Tag: UAV

Drones flown in to provide communication services to disaster ravaged areas

By Feilidh Dwyer

Hurricane Lane hit the Hawaiian Islands last week bringing 46 inches of rain, flash floods and mud slides. In the immediate aftermath of severe natural disasters, along with the loss of essential services such as power, water and sewage there is frequently the problem of people’s phone and internet connections being cut.

Not being able to contact people outside of one’s immediate vicinity makes it next to impossible to talk with family and friends or emergency services.

Verizon and AT&T are both planning to be on hand for this coming hurricane season, providing drones that broadcast communication services such as mobile data. While Verizon is continuing testing, AT&T has several models of cellular drones ready to go which they refer to as COWs (Cellular on Wings).

AT&T’s drones provided support following the devastating hurricane that hit Puerto Rico in 2017. Following that disaster, nearly half of all the country’s cellphones towers went down.

These UAVs are tethered to the ground to the ground through a fiber optic cable. Remote radio heads are attached to the bottom of the drones which facilitate the provision of data, voice and text services to people.

The drone acts as a broadcasting beacon for a station on the ground. When a COW hovers at a height of around 200 feet, it can provide communication services to an area as large as 40 square miles. The drones are capable of staying airborne for hours at a time, allowing stranded people to contact loved ones and perhaps update social media with shocking disaster selfies.

Read Article: We Talk UAV

Proving the Rescue Potential of Multi-sensor UAVs – Venturing into Disaster Zones

By Ursula Riegl, Thomas Hinterhofer, Michael Hofstätter

When disaster strikes, the courage and experience of rescue task forces is put to the test. They face heading into the unknown every time they enter a terrain during a rescue mission.

Efforts to implement the latest technological tools, such as UAVs, to support their work are aimed at providing safer working conditions for rescue teams and speeding up search activities to improve the efficiency of the entire rescue mission. UAV reconnaissance is considered a very powerful way of overcoming the potentially dangerous lack of information in affected areas.

Specially equipped unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’) have in the past been proposed for firefighting, for search missions, for delivery of rescue kits, and many other impressive tasks. There are high expectations of the use of drones for this type of work, and for obvious reasons: they can go where it would be too hazardous or even impossible for manned aircraft to go. This is one of the major arguments for UAV utilisation.

Read More: GIM International

Monitoring Coastal Erosion with UAV Lidar – Comprehensive Surveying of Coastal Topography

By Michel Assenbaum

The French Mediterranean coast is a complex natural environment where geology, climate and the sea interact and continuously reshape the landscape. Coastal erosion and the availability of drinking water are two major coastal management issues that necessitate precise monitoring of the morphological changes to the shoreline.

UAV Lidar is being used in this region to produce comprehensive topographic surveys with unprecedented productivity and level of detail, and several Lidar surveys are planned over the next two years.

Read on for details of the context, technical setup and results of the very first survey which took place in January 2018.

More: GIM International

What do You Need to Know About Anti-Drone and Counter Drone Technology?

One of the reasons counter drone/anti-drone technology has become such a big issue in 2018 relates to scenarios where drones could be used to threaten the privacy of people, protected places, large events or critical infrastructure.

With that being the case, what does it mean to enable a sense of security when it comes to drone technology? What kinds of options are available to organizations that want to get a better sense of the threats that are in their airspace and in turn take action around them?

These are the exact sorts of questions Dedrone solutions have been designed to answer. Founded in 2014, the San-Francisco-based company uses advanced hardware and software technology to create a critical awareness of the airspace, and even allows users to take active countermeasures. The company’s complete, automatic drone detection and security solution includes the Dedrone RF sensor, which helps users understand their airspace security situation, while their DroneTracker software connects to various sensors (including the RF sensor) and can trigger active countermeasures.

Read More: Commercial UAV News

Switzerland Is Developing a System to Track Drones All Over the Country

WRITTEN BY Kyree Leary

The system will track drones and register operators in order to make airspace safer for the tiny vehicles. Switzerland’s U-Space is an initiative that seeks to make drone services a major part of various business plans. Step one is to create a system capable of managing a large number of them.

Ars Technica reports that Skyguide, a Swiss air traffic control operator, is partnering with AirMap, maker of one of the leading global airspace management platforms for drones. In June, Skyguide will begin migrating its data and air traffic management applications to AirMap’s airspace mapping platform, AirMap UTM.

Read More: Futurism

Drones Speed Solar and Wind Farm Inspection

By  , Executive Editor, on 

Duke Energy is using small unmanned aerial systems to inspect several different types of assets in its portfolio. Use of the drones has had a tremendous impact on regular inspections of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

Duke Energy is the largest electric company in the U.S., delivering electricity to about 7 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest. More and more of that electricity is being generated by renewable technologies. The utility owns more than 1,700 MW of generating capacity through 15 wind farms and 17 solar farms in 12 states.

Inspecting all those assets can be a daunting task, however, taking a few days to walk through just one 5 MW solar field, for example; or having to repel with ropes from a wind turbine hundreds of feet in the air to inspect blades.

When Duke Energy initiated a drone project in August 2014, the utility had augmented safety and improved operational excellence in mind for all its assets. Though Duke’s first pilot project was at its Marshall steam plant in August 2015, early interest in the use of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) came particularly from the utility’s commercial renewables group for inspecting solar and wind farms. Duke’s first solar farm inspection was in February 2016, with the first wind farm inspection coming a month later. By summer of 2016, more solar farm inspections were being added to the rotation, and Duke now has about 30 sUASs in operation.

Read More: Automation World


Ford’s Zero-Cost Solution for Remote ID Tracking

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles aren’t necessarily the first thing one associated with Ford Motor Company, but the US automaker is, nonetheless, rather interested in the rapid proliferation of drone technology.

The company’s Palo Alto-based UAV Systems group has even developed a customizable drone development platform that allows the automaker to study and test for integration between unmanned aircraft and its range of cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Now, Ford Motor Company is presenting a rather simple possible solution to the problem of how to identify and track UAVs: using drones’ onboard collision lights to beam their 10-digit FAA registration numbers for capture and decoding.

Read More: UAV Vision

University of Warwick Students Create UAV to Aid in Mountain Rescue Efforts

by Hannah Rose Mendoza | Mar 9, 2018

There is a lot of conversation about the replacement of workers by automated robots and what that means for the future of the workforce from the perspective of both the employer and the employee. Those participating in these conversations might just have to set out a bowl of water and some kibble now and welcome a few St. Bernards.

The working dog was originally bred as a rescue dog for the Great St. Bernard Pass and is still a part of contemporary rescue folklore.

Since their heyday in the rescue arena, there have been a number of advances in technology that have led to the development of mechanized rescue apparatus that means that if you have the bad luck of needing a rescue after an avalanche, the air moving on your face might not be the hot breath of a gargantuan panting canine, but rather the wind from the rotor blades of an unmanned aerial vehicle, aka drone.

The latest advance in this technology comes out of the University of Warwick School of Engineering in Coventry, England where they have developed a UAV capable of delivering immediate assistance to those in distress before any larger rescue team arrives to complete the mission.

Read More: 3D Print.com

Ford Wants to Join the Drone Industry


Ford Motor Company is keen on joining the drone industry and currently developing an open-source platform to further testing and innovation.

After a hundred years in the automotive industry, Ford is looking to drones as a potential new part of its business model. According to a blog post by John Luo and Adi Singh, both of whom work for Ford Research and Advanced Engineering with the former being a research manager in the Emerging Technology Integration division and the latter as principal scientist in the Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration division, the company has been inspired by the rampant creative increase of UAVs across all kinds of industries and is eager to join the fray.

Read More: The Drive

Drones are helping to clear up Britain’s beaches

Scientists are recruiting members of the public to help clean up the shores of Great Britain.

Plastic waste is scattered across the beaches of the UK and a computer programme is being developed to help spot the litter.

The charity campaign needs human volunteers to help train an artificial intelligence algorithm that will automatically spot plastic in pictures taken by drones.

Read More: Daily Mail UK