May 2020 | No Comment

SUGUS kicks off, a European project for integrating drones into the airspace

GMV has been awarded the SUGUS project (Solution for E-GNSS USpace Service), which aims to speed up the takeup of GNSS and Galileo in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) segment. SUGUS, an 18-month, 485,000- euro, European Union R&D project, is to be carried out by a GMV-led consortium involving also Everis Aerospace, Defense and Security, VVA Brussels, ESSP, FADA-CATEC and Unifly.

SUGUS will help to develop services geared towards the effective integration of drones in the airspace. A series of trials will be held to show the benefits of E-GNSS for drone operators as well as its approval by aviation authorities.

The demand for UAV services is steadily increasing, with the potential to generate significant economic growth, as recognized in the 2015 European Union Aviation Strategy. More recently, the 2016 SESAR (Single European Sky ATM1 Research) Drones Outlook Study estimated that the European drone market will clock up 10 billion euros a year by 2035 and over 15 billion euros annually by 2050.

U-Space is a set of new airspacemanagement services and procedures designed to ensure unmanned aircraft’s airspace access while looking out for operational security, the right to privacy and the safety of persons and infrastructure. These services rely on a high level of digitization and function automation, whether onboard the drone itself or part of the ground-based environment.

SUGUS will demonstrate the benefits for drone operations of the measures implemented at service-provision level and the new EGNSS API (Application Programming Interface) to be implemented in the project. These benefits included the mitigation of operating risks, improvement of preparation processes and clearance of the operator’s mission. Such measures as expected to ease future urban aerial mobility (UAM) operations, such as aero taxis or parcel delivery.

High-end american-made drones for critical sectors

Skyfire Consulting has announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Viking UAS, a Maine-based drone design and manufacturing house focused on high-end unmanned systems for US Military research.

Viking has leveraged its technical and real-world application experience and is already working on several purposebuilt systems for clients in critical sectors such as public safety, infrastructure and last-mile delivery for Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related medical supplies.

In addition to its ongoing work for the military, Viking will begin work immediately on developing purposebuilt drone systems for Skyfire clients in police and fire departments, the oil and gas industry, and most timely, in the global public health response arena.

Drone fleet to initiate ground air disinfection in coronavirus battle

Since the emergence of new COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in China, XPlanet drones and R80 robots have been deployed by XAG to disinfect affected areas in a series of demonstrations, which helps provide solutions for improving public hygiene and reducing the risk of virus transmission via contaminated surface contact.

According to XCloud, the only crop protection UAS cloud system authorised by Civil Aviation Administration of China, up to February 28, 2020, a total of 370 professional teams with over 2,600 XAG agricultural drones have voluntarily joined the disinfection operation, covering an area of 902 million square metres in China’s 20 provinces.

Intelligence and Automation to Fight Against COVID-19

Based on advanced technologies such as robotic control, automated driving and high-precision operation, XAG’s agricultural drone and robot can be easily adapted to address the urgent need for fast, accurate disinfection. Compared with manual spraying, these intelligent devices can protect operators from unnecessary exposure to virus and disinfectants. They can automatically disinfect a wider region safer, as well as targeting a specific area to embark on spot spraying and deep clean.

Instead of operating independently, drone and robot can combine together to reap the benefits of ground air disinfection against novel coronavirus. Covering a much wider area from the air with variable flying speed, one XAG drone in a day can disinfect 600,000- 700,000 square metres to maximum, a task would normally take 100 workers to complete.

First UAV beyond-visualline- of-sight flight with only detect-and-avoid

Transport Canada has approved the first unmanned air vehicle (UAV) flight beyond visual line of sight using onboard detect-and-avoid sensors, a development bringing long-range commercial drone flights one step closer to reality.

The regulatory agency granted the beyond-visual-line-of-sight Special Flight Operations Certificate to drone operator MVT Geo-solutions of Quebec, which offers aerial lidar, photogrammetry and thermography land mapping services.

Japan to establish drone licenses for flights out of pilot’s sight

Japan plans to establish a licensing system for operating drones when the flights are beyond the operator’s line of sight. The proposal comes as the government hopes for increased usage of unmanned vehicles for purposes such as delivering daily necessities and medicine, or assisting security patrols in areas with an aging population, the sources said.

The license, which the government hopes will be introduced in fiscal 2022, will be age-restricted, and will require operators to pass both a written and practical examination.

The licenses will be only valid for a certain period of time and will have to be renewed. Illegal drone use will lead to the cancellation or suspension of a license.

A public-private panel discussing how to facilitate the use of drones will propose the license system in a report to be complied Tuesday, the sources said.

The government plans to finalize the details and submit a bill to revise the civil aeronautics law to the Diet next year, they said.

Newest Virtual Surveyor Software v7.2

Virtual Surveyor has introduced a new feature in Version 7.2 of its popular drone surveying software that automatically highlights terrain slopes that exceed dangerous steepness thresholds. Called Slope Threshold lens, this capability significantly enhances the safety of operations in sand pits, quarries and other dynamic environments with steep terrains.

Virtual Surveyor software bridges the gap between UAV photogrammetric processing applications and engineering design packages. The software generates an interactive onscreen environment with UAV orthophotos/DSMs and/ or LiDAR point clouds where the surveyor selects survey points and breaklines to define the topography, creating highly accurate products up to five times faster than otherwise possible.

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