Category Archives: Drone news

5 Times Drones Saved Lives

When we think about drones, what usually comes to mind are beautiful camera shots we’ve seen in the movies or online. Or the funny video when a drone lost its camera at a festival. Some might get excited about 30-minute Amazon deliveries with Amazon Air.

But there is more to drones than cool shots and flying packages. Drones are helping to save lives all over the world. Let’s have a look at 5 most amazing instances.

Number 5: MISSING FILM CREW RESCUED IN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TERRAIN

The forests of Adana, Turkey can be beautiful, but treacherous – especially during the winter. When a film crew decided to visit the forests and find new filming locations they had no idea what was about to come. After a day full of walking and scouting they decided to head back to their hotel.

However, none of the 10 people in the crew were able to figure out a way back. They had to contact emergency services when another difficulty arose. They had no idea where they were. After a few hours of searching with no luck, the members of the crew started to complain about being very cold and hungry. And it was about to get dark very soon.

This is when the search party decided to deploy a drone. In a short time, the film crew was located, land units were able to reach them and get them home safely. Turns out when you can’t see the forest for the trees all you have to do is get some altitude.

Number 4: 3 NORTH KOREANS RESCUED BY DRONE IN CHINA AFTER 24 HOUR SEARCH

We know North Korea doesn’t like to be looked at, but sometimes they need to be looked for. North Korean officials were forced to contact China after 3 of their soldiers ended up stranded near a Liangshui, Tumen due to a river spillover. In spite of the Chinese government deploying a 10 men party to the rescue, the search bore no fruit as the river was running too wild for anyone to even come close.

The next day, after the water calmed, rescue boats were sent to the location. Unfortunately, the river flooded everything in a mile radius and the area to search was enormous. After two hours of unsuccessful searching, a drone was deployed. In the following two hours, the search party was able to locate and rescue two men and a woman.

Number 3: A MAN AND HIS DOG RESCUED AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW

After hurricane Matthew struck the coast of North Carolina, the residents of Hope Mills were involuntarily made to stay home. The floods outside were reaching three stories. One of those residents was Quavas Hart – a filmmaker and a drone owner. When Quavas decided to fly his drone around the neighborhood he didn’t see anything out of ordinary, aside from the streets resembling Venice, Italy with the amount of water between the houses.

After he posted a drone picture of the flooded neighborhood on Twitter, a man from Texas got back to him saying that one of the houses in the picture belongs to his brother, Chris, who is currently trapped inside.

Quavas decided to use his inflatable boat to go help Chris, but luckily enough he saw a rescue boat cruising around the neighborhood.

He then used his drone to navigate the rescue party to the right house and save Chris and his dog Lana.

Number 2: SAVED BY A DRONE WHILE LOST IN THE FOREST, SUFFERING A HEART ATTACK

A man and his granddaughter have been reported stranded somewhere near East Fork of the Des Moines River in Iowa. A 20 person rescue team has been deployed to look for the pair.

Rivers with trees are very difficult to navigate, even more so when there are logjams. The rescue team was able to hear faint cries through the woods but did not see anything that would indicate the location of the stranded people.

The setting sun was making it more difficult to see by the minute. A member of the party has made the decision to contact a colleague who operates a drone. Within three minutes of the drone setting off, they were able to locate the missing pair. Once discovered, the man collapsed as he was suffering a heart attack the whole time. Without the drone, the party might’ve not found the man in time and saved his life.

Number 1: DRONE SAVED 14 CONSTRUCTION WORKERS STRANDED ON A FLOODED BRIDGE

On the evening of November 8, 2015, heavy rain caused the water in Lingui District of Guilin City, China to rise. 14 constructions workers weren’t able to evacuate the bridge they were working on in time and ended up being stranded, surrounded by water. After being trapped for more than 3 hours, the men called for help and an emergency team was deployed.

However, the wild water in combination with uneven terrain made it impossible for rescue boats to reach them.

The trapped men started to complain about being wet, very cold and hungry. This is when some people proposed to use a drone to deliver supplies to the men. At the time, there were no drones available for emergency services.

The town mayor contacted Pang Wei, a local tax office worker that he knew was an avid drone enthusiast. Mr. Wei did not say or ask anything. He packed his drone and immediately drove to the scene.

He managed to fly equipment and food to the bridge. Since the drone cannot exceed 2 kilograms of material at a time it took 6 turns to get all the necessary resources to the workers. At midnight, after the flood slowly subsided to the safe water level, the rescue was fully launched and 14 trapped people were escorted to safety.

MMC has become the largest supplier of State Grid and Second Largest Provider for China Southern Power Grid with their inspection UAS

China Southern Power Grid Guangdong (CSG) launched a large-scale unmanned aerial vehicle system on Aug and Nov , 2018. MMC underwent rigorous screening and emerged from many drone manufacturers. It won the bidding for trainer unmanned aircraft, high-precision positioning dual-light drone, night vision drone and multi-rotor lidar drone. MMC officially become the UAV supplier of two major grid companies of China Southern Power Grid and State Grid.

MMC has been dedicated to UAV applications for power lines for more than eight years since its establishment. It was shortlisted for the largest state grid supplier and accounted for more than 50% of the winning bid in 2017 and 2018. In November 2018, MMC was selected for procurement champion of state grid. Just one month later, One branch of national grid spent 3 million dollars purchasing Drones for power line inspection from the Company.

FLIR Announces Thermal Studio for Drone Pros

FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today introduced FLIR Thermal Studio, thermal image analysis and reporting software designed to manage large sets of thermal images and videos. Engineered for thermographers who use FLIR thermal handheld cameras, optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with thermal cameras, FLIR Thermal Studio’s advanced processing capabilities and automation are designed to streamline workflow and increase productivity.

FLIR Thermal Studio offers new measurement functions, advanced formula capability, and custom analysis templates for professional thermographers. Unlike comparable software that requires users to process images individually, this innovative program allows tuning of entire batches of thermal photos or videos with a few clicks. Technicians use FLIR Thermal Studio to streamline image processing, which means UAS operators who record thousands of images in a single survey will be able to edit or extract hot spot data quickly and then export it for further analysis.

This new software also offers advanced post-processing capabilities so users can gain insights quickly from their data. High-sensitivity mode and pixel-binding for enhanced gas visualization from .SEQ and .CSQ files can help OGI technicians identify gas leaks in motion with video.

With advanced measurement functions and coverage calculation, predictive maintenance professionals can generate custom reports quickly — up to 100 pages in less than a minute.

FLIR Thermal Studio accelerates even the most complex post-production thermal image and video processing, including multi-source plots and formula computations, multi-format export, and FLIR’s patented Multi Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX ® ), which superimposes visual light

details on thermal images. Supporting more than 20 languages, the program is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 without the need for Microsoft Office.

FLIR Thermal Studio can be downloaded as a free trial today or with an upgrade to full functionality for $899. Additionally, FLIR is offering a $300 rebate for holders of valid FLIR Tools+ and Reporter licenses. For more information about FLIR Thermal Studio, please visit

www.flir.com/thermal-studio.

Drone Workforce Solutions (DWS) Announces Launch of Global Drone Pilot Portal

Drone Workforce Solutions, LLC (DWS) announces the launch of a one-of-a-kind digital database that connects certified drone pilots with corporate,

business and government partners around the world. The Drone Workforce Solutions Pilot Portal will offer potential clients access to the most experienced and talented pool of drone operators the industry has to offer.

Under Drone Workforce Solutions’ comprehensive vetting system, all American pilots will have passed the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 exam.

This vetting system offers corporate and government partners the comfort of knowing they are hiring highly-qualified pilots who can supply a diverse range of drone services.

The Drone Workforce Solutions Pilot Portal is now available. With just a click of a button, DWS can send information about potential clients and job opportunities to drone pilots; including the project location, the pay rate, the duration of the job, and the type of equipment that is required. In turn, pilots will be able to communicate with DWS about their availability.

FAAcertified drone pilots are invited to logon to www.droneworkforcesolutions.com to setup their individual profile.

“At Drone Workforce Solutions, we believe in connecting the right pilots with the right skills to partners who need them. Our handpicked drone operators meet standards of excellence for our clients that are unmatched by any other company in the business,” said Theophilus R. Nix, Jr. Esq., Founder and CEO, Drone Workforce Solutions. “Drone technology is rapidly transforming the way companies, governments and entrepreneurs operate.

The Drone Workforce Solutions Pilot Portal will become an essential meeting place for experienced drone professionals and aspiring drone technology innovators.”

About Drone Workforce Solutions

DWS is a global technology and strategic business solutions company providing solutions to help solve operational challenges faced by its clients through the use and integration of drone technology and its applications. DWS also provides drone training and education through its state-approved Drone School.

Formula Drift Releases Stunning Drone Footage Of A Race In Motion

Formula Drift Releases Stunning Drone Footage Of A Race In Motion

Generally, we keep our newsletter content to discussion of major leaps forward in the drone industry, up-to-date commentary on the regulatory policies of various governments, or significant stories involving the largest drone service companies. But sometimes, all you want to do is look at a cool video. Something like this:

What you’re looking at is footage from a qualifying race for the Formula Drift Black Magic Pro Championship, taken with a GoPro Hero7 Black attached to a custom-built racing drone. Drifting is one of the most visually arresting forms of motorsport, with points being awarded for big skids, lots of smoke, and what should be impossible angles at which to drive a car. Formula Drift is the largest professional drifting championship series in North America, with 60 currently licensed drivers competing.

This year, Formula Drift (also known informally as “Formula D”) is making an effort to incorporate the latest technologies to make the sport appeal to more spectators. As part of this initiative, an all-electric vehicle will be competing for the first time in the championship series’ history (specifically, a modified Chevy Camaro with the equivalent of 515 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque.)

It’s also why they’ve started producing footage – uploaded to their official YouTube channel – taken by a racing drone that gets as close to the cars as possible. This video is taken by Johnny Schaer, known professionally as Johnny FPV, who has spent years perfecting the art of filming extreme sports from the first-person drone perspective. Among many other achievements, he was the winner of AirVūz’s 2019 Video Of The Year contest in the FPV category.

Like many pilots, Schaer controls his custom-built drone units through a Virtual Reality headset, which lets him see from the drone’s perspective as he flies. His skill at piloting and knack for spotting a great shot angle allows him to capture extraordinary footage that no other pilot can match. Though the exact specs aren’t a matter of public record, the racing UAV he is using to create this Formula Drift footage is compact, fast and very agile.

This is crucial, because it’s very hard for a normal drone to keep up with something as fast as a Formula Drift racing vehicle. Schaer’s reactions and hand-eye coordination have to be nearly perfect to avoid causing a crash while still getting the up-close footage that characterizes his work and sets these extreme sports videos apart from other forms of drone photography. Formula Drift racing makes the job of not crashing even harder, as he has to fly through the huge plumes of smoke generated by the cars themselves.

In short, Schaer’s work is incredibly impressive, and we’re thrilled to hear about his partnership with Formula Drift. But it should be noted that he is by no means the only extreme sports FPV drone photographer. Last month, RED-FPV captured this gorgeous footage in which he (mostly) keeps pace with Sébastien Loeb, the World Rally Championship’s most successful race car driver:

With footage as impressive as this, let’s hope this kind of FPV racing photography remains popular and profitable. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I think I speak for everyone at Dronethusiast when I say that we could watch these kinds of videos all day!

The writer known as I Coleman is a veteran tech reviewer who’s spent seven years writing about everything from PC hardware to drone tech and who joined the Dronethusiast team early in 2017. I brings his characteristic sense of humor and attention to detail to our product reviews and buyer’s guides, making sure that they’re packed with expert analysis in a way that’s still easy for hobby newcomers to understand. In his spare time, I is using drones to create 3D modeling software for a company in his hometown.

Wings, Google’s Drone Delivery Service, Takes Flight In Australia

Google’s Drone Delivery Service, Takes Flight In Australia

Look there! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a burrito?

It sounds ridiculous, but for some inhabitants of Australia, this situation will soon become reality. Alphabet Inc., the multinational conglomerate that owns Google and its subsidiaries, is rolling out its own take on a drone delivery program called “Wing.” The subsidiary, founded in 2014 to explore drone and aircraft delivery technology, will be delivering the products of local businesses in the Canberra suburbs of Crace, Palmerston, and Franklin starting this week.

The rollout was waiting for approval from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority), the Australian aviation administration. Peter Gibson, a spokesman for CASA, told Guardian Australia that the governing body was inspecting Wing’s methodology with regard to potential safety measures, stating that “All those safety issues have been assessed so there are no risks to people on the ground, property or aircraft in the sky.” To satisfy CASA’s concerns, and to improve their own methodology and technology, Wing has been performing trials on a smaller scale for 18 months, carrying out over 3,000 deliveries in that time.

wing googles drone delivery service

Here’s how the system will work. Initially, around 100 homes in the aforementioned Canberra suburbs will have access to the service, although the company plans to expand it to homes in Harrison and Gungahlin if the initial rollout is successful. Customers in eligible homes, after receiving a safety briefing about interacting with the drones, will need to download the Wing app to their mobile devices. Once they load a customer profile and verify that Wing’s services are available in their area, they become able to place orders for products offered by merchants in the Canberra area who have partnered with Wing’s delivery services.

The small businesses who are currently partnered with Wing include Kickstart Expresso, Capital Chemist, Pure Gelato, Jasper + Myrtle, Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez and Drummond Golf. The products Wing delivers for these companies will include food, coffee, household items, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Wing promises that all of these products will be delivered “in minutes”, so that the food and beverages will still be fresh and warm by the time they arrive. But Wing’s regulatory approval understandably comes with several restrictions. Wing’s drones will not be allowed to fly over main roads, for example. They can only operate between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM on Sunday and between the hours of 7 AM and 8 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with no operation at all on Saturdays. And as in the US, these commercial drones will be restricted from flying too close to people or too low to the ground.

Obviously, this is huge news for our industry. It means that Google has officially beaten Amazon to become the first major tech company to offer a commercial drone delivery service to the general public, albeit in a limited sense. Worth noting is that other, less high-profile companies, most significantly UPS, still beat Alphabet, Inc. to the punch in certain areas, and will hopefully ensure that the megacorporation doesn’t hold a monopoly in the space once large-scale commercial drone delivery becomes commercially feasible.

One crucial question this rollout will test is the degree to which residents are willing to live in a place with frequent drone deliveries. Residents outside Canberra have already launched the “Bonython Against Drones” campaign in response to the 18-month trial period. Noise complaints are one of residents’ biggest complaints, with one member of the campaign complaining that “When [Wing does] a delivery drop they hover over the site and it sounds like an extremely loud, squealing vacuum cleaner.” In response to these complaints, CASA ordered Wing to develop quieter drones for its deliveries before the rollout. Time will tell whether those changes were enough to placate the technologically dubious.

In the meantime, as skeptical as we should all be of the intentions of large companies like Google, we at Dronethusiast think our readership will agree that this is a huge step forward for drone technology and an exciting exploration of the potential of drone delivery.

The writer known as I Coleman is a veteran tech reviewer who’s spent seven years writing about everything from PC hardware to drone tech and who joined the Dronethusiast team early in 2017. I brings his characteristic sense of humor and attention to detail to our product reviews and buyer’s guides, making sure that they’re packed with expert analysis in a way that’s still easy for hobby newcomers to understand. In his spare time, I is using drones to create 3D modeling software for a company in his hometown.

Altitude Angel becomes the first UTM company to join COMIT

Altitude Angel, the world’s leading unmanned traffic solutions provider, has become the first UTM (unmanned traffic management) business to be admitted as a member of COMIT

(Construction, Operation & Maintenance through Innovative Technology ) – the not-for-profit body dedicated to harnessing and promoting the use of innovative technology within the construction industry.

“Altitude Angel is all about breaking new ground, so to be the first UTM business to join COMIT is a big thing,” said Richard Parker, Altitude Angel CEO and founder. “The construction sector has really embraced the potential of drones and is already benefitting from how they can add value, bring efficiencies and improve safety across the industry.

Toby Potter, Altitude Angel’s Vice President of Sales and Partnerships, added:

“As the use of drones within construction increases, so will the need to safely manage the skies. As experts in airspace management, Altitude Angel will be able to provide innovative and practical solutions making the use of drones not only efficient, but safe whilst ensuring operators are fully compliant with the appropriate regulations and procedures, laying the foundations for greater use of automation in conducting flights.

“And of course, we’re looking forward to meeting as many COMIT members as we can in the coming months!”

Anthony Shooter, COMIT Projects Ltd, chair of drone technology, echoed Richard’s comments:

“We’re thrilled to have an industry leading business in Altitude Angel join us. At COMIT we’ll be helping them understand our members’ needs and the challenges to be tackled as the industry continues to adopt and implement advances in drone technology.”

Altitude Angel works with drone manufacturers, air navigation service providers (ANSPs, the organisations and public bodies which manage controlled airspace) as well as businesses and organisations which manage large infrastructures across numerous industries, to provide solutions which will allow the safe integration of automated drones into airspace.

Through its Airspace Management platform, GuardianUTM O/S, they deliver the essential software platform which enable national deployments of U-Space compatible services, safely unlocking the potential of drones and helping national aviation authorities and ANSPs to establish new services to support growth in the drone industry.

Altitude Angel

Introducing the Skylink command and control by uAvionix

Today at uAvionix we are extremely excited to finally announce a new initiative we’ve been keeping under our hats for a while. If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed that most of the news over the past 6-12 months about uAvionix has been General Aviation (GA) focused due to the success of our skyBeacon and tailBeacon products. You might be wondering if we’ve lost our focus on unmanned systems.

I’m happy to say that we have not! You may have noticed our new tagline at the top of this post “Communicate, Navigate, Separate”. We’ve been known for our “Navigate” and “Separate” capabilities with our GPS and ADS-B solutions, and now we’re excited to venture into the “Communicate” arena.

Introducing SkyLink, our new Command and Non-Payload Control (CNPC) Data Link product concept. Off the back of our TSO certification successes, we’re aiming right for the top with SkyLink – targeted to exceed the performance standards of RTCA DO-362 and aimed at a certification under TSO-C-213. We believe that certified CNPC radios are going to become a key component of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations and in support of UAS OEM type certification efforts. If you’re familiar with the regulatory development in this area – you’ll know that there are still some standards and spectrum questions being worked out. For that reason, we’re still operating under experimental transmit licenses and with a few select partners for integration and flight testing.

What is CNPC and Why is it Important?

According to RTCA DO-362 – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for the UAS CNPC link system:

“the word ‘Control’ refers to the information exchanges needed to support the pilot in safely maneuvering the unmanned aircraft (UA) on the ground and in the air. This would include commands to the UA such as: executing turns, changes in engine operation, changes in radio frequencies, etc., and information from the UA such as: confirmation of receipt of and actions taken in response to commands, as well as detect and avoid information, navigation data, weather radar data, onboard situational awareness data, etc. The words ‘Non-Payload Communications’ includes the potential of the CNPC Link System to support pilot-to/from-ATC voice and data communications. However, non-payload communications specifically exclude communications associated with the UA mission payloads which should not contain safety-of-flight information.”

The robustness of the CNPC data link should be considered in the context of the robustness of the autonomy functions of the autopilot. In other words, if the autopilot’s autonomous functions are non-deterministic, a more robust CNPC data link is required to support control actions.

This isn’t our first Rodeo

Not only does uAvionix now have TSO certifications under our belt, our team has a personal history with command and control links as well. Prior to founding uAvionix, CEO Paul Beard an our CTO Jeff Walker invented and brought to market the “Spektrum®” digital spread spectrum radio control (RC) technology which revolutionized the RC industry by moving the control link from 27 and 72MHz bands to a high bandwidth 2.4GHz ISM band.

YANGDA FW-250 VTOL

YANGDA FW-250 is a reliable and affordable VTOL fixed-wing plane designed for long-range inspection, survey, aerial photography, agriculture, search and rescue and public safety applications. As a fixed-wing UAV with VTOL and hover capabilities, the FW-250 features a modular airframe that can be set up in less than 10 minutes, does not require runway or catapult to get airborne. Once in the air, the aircraft transitions to horizontal flight as a push-prop fixed-wing.

Tool-free assembly

Due to its modular airframe design, FW-250 can be set up in less than 10 minutes by a single man.

Long flight time

FW-250 airframe is using light-weight and high strength composite material, which will enable the fixed-wing plane to fly up to 2 hours with 2KG payload, at an average cruising speed of 75KM/H.

Support color customization

You can choose your own color for FW-250 VTOL drone.

Multiple camera options

These cameras are compatible with FW-250 VTOL aircraft: Sky Eye-U30 30X zoom camera, Eagle Eye-30IE-U 2-axis 30X EO/IR camera.

Specification

Wingspan: 2.5m

Fuselage: Composites

Frame Weight: 2.68kg

Total Weight: 5.5kg(without battery)

Max Take-off Weight: 12kg

Max Payload: 2kg

Flight Time: 2 hours with 2KG payload

Max Speed: 100km/h

Stall Speed: 15m/s-16m/s

Altitude: 3000m

Your Purchase Includes

RTF Combo

1 x YANGDA FW-250 VTOL fixed-wing airframe

4 x T-motor MN505 KV260

4 x T-motor FLAME 60A ESC

2 x T-motor 1654 CF Propeller CW&CCW

1 x T-motor 4120 KV250

1 x T-motor 12S 60A ESC

1 x APC stype 15×8 Propeller CW

4 x KST DS135MG Servo

1 x Px4 Air Speedometer

1 x ASSAN UBEC-8A

1 x Power Monitor Module

1 x Pixhawk 2.1 Standard Set with Here 2 GNSS

1 x YR16S Radio Controller

1 x Assembly and Flight Test Service

Options

Battery

1 x 18650 6S 35000mAh Li-ion Battery for crusing motor

2 x 6S 5000mAh Lipo Battery for lift motors

Radio Controller

Futaba T14SG Radio Controller

YANGDA FW-250

Sky Scape Industries Acquired By American Aerospace

American Aerospace Technologies, a provider of real-time remote sensing and airborne intelligence services for enterprise, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sky Scape Industries, an unmanned technology service-provider. SSI’s services are widely used by critical infrastructure operators in the electric, water, and oil & gas industries. SSI will continue to provide integration services, professional drone advisory services, and inspection services nationwide.

“The SSI team is world class, and is perfectly aligned with AATI’s core values – providing safe and effective integration of airborne remote sensing technology with a primary focus on Part 107 drone operations,” stated David Yoel, CEO of AATI. “By combining the two complimentary companies, we expand our ability to offer products and services with manned aircraft, long endurance unmanned aircraft and small UAS.”

“AATI is a true leader in the unmanned industry. They have the resources and capabilities to truly push the unmanned industry to new heights. Our unification is solidified by our common core values – passion for innovation and driving this industry further,” said Nathan Ernst, Founder and president of SSI.

“The unmanned aviation industry continues to accelerate, including the integration of long endurance UAS beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) into the National Airspace System and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) integration for small UAS,” continued Mr. Yoel. “As we continue our endeavors at the forefront, SSI will create exponential value-add for existing and new customers.”

SSI was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New Jersey. The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions. SSI will operate as a separate subsidiary entity focusing on small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and related services. More details about the acquisition will be provided in subsequent posts via each company’s website and news releases in the near future.

Sky Scape