UAVOS and Stratodynamics Aviation to pioneer high-altitude atmospheric monitoring project

UAVOS has announced it is nearing the end of the manufacturing process for its new aircraft, the HiDRON. Commissioned by Stratodynamic Aviation, the HiDRON is a balloon launched unmanned glider capable of autonomous flight modes. It has been designed for the collection of high-altitude atmospheric data. According to the companies behind the project, the objective of the HiDRON is to provide a new dynamic method for measuring and evaluating atmospheric phenomena at various altitudes in a variety of geographical location. The HiDRON is launched to high-altitudes via a helium-filled balloon and, once launched, the autopilot and integrated atmospheric measurement system
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Imperial College London may have found answer to drone collision issue

Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the ancient art of origami could be used to protect in-flight drones from collisions. Without hindering flight performance, experts have taken inspiration from origami to equip drones with lightweight, impact-absorbent cushioning to protect them from bumps and scrapes. The research, published in Science Robotics, shows how drones equipped with the Rotary Origami Protective System incur less force and damage during a collision, and are thus able to keep flying after impact with obstacles. Lead author Dr Pooya Sareh, who led the research at Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics and now directs the Creative
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Volocopter prepares for electrical vertical take-off and landing air taxi testing

Volocopter has announced it is in the planning process for its next set of eVTOL Air Taxi flight tests. The company has decided that it will conduct the inner urban flight tests in the second half of 2019, in Singapore. The series of scheduled tests are supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Economic Development Board (EDB). The flight tests have been designed to verify the ability of Volocopter’s eVTOL vehicles to operate in Singapore’s urban environment. Volocopter and the CAAS will work together to establish the scope of the flight trials and
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Road repairing drone could solve the UK’s pothole problem

Drones could soon be used as road repair devices following research from students at the University of Leeds. The news comes after councillors in Flintshire proposed an implementation of the technology to fix its £40m pothole repair backlog. According to a report by the BBC, the council began to consider the alternative solution after seeing researchers from the University of Leeds demonstrate a drone that sprays asphalt from a 3D printer. The Local Democracy Reporting Service described how labour councillor Paul Shotton raised the idea when councillors discussed repair delays during an environment scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday. The same
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Self-flying Skydio R1 can now be piloted using an Apple Watch

Skydio has announced its self-flying R1 drone can now be controlled from an Apple Watch. The Californian-based company hopes the added autonomy will provide its users with increased usability ease and a more enjoyable in-flight experience. To do this, the firm has introduced the Skydio Apple Watch app, which allows an R1 pilots to direct the drone completely from their wrist. The Skydio Apple Watch app enables users to select a subject to follow, use the digital crown to rotate the drone and to change between cinematic skills. Adam Bry, CEO and co-founder of Skydio, said: “Full autonomy is the
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World’s largest transport drone successfully tested in China

The world’s largest unmanned transport drone has completed its first successful test flight in China. The Feihong-98 (FH-98) can carry a payload of up to 1.5 tonnes, a number which equates to around 19 people. According to state-run China Daily the FH-98, which has been developed and modified by the China Academy of Aerospace Electronics Technology, made its successful flight at Baotou test site in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Tuesday. The UAV is a design adaption from the prototype of the Shifei Y5B, China’s first fully domestically-built transport aircraft which conducted its first flight in 1957. The
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Epson prepares popular ‘print academy’ to showcase AR smart glasses for drone photography

Epson is preparing to host its popular ‘print academy’ to showcase AR smart glasses for drone photography. The event will be part of the upcoming PhotoPlus Expo show in New York City. During the show, Epson will showcase its Moverio augmented reality smart glasses and the new Drone Soar app, discussing the benefits for usage in the drone photography market. Exhibitors will then get a chance to demo the new Epson Drone Soar app, the first full-featured AR app for DJI drone pilots that hopes to revolutionise how photographers fly drones. The Expo at the Javits Convention Centre will run
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Wiltshire police drone department scoops top national award

The drone unit at Wiltshire Police has received a top national award following its operational support over the last twelve months. The Special Constabulary Drone team took home the Technical Innovation Award at the Home Office Lord Ferrers ceremony yesterday. The team of volunteers within the unit scooped the prize for providing 24/7 on-call cover to operational policing. The group act as an eye in the sky for the police service in incidents such as missing people, road traffic collisions dangerous environments such as collapsed buildings and firearms. The team, who have now been operating for over a year and
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Aircraft drone inspections could become industry norm by 2020

Aircraft inspection by drone could become mainstream within the next three years according to one industry specialist. Christian Suttner, co-founder and managing partner of start-up incubator Starburst, thinks the industry should expect to see roll-outs by the end of 2019. UK-based firm easyjet was an early adopter of drone based inspections and according to a report from MRO-Network, Suttner believes the industry will start to see it more and more. Speaking to MRO Europe in Amsterdam, Suttner said: “The second wave is coming. It will take them another year to work out their processes and another year for full roll
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Microwave beams could prove key in keeping drones airborne for longer

New research has found that microwave beams could be used to keep drones in the air for longer. Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have been developing technology which could see microwave beams powering drones from the ground. According to a report from The Engineer, this kind of technology breakthrough could open the door to continuous flight. This new method will oppose existing wireless power transfer methods which require very close proximity. The report from The Engineer goes on to describe how the new project, funded by the EPSRC and involving Qinetiq, is developing a technology that can transfer over 200W
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