Weekly Roundup 2/10/20

February 3, 2020 – February 9, 2020

Top Stories

The U.S. confirmed that a drone strike in Yemen killed Qassim al-Rimi, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (The New York Times)

The U.S. has indefinitely suspended a long-running program under which it shared intelligence collected by drones with the Turkish military. According to Reuters, the decision to halt the program was prompted by Turkey’s incursion into Kurdish-held territory in Syria last year. U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones are based at Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is considering whether to create a special class of requirements for delivery drones. The agency is now seeking public comment on the unique design criteria that delivery drones should meet. (Aviation International Online)

Know Your Drone

A team from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute has developed a system for using data collected by drones to predict algae blooms. (Water World)

The U.S. Navy and aerospace and defense firm Boeing conducted a test in which pilots in an E/A-18G Growler jet controlled two unmanned E/A-18Gs. (C4ISRNET)

U.S. firm Loon completed development of a communications beaming payload for HAPSMobile’s HAWK30 high-altitude pseudo-satellite drone. (TechCrunch)

Dutch drone maker High Eye unveiled an upgraded variant of the HEF 32 Airboxer helicopter drone. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Imaging systems maker Ascent Vision Technologies unveiled the CM262M, an imaging pod for counter-drone systems. (Unmanned Systems Technologies)

Drone engine maker Sky Power unveiled the SP-210 HF FI TS, a heavy fuel engine system. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Ukrainian firm A.Drones unveiled the Centaur, a utility unmanned ground vehicle prototype. (Defence Blog)

A team from Purdue University and Technische Universitat Munchen has determined that drones could theoretically use echolocation to map the interior of rooms. (ElectronicsWeekly.com)

Drones at Work

The U.K.’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has launched a program to evaluate the use of drones for rescue missions. (Sky News)

German firms Wingcopter and Merck, working in partnership with the Frankfurt University of Applied Science, conducted the first trial flight of a proposed drone delivery system to ferry packages between office blocks. (TechCrunch)

Japan is set to introduce new legislation designed to promote its domestic drone industry. (Nikkei Asian Review)

The Adolfo Suarez-Barajas international airport in Madrid briefly suspended flights after a drone was spotted operating near the airport’s take-off area. (Reuters)

The Republic of Korea Air Force has established a new reconnaissance squadron to operate the RQ-4B Global Hawk. (Shephard News)

Authorities in China are using drones equipped with loudspeakers to identify and call out citizens who practice lax hygiene or venture outdoors unnecessarily. (Bloomberg)

Meanwhile, The New York Times published drone footage of the deserted streets of Wuhan.

Drone footage captured on January 27 and 28 shows the civilian exodus from the Syrian province of Idlib sparked by a major offensive by the Syrian army. (The Washington Post)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has declined requests from various organizations to extend the comment period for its proposed Remote ID regulations. (Benzinga)

India’s Union Aviation Ministry received over 20,000 new registrations during a 19-day grace period for un-enrolled drone operators. (The Times of India)

Iranian state media aired footage of the remnants of a U.S. RQ-4 surveillance and reconnaissance drone that Iranian forces shot down in June 2019. (Defence Blog)

Industry Intel

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, Chinese agricultural drone company XAG established a 5 million Yuan fund to explore how drones could be used for disinfection operations. (Press Release)

The U.S. Defense Innovation Unit reportedly awarded Fortem Technologies a contract for the SkyDome anti-drone system. (Defense One)

The U.S. Navy awarded 40 companies a potential combined total of $982.1 million to support the Navy’s Unmanned Surface Vehicle Family of Systems program. (UPI)

The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $172.4 million contract modification for two MQ-4C Triton drones. (DoD)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Newspace Research and Technologies have partnered to jointly develop drones, swarms, and space systems. (Jane’s)

Israel Aerospace Industries, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and Dynamatic Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the production of IAI drones in India. (FlightGlobal)

The Russian Ministry of Defense awarded the Ural Civil Aviation Plant a contract for 10 Forpost-R systems. (Jane’s)

Undersea drone manufacturer Sonardyne International has acquired 2G Robotics, an underwater imaging and inspection firm. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls has acquired Hydroid, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of unmanned undersea vehicles, for $350 million. (Robotics Business Review)

Malaysian drone services firm Aerodyne Group has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B round led by North Summit Capital, Arc Ventures, and Leave a Nest. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered PT Dirgantara Indonesia to push the mass production of the Elang Hitam, Indonesia’s first medium-altitude long-endurance drone, to 2022. (Jakarta Post)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

At The New York Times, David McCabe writes that U.S. federal departments are at odds over whether to ban the use of Chinese-made drones.

At the Carroll County Times, Jon Kelvey writes that by setting its own rules restricting drones, Carroll County is probably in violation of Maryland state law.

At the Denver Post, Sam Tabachnik and Shelly Bradbury go behind the scenes of the multi-agency investigation into the reports of mysterious drone swarms in Colorado earlier this year.

In a new paper, Michael C. Horowitz, Joshua Schwartz, and Matthew Fuhrman examine the effects of armed drone proliferation. (SSRN)

At Air Force Magazine, Rachel S. Cohen considers how the U.S. Air Force is rethinking drone technology for new counterinsurgency conflicts.

At CNN, Charles Pensulo visits the newly-opened African Drone and Data Academy in Malawi.

In Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Robin Kellerman, Tobias Biehle, and Liliann Fischer examine the debates over drones for parcel and passenger transportation. (ScienceDirect)