Weekly Roundup 9/15

At the Center for the Study of the Drone

On Tuesday, September 16, the Center for the Study of the Drone presents Rethinking the View from Above, a public talk at Apex Art. In this free event, which is held in conjunction with the exhibition Decolonized Skies, Center for the Study of the Drone co-director Arthur Holland Michel will speak with the curatorial duo High & Low Bureau about how the aerial view can be reappropriated for art and activism.


A U.S. drone strike in Yemen reportedly killed five members of al-Qaeda travelling in a pickup truck in the southeast Shabwah province. According to Yemeni security officials who spoke to Al-Jazeera, one of those killed is suspected to have been Musaad al-Habashi, a local leader of al-Qaeda.

Ambassador Reza Najafi, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, called the flight of an Israeli drone into Iranian airspace a “flagrant violation” of Iran’s territorial integrity. In late August, Iran claimed that it shot down an Israeli drone that it said was spying on the Natanz nuclear facility, the main site for uranium enrichment in the country. (Reuters)

The Ukranian government will allow the Organization of States for Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to use drones to monitor the ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russian militias. Spokesman Shiv Sharma told reporters that the OSCE will deploy drones made by Schiebel, an Austrian company, at the end of September and beginning of October. (Reuters)

The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed Texas EquuSearch to use a drone for a search and rescue operation near Dallas. EquuSearch, a nonprofit, was granted a Certificate of Authorization, a special waiver that the FAA issues for drones to be used in specific circumstances. The federal agency has been locked in a legal struggle with Texas EquuSearch over the organization’s use of drones. (The Hill)

In a speech at Oklahoma City University, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned of the troubling privacy implications of domestic drones. “That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom,” said Justice Sotomayor. (Wall Street Journal)

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee supported a bill that proposes restrictions on drones, such as requiring police to obtain a warrant before using an unmanned aerial vehicle. The committee chose not to include an amendment that would ban armed drones in the state. “I’m also picturing specific circumstances where let’s say you have a hostage situation and a drone is the only place where you could get a clear shot at the hostage taker,” said Wyoming Senator Bruce Burns. (The Verve)

Commentary, Analysis and Art

A report by Remote Control, a project of the Oxford Research Group, takes a look at how U.S. special operations soldiers are using drones to collect data.

CNA Analysis and Solutions published a report that evaluates how drone strikes–as part of a broader counterterrorism strategy–will evolve over time.

At the Guardian, Spencer Ackerman argues that President Obama’s plan for Syria is an extension of his counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and Yemen.

Meanwhile, at the Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor argues that “Yemen and Somalia are examples of U.S. mission creep, not success.”

At Gigaom, John Jeff Roberts writes that the number of drone businesses in Canada is rapidly increasing due to the regulatory limits on drones across the border in the United States.

At Studio Q, Actor Ethan Hawke discussed “Good Kill,” a new film in which he plays an American drone pilot. (YouTube)

Know Your Drone

In an article for the Aeronautical Journal, an engineer at British defense contractor BAE described the challenges of developing the aerodynamics for the company’s Taranis stealth combat drone.

Sergei Lupashin, a Russian-born inventor, has created a tethered quadcopter drone that he describes as a simple solution for aerial photography. (TED Blog)

A Chinese company at the Tianjin International UAV Exhibit unveiled an inflatable drone that can be used for surveillance missions. (Popular Science)

U.S. Air Force photos show a Reaper drone in Afghanistan carrying what appears to be a wide-area surveillance system capable of monitoring an area the size of a small city in one shot. (War is Boring)

At Motherboard, Jason Koebler takes a deeper look into NASA’s proposal to create airspace highways for drones.

Dutch engineers Arjen Beltman and Bart Jansen, creators of the famed cat drone, have now built a drone out of a stuffed rat. Something for the cat drone to chase, we suppose. (BBC)

Drones at Work

Drones will be competing in the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Arizona. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

DroneCast, a startup company based in Philadelphia, wants to be the “Google of drones,” according to founder Raj Singh. (Technical Philly)

Drones took to the skies above Burning Man to get an aerial perspective on the festival. (DesignBoom)

For updates, news, and commentary, follow us on Twitter!

For Mashable’s take on the week in drone news, check out Drone Beat.

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