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Skip ALL Traffic: Urban Mobility May Have an Elegant Solution

At Drone Week in Amsterdam AudiAirbus and Italdesign are presenting for the first time a flying and driving prototype of “Pop.Up Next”. This innovative concept for a flying taxi combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone. In the first public test flight, the flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This is still a 1:4 scale model. But as soon as the coming decade, Audi customers could use a convenient and efficient flying taxi service in large cities – in multi-modal operation, in the air and on the road. Without changing vehicles, passengers will enjoy their leisure time, relax, or work.

 Pop.Up Next’s Chassis, Passenger Pod, and Rotor system demonstrated in a 1/4 scale model.

Pop.Up Next’s Chassis, Passenger Pod, and Rotor system demonstrated in a 1/4 scale model.

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Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” says Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign. “More and more people are moving to cities. And more and more people will be mobile thanks to automation. In future senior citizens, children, and people without a driver’s license will want to use convenient robot taxis. If we succeed in making a smart allocation of traffic between roads and airspace, people and cities can benefit in equal measure.

Source: Press Release

SkyTap, Inc. Industry Blog

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GA-ASI's Certifiable Ground Station Makes Its First Flight

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GA-ASI's Certifiable Ground Station Makes Its First Flight

A “Certifiable” (STANAG 4671-compliant) Ground Control Station (C-GCS) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) was used for the first time on October 4 to fly a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The flight originated from Yuma, Arizona and flew GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA. Aircraft flight critical functions were tested successfully, including hold modes, landing gear, flap operation, and “hand flying” of the aircraft.

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Department of Interior 'Call When Needed' Contract for sUAS

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Department of Interior 'Call When Needed' Contract for sUAS

“These contracted small-unmanned aircraft systems will supplement the manned firefighting fleet by providing the capability to operate during dense smoke/inversion situations which often occur and have heretofore hampered the aggressive prosecution of destructive wildfires,” said Jeff Rupert, Director of the Office of Wildland Fire. “Infrared/thermal camera technology onboard these small-unmanned aircraft systems can penetrate smoke and gather/disseminate information to deliver critical situational awareness for incident commander. These sensors also provide us with the first real opportunity to collect, analyze, and archive relevant wildfire suppression and retardant outcome data since aerial suppression began in 1930.”

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The U.S. Army has Joined Uber's Elevate. That Is a Big Deal.

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The U.S. Army has Joined Uber's Elevate. That Is a Big Deal.

Uber Elevate will fundamentally change how we move through our urban areas by taking advantage of the air space above cities. Uber has formed a collaborative team that includes some the world's most innovative science and aerospace technology and engineering companies and their visionaries.

One of the latest and most significant additions to the team is the United States Army. The depth and breadth of experience and expertise in developing, testing, and operating rotorcraft held by the U.S. Army is unsurpassed.

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L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Begins Use of UAS for Dangerous, Hostile and Life-Saving Operations

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L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Begins Use of UAS for Dangerous, Hostile and Life-Saving Operations

In a press conference Thursday, January 12, 2017, at the Hall of Justice, Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced recent approval from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities for the use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in specifically defined incidents which include:  Search and rescue, explosive ordnance detection, hazardous materials incidents, disaster response, arson fires, hostage rescue, and barricaded, armed suspects.

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Surveying the Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Surveying the Great Sand Dunes National Park

As WCE’s civil engineering workflow shows, drone mapping, combined with adequate ground control points, provides the basis for highly accurate aerial surveys. These surveys not only save considerable time and money, but they also allow for data collection in difficult terrain, providing researchers with high-resolution information that is much more detailed than what they can capture on foot.

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Mining Applications: Reaching New Heights and Depths

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Mining Applications: Reaching New Heights and Depths

... using a high-payload drone that is able to collect water samples at depth – Filiatreault and his co-workers collected a one-litre sample from 65 metres below the surface during a trial run in Northern Ontario.

"...There's no boats, there's no working on the water. There are all these safety precautions, like you're supposed to have two crews, one backup, all this stuff, but with the drones, from the side of the pit, we can take off, collect the sample with the drone and retrieve it."

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FLIR Duo Let's You Have Both

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FLIR Duo Let's You Have Both

Sometimes you just need both. FLIR's DUO camera brings a new capability to the lightweight imaging world. While the Infrared sensor is a much lower resolution than the FLIR Vue, the ability to select between the 1080P visible spectrum sensor and infrared remotely can be critical for certain flight missions.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM SKYTAP

Wishing you all the best to you and your family. Thank you to all of our supporters for a fantastic 2016 and may 2017 bring a continued exponential increase in momentum!

One of SkyTap's Commercial UAS projects this year was full of Holiday cheer. 

SkyTap was privileged to capture Downtown Huntsville's 2016 Tinsel Trail. The Tinsel Trail is a display of live Christmas trees in Downtown Huntsville during the holidays. 250 trees decorate Big Spring Park for the holiday season. Intended to promote community, each tree is sponsored by a local corporation, group, or family, and can be decorated by its sponsor or another organization designated by the sponsor.

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Qualcomm Tests Cellphone Networks for BVLOS

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Qualcomm Tests Cellphone Networks for BVLOS

What the cellular connection adds is backup safety and control. And a link to an existing network means drones can be easily tracked and flown in densely populated areas where they have the potential to cause the most mischief and also be the most use. For example, airports could be made into automatic no-fly zones for drones by adding software that could detect when the drone connected to cell towers near that airspace, and then either not allow the device to take off in the first place or force it to land immediately.

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NASA Study on Air Traffic Controller Acceptability of UAS Detect-and-Avoid Thresholds

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NASA Study on Air Traffic Controller Acceptability of UAS Detect-and-Avoid Thresholds

NASA conducted a human-in-the-loop experiment with 15 retired air traffic controllers to investigate two research questions: (a) what procedures are appropriate for the use of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) detect-and-avoid systems, and (b) how long in advance of a predicted close encounter should pilots request or execute a separation maneuver. 

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European Study Indicates Massive Opportunities for Commercial Drones

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European Study Indicates Massive Opportunities for Commercial Drones

“The drone market is clearly set to bring significant benefits all over Europe and the continuation of that growth appears to be a matter of not if, but when. Europe must be ready with the right procedures and technologies to manage that new traffic safely and securely. With the right level of investment and engagement from the stakeholders, we are confident that SESAR can support this endeavour,” said Florian Guillermet, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking.

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Amazon Prime Air Delivery Is On Our Doorstep

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Amazon Prime Air Delivery Is On Our Doorstep

Amazon announced today that it has started a private drone delivery trial in the UK. The project is currently engaged with only two shoppers who can now order thousands of items to be delivered to their home by drone. The first delivery was completed on December 7th. Amazon plans to grow the trial to a larger sample group. Soon hundreds of shoppers who live near Amazon's first Prime Air fulfillment center near Cambridge in the UK will be able to try this rapid delivery service.

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UTA to use UAVs to Inspect Highways, Railroads

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UTA to use UAVs to Inspect Highways, Railroads

Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington will lead a collaborative effort to use unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect highways and railroads remotely and develop guidelines for how to safely complete the task.

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Boeing's Insitu is Innovating...Again

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Boeing's Insitu is Innovating...Again

"For the first time, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and holograms are helping fight the wildfires. Flight operators manipulate holographic tactical maps of ScanEagles, helicopters and firefighters to direct resources to where they’re most needed. With Inexa Control software, the engineers hope to use mixed reality technology to one day control an entire fleet of UAVs for commercial use. Learn more about Boeing Innovations at http://www.boeing.com/innovation/" - Boeing Innovations

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Advanced UAV To Fly From Small Surface Ships

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Advanced UAV To Fly From Small Surface Ships

Advanced UAV To Fly From Small Surface Ships

DARPA Doubles Down on Tern by Funding 2nd Test Vehicle

Joint program between DARPA and U.S. Navy is making substantial progress toward scheduled 2018 flight tests of prototype unmanned air system for small-deck ships

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