October 8, 2018 – October 14, 2018
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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that imposes criminal penalties on people who use drones to invade someone else’s privacy or to smuggle contraband into prisons. The law also prohibits individual municipalities from enacting additional drone regulations. (Associated Press)
According to a report in one of China’s state-owned media outlets, China and Pakistan have agreed to jointly produce 48 Wing Loong II drones at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. The report references a statement on social media by a Pakistani Air Force organization. It does not specify which armed service the aircraft are destined for or when production will occur. (Newsweek)
Know Your Drone
U.S. drone maker AeroVironment is working to integrate its Shrike 2 surveillance drone and its Switchblade loitering munition with a ground combat vehicle being developed by General Dynamics for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. (FlightGlobal)
Israeli firm Smart Shooter has modified its SMASH rifle-control system to be effective against drones. (Jane’s)
Ukrainian aerospace firm Antonov unveiled a prototype for a 70-foot wingspan long-endurance surveillance and strike drone. (Defense One)
Meanwhile, Ukrainian defense contractor Global Dynamics unveiled the IRONCLAD, an unmanned ground vehicle for surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition. (Defense Blog)
The U.S. Army is starting a six-month trial of a number of unmanned ground vehicles as part of the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport program. (Army Times)
Defense firms Raytheon and Rheinmetall Defence are partnering to develop an armed optionally manned combat vehicle for the U.S. Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle-Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program. (Unmanned Systems Technology)
Counter-drone systems maker DroneShield released the DroneCannon Remote Weapon, a jamming-based C-UAS unit for remote weapon stations. (Electronics 360)
U.S. firm Endeavor Robotics unveiled the Centaur, an unmanned ground vehicle that has been selected by the Army for the Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II program. (Jane’s)
Defense firm Israel Aerospace Industries has developed a new variant of its SAHAR unmanned ground vehicle optimized for counter-improvised explosive device operations. (Jane’s)
Surveillance systems maker FLIR unveiled the Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System, a nano surveillance drone that can be operated from inside a vehicle. (Press Release)
Drone maker UAVOS completed a series of flight tests of a 10-meter prototype of the ApusDuo High Altitude Pseudo Satellite. (UAS Weekly)
U.S. startup Teal unveiled the Teal One, a recreational quadcopter drone. (Drone DJ)
Textron Systems has enhanced the design of its X5-55 surveillance drone, adding propulsion pod enclosures and a landing platform. (FlightGlobal)
Drones at Work
Police in Lincolnshire in the U.K. used a thermal camera-equipped drone to locate a girl who had become lost after being sexually assaulted in a remote industrial complex. (The Guardian)
Meanwhile, police in western China used a drone to find a man who had become lost in the Taklamakan Desert. (Abacus News)
In a joint exercise, the Royal Australian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy conducted a manned-unmanned teaming exercise with an Australian MH-60R helicopter and a Singaporean ScanEagle surveillance drone. (Jane’s)
The Savannah Police Department in Georgia has acquired three drones for various roles, including photographing crime and accident scenes, search and rescue, and pursuit operations. (The Associated Press)
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana has established a drone program for search and rescue operations. (KATC News)
The Henderson Fire Department in Nevada has acquired a drone for aerial observation during fires, search and rescue, training, and hazmat operations. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is using sophisticated drones to survey damage at the Cloisters in New York City. (The New York Times)
Sophie Turner, an actress on the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” revealed that the production crew employed a counter-drone system to protect the set from aerial unmanned observation during the filming of the show’s final season. (Vulture)
The U.S. Navy awarded L3 Communications Sonoma EO a $930,110 contract to develop a tactical infrared night surveillance system for small drones. (FBO)
The U.S. Navy awarded AVIAN a $9.6 million contract for unmanned aerial vehicle aircrew personnel support for the Naval Test Wing Atlantic. (FBO)
The U.S. Navy awarded American Veteran Solutions a $22.3 million contract for aircrew support services for the Naval Test Wing Atlantic. (FBO)
Textron announced that it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to provide contractor-owned Aerosonde drones for shipboard operations. (Unmanned Systems Technology)
The Spanish Ministry of Defense awarded Aeronautics a $3.6 million contract for two Orbiter drones. (Jane’s)
The U.K. Ministry of Defense awarded Roke Manor Research a contract to develop a drone designed to rescue personnel who fall off ships. (Aviation Week)
Japan’s Terra Drone acquired a stake in Inkonova AB, a Swedish company that produces drones and robots for inspecting subterranean mines. (UAS Vision)
Switzerland’s Flyability announced that it has joined a U.S. military research competition to develop drones and robots that operate in subterranean spaces. (Press Release)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded Battle Creek, Michigan a $150,000 grant to attract drone makers to the town. (WBCK 95.3)
Commentary, Analysis, and Art
At Columbia Journalism Review, Travis Fox describes some of the challenges journalists face when trying to incorporate drones into their reporting.
At The Verge, Dami Lee writes that a U.S. organization for women drone pilots has partnered with Getty Images to promote drone flying worldwide.
At FlightGlobal, Garrett Reim writes that the U.S. Army Futures Command is looking into the possibility of acquiring high-altitude drones.
At Defense News, Jen Judson looks at how the U.S. Army plans to acquire and test potential replacements for the RQ-7 Shadow.
Also at Defense News, Aaron Mehta writes that the market for unmanned ground vehicles is growing.
At Army Times, Kyle Rempfer describes recent advances in the development of man-packable kamikaze drones.
At Strife, Delina Goxho argues that European nations should do more to curb the use of armed drones.
At EMS World, Valerie Amato examines the ways in which emergency personnel are incorporating drones into their work.
At stuff.co.nz, Jo McKenzie-McLean writes that the New Zealand Defense Force and police are looking into acquiring drones.
At Army Technology, Julian Turner considers the ways in which drone deliveries could revolutionize frontline military logistics.
In testimony to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the security threats posed by drones are growing. (NBC)
At The Sacramento Bee, John Hidahl argues that California should explore ways of using drones to combat wildfires.
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