United States

VIDEO: Footage shows what damage a drone can do to a commercial airline

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Research from the University of Dayton Institute has shown how small drones can cause significant damage on impact with large aircraft. The test, designed to mimic a mid-air collision at 238 miles per hour, launched a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter into the wing of a Mooney M20 aircraft. On impact, the drone did not completely collapse meaning it managed to cause serious damage to the wing of the plane. Kevin Poorman, group leader for impact physics at UDRI, said: “While the quadcopter broke apart, its energy and mass hung together to create significant damage to the wing. We’ve performed bird-strike
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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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DJI opens new authorised retail store

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DJI has opened a new authorised retail store in Troy, Michigan. The new site is located in Oakland County, a place known for its tech driven retail businesses. According to a report from Crain’s Detroit Business, an official grand opening is planned for this Saturday after the store quietly opened its doors earlier in the month. The report goes on to detail how the unique store features a 10 feet tall ‘fly cage’ which aims to give people the chance to test DJI products before making a purchase. Fred Kandah, who opened Excel Drones in Garden City in 2015, invested
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Elite UAV pilot fears US is ‘not ready’ to defend against progressive drone industry

An Elite drone pilot has described how he thinks airborne threats are ‘outpacing’ US defenses. Brett Velicovich, who now advises government officials on how to defend against drones, thinks the technology in place isn’t sufficient enough to successfully fend off an attack. This news comes just over a week after President Trump signed a bill which gave US authorities permissions to shoot down drones which pose a potential risk. However, according to a report by Fox News, FBI and Homeland Security officials have recently told the senate that the US is still a long way behind when it comes to
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FAA warns of hefty fines for drone pilots interfering in Storm Michael rescue mission

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The FAA has warned that if unauthorised drones are found to be interfering with the Hurricane Michael rescue mission they will be the subject of heavy fines. The regulator has said that fines in excess of $20,000 could be issued to the pilots flying without concern for rescue missions. In a statement, the FAA described that many aircraft are conducting life-saving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts are likely to be flying at low altitudes over areas affected by the storm. It went on to detail how flying a drone without authorisation in or near the disaster area
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Mobile Recon Systems introduces KittyHawk to its service offering

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Mobile Recon Systems is introducing the KittyHawk to its family of UAVs offering high-value service. The KittyHawk will be part of a line of UAVs that carry out transport supply, inspection and aerial analysis, border and perimeter surveillance, emergency first response, and mapping. On the decision, Mobile Recon Systems founder, Mike Dowell, said: “Our aerial multi-functional platform has industry leading integration of lift capacity, functional flexibility, flight time and cost.” He added: “The KittyHawk can not only be used for reconnaissance, but also more rigorous applications like carrying temperature sensitive supplies of up to 25 pounds in a transport box
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Drones used to inspect 100 miles of power lines in five days

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Honeywell’s UAV-based inspection service has helped utility company Ozarks inspect more than 100 miles of power lines in 5 days. Without UAV technology, inspecting the same distance takes approximately two weeks with up to 15 employees. Using drones meant the task could be carried out more safely and without the need and cost for helicopter hire. UAVs also provided Ozarks Electric Cooperative with better quality data from the assessment. Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO at Ozarks Electric Cooperative, said: “Ozarks Electric Cooperative is constantly trying to innovate and improve in areas like reliability, quality and sustainability.” He added: "Our collaboration
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University professor gets to work on life-saving drone programme

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University of Kentucky professor Suzanne Smith is working on a drone programme which could be potentially life-saving. Smith is using her UAS expertise as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge, a programme which recognises innovative ideas aimed at tackling urgent problems. After an application process for US cities with a population of over 30,000, the City of Louisville was listed as a finalist of this year’s competition with a crime fighting drone dispatch idea. Louisville’s murder rate has spiked in recent years and after a development process, the idea of deploying drones to detected gunshot locations emerged. When on
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FBI director warns that terrorist drones pose an ‘escalating threat’

The director of the FBI has warned of the increasing risk posed by terrorists using commercial drones to carry out attacks. He is concerned that terrorist organisations, criminal groups and drug cartels are progressively looking at drones as a new way of committing an assault. In a senate committee earlier this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray described how “terrorist groups could easily export their battlefield experiences to use weaponised drones.” According to a report by Bloomberg, Wray’s comments are his most forceful to date on the matter. He went on to describe how their retail availability and “lack of verified
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Commercial UAV Expo announces record-breaking attendance

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Commercial UAV Expo has announced that when it closed the doors to its annual conference last week, it had hosted a record breaking number of people. The show saw 2,350 drone and vertical industry professionals attend the event in Las Vegas, Nevada. A number of industries were in attendance, including DOTs and infrastructure, construction, mining and aggregates, precision agriculture, public safety and surveying & mapping. Held at the Westgate Resort, the three-day event had a ‘Vertically Focused, Market Driven’ theme. Lisa Murray, group director of diversified communications, organiser of the expo, said: “We thank our exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, attendees, Advisory
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