Hi all –

A relatively quiet week as we all get back to work. I am pleased to announce that DroneBusiness.center is now a media partner with the International Drone Expo coming up in LA December 9-10 at the LA Convention Center.

Australia announced their Micro rule for operating commercial drones under 2kg. Some interesting ideas that might find their way into the MicroARC NPRM. A license is not required, an aviation reference number (ARN) is. Operators must notify CASA five days before flying. Rules are daytime, VLOS, 400’ AGL, 30 meters from people. No exemptions [waivers] will be granted to people flying under
this rule.

Excellent article in Fox Rothschild’s blog about privacy, a topic they have been covering in depth for some time. They make the point that “none of the drone-related provisions of the FMRA directed the FAA to consider privacy issues when addressing the integration of small drones into the airspace, or mandated the inclusion of privacy considerations in the drone comprehensive plan. Reading such a mandate into the FMRA would be a significant expansion beyond the FAA’s long-standing statutory authority as a safety agency.” EPIC, who is suing the FAA for ignoring privacy, disagrees.

Reaction and prophesies continue to roll in around Part 107.

A solid interview in Aviation Today with the team from Pillsbury Winthrop that specializes in UAS law and legislation. Asked whether there were any concerns surrounding the new rule, the team noted that “Proliferation of commercial drones will raise privacy, security, and safety concerns, and the federal government, state governments and industry specialists will continue to address such issues as they are realized with the new operations.” Best get a fresh foolscap folio, 107 will keep a lot of folks busy.

Also in Aviation Today a nice-looking chart showing the PwC “value of drone solutions” $127B forecast. I don’t buy the numbers but it’s a stake in the ground.

Inside Unmanned Systems looked at a broad range of industry reactions. David Proulx, a VP at Aeryon Labs spoke for many people when he commented “It remains to be seen how the [BVLOS] process will be carried out in practice and what level of risk mitigation operators will be required to present to satisfy the FAA. It’s a really interesting concept and certainly opens the door to a lot of interesting things, but how operators take advantage of it and how the FAA responds will determine how impactful it really is.” BTW an Aeryon Skyranger was the UAV in the first night COA granted in April 2016.

In an article in Canadian Underwriter, James van Meter an aviation practice leader at Allianz noted that “There have already been enough incidents and near-misses to date involving UAS to generate concern that the likelihood of collisions and other loss events will grow as UAS numbers multiply.” Allianz released a new report Rise Of The Drones on UAS risk management.

Aerialtronics, a Netherlands-based UAS manufacturer scored what might just be the coup of the year by partnering with IBM to use Watson’s IoT platform. “Under the deal, Watson will connect its visual recognition application programming interfaces, IBM’s cloud, drones and high-definition cameras to perform inspections on assets such as wind turbines, oil rigs, and cell towers.” As I wrote last week, Watson should be able to make quick work of other UAS problems like sense and avoid. Very cool.

DARPA announced its Aerial Dragnet program and posted A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). “The program seeks innovative technologies to provide persistent, wide-area surveillance of all UAS operating below 1,000 feet in a large city.” Basically a mothership spying on all the bad little drone babies.

PrecisionHawk and Harris jointly announced the launch of the LATAS platform for drone operators. “LATAS is the only platform to link drones, 3d ground data and live manned aircraft data from the FAA into a single system that tells a drone operator when and where it’s safe to fly.” This is the result of PrecisionHawk’s work with Pathfinder that led to the EVLOS waiver.

It’s one of many announcements to come out of InterDrone. Jeremiah Karpowicz was there for Commercial UAV News (a neat frenemy thing). His report captures the scale of the event. Lots of pix – you can feel the energy. I am getting excited about Halloween in Las Vegas!

Some fun stuff for a change.

Mountain Dew worked to burnish their hipster cred while promoting their global partnership with DR1 Racing by hosting a “cultural” event they called Day Of Drones in Brooklyn. The sugar merchants used the occasion to roll out a new spot “Drone Hunting” which is a cut down of the original promo from a few months back. As reader Bratleigh would say “It’s pretty silly.”

Not quite eye candy material, but still entertaining is this video introducing the nascent sport of #DroneSurfing. One small detail, the tow drone is an $18K Freefly Alta 8. F-Stoppers has the full report.

Three Eye Candy Tag Award winners this week.

First up the opening number for Dancing With The Stars which was shot by Aerial Mob. If the name’s familiar it’s because they were one of the original six to get a 333. The timing and choreography is amazing and as Gary Mortimer pointed out in sUAS News “The single continuous shot could not have been flown by a manned helicopter.  The flight line down the steps and around the pole confirm that. Not only would the manned helicopter have blown the dancer’s hair dramatically but it would have hit the building.”

The second simply exceeds my vocabulary. “The European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft has taken its first sky map of our galaxy, revealing more than a billion stars. Launched in 2013, Gaia has just taken the largest all-sky survey of celestial bodies in history. On its way to assembling the most detailed 3D map ever made of our Milky Way galaxy, Gaia has pinned down the precise position on the sky and the brightness of 1142 million stars.” Follow the link to db.c, download the hi-rez version and update your personal navigation system.

Finally here is a compilation reel with 13 videos that would make for an epic drone binge viewing party. Enjoy!

BTW Skyward is hosting a webinar Tuesday 9/20 on common mistakes made standing up an internal UAV organization. If this is something you are involved in, you might want to learn more here.

Thanks for reading and for sharing.


Christopher Korody
follow me @dronewriter

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