“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.”
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.
"...what if the package is the plane? That’s the idea behind the Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions drone, a cardboard glider that carries about two pounds of cargo.
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.
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.
... 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
"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
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
FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today that it has acquired Prox Dynamics AS, a leading developer and manufacturer of nano-class unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for military and para-military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications, for approximately $134 million in cash.
Based in Oslo, Norway and founded in 2007 by pioneers in nano helicopter technologies, Prox Dynamics develops, manufactures, and distributes aerial sensors that are revolutionarily small, light, and covert surveillance systems. Prox Dynamics’ Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) features their Black Hornet aerial sensor and a hand controller, a system that is pocket sized and hand-launched by a soldier in the field, enabling a significant advantage in situational awareness and mission planning. The Black Hornet aerial sensor utilizes FLIR’s Lepton micro thermal camera, visible spectrum cameras, advanced low-power rotor technology, and proprietary software for flight control, stabilization, and communications. The Black Hornet helicopter is one of the lightest, stealthiest, and safest drones in the market, offering a highly advanced, lifesaving surveillance solution for traditional military forces and special operations forces. Weighing less than one ounce, the Black Hornet helicopter can fly for up to 25 minutes at line-of-sight distances of up to one mile.
The addition of the Prox Dynamics business will augment FLIR’s Surveillance segment by extending FLIR’s Airborne sensor product line and fully leveraging Lepton technology. FLIR intends to invest in optimizing the PRS platform to further enhance the range, cost, flexibility, and performance of the system. The Prox Dynamics team will benefit from close interaction with FLIR’s thermal sensor development group as well as the ability to leverage FLIR’s brand, distribution, and customer support infrastructure to better serve a global base of users. The business will become FLIR’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) line of business operating within the Surveillance segment.
“This acquisition adds a unique unmanned aerial systems capability to our portfolio. The Prox Dynamics team has created a highly-differentiated solution, incorporating our Lepton sensor, for advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that fits well with our vision for growth for our Surveillance segment,” said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR. “The team at Prox Dynamics operates with a commercial mindset, which is a great fit for FLIR’s ‘commercially developed, military qualified,’ or ‘CDMQ,’ operating philosophy. We are excited to welcome the Prox Dynamics team to FLIR and look forward to working together to further advance this remarkable system capability.”
FLIR anticipates the business and related transaction costs will be approximately $0.01 dilutive to its 2016 earnings per share.
Source: Press Release
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has announced that it can provide a company-owned aircraft to support humanitarian relief efforts.
“Angel One,” an aircraft based on the jet-propelled Predator RPA system owned and operated by GA-ASI, is capable of delivering 8,500 pounds of Humanitarian Daily Ration packets (HDRs) for 3,400 people each day. This capability could ensure that urgently needed food and medical supplies to reach those otherwise inaccessible, such as victims of war-–as in Syria–or following natural disasters throughout the world.
Using a specially designed internal bay door release mechanism, which allows for two separate drops of aid per mission, the field is evenly distributed with HDRs, increasing the likelihood of civilians successfully retrieving needed aid, and ensuring greater delivery success over more traditional “pallet” aid drops.
“Angel One” can fly up to three missions of three hours each per day for as long as humanitarian relief is required.
Source: Press Release
...The definitive test came with the use ofa drone at Cape May Airport, N.J. to test delivering 4G LTE network coverage from the drone itself, as essentially a small cell site in the sky. This was the first-ever test with Verizon’s Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) during an emergency management and disaster recovery exercise. The successful test proved that 4G LTE coverage can be provided from an aircraft to first-responders in the event no traditional service is available.