The book details how UAVs — unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely piloted aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial systems, the labels vayr — are a disruptive technology on par with computers and smartphones. [Read more…]
Facebook — the ubiquitous social network — is determined to connect the entire population of the world to the internet. For remote areas, where traditional infrastructure isn’t possible, Facebook designed Aquila.
“When complete, Aquila will be able to circle a region up to 60 miles in diameter, beaming connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems,” said Jay Parikh, Facebook’s Global Head of Engineering and Infrastructure. “Aquila is designed to be hyper efficient, so it can fly for up to three months at a time.” [Read more…]
According to a new report from Tractica, a growing interest in using remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, will drive commercial RPA shipments from 80,000 in 2015 to more than 2.6 million annually by 2025.
The market intelligence firm forecasts that annual revenue from commercial drone hardware sales will reach nearly $4 billion in the same timeframe. However, the more significant revenue opportunity will be in commercial drone-enabled services, which Tractica forecasts will grow to $8.7 billion annually by 2025. [Read more…]
There isn’t anything unmanned about most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). There is a real, live human being attached (wirelessly) to that airborne craft.
The FAA has drawn the ire of model aircraft hobbyists and UAV manufacturers. A trio of lawsuits were filed against the FAA Friday that challenge “a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens the agency’s ban on commercial drone flights.” Read more at The Seattle Times.
Droneport is reporting the “FAA has approved San Diego Gas & Electric’s test program for the examination of rural power transmission lines with drone-mounted HD cameras.” SDGE will fly sub-one-pound quadcotpers in “four rural test sites 70 miles east of San Diego in the McCain, Valley. The drones replace manned helicopter inspections that cost nearly as much per flight hour as the drone system’s total cost.”
I’m excited to see what comes of the future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones. There is a great deal yet to learn, and ways UAV technology will scale up to the benefit of all aerospace. Of that, I have no doubt.
However, there is also much to figure out and, frankly, worry about.
From Droneport.com, “Because it is getting more requests in the field, the FAA Flight Standards Division, whose aviation safety inspectors conduct pilot certification duties, recently issued a notice, Logging of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pilot Time. It clarifies questions raised by drone pilots who request credit for flight time logged on drones.” Read the rest of Droneport.com Editor Scott Spangler’s take here.
I’m not against UAVs. What I am against is fencing off parts of the sky from the flyers who were here first in the interest of UAV testing. I’m also not for rolling the dice with the lives of fellow aviators and their passengers.
Do you like taking photos from your airplane? Most flyers do, even if it’s only every once in a while. You should be aware of a legislative slippery slope that’s developing.
Unmanned aircraft are currently in the crosshairs of legislators at varying levels of government. At issue is the ability of UAVs to conduct and record aerial surveillance over private property, an act which many consider a violation of personal privacy.