Weekly Roundup 1/15/18

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich displays a Shooting Star Mini drone during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas. Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

January 8, 2018 – January 14, 2018

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News

Two Russian military installations in Syria were reportedly attacked by multiple armed drones in an incident in early January. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the 13 drones used in the attacks, some of which were disabled by air defense systems, may have been launched from up to 100 kilometers away. Although no group claimed responsibility for the operation, the Russian MoD claims that it has killed the rebels that orchestrated the attacks. (CNBC)

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has surpassed one million drone registrations. The drone registration requirement was launched in December 2015. (The Drive) For more on drone registrations, click here.

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

At Bellingcat, Nick Waters considers how the drones involved in the attacks against Russian installations in Syria bear a resemblance to other makeshift drones in Syria.

At the Daily Beast, Adam Rawnsley and Christiaan Triebert write that the drones involved in the attack in Syria may have been acquired over a rebel black market.

A leaked draft of the Trump administration’s forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review appears to confirm that Russia is working to develop a nuclear-armed underwater drone. (Defense News)

At National Defense magazine, Jon Harper writes that U.S. Navy officials are pushing to acquire unmanned undersea vehicles at a faster pace.

In an interview with IHS Jane’s, a U.S. Coast Guard official provides an update on the service’s widely-anticipated small drone acquisition program.  

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on technologies that will shape all arms warfare in the 21st century.

At the Washington Post, Michael Laris considers why so many unauthorized drones appear to be operating above military bases near Washington, D.C.

At Engadget, James Trew profiles the Zano, a revamped micro drone that was initially launched in a failed Kickstarter project.

At VentureBeat, Yariv Bash and Amit Regev argue that big data, flying taxis, and home security will be the three trends to watch in 2018.

In the January edition of Unmanned Systems Magazine, Alexander Stimpson, Raya Islam, Missy Cummings, and John Poulsen consider the effect that drones have on wildlife studies.

At the Savannah Morning News, Katie Nussbaum looks at how farmers are taking advantage of drone technology to inspect crops.

At McKinsey & Company, Pamela Cohn, Alastair Green, Meredith Langstaff, and Melanie Roller offer an overview of recent developments in the commercial drone business landscape.

At the Verge, Casey Newton considers why U.S. companies like GoPro and others have failed to compete with China in the consumer drone market.

At Aviation Week, Kelsey Atherton looks at how drone makers at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show are struggling to stand out from the crowd.

At Motherboard, Rebecca Flowers profiles an activist who is using drones to positively affect change in marginalized communities.

At DroneLife, Miriam McNabb looks back on Michael Huerta’s tenure as the head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

In an interview at Sydney Live radio, DroneShield chairman Peter James explains why he is optimistic about the counter-drone systems market.

At the Tampa Bay Times, Paul Guzzo profiles the former city planner who created the Drone Radio Show.

Know Your Drone

Intel unveiled the Shooting Star Mini, a swarming light show drone that is safe for indoor use. (The Verge)

Meanwhile, at an event in December, Chinese drone maker Ehang flew a swarm of 1,180 drones in a giant nine-minute light show. (Popular Science)  

Researchers at Ben Gurion University have developed a system that allows one to detect when a drone is watching a specific location without having to hack into the drone’s video feed. (Wired)

The U.S. Navy and Textron are developing an armed variant of the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle.

Boeing unveiled a concept for a hypersonic unmanned aircraft that could be used for surveillance and strike missions. (Aviation Week)

Meanwhile, a separate unit at Boeing unveiled an electric vertical take-off and landing cargo drone capable of carrying up to 500 pounds of payload. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Aerospace firm Thrush Aircraft is looking to possibly develop an optionally piloted variant of its Model 510, which is used primarily for crop-dusting and water-bombing operations. (Aviation Week)

Chinese firm AEE Aviation Technology unveiled the Selfly, a multirotor drone that doubles as a phone case. (Architectural Digest)

Chinese drone maker Yuneec unveiled three new drones: an updated variant of the Typhoon multicopter, a fixed-wing hobby drone, and a racing drone. (The Verge)

Chinese drone makers DJI and Ryze unveiled a small, inexpensive quadcopter called the Tello. (Übergizmo)

Meanwhile, data storage company Seagate unveiled a hard drive designed to store footage from DJI drones. (The Verge)

The U.S. Navy is planning to test Swedish defense firm Saab’s AUV62-AT underwater target drone. (Defense News)

Drone maker Autel unveiled the Evo, a foldable consumer quadcopter. (DroningON)

Drones at Work

The New York State Police announced a plan to acquire at least 18 drones for operations throughout the state by April. (Unmanned Aerial Online)

A paramedic service in Renfrew County, Canada is set to begin using drones to transport supplies like naloxone kits and defibrillators to patients in emergencies. (CTV Ottawa)

Estonia’s Police and Border Guard agency has acquired nine multirotor drones for border surveillance operations. (ERR.ee)

Florida company Miami Mold Specialists will begin using drones to inspect buildings for excess moisture and mold hotspots. (Drone Life)

A Nebraska lawmaker has introduced a bill into the state senate that would ban the use of drones for surveillance, smuggling contraband, and harassing cows. (Associated Press)

The Correctional Service of Canada is investigating an incident in which a drone was used to drop $26,000 worth of contraband into a prison in British Columbia. (Global News)

The government of Thailand has announced that all drone users must register with the country’s transportation authority. Violators could face a $3,000 fine. (Channel News Asia)

Indian Railways has announced that it is set to begin using drones for surveillance and inspections. (Inc42)

Industry Intel

SkySpecs, a Michigan-based startup that provides drones for wind turbine inspection, raised $8 million in a Series B funding round. (Xconomy)

GoPro has confirmed that it will no longer sell the Karma drone once its current inventories are depleted. (ArsTechnica)

Solar Ship and Arctic UAV Partnerships have teamed up to provide drone services and technology to communities in Nunavut, an arctic territory in Canada. (DroneLife)

ARE Corporation acquired Media Wing, a New England-based startup that provides drone data services for different industries. (sUAS News)

Hobbico, a Michigan-based company known for its remote-control aircraft, has filed for bankruptcy. (The News-Gazette)

Italian defense firm Leonardo has been awarded a deal for a multimillion dollar study on unmanned naval systems, the first phase in a European Union initiative to develop advanced military capabilities. (Defense News)

The French Direction Générale de l’Armement awarded Naval Group and Airbus Helicopters a contract to study the development of a ship-board unmanned helicopter. (Defense News)

The French Direction Générale de l’Armement awarded ECA Group a $36.6 million contract to provide explosive ordnance disposal robots to the French military. (Press Release)

Kratos Defense and Security announced that it was awarded a $23 million contract for jet-powered drones from an unnamed customer. (FlightGlobal)

The U.S. Air Force awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems a $11.4 million contract modification for MQ-9 Block 5 upgrade kits. (DoD)

The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $172.7 million contract for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, a payload on the RQ-4 Global Hawk. (DoD)

The U.S. Navy announced that it intends to award General Atomics Aeronautical Systems a contract for one year of contractor-operated MQ-9 Reaper drone operations in Afghanistan. (The Drive)

The U.S. Navy announced that it intends to raise the ceiling of an existing contract with BAE Systems for support for the MQ-4C Triton from $8 million to $25 million due to increased requirements. (FBO)

The U.S. Navy announced that it intends to extend an existing contract with Hydroid to procure four additional unmanned undersea vehicles. (FBO)

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency selected Raytheon for Phase 3 of Collaborative Operations in Denied Environments, a research program aimed at improving autonomous flight behavior. (Military Embedded Systems)

A shortfall in funding has halted development of the General Dynamics Knifefish, a U.S. Navy unmanned undersea vehicle. (Inside Defense)

U.S. defense firm Raytheon and Department 13, an Australian counter-drone technology maker, announced a partnership to develop and market counter-drone systems. (Jane’s)

Turkey announced that it will take delivery of 14 new Anka-S and Bayraktar drones this year, as well as 140 Baykar mini-drones and 61 bomb disposal robots. (Daily Sabah)

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