Drones News - Page 6
A man from Queensland, Australia has just received a harsh reminder of the drone flight regulations after receiving an $850 fine thanks to uploading drone flight videos to YouTube - in which he displayed illegal activities.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rang up the Queensland resident, notifying him of multiple breaches he had conducted. He's gotten off lightly as according to CASA, with the investigator stating that "while each individual breach was not major in itself, the number of breaches has caused me concern," as seen on EFTM.
As a quick recap of the basic rules, CASA states that non-commercial drone flight must not be conducted:
- Within 3 nautical miles of an airport
- Above 400 feet in controlled airspace (large towns and cities)
- Over populous areas
- Within 30 meters of people
- At night
Many first-time drone pilots are taking to the skies in the United States, and that has increased safety concerns regarding drone crashes. One such concern is a "flyaway" when the small drones catch a jet stream and simply blow away - and pilots are unaware of how to regain control of the flying craft.
Most consumer drones weigh around 2.2 pounds, and if it was being flown at 400 feet, can yield more than 900 pounds of force if it slammed straight into the ground.
"There's just too many people that just have no idea what they're doing flying with their cool cameras," said Bill Stockwell, drone flight instructor at McHenry County Community College, in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. "I fly a competitive 7-foot helicopter that goes about 140 mph. If it was flying at 400 feet, which is legal, it would hit the ground with 2,200 pounds of force. Can you imagine what that would feel like?"
Exploring Mars has proven to be a beneficial yet extremely tricky operation for NASA, with the Mars rovers helping yield a lot of insightful knowledge - and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory hopes to use the Mars Helicopter to add to exploration.
The Mars Helicopter would be able to travel up to three times the distance that either rover can travel in a single Martian day, along with pinpointing new locations for the rovers to explore.
The light craft could weigh just 2.2 pounds and measure 3.6 feet from the tip of one blade to the other - and the prototype body looks similar to a medium-sized tissue box. The JPL is currently testing the proof-of-concept in California, with no possible launch dates discussed.
As more private drone operators take to the skies for the first time in 2015, privacy concerns appear to be at an all-time high. Drone Labs recently introduced its Drone Detector solution, alerting users to a drone's presence - able to detect recreational and commercial drones. Instead of using acoustics-based solutions, the Drone Detector uses multi-factor authentication to identify a drone's presence.
"To be clear, most [drone] pilots are responsible, law-abiding people," said Zain Naboulsi, co-founder and CEO of Drone Labs. "We [at Drone Labs] are drone pilots ourselves. Unfortunately there are some bad pilots out there who don't follow the rules. We are committed to protecting people from unwanted drone invasions."
The FAA estimates up to 30,000 commercial drones flying by 2030 over the United States, but hasn't estimated the number of private drones.
Quadcopters are starting to hit the mainstream market in force, thanks to their recently lowered pricing, ease of flying for beginners and various camera opportunities including GoPro recording or First Person View (FPV) flying - as seen below mounted on normal two-winged, one propeller R/C aircraft.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued a warning this holiday season, stating on their Twitter that pilots should be aware that they must "remember to keep 30m away from vehicles, buildings & people." This comes after a Melbourne man ended up crashing his drone in the middle of a police operation and almost taking down an officer with it.
Little-known to most, if you're looking to use a quadcopter for commercial filming purposes, you must actually obtain an official license - with only a handful of people holding these nation-wide, so I'm told.
The United States Air Force is boosting pay for drone pilots, and using additional manpower from the Air Force Reserves, in an effort to fill a drone pilot gap. Drone pilots are in high demand by the US military, with current pilots working up to 14 hours per day, six days per week, according to the US Air Force.
Current drone needs to help battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria have placed additional strain on the Air Force, despite initial plans that demand would drop after most troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan. Now, the Air Force is trying to find ways to entice pilots to stay in the military and continue leading operations.
"We thought we were drawing down and had a plan in place to man this enterprise that would, if we had actually drawn down, we'd be fine right now," said General Mark Welsh, US Air Force chief of staff, in a statement to the media. "We've met the operational demand signal, but we're doing it by putting people in a position where they're not having a debate whether they want to continue doing this."
The CNN news organization and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have agreed to create a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) to see how drones can be used for news gathering and reporting.
CNN previously had an agreement with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), with CNN, GTRI and FAA working together - and could help create a roadmap for wider drone use in news reporting.
"Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups," said David Vigilante, CNN Senior Vice President, in a statement. "Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace."
CES 2015 - Hobbico has announced its ORA drone system designed for hobbyist aerial photographers, a camera-equipped drone. The unit is designed for aerial photography and video recording, which has become increasingly popular for live sporting events, weddings, real estate planning, and other outdoors-based tasks.
Operators can capture aerial images and display them on the transceiver's 7" touchscreen, and video footage can be filmed using ORA's 1080p onboard camera. The 7" First Person View (FPV) displays directly what the ORA's camera is viewing in real-time, providing an easier ability to capture pictures and video.
Up to 30-minutes of flight time is available per battery charge, with built-in GPS with up to 32 GPS waypoints, built-in GPS programming, and route flight paths saved.
Marking another step in our new-age of technology, Australia's largest telecom Telstra and a government funded news entity ABC covered the Sydney, Australia New Year's Eve fireworks via two purpose-built quadcopters - streaming this straight to mainstream TV.
These quadcopters were built with HD cameras and set to broadcast links 1000 ft above the Sydney Harbour, in unison with nine cameras on-ground and a manned helicopter.
These drones were flown by licensed pilots and made to hover within the firework exclusion zone, as according to a spokeswoman. ABC also had to receive approval from the Civil Aviation Security Authority (CASA) to be able to fly these helicopters at such a height. Although they might be just remote-control models to some, we're seeing quadcopters used more and more throughout various sporting and public events. Much cheaper than use of a full-size manned helicopter, quadcopters are able to safely capture the action from up close or at a great distance, giving the pilot the ability to create smooth sweeping camera angles or beautiful fly-throughs.
A new Associated Press-GfK poll discovered 41 percent Americans opposed drones for commercial use, with just 21 percent favoring commercial drone use, and 35 percent still sitting on the fence. Only three percent of those surveyed have flown small drones, but that number is expected to increase in the coming years.
Congress will likely push the FAA to help move things along faster, as the drone industry is expected to create 100,000 jobs and provide $82 billion for the economy in the first 10 years.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will continue to move forward with private and commercial drone use - and companies continue to push forward with drone use for deliveries, filming in Hollywood, agriculture, engineering, and other verticals.