HEX HERE2 and HERE+V2 GPS

This new release will provide an optimized solution for the ever-changing customer requirements; with enhanced reliability and possibility for future customisation.

Product Highlights:

1. Built-in Microprocessor

With a built-in STM32F302 microprocessor, running ChibiOS (a real-time operating system), which enables user-defined features along with supporting firmware updates.

The STM32F302 is a high-performance microprocessor, with an innovative core and peripherals.

HERE2/HERE+ V2 runs an open architecture based on the ChibiOS Real-Time Operating System (RTOS), and code from the Open Motor Drive project (OMD).

The inbuilt bootloader allows users to customize the code and add features according to their requirements. Hex / ProfiCNC via OMD will actively update the firmware and add more functions to exploit the full potential of the hardware.

2. Serial+I2C/ CAN bus support

Out of the box, HERE2 supports standard serial port + I2C transmission data, just plug it in as you did with the previous generation. With support for CAN bus on the way, the HERE2 can be switched through the built-in mechanical switch and the included CAN cable.

CAN data transmission mode provides powerful technical support for Distributed Control System, to realize real-time and reliable data communication between each node. As the most commonly used communication protocol in the automotive industry, CAN bus has the advantages of strong real-time data communication, high reliability, flexible application and redundant structure. CAN allows for a distributed Autopilot system by placing components at their optimal position on an airframe without the worry of signal degradation.

HERE2/HERE+ V2 utilises the UAVCAN bus protocol specifically developed for drone applications. UAVCAN has the following features:

1) A completely democratic communication structure with no master nodes; each node has the same communication rights, avoiding single-point failures.

2) Long payload data and complex data structures can be transmitted between nodes. UAVCAN can automatically decompose, transmit and reassemble complex data at the protocol level to prevent users from solving the problem at the application level.

3) High data throughput, low latency, suitable for application scenarios with high real-time requirements.

4) Supports redundant nodes and redundant interfaces, suitable for safety-critical drone applications.

3. IMU+Barometer

A complete IMU including an accelerometer, compass and gyro can meet the diverse needs of the user for navigation. Combining barometer and GPS data, users could potentially run a separate EKF navigation system inside HERE2/HERE+ V2 to implement navigation tasks that are completely independent of flight control.

4. independent LEDs

Four independent and customizable ProfiLEDs can be set according to user needs. Unlike the previous generation, HERE2/HERE+ V2 allows each LED to be controlled independently, therefore the user can define greater colour patterns to indicate more specific flight status (subject to code capabilities).

HERE2/HERE+ V2 is a comprehensive upgrade of previous-generation product, suitable for industrial applications with higher security and reliability requirements, such as outdoor long-distance autonomous missions, security inspections, agricultural plant protection and more. The open source architecture and code are also suitable for developers who have specific needs for navigation functions and need in-depth development based on existing navigation features.

HEX and ProfiCNC thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to seeing how the new HERE2 and HERE+ V2 are utilised in your applications.

http://www.hex.aero

B&C Aerial Solutions to Present at Techtopia 2018

B&C Aerial Solutions, along with their partner BirdsiVideo, will present at this year’s National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) conference in Philadelphia. Their presentation is expected to headline the advancements of drone services aimed at creating safer operations, lowering costs, and creating production efficiencies for businesses in the utility industry.

With the emergence of drones adding significant advantages for routine and situational maintenance operations, both B&C Aerial Solutions and BirdsiVideo have grown to provide increasing numbers of clients within the energy sector with new uses for unmanned aerial systems.

Along with a short presentation by B&C Aerial Solutions, the partners will have a presence within the event at booth 1644 in the Techtopia Pavilion where other “disruptive technologies” are set to be showcased during the show. This year’s annual event will take place in Philadelphia from September 29th – October 2nd.

For more information on the event, and B&C Aerial Solutions visit

https://www.necashow.org/NECA2018/public/Content.aspx?ID=1938&sortMenu=109001

or contact [email protected].

About B&C Aerial Solutions

B&C Aerial Solutions is a strategic partner of BirdsiVideo and focuses on providing aerial services for companies large and small within real estate, construction, telecommunications, renewable energy, generation, transmission and distribution, and marketing. Their teams are deployable to anywhere within the United States, and services are available for clients world-wide depending on local and/or regional regulations. B&C Aerial Solutions prides itself on the CORE VALUE of safety first. For more information visit https://www.indybcaerials.com/

About Birdsivideo

BirdsiVideo is a commercial drone services company specializing in data collection, inspection and fleet management for the energy, telecom, media, and real estate markets. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, BirdsiVideo operates a franchise network of 15 regional offices throughout the U.S. and an affiliate network of over 150 licensed drone pilots with international partners in Latin America and Europe. For more information on BirdsiVideo visit https://www.birdsivideo.com/

DJI Partners With Talpa’s TV Show ‘Drone Masters’ In The Netherlands

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, has teamed up with Talpa TV’s show ‘Drone Masters’, where seven Dutch celebrities compete and demonstrate their skills and creativity using DJI consumer and prosumer products to win the ‘Drone Master’ title.

‘Drone Masters’ shows that what you can do with a drone is manifold. Competitors will demonstrate their creative talents using DJI drones in different challenges. The show will be aired from 30 August 2018.

“We are excited to watch how our DJI flying cameras such as the Mavic Air, Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 will be used creatively by the celebrities pioneering this highly entertaining prime time TV show”,said Janneke Rozendaal, Marketing Manager at DJI EMEA.

The competing celebrities, Timor Steffens, Remy Bonjasky, Tim Haars, Rudolph van Veen, Fockeline Ouwerkerk, Tanja Jess and Bertie Steur will battle with each other to be awarded the ‘Drone Master’ title. During each episode, they will perform three different tasks under supervision of TV host Dennis van der Geest: a skill challenge, a photo challenge and a video challenge. When post-producing the footage, participants are also responsible for the editing and the choice of music.

The jury consists of film and TV director Tim Oliehoek and drone expert Wiebe de Jager who will send home one of the participants every week. Which candidate will succeed in convincing the jury with their drones skills and creativity? Who will be the best drone pilot?

Drone Masters is sponsored by DJI and is developed by Talpa Content and is produced by Talpa Producties BV.

Broadcast: Dutch TV Channel SBS6, weekly from 30 August, 21.30 – 22.30.

When safety matters – Drone Rescue presents innovative, intelligent parachute rescue system

The field of commercial drone applications is constantly expanding. New camera- and sensor systems enable applications, that was hardly viable years ago. Due to these new technologies, the acquisition costs for commercial drone service providers also increase. More serious therefore are crashes, during which the drone, as well as the additional load, are destroyed. In order to minimise the damage to the system and also to possible bystanders on the ground, the Austrian company, Drone Rescue Systems, developed an intelligent parachute rescue system for the safe drone landing.

When and why was Drone Rescue founded?

Andreas Ploier (AP), CEO and co-founder of Drone Rescue Systems GmbH: Drone crashes are reported again and again in the media. In some cases, television viewers have even seen these live, as with the crash of a drone behind the Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher in 2015 during the World Cup Slalom in Modonna di Camiglio. But drone crashes have also had consequences in our own personal environment. An acquaintance of ours who had a drone service company lost two drones through crashes within two years. For him, that meant a loss of over € 30,000 and the ruin as an independent entrepreneur. At the same time Markus, our CTO, had been very intensely occupied with the subject of sensors. As he has been a passionate paraglider for 20 years, he came up with the idea of developing a parachute rescue system for drones. For this reason, we decided to found Drone Rescue Systems together. We have now been working on the product since 2015 and have been able to successfully build up the company with an investment and grants. In the meantime, we have almost 15 employees at the site in Graz.

When one visits the company website, one quickly realises that Drone Rescue offers more than just a parachute. What is the overriding product philosophy?

(AP): Our philosophy is “When safety matters – To be an enabler of the commercial drone flight BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight)”. The objective is to reliably enable the commercial use of drones in all areas. For this reason our system is not just a simple parachute mounted on a drone, rather with our many innovative and market-relevant renovations, we go several steps further. Let us assume the absolute worst-case scenario: The drone flies over a densely populated region and every single drone component fails at the same time, for example the flight controller, the power supply, etc. We would like to achieve, that even in this scenario, also BVLOS, the drone can be safely intercepted. With our system that is always possible, because of the completely separate electronics that are also independent of the flight controller. In addition, our system has the advantage, that it manages completely without explosive, pyrotechnical solutions. Consequently, we have a system that is considerably lighter and functions even in the worst-case scenario.

Markus Manninger (MM), CTO and co-founder: In principle, the rescue system is already much more than just a parachute. On the contrary, it contains a lot of electronics, including sensors, with which the flight status of a drone can be self-monitored, independent of the flight controller. A sophisticated algorithm merges this sensor data, whereby we were able to realise an automatic crash detection. Then in the event of an error, a pilot no longer needs to react and press a release button. That is often technically no longer possible, e.g. with a failure of the radio link, and not at all in such a sufficiently short time as our algorithm reacts. I.e. the system releases the parachute itself. In addition to this, however, we offer other products than just an intelligent parachute rescue system.

When will the first rescue systems be available?

AP: The system is available now. For the time being we are focussing on commercial drones up to 25kg.

And which drones can be equipped with the rescue systems?

AP: Practically every multicopter can be equipped with our system. We have different options as to how we integrate our system and are therefore very flexible when it comes to customer inquiries. Thereby the flight controller or whether it concerns a quadro- or octocopter is irrelevant.

Who is your target group?

AP: Our target group is all those who want to protect their payload and also the drone from damage during a crash, as well as those, who also do not want to affect bystanders in the case of a crash. We are therefore addressing end users such as drone service providers and pilots, but also the drone manufacturers themselves, who can offer our system ex works. Furthermore, due to new regulations, keyword SORA (Specific Operational Risk Assessment), we expect significant advantages for customers for permits and approvals of flights.

MM: Our target group is clearly commercially utilised drones, that are expensive to purchase and carry high-priced equipment. We see the greatest necessity in that sector. In future, with a great degree of certainty, there will also be flights beyond the range of vision and in this case an intelligent parachute rescue system is extremely important. We want to make use of this scenario right from the start. However, in principle our product can also be used by every hobby pilot.

What are the technical differences to previous parachute systems?

MM: The major technical difference is surely, that we can detect a crash automatically and react to it independent of the flight controller. Even with the failure of the power supply, our system can still reliably deploy the parachute and also do this without a further additional battery. This is a major difference to other systems on the market. There are however other advantages, such as the reliable ejection mechanism, that we have patented. As a result, following a crash the system is operational again within a few minutes and it manages without pyrotechnical propellant or CO2 cartridges. In addition to this is the extremely fast spread of the parachute following the deployment, which brings the drone to a stable flight attitude in the shortest possible time. Unique is also the low weight of the complete system in comparison to other products.

What added value do these differences offer the user?

AP: On the one hand it concerns the minimisation of the purely material damage. If a problem occurs during the flight, our system can protect the drone and the often very expensive equipment from great damage. On the other hand, our system also offers the benefit, that the liability- and insurance risk is greatly minimised. The probability, that a dramatic personal injury or material damage occurs is much less likely with our system. Consequently, the parachute system of Drone Rescue Systems also offers advantages, when it concerns flight permits and approvals. Through the link to our web platform, the user also obtains significant added values with daily use. In future, through cooperation with insurance companies, the acquisition costs may even amortise.

Are parachute systems for drones over 50kg also envisaged?

MM: Yes, whereby the focus for 2019 is on solutions up to 25 kg. Higher weight classes will follow later. We will see how far our system can be scaled without major technical modifications and want to take it one step at a time.

Drone Rescue was given an award by the European Space Agency. How did that come about?

AP: As already mentioned, with our innovative approach we go several steps further than others, when it comes to e.g. electronics, sensor systems and self-determining intelligence. For this reason we have a very strong relationship to space technologies. That enabled us to be given an award by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Drone Rescue Systems GmbH, awarded by the European Space Agency (ESNC-2016), developed the fastest and most efficient parachute safety solution for drones available on the market right now.

The parachute safety solution works autonomously and independent from the drone and ejects the parachute in a fraction of a second, enabling a safe commercial and private drone usage even over crowed places.

The main goal of our Drone Rescue products is to reduce the risk of harming people on the ground and to bring down the expensive equipment safely when it comes to a malfunction of drones up in the air.

Drone Rescue GmbH

Andritzer Reichsstraße 15

8045 Graz

Austria

+43 660 140 80 55

[email protected]

www.dronerescue.com

NCDOT Launches “First Flight” in Drone Pilot Program in Partnership with Matternet and WakeMed

RALEIGH – Drone-based medical deliveries are here.

Today, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation has teamed up with WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Matternet to conduct the first round of test flights for drones to carry simulated medical packages packages from Raleigh Medical Park, located across from WakeMed Raleigh Campus on Sunnybrook Road, to a main tower at the hospital.

Today’s drone test flights are part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS, or ‘drone’) Integration Pilot Program. The three-year program aims to test practical applications of drones by partnering local governments with private sector companies to learn more about how this emerging technology can be safely and usefully integrated into day-to-day activities.

“This ‘First Flight’ is a major step forward in the worlds of healthcare and unmanned technology,” said Basil Yap, head of NCDOT’s UAS Program. “We’re crossing a new frontier that will bring increased efficiency and lower costs to healthcare providers, and ultimately help save patients’ lives.”

The first round of flights is taking place starting today through Friday at WakeMed Raleigh Campus, the health system’s flagship hospital on New Bern Avenue in Southeast Raleigh. WakeMed is the leading provider of health services in Wake County and home to the area’s only Level I Trauma Center.

“This powerful technology has the potential to achieve transformative improvements in health and healthcare delivery,” said Stuart Ginn, MD, WakeMed ENT physician and medical director of WakeMed Innovations. “As a Level I Trauma Center, WakeMed is committed to providing life-saving treatment when time matters the most. Developing healthcare-related uses for drones will improve speed of deliveries, enhance access to care and create healthier communities.”

The partnership involves delivering blood samples and other medical items across WakeMed’s network of healthcare facilities. Matternet, a leader in drone technology, has completed more than 1,800 successful flights for healthcare systems in Switzerland.

“This represents a major milestone for unmanned aviation in the U.S.,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet. “We’re thrilled to be working with WakeMed and the NCDOT to launch the first medical drone delivery operations over densely populated areas in the U.S.”

To help ensure safe operations, AirMap is providing UAS Traffic Management (UTM) services for the flights. The AirMap UTM platform helps drone pilots stay aware of aircraft, weather conditions, airspace restrictions and other possible conflicts to ensure safe and efficient flights.

“Today’s initial operations demonstrate a very important commercial use case for drones with lifesaving potential,” said Ben Marcus, AirMap co-founder and chairman. “We look forward to working closely with NCDOT and the Federal Aviation Administration to operationalize and scale these drone missions to extend the benefits of drones to the general public.”

Following the initial flights, NCDOT will host a public meeting on Thursday, where people can come and learn more about the program, as well as ask questions or submit comments to NCDOT, WakeMed, Matternet and other partners. The public meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Wake Tech Community College Perry Health Sciences Campus, 2901 Holston Lane, Raleigh. For more on the meeting, see the public meeting’s web page.

WiBotic Announces a Wireless Power System for DJI Matrice 200 Series Drones

WiBotic, a leader in wireless charging and power optimization solutions for the robotics industry, today announced a new wireless power system for the DJI Matrice 200 (M200) and DJI Matrice 210 (M210). Known for their durability in outdoor elements, the M200 and M210 are two of most advanced new commercial drones by DJI. The easy-to-install WiBotic wireless power system enables fully autonomous recharging of the drones, so they can be on constant standby or fly repeatedly without the need for human or mechanical battery swapping.

Ground-based transmitter component, as well as onboard charging components,s are included in the WiBotic wireless power system for the DJI M200 and M210. It is also compatible with the (additional) WiBotic PowerPad for companies that want a completely turnkey solution.

The combination of these DJI drones and the WiBotic wireless power system is ideal for all types of applications, including long-term persistent security and defense surveillance; at-the- ready search and rescue missions; methane leak detection at oil well sites, refineries and offshore rigs; tracking progress at major constructions sites; and more.

“Pairing our WiBotic wireless power system with these new DJI models creates a real power couple for corporations,” said Ben Waters, CEO of WiBotic. “Countless commercial and defense drone applications are greatly enhanced by the use of wireless power and we make it really simple to make that happen.”

With WiBotic wireless power solutions, the entire charging process can be remotely monitored and controlled using software, APIs and cloud-based tools to ensure the drones charge as rapidly as possible when needed, or more slowly when the next scheduled flight is hours away. This improves overall battery lifespan and maximizes fleet uptime. The WiBotic PowerPad, a drone landing pad that contains the transmitter components, also protects against moisture, dirt and corrosion that can impact outdoor charging stations over time.

Components in the WiBotic Wireless Power System for DJI M200 and DJI M210

In addition to the ground-based transmitter components and the onboard charging components, the WiBotic wireless power system for DJI M200 and M210 also includes mounting equipment to enable quick installation. When used with the WiBotic PowerPad, the entire system can be up and running in 10 minutes.

The system charges the standard DJI M200 and M210 batteries in about two hours and built-in fleet support allows one drone to move between multiple wireless power stations, and also enables several drones to share a network of stations at different times. These wireless power stations can even be used with various drone brands and inside drone hangars or garages.

Not limited to DJI models, WiBotic wireless power solutions are ideal for nearly any commercial drone platform, enabling more frequent and reliable flight for a variety of applications. By keeping drones fully charged and ready to launch at any time, the system is also perfect for instantaneous drone needs such as police/fire response and defense applications.

WiBotic also provides wireless power solutions for mobile and marine robots.

About WiBotic

WiBotic provides wireless charging and power optimization solutions for the rapidly growing ecosystem of aerial, mobile and marine robots. Its solutions help companies optimize the uptime of robot fleets and are an integral component of fully autonomous robotic operations. WiBotic is already working with companies in a variety of industries. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in Seattle, WA. For more information, please go to: www.wibotic.com

Illinois Takes Over Drone Regs

Rauner signed Senate Bill 3291 Friday making the state the regulator of drones, also known as unmanned aircraft. The law, effective immediately, says “the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the state.”

“No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems,” the law states.

The measure carves out Chicago, preserving local authority in the state’s most populous city.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said in the wake of increased drone availability and usage last year, Springfield passed restrictions barring drones over certain places, like its public utility. He said with the new law, those measures are void. The new law is a little disheartening, Langfelder said.

“And just to scrap our initiatives, it really steps on local authority and just to keep the general public safe and moving in that direction,” Langfelder said.

Drone enthusiast Zach Carlson, who manages Falcon Hobby Supply in Springfield, said the real regulation comes from the federal government when it concerns airspace.

“When we have all these other governments putting regulations on top of that, they’re actually violating the federal laws that are put in place,” Carlson said.

The state measure says the Illinois Department of Transportation may adopt rules it finds appropriate to address the safe and legal operation of unmanned aircraft systems “so that those engaged in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems may so engage with the least possible restriction, consistent with their safety and with the safety and the rights of others, and in compliance with federal rules and regulations.”

Federal law differs for commercial drone pilots and hobbyists. Details on federal regulations can be found at FAA.gov.

“No final decisions have been made, but the department intends to start the rules-making process shortly, likely seeking various stakeholder input as appropriate,” IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said in an email statement. “The department believes this new law will help create a consistent oversight framework throughout the state and eliminate the potential for a patchwork of varying local restrictions and ordinances on drone use.”

Langfelder said he plans to reach out to IDOT officials.

“Hopefully, they can act upon themselves as the overseeing department of really drilling down and making policy decisions and exceptions to what was written in the general state statute,” Langfelder said.

Carlson said he sees an increasing number of people coming into his store to get a drone.

“Farmers, engineers, construction workers, bikers, we’ve got every walk of life coming in,” Carlson said. “Racing drones are really popular, so we’ve got a lot of kids.”

He said he hopes that when the state does establish rules, officials will seek input from drone users.

“We’d be happy to help in any way we can to make sure the regulations aren’t too overreaching, but they’re enough to make sure the danger is taken out of the hobby,” Carlson said.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association applauded the new law Rauner signed.

“Drone technology is innovative and a growing part of today’s economy,” IMA Vice President Mark Denzler said in a statement. “The IMA is pleased that Gov. Rauner and lawmakers enacted legislation preventing overregulation of this growing high-tech sector.

“While federal regulations govern the use of drones for both commercial and personal use, individual states have the ability to impose some additional requirements such as bans on flying over certain types of facilities or recording and surveillance,” Denzler said.

Illinois lawmakers have so far failed to pass a measure regulating police using drones for surveillance of large crowds. Other ideas including banning police from attaching facial recognition software and weapons to drones also has stalled.

“With the signing of SB 3291, regulations will be done at the state level as opposed to a patchwork of local regulations that is currently found across Illinois,” Denzler said.

RCAPA (Proposed) Special Rule for Micro Unmanned Aircraft Q&A 2018

This story is a Q&A that started after I posted the RCAPA (Proposed) Special Rule for Micro Unmanned Aircraft on Facebook. It would appear that there is similar langue in the latest iterations of the FAA reauthorization, and I figure it might be a good idea to share with folks where it came from. Reader Shaun Stanton asked the following questions about the Special Rule that came out of the sUAS ARC circa 2009.

Link to the original story – https://www.suasnews.com/2014/08/special-rule-for-micro-unmanned-aircraft/

Shaun Stanton – Question:



1. How did you get ALPA to sign off on no regulations for model aircraft and of all things the micro drone rule. Does RCAPA have some magic funding, from a certain drone maker?



Serious note:



2. What does less regulation for micro drones aim to do? It seems the current system is not that overbearing to take a 150 dollar test to be able to operate.



3. With LAANC out now, why will the micro drones be exempt, from getting airspace approvals? It seems since the bulk of the commercial operations are being done with Phantoms and Mavic’s they are the ones clogging up mos of the COA wait times. Won’t this clog up ATC facilities phone lines as well.



4. Why is there not a formal rule on not flying over crowds and people.



5. How will this prevent abuses, of people deciding to fly larger than 4.4lbs systems? When you give people an inch, they will take a mile. I can see it now that someone will figure “no one will know I am flying an inspire 2 with the X5S or X7 and even larger rigs like M600, wind 8’s Altas, etc. Oh I don’t have authorization to fly in this airspace, so it will be our little secret that this is an Inspire 2 and not a Mavic.



My observations albeit anecdotal since I have not analysed the data lately, are that the bulk of the irresponsible flying have been done with the Phantoms and Mavics most of the time. They are the cheaper platforms and most prolific. It makes sense. I think of the eyeball popped out of the kid done with a Phantom 2. Paul Skinner’s stunt of crashing a Phantom 3 Pro into the woman at the pride parade in Seattle. It seems like the micro systems would be more regulated. Which goes to another point, why does it make sense that the least credentialed get more freedom of operation? I am with you on the whole 107 is bullshit and is somewhat of a joke. At least those have one, in theory have been trained to understand operations rules and can’t play the dumb card as much. Also once you open the gate to CBO’s, how do you control some of it that the CBO safety guidelines meet an acceptable standard?

——–

My reply –

  1. Ellis Chernoff was the final ALPA rep on the sUAS ARC. Towards the end of the sUAS ARC, even the manned representatives could see that the UAV (as they were called back then and a tragedy for another time) folks were getting screwed. What the RCAPA was proposing was safer than what was going on in the NAS at the time, and probably still is. No magic funding. It was ten years ago, and the only funding was donations from the membership. Unfortunately, the DoD guys tried to spike it because it was under the 2 kilos, or 4.4 pounds, that the AV Raven weighed. All of the AV products were covered in a Kevlar variant, and Dave York from HAI (Vietnam vet and Kevlar meant bulletproof) was concerned about damage to their members tail rotors.

Chris Anderson from DIY Drones would not support it because it wasn’t enough weight, and he didn’t believe the FAA would ever regulate drones anyway. When it resurfaced in the NPRM for the 2012 FAA reauthorization, it was not supported again by AUVSI (Mike Toscano, Gretchen West leadership), as it didn’t take all of the membership into consideration. Even iRobot visionaries complained that 4 pounds was not enough weight even for testing. I asked Helen, “How much does software weigh?” DJI complained that “frangible” would make their products too flimsy, but they didn’t read the ICAO definition the same way as Gary Mortimer, and the folks in aviation do.

The Upshot – we waited seven-plus years because folks were concerned about their own products/bottom line and the visionaries lacked a vision of where this industry was actually headed.

  1. At the time, the conventional wisdom was all about aircraft standards, Airworthiness, pilot certification, and manuals. All of it progressed to more MIL-STD talk as the DoD vendors had already produced most of this stuff on cost-plus contracting boom post 9/11. ASTM was in full swing, and they were rewriting whatever they wanted the standards to look like. I turned down a deal from the FAA to do whatever I wanted to do (blind eye); I said it wasn’t fair if it wasn’t for everyone, so no thank you! I also screwed myself out of a six-figure-a-year job at AV as the commercial BD guy because I called them out in a New Yorker Magazine interview.

This was really aimed at the small business, end-user, part-time businessperson, and folks who were trying to build and test new systems, software, sensors, applications, etc. – getting to come out of the shadows.

The takeaway – We as a country took a decade off and let the Chinese have it because we were lazy and petty, and the folks driving the bus literally laughed (including NASA, DoD, FAA Brass) at the notion that the Chinese would ever be able to produce anything as sophisticated as a drone. I know because I was the guy who was laughed at by the gaggle of PhD’s, including folks who failed at burrito delivery for Google.

Many of the firsts you read about in the news lately as firsts were already being done or done, including but not limited to FARM DRONES, Volcano drones, blood deliveries, transatlantic flights. https://youtu.be/AcSOtfkLRgI

  1. The RCAPA had a process where UAV operators would call the tower (within 3 miles of the airport at the time) and tell them what they planned to do—an easy 1- to 2-minute process that usually ended with them asking about current FAA rumblings for the hobby. #LAANC is a boondoggle that was put in place to make it look like the FAA was making progress and also had something to do with ATC getting paid. The call-the-tower method was not logged and apparently did not meet the service criteria, but only required an easy fix.

There are several issues with LAANC:

  1. Flight services and www.1800wxbrief.com has had a UAS tab for years now and was one checkbox away from doing everything LANNC does and more everywhere.
  2. The FAA could have put out a blanket CoA that simply directed the end user to follow the UASFM grids Unmanned Aircraft Facilities Maps.
  3. Calling the tower would still work for the majority of users. Some of the waiver applications are cell phone inspection applications that are requesting waivers for all of their assets numbering in the several thousand. Even NASA is spending a boatload of money to develop #UTM recommendations for an as-yet-unknown number of commercial end-users.

The Takeaway –

No one (to the best of my knowledge) has a handle on how many commercial users there are in the NAS around the country at any given time. No one knows what the future looks like. What will be required and where? How much it will cost and who is going to pay? Those are the easy questions. Harder is: what does the certification process look like and how long until we have a working and certified system that accommodates file and fly type access to the NAS? https://www.suasnews.com/…/how-long-until-we-have-a-utm/

  1. I would say the two significant issues besides ID and Tracking (the ARC was a fustercluck purportedly because folks were peddling their wares) would have to be some sort of aircraft certification and a practical test for the UAS license. No one knows if droners actually have the piloting skills to fly their systems (up to 55 pounds), and lobbyists are advocating we fly in congested areas and over the public’s head—#CRAZYTALK! Secondly, the engineering is at the toy level. We don’t have any data on the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). I’m sure DJI does, but I haven’t seen any of it published anywhere.

5. It was a different time, and the exemption was predicated on the aviation culture of safety working in our favor. RCAPA had guidelines for different sized aircraft, a two-level testing program, and third-party liability insurance in place and available for commercial users.

One of the early mistakes the FAA made was the 2007 policy clarification that made commercial drones illegal. The only people who stopped using were folks with pilot’s licenses and the law and order types. The “amateurs” bilking the other amateurs out of free IP went nuts, as did the people who carried on and gained market share and made money.

They could do some sort of DOT sticker scheme, like Motorcycle helmets, to identify any exempted drones micro-drones. Manufactures could put limits on them too. Maybe this is where they should concentrate and spend the geofencing dollars. Folks are always going to take a mile, and perhaps we as a community just have to man/woman up to point of sale registration for out-of-the-box drones or drones with more than two propellers coming in from overseas.

The Takeaway – I think this ship has sailed—how you can ask for an exemption when you have conceded that anything over 250 grams is dangerous and needs to be registered and tracked. The lucrative aerial photography market has not panned out, and the mega-millions are proving elusive for many folks outside of Shenzhen.

uAvionix and FLARM Collaborate to Create Electronic Conspicuity Solutions for Manned and Unmanned Aircraft

uAvionix and FLARM Technology today announced a partnership to collaborate on Electronic Conspicuity (EC) and Detect and Avoid (DAA) solutions for manned and unmanned aircraft. uAvionix specializes in ADS-B, Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) transponders, and GNSS position sources for manned and unmanned aircraft. FLARM specializes in situational awareness and active DAA solutions for General Aviation and unmanned aircraft. Both companies offer products for installation and portable use together with modern display systems such as Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications.

The companies plan to incorporate their respective technologies into one another’s products and to develop and sell interoperable solutions for these markets across the world. The companies also plan to collaborate on UAS remote identification standards and solutions. FLARM’s Open eID Standard, the electronic identification standard published globally, is being trialed in Europe for DAA and remote identification purposes, a key enabler for UTM frameworks like U-Space. uAvionix’s DroneAware® system is being tested as a component of the NASA UTM TCL3 demonstrations as well as three of the UAS Integration Pilot Programs in the US.

“As the airspace becomes more and more crowded, it is increasingly important to integrate existing electronic conspicuity solutions into interoperable platforms. ADS-B and FLARM are the two dominating GNSS-based solutions in use today” said Christian Ramsey, President uAvionix.

“Combining Detect and Avoid and remote ID solutions for both manned and unmanned traffic will enable the safe and efficient integration of all traffic in the same airspace and keep the responsibility where it should be: with the pilot,” said Daniel Hoffmann, General Manager FLARM Technology.

NUAIR Alliance Announces Partnership with Unifly Strategic Partnership Complements “CNY Rising”

Syracuse, NY – The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) and Griffiss International Airport announced today a new partnership with Unifly, a European company with a unique software application that enables unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems to visualize and manage drone traffic in the airspace. The partnership will provide enhanced unmanned traffic management capabilities for the NY UAS Test Site 50-mile UTM Corridor currently being constructed.

Unifly will establish a presence in Central New York to deploy its software platform and support traffic management testing. Working with NUAIR, Unifly will enable enhancements to test beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) systems with the ultimate goal of safely integrating UAVs into the nation’s airspace.

“This new partnership will provide the critical tools needed for beyond visual line of site testing; capabilities not found at any other test site in the nation,” said Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret), the chief executive officer of the NUAIR Alliance. “It also shows that this region is able to lead the industry and attract partners from across the globe due to investments being made by New York state. We look forward to working with Unifly and deploying this industry-leading technology in the coming months, and taking our capabilities to a new level.”

“Oneida County’s UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport is leading the nation in industry research and innovation,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The corridor between Rome and Syracuse continues to grow and establish the Mohawk Valley and Central New York as the epicentre for UAS development. Adding Unifly into that mix will further strengthen our position within the U.S. and throughout the world.”

This announcement builds on a $30 million investment announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to develop the 50-mile flight traffic management system between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome to advance the burgeoning unmanned aircraft systems industry in Central New York as part of the CNY Rising initiative.

“We look forward to adding this world-class company to the team of partners leading the way in the development of the first-in-the-nation UAS corridor in Upstate New York,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “The State is making strategic investments to ensure that we remain at the forefront of a burgeoning UAS industry that is growing jobs and strengthening our economy.”

Unifly’s unique software applications facilitate UAV traffic in very-low-altitude airspace. Its innovative tools inform operators where it is safe and legal to fly and enable authorities and other aviation stakeholders to track traffic and manage airspace. It can inform users about the rules and situations, which are often complex, in a user-friendly way. It also offers validation for a given flight and location. The system parses the underlying rules and real-time information to give the operator a clear answer, and it can notify official entities about flights and allow them to take action if required.

“This partnership presents a unique opportunity to share Unifly’s proven UTM technology and experience with NUAIR,” said Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly. “The safe integration of drones into the general airspace is a universal topic today. The NUAIR Operation Center is the first test site that has had the vision to include international partners in their global alliance to successfully tackle these global challenges.”

The NUAIR Alliance is an organizational partner of CenterState CEO and manages one of seven FAA designated UAS test sites in the country. The organizations are strategically aligned in their efforts to build public and private partnerships to advance leading-edge UAS and UTM technologies and create a hub for the industry that will attract investments and business development.

“This partnership enables this test corridor to take an important step forward in its capabilities, which only further establishes New York and the Mohawk Valley as a national leader in UAS testing and development,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “We know the investments being made by the state are driving results and creating opportunities to advance the research and development of UAS technologies, which in turn is attracting new permanent businesses to the region.”

ABOUT NUAIR The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) is a consortium of industry leaders and academic institutions throughout New York and Massachusetts, led by the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), in New York, and MassDevelopment, in Massachusetts. Cen- terState CEO is an organization of 2,000 companies that work together to increase business competitiveness, community prosperity, and regional growth in the 12-county CenterState New York region. Mass Development, the Commonwealth’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth throughout Massachusetts. Under the leadership of MassDevelopment and CenterState CEO, industry experts and academic institutions in both states formed NUAIR and combined assets, expertise and experience to compete for an FAA-designated UAS testing site. Organizations partnering with Griffiss International Airport and NUAIR include Saab Sensis, SRC, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, together with colleges and universities including Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts institutions, Syracuse University, Clarkson University and Northeastern University, among others.

ABOUT UNIFLY Unifly is the leading provider of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software in Europe. Today, Unifly’s technology is in use on a national level by four leading air navigation service providers (ANSPs), as well as in several regional projects throughout the world. Unifly also closely collaborates with major international corporations and ANSPs in 10 European UTM research projects, as well as with the FAA and with state authorities in the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

Unifly’s unique software platform facilitates drone traffic in the very-low-altitude airspace. Its innovative tools serve all stakeholders in the drone industry: users, authorities and airports alike. Unifly enables authorities and other aviation stakeholders to track and manage drone traffic in the airspace and to inform

operators where it is safe and legal to fly. Through the Unifly platform, authorities can automate the validation of drone flights. The system parses the complex rules and real-time information to give the drone operator a clear answer. Official entities are notified about flights so they can act if required.

https://www.nuairalliance.org/