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Scotland’s Transport Secretary pays visit to Cranfield

Scotland’s Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP, today visited Cranfield University on a fact-finding mission to learn more about the latest technological developments in sustainable aerospace and aviation.

On the visit, the Transport Secretary heard from Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University, about their work on ‘Project Fresson’ with Loganair which aims to develop the world’s first electric-powered passenger flights on island-hopping routes between Orkney and Kirkwall.

Mr Matheson also toured some of Cranfield’s leading aerospace and aviation facilities including the Digital Air Traffic Control Centre, the first to be operational in the UK, and the Aerospace Integration Research Centre, a £35 million partnership between the University, Rolls-Royce, Airbus and the UK Government.

As well as current projects, Mr Matheson also heard about the developing Digital Aviation Research Technology Centre (DARTeC) and the Urban Observatory. DARTEC is a £67 million partnership between the University and major industry partners such as Aveillant, Boxarr, Saab and Thales, with support from Research England, that will spearhead the UK’s research into digital aviation. The Urban Observatory allows researchers at Cranfield, through a sensor network, to monitor environmental impact and suggest mitigation strategies at Cranfield Airport.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: ‘It was fascinating to visit Cranfield University to learn more about the latest technological developments in sustainable aviation. It was also inspiring to hear about their work on ‘Project Fresson’, and their collaboration with Loganair aiming to develop the world’s first electric-powered passenger flights on island-hopping routes between Orkney and Kirkwall.

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, said: “I was delighted to show the Transport Secretary around Cranfield’s global research airport with its unique facilities. We are already seeing Scotland embracing sustainable aviation through developments such as ‘Project Fresson’ and it was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to Mr Matheson what more could be achieved through technological developments.

Cranfield

Ascent Vision Technologies Appoints Lee Dingman as President & CCO

Bozeman, Montana – Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) is proud to announce the promotion of Lee Dingman to the position of President and Chief Commercial Officer. Lee commenced his new duties on August 1st, leading the commercial team towards business goals and objectives.

Lee Dingman has been a fundamental team leader since AVT was established back in 2015. Lee’s strength in sales and strategy has supported business growth and development. In his new role, Lee will direct commercial strategy, leading the global Sales and Marketing Department. Lee joined Ascent Vision after a successful career in the medical industry. Prior to this, Lee served 9 years of military service as an Infantry Officer in the US Army. Lee is a combat veteran of the Iraq War and a 2000 Graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point.

CEO at AVT, Tim Sheehy, said “I am delighted to announce Lee Dingman as President and CCO of AVT. Lee has been an instrumental member of the leadership team at Ascent Vision since its founding in 2015 and he continues to lead the team into exciting new growth markets.”

About Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT)

AVT specializes in innovative systems for counter UAS; air defense; ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance); and target acquisition for the defense and aerospace industry. AVT is a world-leading provider of CUAS solutions. The X-MADIS, eXpeditionary Mobile Air Defense Integrated System, is a proven fully integrated solution that detects, locates, tracks, identifies and defeats sUAS for fixed site and on-the-move mission. AVT

designs and manufactures high-performance, multi-sensor, gyro-stabilized imaging systems for airborne, ground and maritime domains, which are fielded in over 50 countries.

Find out more about AVT by visiting www.ascentvision.com.

7 Long Range Drones – [Updated Fall 2019] Best Long Distance Quadcopters

best long range drones dronethusiast

Updated: August 16, 2019

One of the most important features to look at when you’re buying a new drone is its controllable range – that is, how far apart the transmitter and the receiver can be without the connection breaking up. Most commercial drones can only manage a remote distance of 30 meters or so, but what about longer-range drones? After all, one of the biggest benefits of commercial quadcopters is that they’ve given even amateur photographers and videographers the chance to take some amazing aerial shots, and you can’t do that with a paltry 30 meters.

Here’s a short list of some of the best long-range drones on the market today. Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed a personal favorite!

Table of Contents

  1. 1. DJI Mavic Pro 2
  2. 2. The Outlaw SE
  3. 3. The Blackhawk
  4. 4. DJI Mavic Pro
  5. 5. DJI Phantom 4
  6. 6. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
  7. 7. Hubsan H501S X4
  8. 8. Long-Range Drone FAQ

Best Long-Range Drones

#1. DJI Mavic Pro 2 (Pro Edition)

Read Reviews About DJI Mavic 2

The newly released Mavic 2 Pro by DJI has caused a massive amount of excitement for a very good reason. At this time of writing, the new Mavic 2 Pro has a price tag of $1,449 USD. The Fly More Kit, which is an upgrade you can invest in that comes with a number of additional goodies, will cost you an additional $319 USD.

It’s worth mentioning that there are 2 versions – the Mavic Pro 2 and the Mavic 2 Zoom. The most notable specification between these is the fact that it has a maximum transmission range of a whopping 8 miles.

Listed below are the specs:

  • – Has up to 8 GB of onboard, internal storage
  • – Uses the DJI GO 4 mobile application in order to access certain features and share your footage on social media profiles
  • – Includes a bottom auxiliary light for low-light flight, automatic detection and precise landings
  • – Uses both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz transmission frequencies
  • – Has a maximum flight time of up to 31 minutes
  • – Features Course Lock, Circle, Free, Hyperlapse, Advanced Pilot Assistance System or APAS, Sport Mode, ActiveTrack 2.0, OcuSync 2.0, and Waypoint
  • – Uses the new 3-axis 4K UHD camera with stabilized by a gimbal, a 1” CMOS sensor, and HNCS technology
  • – Has a maximum transmission range of up to 8 miles
  • – Uses the new propulsion system that includes noise-reducing propellers, an upgrade from the previous version
  • – Includes 10 sensors on each side that help in automatically avoiding obstacles
  • – Is able to reach top speeds of up to 44 mph or up to 72 km/h

best long range drones dji mavic pro 2

DJI Mavic Pro 2 Range: 8 Miles

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#2. Altair Aerial Outlaw SE

See the best price on Amazon.com or get Fast & Free Shipping from their Website at Altairaerial.com

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If you’re a first-time flier who’s interested in buying a long-range drone, the Outlaw SE is without a doubt the best choice around. For less than $300, you get a drone with prosumer-grade GPS features that let it automatically return to where it took off from and keep itself stable in the air without any additional input. Plus, it comes with the Altair reputation for durability and quality. The only downside here is the short battery life, but with a drone this cheap, why not buy some extras?

Altair also put together a nice set of how-to videos for the Outlaw SE (click here). If you run into any problems check these out or I’ve found that they are very responsive at help@altairaerial.com.

Listed below are the specs:

  • – MT1806 1800KV brushless motors
  • – 1080p camera with 500+ meter FPV range
  • – A 2.4 gHz two-way transmitter with 600-meter range
  • – Total flight time of approximately 18 minutes
  • – GPS height hold
  • – Follow-me Mode
  • – Return-to-home functionality
  • – Beginner and advanced flight modes
  • – 7.4V 1800mAh Li-po battery

altair outlaw long range drone review

Altair Aerial Outlaw SE Range: 600+ Meters

Click Here to See Best Price!

#3. The Blackhawk

Shop the best price for the Altair Blackhawk on Amazon Or order The Blackhawk directly from AltairAerial.com for free shipping

For only $119 you’re getting an amazing drone at an amazing price! The Blackhawk is a more advanced level quad with 15-17 Minutes of Flight time and 300-500 Meter Range!

The Altair Aerial Blackhawk is easily the best long-range drone for the money. Sure, it may not boast the impressive numbers of some of the other entries, but with 200-500 meters of range and racing drone speed, this drone won’t leave many pilots unsatisfied. And how many drones can boast a range that’s 60 times that of the average for only $110? Now that’s a bargain.

Listed below are the specs:

  • – Brushless motors for a perfect balance of power and quiet operation
  • – A 2.4 gHz two-way transmitter with 200-500 meter range
  • – Total flight time of approximately 15 minutes
  • – 6-axis gyro
  • – Action camera slot that fits the GoPro 3 and 4 camera and other action cameras

blackhawk long range budget drone

The Blackhawk Range: 300 Meters

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#4. DJI Mavic Pro

Read Reviews About DJI Mavic Pro

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The DJI Mavic Pro is, as the name implies, a professional-grade drone with a $935 price tag that’s gonna be a major problem for most recreational copter fans. But with 27 minutes of flight and a 7000 meter range, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single more impressive piece of hardware in the quadcopter market.

Listed below are the specs:

  • -Uses a new transmission technology, OcuSync, that boasts a range of 4.3mi or 7km
  • -Able to stream a video feed in full 1080p HD resolution
  • -Features FlightAutonomy, Gesture Mode, Return to Home, Auto Take Off, Auto Land, Collision Avoidance, and more
  • -Total flight time of up to 27 minutes
  • -Able to reach speeds of up to 22 mph or 36 kph
  • -Has true 4K videos at 30 FPS with a 12 MP camera that uses Adobe DNG RAW
  • -Includes a 16 GB microSD card
  • -Uses GPS and a dual redundant IMUs
  • -The Fly More Combo comes with a 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I Card with adapter, lens hood, landing gear, and more

dji mavic pro best long range drones

DJI Mavic Pro Range: 4.3 Miles

Click Here to See Best Price!

#5. DJI Phantom 4

Read Reviews About DJI Phantom 4
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Someday we’ll be able to go a whole list without mentioning the DJI Phantom 4. Today is not that day. It’s our most expensive option so far and has a “mere” 5000 meter range, so if all you want is to go as far as possible you’re better off sticking with the Mavic Pro. But with its legendary host of impressive features, it’s not hard to see why the Phantom 4 is still a Dronethusiast favorite.

Listed below are the specs:

  • -Has a camera with 4K HD videos at 30 FPS and slow motion at 1080p for 120 FPS that supports 12 MP stills at 4000 x 3000 with a f/2.8 lens
  • -Uses GPS navigation technology with a dual compass module and dual Inertial Measurement Unit (IMUs) for better reliability
  • -Uses both GPS and GLONASS dual positioning modules
  • -Features Auto Takeoff, Auto Return to Home, Hover function, Sport Mode, Visual Tracking, and more
  • -Able to fly at speeds of up to 45 mph using Vision Positioning and satellite support when you have it in Sport Mode
  • -Total flight time of up to 28 minutes
  • -Has a transmission range of up to 3.1 miles or 5 km with 720p HD resolution through the integrated HD video downlink
  • -Weighs 8.8 pounds with a total size of 15”x8.7”x12.8”

dji phantom 4 best long range drones

DJI Phantom 4 Range: 3.1 Miles

Click Here to See Best Price!

#6. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

Read Reviews About Yuneec Typhoon H
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At $1,500, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro with RealSense is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also a fairly delicate instrument and absolutely not a vehicle for beginners. But not only does it come equipped with an impressive 1800 meter range (a full mile, if you can believe it) – it also takes videos and images in gorgeous 4K quality, making this a must-have for serious aerial photographers.

Listed below are the specs:

  • -Comes with the ST16 all-in-one controller that eliminates any need to use a tablet or a smartphone with an integrated 7” Android touchscreen that allows for 720p HD video downlinks in real time
  • -Uses ultrasonic collision prevention, 6 rotor safety, and 5 rotor fail-safe
  • -Features Orbit Me, Point of Interest, Journey Mode, Curve Cable Cam, Auto Takeoff, Auto Land, Auto Return to Home, and more
  • -Uses a GPS stabilized flight control system
  • -Has 4K UHD video resolution with 12 MP still photos and a CGO3+ gimbal camera
  • -The Intel RealSense Technology detects and navigates around obstacles while building a 3D model of the area around it for better navigation
  • -Total flight time of between 20 to 23 minutes
  • -Weighs 12 pounds with a total size of 17”x21.2”x12.5”

yuneec typhoon h best long range drones

Yuneec Typhoon H Range: 1800 Meters

Click Here to See Best Price!

#7. Hubsan H501S X4

Read Reviews About Hubsan H501S X4
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And at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the H501S X4 by Hubsan. For $250 you get only 300 meters of range (less than either of the bugs), but the X4 still deserves a place on this list for the incredible amount of GPS capabilities and functions it offers for the price. Sure, it’s at the low end of long-distance quadcopters, but if you’re looking for a solid camera and a near-professional range of features at an amateur price range, you could do a lot worse.

Listed below are the specs:

  • -Has a 1080p HD camera
  • -Features Follow Me, Altitude Hold, Automatic Return to Home, Headless Mode, Low Power Protection, Expert Mode and more
  • -Uses the latest 6-axis gyro flight stabilizing system
  • -Has a 4.3” LCD screen on the controller with a resolution of 480 x 272 that is capable of real time transmission in FPV with a range of up to 300 meters
  • -Takes a 2700mAh LiPo battery
  • -Total flight time of up to 20 minutes
  • -Weighs 4 pounds with a total size of 8.7”x8.7”x2.8”

hubsan h501s x4 best long range drones

Hubsan H501S X4 Range: 300 Meters

Click Here to See Best Price!

Long-Range Drone FAQ

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If you don’t see your question listed below in our FAQ section, get in touch with us and we’ll help you out.

What are the advantages of long-range drones?

There are many advantages to drones with longer-than-usual ranges. The most obvious of these is safety – the longer the range of your drone, the less likely you are to lose control of the aircraft, even if it’s very fast. For this reason, beginner fliers are especially in need of a very good range.

But where long-range drones like the ones on this list really shine is in the field of aerial photography. They make it possible to get incredible shots from incredibly high up, or to get wide-angle views when the photographer’s far out of sight. It’s also much safer to use a drone to take photos while you’re standing on the ground than traditional aerial photography, which was either accomplished with a prohibitively-expensive helicopter or by taking dangerous positions on tall buildings.

In fact, long-range drones have even been used to capture footage for major feature films, including Captain America: Civil War and Man of Steel

What determines the range of a drone?

The range of a drone is mostly determined by the quality of its radio link – the invisible connection between the transmitter and the aircraft that works the same as a radio or any other RC vehicle. Most drones use a 2.4 gHz radio frequency, which can give you up to 1500 meters in the best possible conditions. Lower frequencies, like 1.2 gHz, give you better range, but are illegal in many states because those are the same frequencies used by commercial aircraft.

However, most drones do not provide those best possible conditions. There’s a few good reasons for this. Firstly, the technology in the highest-quality radio/receivers – like FrSky – is often bulky and can make it hard to easily transport your drone (not to mention the increased power needed to get it airborne.) And secondly – in part because of the bulkier parts – this technology is a lot more expensive.

Can other factors affect a drone’s effective range?

Absolutely! Most notably: putting an obstacle (like a tree or a building) between the transmitter and the drone interferes with the signal and gives you a much lower range than what it says on the box. If you are unable to fly in an open area like a field or a park, you’re going to want to stay well below the maximum range to make sure your aircraft doesn’t fly out of your control.

And for drones that fly in first-person view, cameras have an even less effective range because most 5.8 gHz FPV systems start losing picture after 500 meters. This should make sense even to our less-technically-minded readers: it’s a lot harder to stream video than it is to just transmit simple commands.

The Best Long-Range Drones for Sale

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As always, there is no single “best” drone – it depends on what you’re looking for as an individual consumer! Some of these drones simply offer the best value for their money, while others are professional-grade gear perfect for aerial photographers and videographers. Whatever your needs, we hope we’ve helped you find the best long-range drone for you!

Dronethusiast Team. Kennedy Martinez

KennedyMartinez

kennedy@dronethusiast.com

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

There are 2 comments:

  • Yaseen KOctober 5, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Hi,

    Enjoyable reading . It’s amazing what one can learn from your reviews on all these Drones, thank you very much for your input !

    I’d like your advise on which drone to invest in for wildlife survilence purposes . My main issues that I’m currently confused on are night time camera capabilities, longest possible battery range and lift distance.

    Thank you for your time .

  • boBDecember 10, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Any comment on how hard each of these is to calibrate? I find some drones with the turn over, twisting, etc to be a real headache and sometimes won’t work well. THanx!

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Testing Testing 1..2..3.. Recreational Drone Flyer Test Coming Soon! Can your business help?

FAA Puma Logo

Are you part of the drone or tech industry? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants your help to administer a recreational flyer knowledge and safety test to the widest audience possible! We have posted a request for information (RFI) where you can submit your suggestions.

While the FAA develops the training and test content, we’re seeking your help to ensure it is administered in an effective way. We are looking for input from both private and public sectors on how to make the test easily accessible to drone users.

We love that the drone community is growing so quickly, and because drones can be flown straight out-of-the box, we need to make sure that drone pilots only take flight once they know the FAA’s aviation rules and safety practices. Congress requires that recreational flyers pass a test and we now have an opportunity to educate recreational flyers on drone safety and to bring new flyers into our extraordinary aviation safety culture.

This knowledge test is important to educate recreational flyers about the rules of the sky as we continue to safely integrate drones into our nation’s airspace. We look forward to getting your feedback by September 12, 2019.

DroneUp Awarded First Multi-State UAS Services Contract

DroneUp, LLC, an end-to-end drone pilot service provider for aerial data collection, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Services (RFP# E194-79435) by the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide UAS (drone) services to all

state agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public bodies and entities in Virginia. The award is the first of its kind for the drone industry and a highly anticipated announcement after a competitive request-for-proposal process with multiple national drone organizations.

DroneUp’s award includes but is not limited to service categories for Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Support, Aerial Inspection or Mapping Data Services, Agricultural and Gaming, and Agency Media Relations and Marketing. The Commonwealth anticipates that the primary users will be the Departments of Aviation, Emergency Management, Transportation, Forestry, Mines, Minerals and Energy, and all Public Universities and Community Colleges.

The services under the award are available for use by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization. Participating states will be able to use the award for the benefit of state departments, institutions, agencies, political subdivisions, and other eligible entities. For further information please see www.NASPOValuePoint.org.

Tom Walker, DroneUp’s CEO, stated “We appreciate the Commonwealth’s efforts to streamline public sector access to leading-edge UAS services through this award. We look forward to supporting our hardworking

state and local agencies both in the Commonwealth and nationwide.”

AerdiA streamlining operations with Dronecloud

Prior to introducing Dronecloud™ into the company, AerdiA and their employees were using between three to four different software systems to conduct business from start to finish. By introducing Dronecloud™ not only did the moral of the employees increase tenfold, but the real benefit was to their clients. “Now our clients have a single point of entry to their projects from start to finish.”

“We used to start via email speaking with the client about their projects, which would generally entail between three to ten emails back and forth. Then we would request a KML/KMZ of their project, that in turn would go into Google Earth. Once we knew their intentions, we went into Quickbooks and prepared the quote details. Once we had the pricing, we would go into a package called Dubsado. Dubsado is made for services business such as web designers or photographers. While not 100% perfect, at the time it was the closest option available and we made it work. Within Dubsado we created our proposals and that would go out to the client. Then the client would walk through the various steps of approval and the project would move forward.

All the above complicated our interactions with our clients and internal team. Given that we are a smaller firm, every minute counts when trying to provide incredible customer service and complete projects in the most efficient way possible. Now with Dronecloud™ our clients have a single point to request, approve, track, pay, and download their deliverables. By using Dronecloud™, we have streamlined our communications, provided an area that the client can interact on their timeline, and kept every penny of revenue due to being resourceful.”

After having been part of the beta program, we are really impressed by the speed of development of the software and the roadmap for Dronecloud™ is looking right on the money.

AerdiA was created and built on the love of technology. Both owners come from varied business backgrounds and knew that involvement in the drone industry was a wise business move.

Since 2016, AerdiA has been focused only on those services that aid the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry. Through aerial LiDAR, thermal data collection, digital mapping, photos, videos and more, AerdiA has been able to provide valuable services that keep budgets in line, safety issues in check and the business pipeline growing.

Dronecloud

Verity Signs Intel Executive To Lead Sales Growth

ZURICH – August, 2019 – Verity Studios AG, the global leader in indoor drone systems, announced today that Head of Sales Fabrice Couadou is the latest addition to its growing senior management team.

With more than 20 years of sales, business development, and marketing experience at Intel, Couadou will focus on scaling Verity’s live events business. Leading business development efforts for Intel’s EMEA drone business for the past several years, he intends to leverage his insights and experience to drive Verity to the next level of commercial success.

“Verity has brought leading-edge technology to the live events industry and at the same time made it reliable, safe, and easy to operate. With its innovation roadmap, Verity is already several steps ahead of the market and its competition and has established a successful recurring business model. Verity’s work with entertainment providers like Cirque du Soleil and MSG, and artists like Drake and Metallica is further proof that they’re the clear leaders in this field, and I’m excited to join the team.”

AIRT Announces Rebranding of UAS DRONES Disaster Conferences to DRONERESPONDERS Series

DOWNEY, CA – During the 2019 UAS DRONES Disaster Conference in Los Angeles, Talwyn Haley, Air Traffic Security Specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration discusses the process for public safety agencies to request emergency air space authorization during times of disasters. Photo by AIRT.

Non-profit evolving event programming as public safety and emergency management agencies accelerate their deployment of unmanned solutions

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – AIRT (Airborne International Response Team), a Florida 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has announced it will rebrand its public safety-related conference programing under their new DRONERESPONDERS brand as the organization retires the UAS DRONES Disaster Conference series effectively immediately.

AIRT Executive Director Christopher Todd announced the move while speaking live on Technology Revolution: The Future of Nowwith Bonnie D. Graham broadcast on VoiceAmerica Internet Talk Radio.

“The adoptions of drones for public safety and disaster response missions is quickly accelerating,” said Todd. “We must evolve our conference programming to keep pace. The DRONERESPONDERS brand will allow us to expand our series of UAS-centric events to better cater to the various needs of the whole community.”

The UAS DRONES Disaster Conference was originally launched in April 2018 at Florida International University. The series expanded to Miami and Los Angeles in 2019, exploring the role of drones for hurricane and wildfire response, as well as other types of public safety missions.

The first scheduled event under the new DRONERESPONDERS brand will be the Fall 2019 U.S. Public Safety Summit hosted in partnership with Commercial UAV Expo Americas at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on October 29-30. That event was announced last week along with a special summit pass available to public safety professionals at a reduced price through September 15.

That event will be followed by the DRONERESPONDERS Disaster Conference of the Americas scheduled for Miami in early 2020, accompanied by the DRONERESPONDERS All-Hazards UAS Conference held in Los Angeles in Summer 2020. More information about these events will be released soon.

Todd says it is highly likely that AIRT will add more events to the schedule as interest surrounding both unmanned systems and the DRONERESPONDERS program continues to explode.

“Having produced these events for the past two years, we understand how challenging it can be to host a conference,” says Todd. “We believe the power of the DRONERESPONDERS brand, along with the amazing team of first responders who are supporting our non-profit mission, can assist other event organizers who desire top-tier public safety UAS-related programming for their audiences.”

For more information on the DRONERSPONERS program, their events, and how you can get involved, please visit http://droneresponders.org To learn more about the various non-profit programs of AIRT, visit http://airt.ngo

About AIRT

AIRT® (Airborne Incident Response Team) is a Florida-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides innovative aviation and aerospace resources to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from complex emergencies and major disasters. AIRT is building the World’s Largest Air Force® for #aviationforgood. Our global remote pilot network is ready to #getup whenever disaster strikes. For more information, visit: http://airt.ngo

FAA approves another groundbreaking BVLOS flight

FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program partners Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus and Westar Energy solely leverage Iris Automation to limit the risk of airborne collisions while flying BVLOS

TOPEKA, Kan. August, 2019 – The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) received permission to conduct the first-ever beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone operation in the nation leveraging only onboard detect-and-avoid systems. This is the first-ever FAA authorized operation to fly without a requirement for visual observers or ground-based radar and is the result of the 31-member Kansas UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team efforts to advance drone technologies.

In a collaborative effort between Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus (K-State Polytechnic), Westar Energy, Iris Automation and KDOT, the Kansas IPP team will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies to inspect power lines in rural Kansas. This approval is the first of its kind for long line linear infrastructure and is the first step to enable routine commercial infrastructure inspection across the state.

“The UAS industry has worked over 10 years to demonstrate the most significant commercial benefit of drone operations within the United States,” said Bob Brock, KDOT Director of Aviation. “We are proud of the joint state, university and industry team that made this landmark decision possible.”

“The ability to fly BVLOS missions without ground-based radar or visual observers is a significant advancement, and Westar Energy views this as an opportunity to play a key role in shaping the future of UAS operations within the utility industry,” said Mike Kelly, Westar Energy Senior UAS Coordinator.

“Being able to operate under this waiver allows the Kansas IPP team the ability to research and develop truly scalable BVLOS UAS operations for the automated inspection of linear infrastructure.”

The Applied Aviation Research Center on the K-State Polytechnic Campus, which assisted in the development of the safety case that ultimately led to FAA approval, will be responsible for the training and flight operations with a cross-functional team from the KDOT IPP. Flights will take place over the next few months, providing the FAA with much-needed data on true BVLOS activity.

“We look forward to leveraging this waiver to integrate UAS technology into the transmission line inspection process,” said Kurt Carraway, UAS Executive Director of the K-State Polytechnic Applied Aviation Research Center.

“We are certain that utilities will be able to quickly realize a return on investment while mitigating safety to their maintenance personnel and increasing the reliability of their infrastructure to the general public.”

It marks the first required automated avoidance action. Historically, all FAA-issued Part 107 BVLOS waivers have required visual observers or ground-based radar. These mitigations limit the possibility of true BVLOS flights, as they are typically prohibitively expensive and limit operations to pre-defined corridor areas with radar coverage.

This important milestone is facilitated by Kansas UAS IPP partner Iris Automation’s Casia onboard collision avoidance system.

“Flying rural missions like these without a human pilot onboard or costly radar on the ground is exponentially safer and more cost-effective,” said Iris Automation CEO and Co-Founder Alexander Harmsen. “The FAA is trusting us to pave the way for a safer, scalable future together with this precedent-setting second approval of our system.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Kansas Department of Transportation as one of nine participants in the FAA UAS IPP. This program allows state, local and tribal governments to conduct advanced UAS operations to gather data to assist the rulemaking process that will set the boundaries for UAS operations in the United States. www.ippkansas.org

About Iris AutomationIris Automation is building an AI-based collision avoidance system that helps drones see the world how pilots do. By enabling Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to fly Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS), Iris is the critical missing piece that takes commercial drone operations from theoretical to functional. The company is based in San Francisco and is led by a team with experience at NASA, Boeing, and Nvidia, including PhDs in computer vision. Iris is a key partner on multiple FAA UAS Integration Pilot Programs, a participant of NASA’s Unmanned Traffic Management program and a participant of Transport Canada’s BVLOS Technology Demonstration Program. www.irisonboard.com

About Kansas State University’s Polytechnic CampusKansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus in Salina, Kan. is one of four campuses in the K-State system. The Applied Aviation Research Center on the K-State Polytechnic Campus specializes in unmanned aircraft systems, specifically research, training and consulting. www.ksu-uas.com or http://polytechnicexperience.com/droneexperts

About KCP&L and Westar Energy:Serving approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company and Westar Energy are the electric utilities of Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG). Together we generate nearly half the power we provide to homes and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work, and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions. https://www.westarenergy.com/

Asia’s First Global Drone Conference & Hackathon 2019 to be held in Malaysia

Best Events Productions, a brand experience agency specializing in designing immersive experiences announced the launch of the Global Drone Conference and Hackathon happening on 21st and 22nd October 2019.

This event serves as a prelude to the International Space and Defence Expo (ISDEX2020) that will take place in Langkawi in July 2020.

The Global Drone Conference (GDC2019) is an annual international

conference for businesses and government agencies to explore strategies for the efficient use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Key figures from the fields of politics, law-making, academia, industry and business come together to discuss the way forward for achieving acceptance and devising solutions for the safe and effective commercial use of unmanned aircraft in Asia.

The event will focus on the real-world differences the technology can make

We often read about possible great things that technology can do but what does all of that mean to farmers who are looking to increase their yields today? What about the aerospace workers that want to use drones to assess all of the things that are or are not being done on their aircraft right now? What about the city government officials who want to use drones to inspect bridges and tall buildings that are in danger of falling apart in the near future? We need practical applications that are happening throughout a number of industries, and GDC2019 aims to bring all of that together at a single event.

With top-notch education and an enclosed exhibit floor filled with the highest precision UAV technology, the Global Drone Conference is the best choice for professionals who need to keep up-to-date on commercial UAV technology, trends and developments.

The two-day Drone Conference will cover topics which include “Drones in the Building and Agriculture industries”, “Challenges and Innovations in Protecting Airports From the Threat of sUAS” and a Panel Forum discussing the “Development of More Effective Legislative And Regulatory Frameworks To Improve Wider Counter Drone Defence” among other exciting topics shared by both local and international speakers and authoritative figures.

To encourage students and the general public to understand the capability of drones and its possible misuse, a drone hackathon has been created to harness talent especially when it comes to countering drones. Commercial easy-to-buy and small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) have become omnipresent, and the potential risk they pose to performers ranging from lone-wolf terrorists to state-sponsored agents is growing daily.

The two-day hackathon will see teams explore non-traditional, innovative methods to counter sUAS. Winning teams will receive the opportunity for funding to further, develop or demonstrate their solution.

To be part of or attend the Global Drone Conference and Hackathon 2019, kindly visit www.isdexpo.com/globaldroneconference or email

[email protected]