India has finally permitted commercial flying of drones with effect from December 1, 2018, according to a press release from the Ministry of Civil Aviation on August 27.
The ministry announced Drone Regulations 1.0 on August 27 to enable safe, commercial usage of drones. The regulation is intended to enable visual line of sight daytime-only and a maximum of 400 feet operations. The regulations partition the air space into three categories – Red Zone (Flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airpsace), and Green Zone (automatic permission).
“Today we start an exciting new chapter in India’s aviation history by allowing commercial use of drones. I am sure that many new and exciting applications will emerge that will propel India’s economy forward. Our progressive regulations will encourage a vast Made in India drone industry,” Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu said.
Safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation has put drones into 5 categories based on their weight, namely nano, micro, small, medium and large.
An operator permit will be required to fly the drones except for flying nano drone below 50 feet and micro drone for flying at less than 200 feet. Government agencies will not need permits to fly the drones.
There are two key restrictions that have been put in place for safe use of drones. The drones will be allowed to fly only along visual line-of-sight and only during daytime with a maximum altitude of 400 feet.
All RPAS except nano and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies are to be registered and issued with Unique Identification Number (UIN).
Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) shall be required for RPA operators except for nano RPAS operating below 50 ft., micro RPAS operating below 200 ft., and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
The mandatory equipment required for operation of RPAS except nano category are (a) GNSS (GPS), (b) Return-To-Home (RTH), (c) Anti-collision light, (d) IDPlate, (e) Flight controller with flight data logging capability, and (f) RF ID and SIM/ No-Permission No Take off (NPNT).
As of now, RPAS to operate within visual line of sight (VLoS), during day time only, and upto maximum400 ft. altitude.
For flying in controlled Airspace, filing of flight plan and obtaining Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number shall be necessary.
Minimum manufacturing standards and training requirements of Remote Pilots of small and above categories of RPAS have been specified in the regulation.
DroneDeploy has announced the release of Map Engine— the industry’s first machine learning-driven photogrammetry software. The Map Engine generates high-resolution maps and 3D models from drone imagery collected in the construction, energy, agriculture, and surveying sectors. www.dronedeploy.com
Boeing has successfully completed the first suite of synchronised UAV flight tests using new on-board autonomous command and control technology developed by Boeing in Australia.
Conducted at a regional Queensland airfield, the test flights saw five UAV test beds equipped with Boeing’s new on-board system safely complete in-air programmed missions as a team without input from a human pilot. The milestone comes six months after establishing the company’s largest international autonomous systems development program in Queensland. www.boeing.com
Tersus GNSS unveils UAV PPK solution
Tersus GNSS has announced the introduction of new solution for UAV, PPK (Post Processed Kinematic) applications. It includes a BX316R PPK Receiver, AX3705 Helix Antenna, and Tersus GeoPix Software. Combined with the forward and backward filter during post-processing, Tersus’ new PPK solution can provide more reliable positioning and a higher fixing rate.
The BX316R PPK Receiver supports multiple constellations and dual frequencies. It has an in-built 4Gb of memory for GNSS observation data recoding. The compact, lightweight AX3705 Helix Antenna is specifically designed for UAV applications. The Tersus GeoPix software integrates GNSS observation functions,
Epson Launches the Epson Drone Soar App
Epson, provider of the Moverio® augmented reality (AR) smart eyewear platform, has announced the Epson Drone Soar app, the first full-featured AR app for DJI drone pilots using the Epson Moverio AR Smart glasses platform. www.dji.com
Topcon introduces new software for UAV inspection applications
Topcon Positioning Group has announced new software designed to facilitate data processing workflow for UAV infrastructure inspection — MAGNET Inspect. The software efficiently manages large UAV data sets to create inspection reports.
The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has announced the launch of the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety (NDCOE). The mission is to save lives and reduce air hazards from drone incursions by empowering a shared safety vision with the FAA’s integration of drones into the commercial air traffic system.
Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, with facilities donated by Switch, the NDCOE will provide safety incursion research data, drone technology best practices, educational materials, and the new center will conduct public workshops that promote and protect the public’s safety and privacy in an open and ethical manner. NDCOE staff will inspire audiences to join the NIAS public safety movement.
Tunisia and the African Development Bank have signed an agreement for the launch of a pilot project to use drones for data collection to enhance management of agricultural projects in the country.
The project, to be implemented over the next ten months, would receive technical management and assistance from South Korea. The pilot project will focus on agricultural operations in Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia, under the management of Busan Techno Park, a Korean government agency based in Busan, South Korea. Laadhari said the agency would provide equipment – drones and associated computer systems- training, as well as technology transfer. www.afdb.org
Drona Aviation to launch the ultimate aerial robotics kit for makers
With a growing interest of makers in aerial robotics, IIT Bombay based nanodrone startup, Drona Aviation, is set to empower drone innovations at the grassroots level. Their latest product PlutoX, the most open and affordable aerial robotics kit for makers, is set to accelerate the development of drone ideas into reality.
Using Cygnus IDE, PlutoX brings neverseen- before agile development in a single nano-drone DIY kit, making it easier to modify its activity by simply flashing a pre-written code through the Pluto phone app. Additionally, it enables existing drone tinkerers to accelerate their aerial robotics journey by optimizing hardware modularity with 16 GPIOs, all supported on an original, proprietary designed board.
Product Suite accepted to the GSA Schedule
DroneShield Ltd has announced that its full product suite has been approved for placement on, and placed on, the GSA Schedule.
▪ Full DroneShield product suite approved by the U.S. government for placement on the GSA Schedule.
▪ The GSA Schedule is a list of products pre-approved for purchase by U.S. government agencies (and includes pre-negotiated prices and purchase terms of these products).
▪ DroneGun, DroneSentry and DroneSentinel, as well as DroneShield’s other products now available to U.S. government agencies with the click of a button.
The GSA (General Services Administration) is an agency of the United States government that supplies products for U.S. government offices and operates the Federal Acquisition Service (the FAS). As part of this effort, it maintains the GSA Schedule, which other U.S. government agencies can use to buy goods and services. Procurement managers from various U.S. government agencies can seamlessly make purchases of the products that are on the GSA Schedule, knowing that the terms of such purchases have been preset between the vendor and the GSA. The process is further streamlined through GSA Advantage, an online government purchasing service run by the GSA in order to provide a streamlined and efficient purchasing portal for U.S. governmental agency procurement. The official description of GSA Advantage refers to it as “the Federal Government’s premier online shopping superstore.”
As part of the placement on the GSA Schedule and GSA Advantage for federal procurement, DroneShield’s products have also been approved as qualifying for purchase through GSA Advantage by state and local governments. www.droneshield.com