construction Initiative. Propeller says its software can make mapping a construction project up to 90 percent more efficient. READ MORE

August 10, 2018

General Atomics signs deal to expand North Dakota facilities

BY Patrick C. MillerLinden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., announced that the company will more than triple the size of its operations at the Grand Sky UAS park in North Dakota. He attended an event there with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. READ MORE

August 10, 2018

UAS team assists with tracking shoreline erosion

BY Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University faculty, staff and students are using drone imagery to help restore and preserve the shorelines of southeast Volusia County in Florida. The UAS data will be used to help mitigate future erosion. READ MORE

August 01, 2018

Avansig, Skysense develop autonomous indoor surveillance drone

BY Patrick C. MillerIn the security and surveillance industry, there are significant implications for the development of an autonomous surveillance drone. European companies Avansig and Skysense are working with Prosegur to turn the concept into reality. READ MORE

July 16, 2018

FlightWave Edge deployed for international ocean research project

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FlightWave Aerospace Systems Edge UAS was among the unmanned marine vehicles on the research vessel Falkor for an international project studying the Subtropical Front in the Pacific Ocean. The project started in May and ended in June. READ MORE

July 13, 2018

General Atomics' unmanned trans-Atlantic flight makes history

BY Patrick C. MillerA General Atomics SkyGuardian on July 11 became the first medium-altitude, long endurance unmanned aircraft to complete a flight across the Atlantic. It left North Dakota on July 10 and landed a day later at an RAF air base in the the U.K. READ MORE

July 05, 2018

Allstate’s drone imaging program gets insurance industry award

BY Patrick C. MillerAllstate Insurance Co. is being recognized for its drone imaging program that streamlines property claims and improves adjuster productivity. The Novarica Insurance Technology Council will present the company with an Impact Award for its use of UAS. READ MORE

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 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

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