Topcon and Agisoft collaboration
Topcon Positioning Group is partnering with digital photogrammetric solution provider Agisoft LLC, in a collaboration set to expand the Topcon solutions portfolio for mass data collection across its many brands and extensive product range. Of particular interest to the two organisations is the growing trend of using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for photogrammetry.
Russian based Agisoft is renowned for specialising in the processing of digital imagery in order to generate high-accuracy 3D spatial data using photogrammetric and computer vision techniques, and has been developing imaging solutions for nearly 10 years. www.spatialsource.com.au
FAA approve CNN for drone flights
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved an application from CNN to fly drones. The approval is to use drones “to conduct aerial photography, aerial videography, and closed-set motion picture and television filming.” In doing so, it waived requirements for FAA approval of drone flights that are operated outside restricted airspace and below 200 feet.
The FAA has approved more than 2,500 drone flights in the process of developing regulations for allowing a rapid expansion of the use of the devices in the U.S.
The agency has faced tremendous pressure to approve an expansion of nonmilitary drone use from companies such as Amazon, which has said the technology can be used to make speedier online deliveries. http://thehill.com
UAV-America has launched a new longduration flight time UAV. The Eagle XF is capable of up to one-hour flight times with a payload of five pounds, leading the pack in the evolution of drone technology. It also boasts features such as:
Molded carbon fiber frame with minimal parts and hardware Fast packing time (less than one minute); packs to small, transportable size Flexible platform capabilities that allow change-out of sensor pods, gimbals and more with quick-disconnect technology. www. uavamerica.com/eagle.html.
Taking note of the fact that no approvals are obtained for the use of most UAVs in the Indian state, Goa police’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) has recommended that the government ban the use of drones for civil purposes. The squad has written a letter to both district collectors requesting them to issue an order to the effect under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The squad has reiterated that the formulation of regulations and subsequent law enforcement would play a significant role in monitoring UAV usage by anti-social elements, better enabling the police to thwart any activity that could endanger life and property.
In the event of an individual deciding to sell or buy a UAV, the ATS has suggested that the same be intimated to the authorities well in advance and the registration process adhered to. It has also recommended that owners furnish details of their respective drones, complete with purpose of usage, to the controlling body and that the devices be inspected by technical experts. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Malaysia wants to explore the potential of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drones, for the postal and parcel delivery industry. At a recent discussion between Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Association of Malaysian Express Carriers, it was concluded that drones can deliver a maximum load of one kilogram, to a distance of 10 kilometers. MCMC’s digital ecosystem chief Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus said, “MCMC as the monitoring agency is prepared to bring the relevant agencies including the Civil Aviation Department to study the use of drones in postal and parcel delivery.”
Japanese non-profit organization (NPO) Crisis Mappers Japan has started a crowdfunding campaign on Japan’s crowdfunding website ReadyFor for a project called Drone Bird, which aims to reflect the damaged states after disasters to maps rapidly and accurately utilizing drones. The team is led by Aoyama Gakuin University Department of Global Studies and Collaboration Professor Taichi Furuhashi, who is well-known as an expert on GIS. Drone Bird was selected out of 139 application entries for a project-collecting campaign on the ReadyFor crowdfunding site last year.
Crisis Mappers Japan has been engaged in activities of mapping the damaged state on OpenStreetMap based on satellite photographs when natural disasters occur, for the purpose of making use as lifesaving or supporting activities. Previously, the first problem of its method was that it takes more than two days to complete mapping although immediacy of information is strongly required upon disasters. Therefore, the team started to form the plan of Drone Bird, which is to arrange state-of-the-art drones and their operators in ten places around Japan in order to collect image data of the damaged state rapidly. The plan aims at aerial photography and publicizing the information acquired within two hours from the time of a disaster occurs anywhere in Japan. http://thebridge.jp