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Aug 2017 | No Comment

China plans space-based, solarpowered telecom drones: Report

A research institute affiliated with China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp is developing the project “Feiyun,” which means “flying cloud,” the Global Times reported, citing another report in the Science and Technology Daily. The network will be based in “near space”, it said, adding the system will be able to provide week-long emergency communications access and likely to go on trial this year.

The drones can fly as high as 20 kms above the ground for days – somewhat like a telecommunications satellite – and can undertake remote sensing and relay signals, the report quoted Ma Hongzhong, head of the institute, as saying.

Experts believe the technology can play an important role in aiding rescuers in the aftermath of natural disasters. However, they warned that the severe environment in “near space” – 20-100 kms above sea level – poses a challenge to the UAVs as the thin air inhibits the functioning of fuel- powered aircraft engines. http://

GeoCue Rolls out Kit for Equipping sUAS with PPK GNSS

GeoCue Group Inc., a North American supplier of kinematic LiDAR processing tools, has announced a new GNSS for users of DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 drones, as well as most drones using higher-end cameras. According to GeoCue, Loki, the company’s new direct geopositioning system for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), solves two fundamental problems: Positioning Accuracy and Camera Events.

NOAA and Ryka UAS Teaming Up on Wetland Restoration Project

Ryka UAS will soon begin working on a wetland restoration project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With 28 populations of salmon and steelhead listed as threatened or endangered due to habitat loss, Ryka UAS has been brought on to help evaluate the wetland restoration process through the use of drones and remote sensing. Other collaborators include the National Park Service (NPS) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

Each group will play a very important role in developing an effective restoration plan and executing it including approval from the NPS to fly within the Lewis and Clark National Park.

By equipping drones with Hyper-Spectral sensors, NOAA will be able to create catalogs of Pacific Northwest vegetation and invasive species that become harmful to wetland environments. This data will enable NOAA to analyze the status of the wetlands in an extremely detailed and comprehensive manner compared to traditional satellite and manned aircraft methods. The cataloged spectra collected from the imager will be formatted into a spectral library.

Drone unit ‘historic step’ for policing in UK

Devon and Cornwall and Dorset police forces began trialling the technology in November 2015 and the unit has now become fully established.

Five officers have been trained, with a further 40 aiming to complete their Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accreditation in the next 12 months. There are currently six drones – equipped with a zoom camera and thermal imaging – in operation across the two forces. The drones take part in missing person searches, crime scene photography and respond to major road traffic collisions. They also help scour the forces’ 600 miles of coastline, as well as woodlands, and help combat wildlife crime.

MicaSense Atlas is now integrated with Pix4D desktop software

Pix4D has announced the integration of its Pix4D desktop software with MicaSense Atlas. With this integration, Pix4D will offer MicaSense customers the power of desktop processing, as well as the flexibility of MicaSense Atlas.

With the new “Upload to Atlas” feature that will be available from August 8th, 2017, users can share the processed results with MicaSense Atlas directly from the Pix4D user interface.

senseFly announces Always On

senseFly has developed its Always On service package. Available as a bundle option alongside every new eBee Plus drone purchase, it provides operators with an advanced level of professional support and peace of mind. In the event of a drone hardware problem — whether the result of user error, a naturally occurring event or a technical issue — customers can simply contact their local senseFly representative to have their drone replaced for free within 48 hours, no questions asked*.

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