Weekly Roundup 11/27/17

MIT is developing a drone for DARPA’s Perdix program that can fly up to speeds of Mach 0.8. Credit: MIT

November 20, 2017 – November 26, 2017

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A U.S. drone strike in Yemen reportedly killed three alleged members of al-Qaeda. According to unnamed Yemeni officials who spoke with the Associated Press, the strike took place in Bayda province and was the third strike in the province this week.

The U.K. government revealed new information about pending legislation for additional rules for drone pilots. The bill would require drone pilots to register their drones and pass an aviation knowledge test. It would also allow police to seize drones that are deemed to be operating illegally. The entire bill is expected to be published next spring. (BBC)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

At the Observer, Christian Hetrick writes about proposed legislation in New Jersey that would ban drunken drone-flying and other robot-related activities.

At the Times of Israel, Judah Ari Gross profiles units of the Israel Defense Forces that are using DJI drones.

At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nicole Raz looks into why a zip code on the western edge of Las Vegas has more registered drone hobbyists than any other in the country.

The Associated Press visited an archeological dig in New Hampshire to see how researchers from Dartmouth College are using drones.

At the Press-Enterprise, Jeff Horseman writes that March Air Reserve Base could see an expansion in drone operations thanks to the 2018 U.S. defense budget.

At the Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan and Craig Whitlock write that residents of Agadez, Niger are concerned about the possible security implications of hosting U.S. drone operations.

Also at the Washington Post, Christian Davenport looks at how the different high-end weapons currently being developed to counter enemy drones.

Consumer drone maker DJI released a statement refuting several claims regarding its cybersecurity privacy practices.

At the Times, Rufus Ballaster argues that the U.K. government’s proposed drone regulations would have a severe negative impact on the industry.

Know Your Drone

Aviation Industry Corporation of China unveiled two strike-capable multirotor drones, the A-Hawk I and the A-Hawk II. (Jane’s)

Meanwhile, Aviation Industry Corporation of China conducted high-altitude test flights for three of its developmental surveillance and aerial data collection helicopter drones. (China.org)

A team at MIT is developing a fighter-launched drone called the Firefly that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 0.8. (Aviation Week)

French firm ECA Group unveiled a SIM-catcher intelligence collection device for its IT180 surveillance drone. (Shephard Media)

Chinese drone maker DJI unveiled a new pair of First Person View goggles for drone racing. (The Verge)

Drone maker UMS SKELDAR unveiled the R-350, a vertical take-off and landing drone. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

French drone maker Novadem unveiled three new multirotor microdrones, including a variant called the NXDROP that can carry a 300 gram droppable payload. (Shephard Media)

Russian firm ARDN unveiled a concept for a multirotor drone that can carry a 400-pound payload for extended periods. (New Atlas)

Drones at Work

Police in California arrested a man who was allegedly using a drone to drop leaflets over NFL games at Levi’s Stadium and the Coliseum. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has begun using a Cangqin counter-drone system to disable drones that interfere with air traffic. (ECNS.cn)

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation will establish counter-drone units at the country’s 21 airports by early 2018.

A team from Aberystwyth University and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme are using drones to help identify mosquito breeding areas. (Quartz)

Officials in Mathura, India will use drones to monitor the upcoming local elections in the region. (NDTV)

In a demonstration, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory pitted one of its autonomous micro drones against a professional drone racer. (Space.com)

The town of Ystalyfera in the U.K. is using drones to spot sites of possible future landslips that could endanger homes. (BBC)

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Tennessee are using drones to study air quality, climate and boundary-layer processes. (Unmanned Aerial Online)

A surveillance drone operated by the Indian Southern Naval Command crashed shortly after take-off during an operation in Kerala state. (The Hindu)

Ohio-based firm CivitasNow became the second commercial entity to be granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones over crowds. (JD Supra)

Turkish Post announced that it is working to develop a drone delivery system. (Daily Sabah)

Volunteer rescue workers used a drone in the search for a missing woman in North Okanagan-Shuswap, Canada. (Global News)

U.S. Air National Guard units from several states piloted MQ-9 Reapers during the recent Operation Combat Hammer air-to-ground weapons evaluation. (Press Release)

Lewis University in Illinois used a drone to deliver acceptance letters to eight students at a local high school. (AUVSI)

Industry Intel

Facebook has partnered with Airbus in an effort to create more favorable policy conditions for the introduction of high-altitude drones. (FlightGlobal)

The U.S. Air Force awarded Elta North America a $39.3 million contract for counter-drone systems and supplies. (DoD)

The U.S. Navy awarded Boeing Insitu an $803,628 contract for ScanEagle training and support services for the government of Cameroon. (FBO)

The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon a $4.8 million contract to integrate the Osprey 30 radar on the MQ-8C Fire Scout. (FBO)

The U.S. Navy awarded Arête Associates a $7.5 million contract for the AN/DVS-1 COBRA system, a counter-mine sensor suite on the MQ-8 Fire Scout rotary drone. (DoD)

Strat Aero and Alnahdi Aviation Technology have partnered to build a training facility for military and civilian drone pilots in Saudi Arabia. (Jane’s)

Israel’s Sightec will provide Alpha Unmanned Systems, a Spanish manufacturer of rotary drones, video image stabilisation and object detection software for the Alpha 800 platform. (Shephard Media)

Centrik will provide mission management software to Texo Drone Survey and Inspection, a company that offers drone services to the maritime oil and gas sectors. (Shephard Media)

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