Weekly Roundup 5/6/19

BAE unveiled a drone that can fly without flaps. Credit: BAE

April 29, 2019 – May 5, 2019

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Top Stories

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has partnered with Airports Council International-North America to create a task force to develop procedures and best practices for responding to unsafe drone use at airports. The Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports, which is comprised of former government officials, industry representatives, and security executives, will also look to build a framework that can be extended to other sensitive and critical sites. (Aviation International Online)

The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority has launched a proposal to charge a yearly £16.50 fee for drone operator licenses. According to the CAA, the proposed fee would be used to offset the costs of maintaining the country’s drone operator registration system. (BBC)

Know Your Drone

U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin unveiled a tethered version of its Indago 3 surveillance and reconnaissance quadcopter. (Jane’s)

Hong Kong-based drone maker UAVOS announced that it has begun flight testing of the UVH-290E, a helicopter drone that can be equipped with missiles. (Jane’s)

Turkish firm Asis unveiled the Songar, an armed multirotor drone. (Shephard Media)

European firm E Yo Copter unveiled the One Ton, a quadcopter drone capable of carrying 860 kg of cargo. (FlightGlobal)

Swiss drone maker Flyability unveiled the Elios 2, an indoor inspections drone. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

U.S. drone maker Vanilla Unmanned is developing a vertical take-off and landing variant of its Vanilla 001 long-endurance drone for the U.S. Special Operations Command. (FlightGlobal)

Drone maker Yuneec and communications technology company Mobilicom unveiled the H520 SkyHopper, a professional data collection quadcopter. (Commercial Drone Professional)

Swiss drone maker senseFly unveiled the Solar 360, a fixed-wing drone designed for inspecting solar farms. (Commercial Drone Professional)

Drones at Work

The Estonian military has deployed THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles to Mali. The systems will be used to carry dismounted soldiers’ gear. (Jane’s)

A coalition of Libyan militias claimed that its forces shot down a Russian-made drone reportedly operated by the Libyan National Army over the city of Sirte. (Jane’s)

The Algerian Defense Ministry claims that it used drones to find and destroy hideouts used by non-state militant groups. (MenaFN.com)

Researchers from the University of Denver used a mapping drone to gather data for a reconstruction of a Japanese internment camp in Colorado. (Associated Press)

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services announced that its Preparedness Training Center has trained its 500th student in public safety drone operations. (Press Release)

Drone maker DJI and drone services provider RMUS are partnering to open eight Unmanned Aerial Systems Training Centers in the U.S. (Commercial Drone Professional)

San Mateo County in California is installing a drone detection system at several correctional facilities in the area. (CBS SF Bay Area)

The Howard County Police Department in Maryland has formed a working group to evaluate the possibility of launching a drone program for law enforcement operations. (The Baltimore Sun) Center co-director Dan Gettinger was interviewed for this story.

Firefighters in New Hampshire rescued a man who became stuck in a tree while trying to retrieve his drone. (NECN)

Industry Intel

The U.S. Air Force awarded Black River Systems a $88.7 million contract for operational counter-drone systems. (DoD)

The U.S. Navy awarded AAI Corp. a $20.5 million contract for engineering and technical services for the Unmanned Influence Sweep System unmanned surface vehicle. (DoD)

The U.S. Navy has issued a request for proposals for the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle program. (Jane’s)

The U.S. Marine Corps has contracted Kaman Aerospace to reactivate two CQ-24A K-MAX unmanned helicopters. (Rotor & Wing)

The U.S. Army has awarded contracts to six companies to develop a quadrotor drone similar to the consumer drones that are available to the general public. (Popular Science)

The U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Insitu a $23 million modification to an existing indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract for mid-endurance drone services, raising the contract’s ceiling to $273 million. (DoD)

Measure UAS has partnered with AiRXOS, a branch of GE Aviation, to provide commercial beyond line-of-sight and multiple unmanned aircraft operations. (Geospatial World)

Silent Falcon is seeking to propose its solar-powered fixed-wing drone to the Pentagon in response to upcoming Marine Corps and Special Operations Command requests for proposals. (Jane’s)

Schiebel announced that the Andoya Test Center in Norway selected the Camcopter S-100 for search and rescue trials in the Arctic. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Garuda Indonesia has partnered with China’s Beihang UAS Technology to use BZK-005 drones to deliver cargo in Indonesia. (FlightGlobal)

Piaggio Aerospace, the Italian firm that produces the P.1HH HammerHead drone, is seeking a buyer for the company. (FlightGlobal)

Fortem Technologies has partnered with Unifly to offer military and government agencies a system for tracking drones. (Avionics International)

GE Aviation has partnered with Switzerland’s Auterion to develop hardware and software for commercial drone operations. (Aviation Week)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

In a podcast, editors and reporters at Shephard Media discuss the current state of drone regulations.

At Shephard Media, Tim Martin writes that the drone industry is having difficulty overcoming some persistent frustrations such as reports of airport incursions.

Meanwhile, at Aerospace America, Marc Selinger looks at how airports are evaluating counter-drone technology.

At The New York Times, Brian Castner reflects on the difficulty of tracking civilian casualties of U.S. drone strikes in Somalia.

At FlightGlobal, Garrett Reim writes that the drone industry is moving away from its reliance on hobby drone components.

A new report by the Inspector General of the Department of Energy warns of the threat to federal facilities posed by small drones. (FEDweek)

At the Wall Street Journal, Dion Nissenbaum and Warren P. Strobel examine the Houthi campaign to use drones to attack Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, DJI denied reports that it plans to discontinue the sales of the popular Phantom drone. (The Verge)

In a demonstration at a security conference, a 13-year-old managed to hack into a popular consumer drone. (Reuters)

At Defense News, Tom Kington writes that the UAE is suspected of deploying armed Chinese-made Wing Loong drones in support of Libyan strongman Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

At Aviation International Online, Beth Stevenson writes that the TAI Anka Aksungur is expected to fly with a Turkish-made engine by the end of the year.

At USNI News, Megan Eckstein maps out the Navy’s plans for testing autonomous capabilities on board the Sea Hunter unmanned surface vehicle.

At the National Interest, Michael Peck shares the story of how Russia reverse engineered a Cold War-era U.S. spy drone.

In an op-ed at Aviation Week, Linden Blue calls on the U.S. government to update its export policies for drones so that it can stay ahead of China in the global military drone market.

In a joint statement, two U.S. senators called on the Federal Aviation Administration to develop guidelines for remotely identifying drones by mid-July. (Engadget)

At C4ISRNET, Kelsey D. Atherton considers the role that autonomy could play in the development of hypersonic vehicles.

At the BBC, Jessica Brown looks at how one company is developing drones that could serve as power sources for homes.

At The Paris Review, Meghan O’Gieblyn reflects on the impact of drones in society and warfare.

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