Drones used by Madison Police

A Madison Police Department officer operates one of the department's two new drones.  The MPD officially launched its new drone team Monday, though the program has been operational since June 1. The team has been called on five times to use the drones to search for missing people, suspects and fugitives. Using a drone that can quickly survey a large swath of area is particularly helpful in searching for missing people. Additionally, the distance a drone provides between an officer and a potentially dangerous suspect is a benefit, Hanson said.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/madison-police-department-launches-drone-team/article_284487e0-6b85-5b07-ab82-eac8cf6a5a45.html

 

Drone camps for girls

School holidays used to be about playing quoits with the kids down the street, but for around 50 girls from Darwin this mid-year break has been a real buzz. The girls aged between 10 and 17 have been taking part in She Flies drone camps where they learn to pilot and program drones. But the camps were about more than just learning to fly for fun, according to She Flies co-founder and chief education officer Karen Joyce. Dr. Joyce said aside from encouraging young women to get involved in STEM subjects and careers, drone camps also taught them a few life lessons.           

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/drone-workshops-encourage-darwin-girls-towards-careers-in-stem/8697200

FAA is issuing a drone registration refund

Remember that $5 fee you had to pay when you first registered your drone? After a recent court decision, the FAA is issuing a drone registration refund for those who paid the registration fee. If you are a hobbyist drone operator and you didn’t register your UAV, then don’t even worry about this since the FAA recently removed the requirement to register non-commercial drones. When the FAA placed a registration requirement for non-commercial drone operators, the court ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration violated section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which states, “… that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/registration_deletion/

 

Drones to assess Marawi city damage

Drones will be used to assess Marawi city damage. The Lanao del Sur provincial government is planning to use an aerial drone to assess the damage caused by the ongoing conflict and identify areas needing priority rehabilitation. Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. said the capitol forged the drone mapping contract at less than 95 percent of the original price. The aerial mapping will really help assess the damage and what areas will be given priority in the rehabilitation phase.     

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/914223/drone-to-assess-marawi-damage

Air Canada plane nearly landed on a taxiway

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says he was a passenger on an Air Canada jet that nearly landed on a taxiway where four other planes were sitting rather than the designated runway at San Francisco International Airport. Federal officials are investigating why the pilot mistakenly made his approach toward the taxiway Friday night instead of the runway next to it. Jones says passengers were not told about the near-calamity after the plane landed safely. Instead, he says the pilot told the 140 passengers on board that there was more traffic than usual and everything was fine.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/abort-airliner-nearly-lands-on-other-san-francisco-planes/2017/07/11/ffab8ebe-6699-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html

China's new heavy-lift rocket launch failed

China's launch of a new heavy-lift rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, carrying what the government said was its heaviest ever satellite, failed on Sunday, official news agency Xinhua said. The same rocket type had been expected to take China's latest lunar probe to the Moon this year and to return with samples. It is not clear how the timetable for that mission could be affected by the failed launch. China's space programme has largely operated without many major hitches, though it still has a way to go to catch up with the United States and Russia.

https://in.reuters.com/article/china-space-idINKBN19N0KT

Rare plant discovered by a drone

A drone discovered a super-rare plant on a steep cliff on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. The discovery wowed botanists — and shows how technology can help conservationists in their fight against extinction. Merlin Edmonds, a conservationist at NTBG was training to be a drone pilot with Nyberg when the plants were spotted. The plant discovered by drone is a critically endangered species called Laukahi that’s being wiped out by invasive goats that love munching on its leaves. The drone footage added about 10 more plants.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/17/15817076/drones-endangered-plants-discovery-hawaii-laukahi-conservation

Drones used on campus of the University of Wisconsin

A new policy governing the use of unmanned aerial devices at a Wisconsin university allows researchers and instructors to use the drones on campus for research or educational purposes. University of Wisconsin-Madison's new policy will apply to indoor and outdoor spaces connected with the university, both in the United States and abroad, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Students may apply to fly a drone if it relates to coursework or other academic purposes. The university's new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Ethics and Safety Committee will ensure operators are compliant with Federal Aviation Administration standards.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wisconsin/articles/2017-06-17/wisconsin-university-adopts-new-drone-policy

Launching X-37B miniature spaceplane

SpaceX fought hard for the right to launch Air Force projects and it has landed a pretty prestigious one. The X-37B miniature spaceplane will be launched into orbit with the Falcon 9, taking over from the reliable Atlas V built by United Launch Alliance, according to Reuters. And here's the kicker: It will launch the space shuttle-like drone in just two months, meaning it will be SpaceX's first mission for the Air Force.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/07/spacex-will-launch-a-secretive-space-drone-for-the-air-force/

Drone race in Sanford

About 20 pilots, including from the Triangle and Fayetteville, gathered at Devil’s Ridge Motocross in Sanford to race their quadcopters, or unmanned drones with four rotors Saturday, May 27. A live feed comes from the camera of a drone, allowing pilots to steer the aircraft using joysticks through hurdles, make hairpin turns and race other pilots while trying not to crash into anything at 60 miles per hour or more. Whether it’s like flying in “Top Gun” or pod racing in “Star Wars,” it’s that feeling that is bringing together gamers and adrenaline enthusiasts alike to race drones. And the Triangle has its own set of fliers.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/article153072469.html

Rocket launched by New Zealand

New Zealand have entered the space market — launching a rocket partly made of carbon fibre, with engines made from a 3D printer, into space. American-New Zealand company Rocket Lab, which was behind the launch, want to take a slice of the booming market for getting small satellites into orbit. Despite the spacecraft falling short of its goal to reach orbit, they were counting the launch as a success.

http://aviationweek.com/space/rocket-lab-well-ahead-after-initial-launch-test

UAVs to be used for military purpose

SMi reports: Military leaders from US, Canada and German Armed Forces to discuss UAV's roles from an operational perspective and explore current and future challenges. In order to resolve common security concerns and enhance situation awareness, Central and Eastern European nations are actively acquiring and upgrading their UAV capabilities. The Czech Armed Forces, Slovenian MoD and Macedonian Armed Forces are looking to learn from players who are already experts in the fields. Speaking at SMi's UAV Technology Central & Eastern Europe 2017, military leaders from the US, Canada and German Armed Forces will discuss UAV's roles from an operational perspective and explore current and future challenges.

http://www.roboticstomorrow.com/news/2017/05/23/military-uav-insights-from-us-canada-and-german-armed-forces/10092/

Drone light show in Ontario

While major redevelopment of the Ontario Place site continues, the waterfront park will be partially open this Victoria Day long weekend to accommodate the Culinary Ontario Festival. Rather than looking up for fireworks, festival goers will be treated to a drone light show. Some 30 drones will dance and glow through the night sky to moves programmed in advance by Toronto startup Arrowonics. Touted as an environmentally-friendly fireworks alternative, the drone show will be one of the first presented to a large public audience in Toronto. While it won’t be as grand as some shows that have been staged elsewhere in the world incorporating hundreds of drones, Arrowonics says it will give a taste of things to come.

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/drone-light-show-to-illuminate-ontario-place-during-culinary-ontario-festival-1.3421746

Drones used to check fields

Dutch farmers in Limburg had decided to check their crop for cannabis using drones. Farmers started taking action because cutbacks meant police would no longer continue their so-called helicopter ‘weed flights’. The use of maize fields to grow cannabis ‘for free’ is a popular among criminals. Some farmers’ fields are invaded more than once. One farmer who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, told the paper that this year he found cannabis among the sweet corn for the third time. ‘I was harvesting and suddenly I saw cannabis plants everywhere. The drones will be flying in the first week of September when the corn is harvested and will cover five hundred fields.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/05/dutch-farmers-to-use-weed-drone-to-detect-cannabis-in-their-fields/

A Delta plane had to return back to the airport

A Delta flight headed to Seoul, South Korea, had to dump fuel and return to Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Saturday after a light in the cockpit indicated there possibly was an open maintenance panel on the outside of the aircraft, a spokesman for the airline said. Flight 159 took off from Detroit at 4:48 p.m. ET, and about 30 minutes later the indicator light came on, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said. The plane, which had 375 passengers on board, circled Lake Michigan, dumping fuel for about an hour in order to help ensure a safe landing, which it did shortly before 7 p.m.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/05/21/delta-plane-dumps-fuel-over-lake-michigan-returns-detroit-airport/334881001/

No more FAA's drone registration

U.S. consumers who buy a drone for fun will no longer have to register it with the FAA. A Washington, D.C. court ruled Friday that the FAA drone registration rule violates the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which Congress passed in 2012. Hobbyist John Taylor argued successfully that he should not have to register because the act states that the FAA "may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft." Since December 2015, hobbyists with drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds have had to register drones with the FAA. More than 820,000 operators have registered since then. The process can be completed online, and there is a $5 application fee. The FAA said in a statement that it launched registration to ensure drones are operated safely and don't pose security or privacy threats. The FAA also said it is considering its options and response.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/19/technology/drone-registration-faa/

 

Federal Appeals Court voids FAA registration rule for model aircraft

In a stunning David versus Goliath case, John A. Taylor, a model aircraft enthusiast and insurance lawyer, beat the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Justice in a case challenging the legality of a December 2015 FAA rule requiring model aircraft to register like manned aircraft.   The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FAA's registration rule, as it applies to model aircraft, "directly violates [a] clear statutory prohibition."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoglia/2017/05/19/federal-appeals-court-voids-faa-registration-rule-for-model-aircraft/#5aa4e1c84238

More work for drones

Industries have long sought data from above, generally through satellites or planes, but drones are better “sensors in the sky” than both. But like the smartphone and other examples of the “commercialization of enterprise” before them, drones are now being outfitted with business-grade software and becoming serious data-collection platforms — hardware as open and extensible as a smartphone, with virtually limitless app potential. As in any app economy, surprising and ingenious uses will emerge that we haven’t even thought of yet; and predictable and powerful apps will improve over time.

https://hbr.org/cover-story/2017/05/drones-go-to-work

New drone racing at Covington

Drone racing is now a thing. Some have taken to calling it “the NASCAR of the future,” except that the future is now. There are now drone-racing national championships and world championships- and, of course, lots of local and regional races to lead up to those. One of those will be later this week in and around Covington. The Flying Circus FPV Circus runs Thursday through Sunday. This is the second year the event has been there. Last year’s race was very much on the down low. The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation, which helped bring the event to town, had trouble finding an insurance company willing to insure the event until the last minute, so there intentionally wasn’t much publicity.

http://www.dailyprogress.com/newsvirginian/opinion/editorials/editorial-the-race-for-drone-research/article_a54338ce-39ca-11e7-8ed9-d73ba43ac033.html

Drones used to research Guatemala's Volcano

Drones are helping volcanologists get closer than ever before to Guatemala’s Volcan de Fuego, near some 60,000 people who are at risk from its frequent eruptions. During a 10-day research trip, the team carried out several flights at the summits of both Volcan de Fuego and Volcan de Pacaya, which is also in Guatemala. Using lightweight modern sensors they measured temperature, humidity and thermal data within the volcanic clouds and took images of multiple eruptions in real-time. This is one of the first times drones have been used to gather data from volcanoes such as Fuego, where the lack of close access has retarded research. The drones were flown at distances of up to 8 km away and a height of over 3 km above the launch site.

https://www.rt.com/viral/384527-volcano-erupting-drone-research/