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Drones used as inexpensive alternative to document climate change

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Reuters photographer and qualified drone pilot Peter Jackson, has used a drone to document climate change. He went out to Greenland in June this year and spent seven days using a drone as an inexpensive way to record climate change in the region. Reuters has said it sees drones as an emerging tool for newsgathering, but is hesitant as the UAVs can pose several legal and ethical risks. Following the trip, Jackson told Reuters: “People are tempted to use a drone just to use a drone. They should be used to get a perspective at an elevated angle that would
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Fortress UAV launches maintenance program to help drone users

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Fortress UAV has launched a preventative maintenance program to help drone users take care of their drones. The program will provide customers with drone maintenance schedules which include industry standard maintenance checklists. Fortress UAV is a provider of drone repair services and hopes this initiative will rival those of manned aircraft maintenance systems. The scheme, named Fortress UAV Protect, has been described by the company as a nose-to-tail preventative maintenance service. It will also provide check points specific to the particular drone model being serviced. Currently, drone models included in the maintenance program are the DJI Mavic Pro, the DJI
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FAA approves long distance drone flight to aid Hurricane Florence victims

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The Federal Aviation Administration has approved long range drone flight to pilots helping victims from Hurricane Florence. According to a report by Bloomberg, insurance company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Association, was the first to be granted permission to fly long distance over a populated area. The FAA approved routine commercial drone operations two years ago, but has since restricted flights to short journeys at low altitudes away from people, all within sight of an operator on the ground. The reason for this exception to the rule this time is due to the destruction caused by the Hurricane, however, it could
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Drone use in anti-terror strategy at public events to become ‘widespread’

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Drone use at large public gatherings is expected to become widespread in order to prevent acts of terror. The prediction follows news that Victoria Police in Australia will begin to use drones as part of its anti-terror strategy. The strategy aims to identify irregular behaviour in large crowds, report findings to officers who then investigate the potential threat. Speaking to ABC, assistant commissioner Ross Guenther, said it was not about having a surveillance state, but about keeping people safe. He said: “You drop a backpack down but then just return to the gate and leave the property, that would be
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Hechingen Fire Brigade deploys DJI drones to control area fires

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DJI drones were put through their paces this summer as extreme temperatures hit an all-time high in July. Rain levels dropped 50% short of the monthly averages, making the need to allocate water resources sparingly and efficiently a critical concern. In recent weeks, an increasing number of area fires have brought fire brigades to the brink of their operational and tactical limits, putting personnel at risk. German highways have been blocked several times due to nearby fires threatening roadways or thick smoke obscuring visibility. “Shrubs, hedges, and grasslands pose an increased risk of ignition, which can easily lead to large
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Airbus Aerial provides back up during California’s Carr Wildfire

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Airbus Aerial, the drone subsidiary of European aerospace corporation Airbus, has pledged its support to insurance providers following a natural disaster in America.  Powered by Airbus Aerial’s data analytics and high-resolution satellite imagery from Airbus Intelligence, insurance companies are helping policyholders begin to recover from the tragic Carr wildfires in California. Thanks to Aerial’s cloud platform, insurance damage triage tool kit, and suite of analytics, blended with satellite imagery of targeted areas from Airbus Intelligence, insurance companies can usually process a claim and inform their customers before the customer even knows a loss has occurred. The Airbus Aerial Data Portal showcasing
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Power lines and wind turbine inspections simplified by new drone software add on

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A French drone software startup is bidding to streamline the inspections of large outdoor structures, with the release of a new bit of kit. Sterblue is hoping its new technology will enable companies to more closely inspect power lines or wind turbines and identify problems solved quicker and without human error. The software allows drones to get within three metres of power lines and wind turbines and produce high quality scanned images to identify automated insights that could highlight anomalies that need a second look. Anomalies can be as small as 1 millimetre in size and still be detected by
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Drone Delivery Canada takes business to new heights with first BVLoS permission

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Drone Delivery Canada has taken its operations to new heights with permission granted for a maiden BVLOS flight. The UAV specialist has announced that Transport Canada has granted the company approval to commence beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) test flights in Alma, Quebec. The test flights in Alma, Quebec are the first phase of DDC’s Remote Communities Project. Testing in Alma commenced August 13, 2018 and is anticipated to run until August 17, 2018. This testing programme is a key part of our preparatory efforts for DDC’s direct participation in the Transport Canada, BVLoS Pilot Project. Upon completion of
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OPINION: Three things that need to happen before the drone economy can take flight

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With more and more commercial applications being bought to market, it is a commonly accepted fact that the UK's airspace is going to get increasingly busy. Following PwC's recent drone report, Skies without Limits, director Elaine Whyte has outlined three of the key areas that must be addressed before the UK can unlock its commercial drone potential. Over 76,000 drones will be in UK skies by 2030. That was one of the headline findings from our Skies without Limits report – but what needs to happen for this forecast to turn into a reality? I discussed in my previous blog that
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Charity deploys industry-grade drone to locate rough sleepers in Lincolnshire

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A UK-based charity has taken its social support efforts to new heights with the help of UAV technologies. P3’s Lincolnshire street outreach team is utilising live-streamed video from a drone to assist support workers to find people sleeping rough in remote rural and coastal locations across the region. Live footage from the drone is assessed by team members so that they can direct their colleagues to the homeless person via the quickest and safest route. P3 service coordinator, Andy Lee, said: "This technology will revolutionise our ability to direct our support to vulnerable people sleeping rough. “Often when we receive
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