Jul 2020 | No Comment

Wingcopter awarded

UAV startup Wingcopter is named as one of nine winners of Germany’s top global hackathon to kick-start humanitarian drone delivery. It partnered with UNICEF and the African Drone and Data Academy to develop a concept to deploy humanitarian drone delivery services. The goal will be to improve health supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The group will receive up to $3.6 million to make the plan a reality.

Noa drone by Acecore Technologies

Acecore Technologies has released their third drone platform. The new Acecore Noa has a 20kg payload capacity that leaves nothing to be desired and the endurance of a full hour. Its six enlarged rotors give Noa the edge over the competition. It sports huge 28″ reinforced carbon fiber props and was designed to be the first drone to combine heavy lifting with endurance in harsh environments. Its six custom ace motors are mounted upside-down onto its true carbon fiber monocoque frame allowing users to operate the drone in 9mm/h downfall.

Drone delivery trial for NHS in Scotland to support UK COVID-19 response

UK drone delivery provider Skyports will conduct the trial and operate the flights using delivery drones supplied by unmanned aircraft-maker Wingcopter.  These trial flights will be planned through Thales’ leading drone operations management platform, SOARIZON, which offers digital tools to maintain compliant and safe drone flying operations. The trial will consist of two-way flights between the hospital and Mull and Iona Community Hospital in Craignure 10 miles (16km) away on the Isle of Mull. As COVID-19 testing rapidly gathers pace in the UK, the proposed delivery service will help to ensure that isolated communities have access to tests, delivered in a fast and efficient way. Currently, the majority of medical supplies and specimens are transported between the laboratory at Lorn and Islands Hospital, surrounding general practitioners’ surgeries and other healthcare settings by sea and road, a long and complicated journey.

The two-week trial represents a crucial milestone for unmanned aviation in the UK.  Under current rules, drones must always be flown within visual line of sight of the remote pilot. To undertake these more extended flights, the project team has been in close consultation with the CAA.

Contact Inspection Drone Systems for Industrial Infrastructure  

NASA has awarded Near Earth Autonomy (Near Earth) an SBIR Phase II Contract to Enable Aerial Close-Proximity and Contact Sensing for Inspection of Industrial Infrastructure. Effective inspection, especially structural non-destructive testing, is a key part of planning repairs and avoiding mishaps, and better tools are needed to catch potential failure. Current methods for non-destructive testing at heights require scaffolding, boom lifts, or rope lines, taking critical assets out of use, and putting inspection personnel at risk.

Near Earth Autonomy and Carnegie Mellon University’s AIR Lab received NASA support to demonstrate a proof of principle system to advance industrial aerial inspection with close-proximity imaging and contact sensing. It is developing a small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) that can provide contact measurements and macro-imagery that inspectors can use for evaluation and recommendation of further actions. These aerial inspection technologies will enable safer and quicker inspection of large, complex structures, producing fused data sets for analysis.

Drones are delivering defibrillators to 80,000 Residents in Sweden

Everdrone has announced it is now deploying a drone system that delivers Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of cardiac arrests. In doing so, bystanders will now have the ability to initiate life-saving measures while awaiting professional medical care. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests affect some 275,000 individuals in Europe each year and carry a low survival rate of about 10%. Now available to more than 80,000 residents in the Gothenburg area of Sweden, the service is part of a clinical study in collaboration with Sweden’s national emergency call centre, SOS Alarm, and the Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet (KI).

First Remote Identification compatible drone tracker

In its vision to enable a sky where drones safely fly alongside manned aviation, INVOLI launches the sales of first Remote Identification (Remote ID) compatible drone tracker: KIVU.

At only 22 grams, KIVU is the lightest drone tracker on the market, it has 2 hours of battery autonomy and it is self-sufficient with an embedded chargeable battery, being also rugged and particularly easy-to- use. KIVU users will be able to visualize at the same time the tracked drone and surrounding air traffic, while benefitting from all the other advantages of the platform, such as dynamic geofencing around the drone, precise analytics tools and actionable insights. There are many drone applications which could be extremely useful to fight epidemics or to ensure respect of the rules, such as spraying disinfectants or broadcasting messages, and we hope the public will soon benefit from all these opportunities.”

Garuda drones to sanitise Noida, India

Drone-as-a-Service (DAAS) provider Garuda Aerospace will soon start flying drones around Noida spraying anti-Coronavirus disinfectant while the contract for sanitising the star constituency Varanasi has been expanded, said a top company official. The company has bagged drone based sanitization orders from Nandikotkur Municipal Corporation in Andhra Pradesh and several corporates.

DroneShield chosen by the European Union Police

Australian technology group DroneShield has been selected by the European Union (EU) as the preferred anti-drone solution for its police forces. Under the agreement DroneShield will roll out its technology that can deactivate drones that appear as threats across a range of police units in the EU. The ASX-listed company says it expects its agreement with the EU to produce “material” periodic sales over an extended period of time, with orders to commence from this quarter.

New multipurpose VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle ZALA

The new unmanned VTOL ZALA 421-16EV HD features a unique adaptive system for using the aerodynamic properties of UAV in all flight modes. It combines the latest scientific and technical developments of the company – it broadcasts the video stream in HD quality (1280*720), which allows the ground station operator to examine the streaming video in the detail. It was developed as a “VTOL” type – a hybrid of UAV aircraft and helicopter types. A unique advantage of this model is the ability of vertical take-off and landing, carried out in a fully automatic mode.

Flirtey’s new granted patent is instrumental for drone delivery

Flirtey has been granted a critical patent for the safe and precise drone delivery of packages. This key patent describes a combination of hardware and software that enables the delivery of packages by a drone, potentially lifting the package to pick it up, holding it securely and lowering it once at the point of delivery. Flirtey’s drone delivers its contents by lowering a tether, while the drone is suspended in air, and once the package is delivered, it then retracts the tether. It invented this method of delivery to be the safest and most precise, and it has since become the standard for the drone delivery industry.

Trillium Engineering tests new HD55 Gimbaled camera system

Trillium Engineering has begun airborne testing of its lightweight, high-definition HD55 system. Designed for use on Group 2 and smaller Group 3 UAS, the new HD55 employs electro-optical (EO) and cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared (MWIR) cameras, as well as an onboard image processor – all in a gimbal just 5.5 inches in diameter and weighing 1750 grams. It will have the same swept volume as its predecessor but will be slightly lighter and more capable than the trailblazing HD50.

Trillium personnel have been flight testing the HD55 on various airborne platforms, including a small multi-rotor drone and a manned Cessna aircraft, which serves as a surrogate for a fixed-wing tactical UAS.

FlytWare deploys autonomous inventory drones

California-based FlytBase has launched a new innovation in this growing field with the FlytWare Solution Partner program. Deploying autonomous drones, the FlytWare solution replaces manual inventory cycle counts for large warehouse or distribution centers, saving time and money with intelligent, automation software working behind

By using autonomous inventory drones, companies can also mitigate COVID-19 health risks for warehouse workers who would otherwise have to work close together with manual scans.

Drones to seed burned land for Australian fire recovery

In a collective effort to restore Australia from wildfire devastation, XAG has joined the first-ever post-fire drone seeding operation on Lake Cobrico, Victoria. This project was funded by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and managed by Heytesbury District Landcare Network (HDLN). It is the first time that agricultural drones are used to re-establish native vegetation within a fire-ravaged peat swamp in Australia. Due to the increasingly frequent, large-scale bushfire, Australia has been facing an unprecedented decline in biodiversity as well as substantial increase in greenhouse gas emission. Particularly, as one of the world’s largest terrestrial carbon reserve, peatlands have been experiencing drainage and fires, which contributes to 5% of global carbon emission. Immediate actions should be taken based on partnership to restore the country’s damaged ecosystem.

KlauPPK Changes the Regulations on GCPs in Japan

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism have re-written their UAV capture specifications based on results using KlauPPK technology. The “Guideline for work-type management using aerial photogrammetry (earthwork)” specifies the procedures to be used to perform aerial surveys. When KlauPPK technology is deployed, the use of GCPs is now optional. The tests conducted by GeoLink Japan proved that +/- 5cm XYZ accuracy can be achieved without GCPs, as verified with check points.

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