Aurora Flight Sciences schedules first flight for solar-powered endurance drone

Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed that its solar-powered endurance drone, Odysseus, will take to the skies for the first time next spring. Powered only by the sun, Odysseus is an ultra-long endurance, high-altitude platform built for persistence. The device utilises advanced solar cells and is built with lightweight materials, technology the company claims could make Odysseus effectively fly for months on end. The project was organised and led by Aurora president and CEO John Langford, alongside other MIT colleagues. Commenting on the news, Langford said: “Aurora was founded by the idea that technology and innovation can provide powerful solutions to
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PANEL: DJI Europe’s EMEA chief highlights UK and Switzerland’s progressive and ‘very good’ approach to drones

Martin Brandenburg, EMEA managing director at DJI Europe, has highlighted the UK and Switzerland as the world's most progressive countries when it comes to adopting drones into the sky. Speaking as part of the opening panel discussion on the first day of this year’s Commercial UAV Show, he said DJI views the authorities in the UK as very ‘forward-thinking’. A member of the floor posed the question to the DJI director, asking if, in his experience in the role, he has found any countries that are particularly good at adopting new UAV technology and if they are any which he
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VIDEO: GeoSlam expands Zeb range at Commercial UAV Show

GeoSlam has launched its new product for indoor and outdoor use at this year’s Commercial UAV Show in London. The Zeb-Horizon, showcased at the show this week, is GeoSlam’s next gen handheld 3D laser scanner. The firm claims the new device is capable of rapidly capturing intricate indoor and outdoor measurements on UAVs up to 100m away from the object. It is the first new product from the geospatial mapping and monitoring technology company, following its successful merger with 3D Laser Mapping. New technology on the device also allows the Zeb-Horizon to operate in indoor and outdoor locations without the
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PANEL: Flyability CEO encourages companies to consider ROI before buying newest drone

Patrick Thevoz, CEO at Flyability, has encouraged drone pilots to think about the consequences on return on investment before investing in the newest and latest drone on the market. Thevoz made the comments as part of the opening panel discussion at this year’s Commercial UAV Show at the London ExCeL. Questioned on how companies should keep up with a market which is constantly developing and releasing new, fresh technologies and products, Thevoz described how he felt it was important for all companies to make an informed decision before making a purchase. He said: “Half of our customers are inspection companies
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CDP launches first print publication

Commercial Drone Professional has released its first print publication. The special edition has been released to coincide with this week’s Commercial UAV Show at the ExCeL in London and focuses on a variety of hot topics in the industry right now including public services, regulation and insurance. It also features a four-page feature about DJI’s annual AirWorks conference which CDP attended earlier this month and a focus on the adoption of Amazon Prime Air. Elsewhere in the magazine, CEO of London-based infrastructure start-up gives his insight on where the industry is today and WomenWhoDrone founder tells all on the gender problems
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iRed joins forces with Topcon in product and training offering move

iRed, a thermal imaging consultancy in the UK, has teamed up with Topcon, a global positioning partner for construction and geo-businesses in the UK and Ireland. The collaboration will bring together Topcon’s oil and gas UAVs, the Intel Falcon 8+ and Sirius Pro, with iRed’s accredited in-house training and support capabilities. The new partnership hopes to offer customers access to complete specialist solutions for their professional imaging and mapping projects. Tim Mammatt, business sevelopment manager at iRed, commented on the move, he said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer the Falcon 8+ and Sirius Pro to our customers, they
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CDP to give away signed copies of ‘Unmanned’ drone book at Commercial UAV Show

Commercial Drone Professional has got ten signed copies of ‘Unmanned: One Man’s Story of Life Behind the Lens' to give away at this week’s Commercial UAV Show at the ExCeL. Author, Matt Harmsworth, is hoping the book will give readers insight into his experiences with playing with RC models, plane spotting and becoming disappointed when he discovered he could not fly helicopters. Five of the ten signed copies will be distributed to the first people to collect a copy of CDP’s first special edition print publication at the show on Wednesday. The other five will go out to the first five
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Man reported to Scottish authorities after flying drone over football match

Police in Scotland have received reports of a man who flew his drone over a football game this weekend. Officials at the match between Abroath and Montrose said they considered stopping the match. According to a report by the BBC, the drone pilot was traced to a nearby location and was subsequently reported to the procurator fiscal. David McIntosh, chief inspector for Angus Police working on the case, told the BBC: "Flying drones without the appropriate training, experience or license can be hazardous, no more so than over a crowded area such as a football match or concert.” He added:
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British Army embarks on largest military robot exercise in its history

Military drone
The Army has started its biggest military robot exercise in British history. Troops have commenced the testing of over 70 examples of futuristic technology including enhanced surveillance drones and other unmanned vehicles. The ‘Autonomous Warrior’ experiment, taking place on the fields of Salisbury Plain, will last four weeks and will test a range of prototype unmanned aerial vehicles alongside autonomous ground-based robots. The exercise will finish with a battlegroup experiment which will see the best ideas and products tested in a tough simulated operational environment. On the experiment, defence secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “Our troops now have the chance to
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