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Aerial mapping company Bluesky has produced a prototype map showing where it may be unsafe or even illegal to fly UAVs. It has combined an expertise in flight planning and 3D aerial mapping with various geographic datasets to come up with the concept of a UAV Flight Restriction Map for the UK. The map is designed for commercial operators of UAVs and includes ‘No Fly Zones’, areas where further advice should be sought as well as areas where no restrictions on flying are currently in place. Currently operators of UAVs in the UK must comply with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations if they plan to undertake ‘aerial work’, while those equipped for data acquisition and or surveillance must obtain permission before ‘commencing a flight in a congested area or in proximity to people or property’. www.bluesky-world.com
Progressive Technology Federal Systems Inc. (PTFS) has introduced Droneware™, a Geospatial Content Management System (GeoCMS) for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). It facilitates the storage, discovery and dissemination of virtually any type of sensor data captured by a UAS. A thin client/server-based solution requiring only a web connection, Droneware runs on a PC in the office or handheld device in the field enabling the user to interrogate local or remote UAS data storage anytime from anywhere. www.PTFS.com
The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) has launched a UAV safety campaign to raise awareness and prevent accidents between UAV operators and low-altitude manned aircraft. The first public outreach tool in the safety campaign is a UAV “safety stuffer” designed for aerial applicators to share with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. Sized to fit into a No. 10 envelope, the double-sided insert illustrates the safety concerns ag pilots have about hard-to-see UAVs and provides recommendations for safe and responsible UAV operations in rural areas. AgAviation.org/uavsafety.
eBee Canada’s First Compliant Fixed-Wing UAS
Swiss UAS manufacturer, senseFly, sees its eBee as the first fixed-wing system to be designated a ‘compliant small UAV’ by Transport Canada. Canadian companies that employ drones for civilian applications must hold a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), unless qualifying for an exemption. An SFOC typically features an approved term of just one year and applies to a specific region.
A startup called AirMap Inc., based in Santa Monica, USA has created software and systems that help drone operators fly only where they are allowed and welcome to do so. It has raised a $2.6 million round of seed funding to grow its business and expand upon its airspace-mapping and data visualization system. Besides keeping abreast of the shifting, regulatory landscape, and displaying off-limits areas on maps, the company maintains a “don’t fly over” registry, NoFlyZone.org, to log the preferences of various private citizens, businesses and other organizations on the ground. http://blogs.wsj.com
Japanese technology giant Sony is all set to take off into the drone market. The company is collaborating with a Tokyo startup called ZMP, which specialises in autopilot technology. And they are jointly starting a new company called Aerosense. But, the new venture will not be selling drones. Instead, it will be leasing UAVs to business customers for measuring, surveying, observing, and inspecting purposes. Washington Post