Payload

August 02, 2017

Australian research project uses drones to protect koala bears

BY Patrick C. MillerDrones flown by Queensland University of Technology researchers will locate and gather data on Australian koala bears. The university said results from the first-of-its-kind project could be used to make conservation decisions in other ecosystems. READ MORE

July 18, 2017

VStar Systems brings signals intelligence to the civilian world

BY Patrick C. MillerOnce the domain of large military UAS, signals intelligence on small drones is becoming a reality. VStar Systems has created a small, light, affordable sensor for search-and-rescue missions and counter-UAS operations. READ MORE

July 14, 2017

Sentera grows its high-precision sensor line

BY Sentera Sentera has released the latest update to its sensor product line, the Quad Sensor. It features four fully customizable imagers to provide high-precision, low-distortion vegetative health data for precision agriculture and research applications. READ MORE

July 12, 2017

Smart quadcopters find their way without human help or GPS

BY DARPA DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy program is advancing technology to enable small unmanned quadcopters to fly autonomously through cluttered buildings and obstacle courses using cameras and sensors as “eyes” and smart algorithms to self-navigate. READ MORE

June 28, 2017

Insitu equips ScanEagle with high-accuracy photogrammetry payload

BY Insitu Insitu has integrated 50-megapixel camera into its ScanEagle UAV enabling it to deliver high-accuracy photogrammetric aerial imagery to its suite of remote sensing products. The new payload is well-suited for mining and oil and gas operations. READ MORE

June 21, 2017

World View, KFC to send sandwich to the edge of space

BY Patrick C. MillerThere's no rule against combining the testing of UAS technology with fast-food marketing. That's what brought together World View's balloon-borne Stratollite system and KFC's Zinger chicken sandwich as they both head to the edge of space this week. READ MORE

June 21, 2017

Kespry enters insurance sector with new drone platform features

BY Patrick C. MillerCalifornia-based Kespry has added features to its enterprise drone platform to assist insurance claims adjusters. The company's new cloud platform can now automatically identify hail damage to roofs, resulting in improved service for policyholders. READ MORE

June 21, 2017

UAV equipped with radiation detectors can assist hazmat teams

BY Patrick C. MillerBNC Scientific has added the Phoenix ACE RAD Airborne Radiation Detector unmanned aerial vehicle to the tools available to hazmat teams and first responders. It has the ability to reach tight spaces without exposing personnel to unnecessary risks. READ MORE

June 07, 2017

North Dakota forms task force aimed at counter-UAS testing

BY Patrick C. MillerThe state of North Dakota is forming a UAS Detection and Counter-UAS Task Force to test and demonstrate technologies that defend against rogue drone operators. Two federal agencies have expressed interest in testing counter-UAS technologies. READ MORE

June 07, 2017

US Geological Survey using drones to study prescribed burns

BY Patrick C. MillerPrescribed burns used to reduce the risk to lives and property during wildfires are being studied by the U.S. Geological Survey with the use of UAS. Thermal imaging sensors on the drones gather data scientists use to study emissions and intensity. READ MORE

May 24, 2017

On the spot: Textron, Aeryon assess Oklahoma tornado damage

BY Patrick C. MillerA team from Textron Systems and Aeryon Labs in Oklahoma to demonstrate the value of UAS in managing disasters found itself in the middle of a real disaster. They assisted first responders after a tornado struck Elk City on May 16. READ MORE

May 24, 2017

NASA engineers develop safe landing system for small UAS

BY Patrick C. MillerSafe2Ditch technology being developed by engineers at the NASA Langley Research Center gives small UAS the ability to land in urban areas quickly, safely and autonomously in the event of a technical failure. READ MORE

May 24, 2017

U.S. record set for longest drone urban package delivery

BY Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development A UAS team comprised of groups from Nevada and Texas set a U.S. record for delivering a package to an urban area after a 97-mile drone flight through the national airspace. A fixed-wing drone delivered the package to Austin, Texas. READ MORE

May 10, 2017

Grand Sky to conduct BVLOS flights with large UAS this summer

BY Patrick C. MillerThe Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation park will begin beyond visual line-of-sight flights this summer using large UAS. A contract between Harris Corp. and Grand Sky will enable UAS satellite navigation for the flights. READ MORE

April 27, 2017

Mini-ADS-B maker set to release newer, smaller versions for sUAS

BY Luke GeiverThe maker of a miniature ADS-B transceivers and navigation products has announced plans to debut a new line of small unmanned aircraft systems products that are lighter and better than previous versions. READ MORE

April 13, 2017

Verizon tests cellphone tower in the sky to aid first responders

BY Patrick C. MillerVerizon is testing a drone equipped as a flying cell tower to demonstrate its ability to provide communications to first responders during emergencies and disasters when normal communications are knocked out. A larger test is planned for next month. READ MORE

April 13, 2017

Pipeline inspection drone developed for oil and gas industry

BY Patrick C. MillerThe vertical-take-off-and-landing SkyOne UAS developed by SkyX, a new Canadian aerospace company, is intended to serve the oil and gas industry's need for pipeline inspection, mapping and surveillance. READ MORE

March 30, 2017

ACSS, NASA plan UAS collision avoidance flight tests this summer

BY Patrick C. MillerFollowing last year's successful flight tests with Northrop Grumman's optionally piloted Firebird aircraft, Arizona avionics developer ACSS will this summer be working with NASA to test a new version of its UAS collision avoidance system. READ MORE

February 16, 2017

Insitu hopes to give U.S. Coast Guard cutters the UAS advantage

BY Patrick C. MillerInsitu is well positioned to provide the U.S. Coast Guard with the small UAS it plans to have aboard its cutters in the next few years. The company has plenty of experience testing and operating is Scan Eagle from the service's ships. READ MORE

February 16, 2017

ORNL releases guide for electric utilities looking to add drones

BY Luke GeiverRick Lusk has created a best practices guide for utilizing unmanned aircraft systems from the insight of pilots and practitioners from all over the world. Lusk, is the director of the unmanned aircraft systems center at ORNL. READ MORE

February 02, 2017

General Atomics new SkyGuardian has commercial potential

BY Patrick C. MillerThe SkyGuardian, a new, upgraded version of the General Atomics Predator B, is going through an FAA type certification process that will enable it and other larger drone designs to eventually operate in the national airspace. READ MORE

February 02, 2017

Tiny ADS-B transceiver could provide high-traffic drone solution

BY Patrick C. MillerA low-power ADS-B transceiver the size of a dime could provide a solution for dealing with the large numbers of drones expected to be in the skies in the near future. uAvionix is working with the FAA to perfect the technology. READ MORE

January 27, 2017

NASA, FAA test UAS to track spacecraft in the national airspace

BY Patrick C. MillerThe Near Space Corp. assisted NASA and the FAA in testing how drones could be used to track spacecraft that transit the national airspace as they re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. The tests took place at Oregon's Tillamook Test Range. READ MORE

January 19, 2017

QuestUAV's gimballed sensor improves UAS 3D mapping

BY Patrick C. MillerEngland-based QuestUAV has designed a gimballed sensor to compensate for the effects of wind and turbulence that often lead to blurred images and low image overlap. Its latest system is 15 percent more efficient in capturing images for 3D models. READ MORE

January 19, 2017

Sentera announces real-time NDVI streaming for precision ag

BY Sentera On Feb. 1, Sentera will release LiveNDVI Video using the Minneapolis company’s Double 4K sensor. This technology offers agronomists a fast way to make decisions based on real-time data. READ MORE

January 05, 2017

UAS attorney: Drone deliveries for the masses a long way off

BY Patrick C. MillerAmazon and Flirty have made news with reports of successful drone deliveries. But how close are they to becoming a reality? UAS attorney Jonathan Rupprecht believes there are substantial regulatory and legal hurdles yet to be cleared. READ MORE

December 22, 2016

Making connections in the UAS world

BY Patrick C. Miller

December 20, 2016

USDA funds drone research to improve wheat yields

BY Luke GeiverThe U.S. Department of Agriculture is turning its eyes to the sky to find the next breeding breakthrough in U.S. wheat fields. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a Kansas State research team $300,000 for drone-based research. READ MORE

December 08, 2016

Florida firm offers drone building and roof inspections

BY Patrick C. MillerUsing a drone for roof and building inspections enables GCI Consultants in West Palm Beach, Florida, to provide its customers with services that were too expensive and too intrusive in the past. It's also safer and more efficient. READ MORE

November 09, 2016

Textron Systems offers new precision survey sensor on Aerosonde

BY Textron Systems Textron Systems Unmanned Systems announced that it will now offer the TK-7 Firewatch precision survey sensor on the Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft system after its recent successful demonstration. READ MORE