Droneport: FAA Approves Test of Drone Power Line Exams

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.”

Touch & Go: Perspective matters

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.

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Droneport: FAA Flight Standards Issues Notice to Inspectors on Logging Drone Pilot Time

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.

Keeping the skies safe as UAV testing begins

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.

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UAV eyes in the Open Sky

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.

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Texas A&M unveils new UAV Command Center

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi unveiled its new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) command and control center Oct. 1 at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center.

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FAA puts out requests for UAV research and test sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA has put out a request for proposals from state and local governments, universities and other public entities to develop six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test sites around the country.

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Creating an unmanned aircraft that can sense-and-avoid

By JUAN MIGUEL PEDRAZA, Office of University Relations, University of North Dakota

It looks easy to fly unmanned aircraft: Launch, fly, land. But there’s lots more to keeping an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) safely aloft than toggling controls from the ground.

“Among the major technical challenges facing the UAS industry is the sense-and-avoid system aboard the aircraft,” said Naima Kaabouch, associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of North Dakota College of Engineering and Mines and an expert in sense-and-avoid electronics and software.

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UAS topic of Las Vegas conference

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) will host “Unmanned Systems North America 2012” in Las Vegas, August 6-9. The show’s website brags of 500+ exhibitors, 8,000+ attendees, delegates from more than 40 countries and 100 educational sessions. FAA’s Acting Administrator, Michael Huerta is just one of seven keynote speakers.

Airship UAV development phase complete

Global Near Space Services and Bye Engineering Partners have completed phase two of their solar-electric high-altitude, long-endurance airship unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) dubbed Star2Flight. The UAV is being developed as an intelligence and surveillance platform. The “lighter than air” ship includes a “recoverable solar electric lower stage flying vehicle (see rendering below). [Read more...]