Category: Need to Know

Underwater Drones (Updated)

By Dan Gettinger This article is adapted from a post from November 2015 and includes recent developments and updated spending figures.  In October 2016, the U.K. Royal Navy hosted Unmanned Warrior, a massive exercise involving 18 nations that focused on operations involving unmanned air,…

Need to Know: Weather Drones

By Matt Windsor In August, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) upgraded Tropical Storm Gaston to Hurricane Gaston. This in itself was not unusual—NOAA upgrades and downgrades storms often—except that this time it did so as a result of…

Need to Know: Drone Racing

By Matt Windsor This past weekend, 145 competitors from around the world gathered on New York City’s Governors Island for the second annual U.S. National Drone Racing Championships. The winner was Zach Thayer from Laguna Niguel, California, of Team Big…

The Abbottabad Documents: Part Two

By Dan Gettinger On July 1, 2016, the Obama administration released an official tally of U.S. counterterrorism airstrikes that have occurred outside of declared war zones over the past seven years. According to the report, since 2009 the U.S. has…

Drone Videos from Syria and Iraq

By Dan Gettinger Drones are a becoming a popular tool for conveying what is happening on the front lines in Syria and Iraq. New drone videos from this conflict are released on nearly a weekly basis, enabling high and low…

Significant Aspects of the FAA’s Drone Rules

  By Arthur Holland Michel Today, the Federal Aviation Administration released its much anticipated Part 107 rules, which cover the use of drones for non-recreational purposes in the U.S. airspace system. Up until now, non-recreational drone users such as commercial…

Drone Spending Update: The NDAA

By Dan Gettinger In an 85 to 13 vote on June 14, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, bringing Congress a step closer to finalizing next year’s military budget. The NDAA is a…

Drones in “Eye in the Sky”

By Dan Gettinger The recently released film Eye in the Sky challenges the audience to engage in a conversation about counter terrorism operations and, in particular, the targeted killing program. “In our case, in the case of the film, we…

Need to Know: FAA Authorization

By Zachary Israel In order to be able to do its job, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needs to be periodically authorized (and thus funded) by Congress. Authorization is granted through lengthy bills that often also include provisions that direct certain…

Drone Activity in Iran

By Dan Gettinger The Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman have, for several years, been a nexus for Iranian military drone activity. At no time was this more evident than on January 29, the day Iran claimed that it had…

Updates to the FY17 Defense Budget Request

By Dan Gettinger In late February, the Pentagon released the budget justification books for Special Operations Command, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Missile Defense Agency. Combined, these three departments have allocated $503.3 million to drone procurement, research and…

Year in Review: The DARPA Drones

By Dan Gettinger On Monday, December 14, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work outlined the pillars of the “third offset strategy,” a plan to develop the technologies that will maintain the  American military’s technological superiority. Speaking at the Center…