Operational trials of DAA and BVLOS display software
Kongsberg Geospatial and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAAs) ASSURE UAS Center of Excellence, lead by Mississippi State University has announced that the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the University of North Dakota Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Education and Training will both be adopting and integrating the Kongsberg Geospatial IRIS UAS display application into their flight operations as part of Detect And Avoid (DAA) and beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations.
The Alliance for System Safety of UAS Through Research Excellence, or ASSURE, team is comprised of 22 universities and over 100 industry partners, providing the FAA with access to a team of scientists in the UAS community and coordination of activities to achieve common UAS research goals. www.kongsberggeospatial.com.
Propeller Aero launches AeroPoints
Australian technology company Propeller Aero has launched AeroPoints: smart ground control points that make it easy for anyone to capture survey-accurate mapping using drones. Its patent-pending technology provides a simple solution to one of the major roadblocks to widespread commercial drone adoption: accuracy. It’s another step forward for Propeller Aero on its mission to transform the way different industries can use drones and other camera devices. propelleraero.com/aeropoints
CIC Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka, for the first time in the world has developed a technology to scan weeds in large paddy fields using battery powered drones (planes) and spray chemicals to them using the drone. The company’s research and development team has used studies and research for the past 8 years to introduce this novel technology. Samantha Ranatunge, MD, CIC Holdings said that they had invested around US 6,000 for this home grown research. “CIC has been pioneering in agriculture and research and this is a result of that effort that this ‘Precision Agriculture Practices’ (Smart farming) are being implemented,” he said.
He said that through aerial photography obtained from the drone surveillance they can identify weeds and create a GPS map and then program the drone to spray chemicals to that particular area via GPS. www.dailynews.lk
In the first initiative of its kind, the Uttarakhand government in India has decided to use a drone to check illegal quarrying on the Gaula riverbed. The unmanned aerial vehicle, which will take flight from Haldwani, has been procured by the state’s forest department. Its primary purpose is to check areas like swamps and forested areas that are not easily accessible to regular staffers. Conservator (western division) Parag Madhukar Dhakate said they have long felt the need for a drone because many places in the state are inaccessible by foot due to the treacherous terrain. “But, at present, we will focus only on illegal quarrying activities on the Gaula riverbed,” he added. www.hindustantimes.com
As the unmanned aircraft industry continues to evolve, the United States is depending on its space agency to help manage small drone traffic close to the Earth. NASA is currently entering the second phase of a four-step plan to draw up rules of the skies for drones that weigh 55 pounds or less and fly no higher than 500 feet. The project is meant to develop performance standards for drones that would be used for commercial purposes by companies such as Amazon and Google.
The agency is hoping to present its research to the Federal Aviation Administration before 2020, John Cavolowsky, according to director of NASA’s Airspace Operations and Safety Program. NASA is entering the next phase of a plan to draw up rules of the road for small drones that fly under 500 feet. The NASA project is meant to develop performance standards for drones that would be used for commercial purposes. www.dailymail.co.uk
To coincide with the new Small UAS Rule, aka Part 107, Commercial UAV News has announced the release of a free online report that helps define what it means to legally fly drones under the new FAA regulation that went into effect recently. The ruling represents a critical moment that will forever change the commercial drone industry, and the report is an accessible article that outlines the essential guidelines for nonhobbyist small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators looking to understand the impact of Part 107 and the stipulations for flying commercial UAVs under the new legislation. The report helps to clarify what is required, spells out operations that are enabled and restricted, outlines what the process entails, and reveals what Part 107 covers. It also clarifies what Part 107 means for those previously cleared by the FAA to legally operate commercial drones under Section 333 Exemptions.
Two full-time drone operators will help the network integrate the unmanned aircraft systems into its ongoing news coverage. CNN will now use unmanned aerial drones to help it gather news in a wide range of situations as part of the company’s newly created CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (AIR) unit. The news broadcasting company unveiled the CNN AIR efforts in an Aug. 18 announcement that also revealed that the company has hired two full-time drone operators to fly the devices. CNN has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration since 2015 on research to safely use drones for newsgathering, according to the company. www.techweekeurope.co.uk
Iran unveils VTOL drone for aerial photography
Iran’s Defense Ministry has unveiled ‘Roham’ – a homegrown Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities used for aerial photography. Roham has been developed for taking aerial photographs over difficult terrains, where landing and take-off is impossible for other types of aircraft. The drone, manufactured jointly by the Defense Ministry and local academic and research centers, can receive photogrammetry (mapping from aerial photographs) data, fly and hover over sea or mountainous and forested areas, land on and take off from any location, monitor a specific target at low altitudes and patrol an area at a high speed. www.tasnimnews.com
According to Mahmoud Vaezi, minister of IT, Iran has said that an agreement has been hit with Russia where it will cooperate with Iran in developing Iran’s National Remote-Sensing Satellite. He said that among his visit’s achievement was an initial agreement with Russian to work with Iranian industries to build the remote-sensing satellite, under the title of National Remote-Sensing Satellite; “as the project is very critical, we predict building of the satellite to last two years,” said Mr. Vaezi. http://en.mehrnews.com
Today Pix4D announces its first hybrid processing solution. Users of Sequoia with a license of Pix4Dmapper Ag will be able to process both locally in Pix4Dmapper Ag and on the Pix4Dcloud. Together with this announcement, Pix4D also introduces very flexible monthly (149 USD) and yearly (1490 USD) plans for its Pix4Dmapper Ag solutions. This new strategy comes from seeing the need in the agriculture industry for more flexible processing options to facilitate competitive operations. With the hybrid approach, users are able to choose where to process: whether they prefer to process data right after landing and are in an area with bad connectivity, or want to upload to the cloud and not involve processing hardware. Because the powerful Pix4D engine powers both options, the results will be equally geometric and radiometrically accurate, regardless of where they were processed.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, is collaborating with local company D&C Drones to revolutionise the agriculture sector through the introduction of drone technology. Recently, the Ministry took the technology to farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny, to demonstrate its use and applicability. http://jis.gov.jm