UAV News and Press Releases

FAA Selects Six Sites for Unmanned Aircraft Research

FAA Press Release

After a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test site operators across the country.
In selecting the six test site operators, the FAA considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk. In totality, these six test applications achieve cross-country geographic and climatic diversity and help the FAA meet its UAS research needs.

 A brief description of the six test site operators and the research they will conduct into future UAS use are below:

  • University of Alaska. The University of Alaska proposal contained a diverse set of test site range locations in seven climatic zones as well as geographic diversity with test site range locations in Hawaii and Oregon. The research plan includes the development of a set of standards for unmanned aircraft categories, state monitoring and navigation. Alaska also plans to work on safety standards for UAS operations. 
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Rising Tide Innovations needs your vote.

Oct. 12, 2013
sUAS News by Gary Mortimer

Good luck to the team at Rising Tide Innovations who hope to get an ad flighted during the superbowl via the Intuit Small Business Big Game Competition.

In their own words

We see drones as a progressive and benevolent technology. We’re the good guys in the world of drones, and we’re on a mission to share this technology with the folks that can use it to make our world a better place.

We got our start at the University of Oregon… two former UH60 Blackhawk pilots, two engineers, and a finance professor gathering around the concept of connecting people to fresh and affordable aerial imagery and data. We’ve since worked with firefighters, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, and our fellow geeks to develop an app that lets you discover the world from a whole new angle!

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Pandora low pass

Sept. 10, 2013
sUAS News by Gary Mortimer

Pandora has been out flight testing again, Tad McGeer and his team making low passes at Boardman Airfield for the benefit of the camera.

This is most certainly another platform to watch. Its designed to be completely autonomous launching from an inert platform. No bungee or rail, the landing being a return to that platform. With long endurance Pandora will require fewer take off and landings than other aircraft in its class. Reducing risk dramatically.

I think we will be seeing many more hybrid multirotor systems in the next couple of years.

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Navy uses UAV data to improve performance and stealth qualities of communications and radar

Aug. 5, 2013
Military & Aerospace Electonic posted by John Keller

ARLINGTON, Va., 5 Aug. 2013. U.S. Navy researchers are using small ship-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to gather ocean and atmospheric data necessary to improve the performance and stealth qualities of maritime communications, radar, and other crucial RF and microwave technologies.

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FAA Plans Unmanned ‘Sense and Avoid’ Rule in 2016

AeroVironment is seeking FAA type certification for its hydrogen-powered Global Observer unmanned aircraft. (Photo: AeroVironment)

July 22, 2013
AIN Online By Bill Carey

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects to formulate a standard by 2016 that will permit unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to interoperate with manned aircraft using an “electronic means” to see and avoid potential collisions, according to the executive leading the FAA’s effort to introduce UAS into the airspace system.

James Williams, manager of the agency’s UAS integration office, said an aviation rulemaking committee the FAA formed is looking into amending Part 91.113, the federal aviation regulation that prescribes aircraft right-of-way rules, to allow for an electronic sensing system that would enable UAS to steer clear of potential collisions with other aircraft. Another special committee, assembled by standards organization RTCA, will develop the technological requirements for a UAS “sense-and-avoid” system, and will meet for the first time on July 30. Williams spoke at the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) safety forum in Washington, D.C., on July 17.

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Northwest scientists using drones to spy on nature

John Lok / The Seattle Times Lt. j.g. Nick Morgan, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, prepares to launch the Puma drone into the wind on the stern of the Research Vessel Tatoosh during a research mission near the Quillayute Needles Archipelago off the coast of La Push.

July 17,2013
Seattle Times By Sandi Doughton

Once used mostly for surveillance and reconnaissance on the battlefield, small, unmanned aircraft are now fetching data for Northwest scientists.

LA PUSH, Clallam County —

Standing in the stern of the RV Tatoosh, Nick Morgan held aloft what looked like an oversized model airplane. As the propeller started to whirl, Morgan cocked his arm and flung the plane as if he were throwing a spear.

The 4-foot-long aircraft banked gracefully and spiraled up into a cloud-streaked sky. Within seconds, it blended in among the targets it was dispatched to spy on: cormorants, gulls and murres wheeling above the tiny islands on the Washington coast where the birds nest and rear their young.

The miniature plane is a drone, a Puma AE, part of a $350,000 unmanned aircraft system. Once used mostly for surveillance and reconnaissance on the battlefield, small, unmanned aircraft like the Puma are quickly catching on in the civilian world — with scientists like those aboard the Research Vessel Tatoosh last month leading the way.

The team of federal biologists spent two weeks flying fixed-wing Pumas and mini-helicopters over remote beaches to test their usefulness for seabird and marine-debris surveys.
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Drone warfare ~ Alone with a joystick ~The stressful lives of drone pilots

June 6,2013
The Economist

BEHIND every aerial drone is a human operator. Thousands are civilians, working for contractors such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Civilians may not fire missiles, but they fly spy planes and fix them when they break down.

Andrew Lohmar, for example, piloted ScanEagle surveillance drones for the American navy for over five years. He was stationed in Iraq, on ships and even on an oil platform in the Persian Gulf. When his two-man team provided reconnaissance for the rescue of American hostages from Somali pirates aboard the Maersk Alabama, a container ship, in 2009, they worked around the clock for five days straight. Small wonder that a 2011 study by the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine found nearly half the operators of spy drones suffering from high levels of stress.

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RQ-21A Small UAS completes first East Coast flight

 Operators from Insitu Inc. prepare to launch the Navy and Marine Corps RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS) from Webster Field Annex, June 12. During the flight, operators launched the unmanned aircraft using a pneumatic launcher, eliminating the need for a runway. The RQ-21A was recovered after a 1.8-hour flight, using a company-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System (SRS).(U.S. Navy photo) (Photo by Steven Kays)

July 1, 2013
 Headquarters Marine Corps by PEO Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --

The RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) completed its first East Coast flight from Webster Field Annex on June 12, marking the start of the next phase of test for the program.

A team from the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS program office (PMA-263) here ,theUAS Test Directorate at Webster and industry partner Insitu, Inc., are conducting flight operations at Webster, NAS Pax River’s outlying field, this June in preparation for Integrated Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in the fall.

During the June 12 flight, Insitu operators launched the unmanned aircraft using a pneumatic launcher, eliminating the need for a runway. The RQ-21A was recovered after a 1.8 hour flight, using a company-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System (SRS). The system enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical UAS on land or at sea.
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Future of Farming

Dan Gadler, left, and Josh Brungardt describe the future of farming through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles Tuesday at the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce Business to Business Luncheon. Northeast Oregon Now

June 25th, 2013
Northeast Oregon Now

In the not-too-distant future, farmers could have the ability to use images taken from the sky that can pinpoint a single harmful bug on a single leaf of a single plant to help them determine how and when to use pesticides on their crops.

           

That vision of the future was presented Tuesday afternoon at the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce’s Business to Business luncheon. The panelists for the day were Dan Gadler of the Boeing Company, Josh Brungardt of PARADIGM and Phil Hamm, director of the Hermiston Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

The luncheon crowd was treated to a short video showing a pair of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (don’t call them drones!) flying no more than 15 feet over crop fields taking a series of images that can assist farmers in the use of precision agriculture. Read More

Drone Restrictions Moving Forward At Oregon Capitol


            Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

June 25, 2013
NW Public Radio by Chris Lehman

New restrictions on drones are moving forward in the Oregon legislature. Lawmakers reached an agreement Tuesday on a measure that would limit the way law enforcement can use unmanned aircraft. 

Earlier this year, hobbyists raised a fuss when lawmakers considered a measure that would have required all unmanned aircraft — even a child's toy — to be registered with the state. The compromise version of the bill removes that requirement.

Instead, it focuses on how law enforcement uses drones. The measure would require cops to get a warrant before using a drone, except when a crime is in progress.

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Rockwell Collins technologies used in RQ-21A tests

June 25,2013
Shepard News

When the US Navy’s RQ-21A Integrator Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) completed its first flight tests at sea recently, technologies provided by Rockwell Collins played a central role in ensuring that high levels of security and precise navigation were possible, the company has reported.

The Integrator STUAS conducted tests from the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Unmanned aircraft soars over Peninsula coast for researchers

June 23,2013
Peninsula Daily News by Jeremy Schwartz


National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration

OLYMPIC COAST NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY — Seabirds nesting on the small, rocky islands off the western coast of the North Olympic Peninsula have nothing to fear from what may look to them like a strange creature swooping over their homes.

The thing doesn't eat, doesn't sleep and has no mind of its own.

Its actions are controlled by a team of researchers bobbing on the Pacific Ocean in a 38-foot vessel from as far as a mile away.

The winged object is a small, unmanned, propeller-driven aircraft called a Puma, and researchers, beginning last week, are taking it skyward most every day — weather permitting — until this Saturday.
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British MoD Inks Deal for Boeing ScanEagles

June 18,2013
Defense News by Andrew Chuter

PARIS — Boeing has secured Britain’s Royal Navy as the latest customer for its ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle. The British want the machine to improve detection of fast-moving targets like the high speed attack craft operated by the Iranians.

The British inked a deal with Boeing Defence UK last week for a contractor-owned, contractor-operated service onboard a small number of Royal Navy warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary support vessels, the Defence Ministry has confirmed.

The ScanEagle service is an urgent operational requirement normally paid for from a special Treasury reserve fund. The value of the deal is unknown. Read More

Washington’s $10B Unmanned Industry

June 11,2013
Seattle Weekly News by Rick Anderson

As Seattle frets about unmanned aircraft, Washington is erecting a multibillion-dollar industry

Tad McGeer, multimillionaire godfatherof the state’s drone industry, was heading home the other day from his office in the rain-swept Columbia River Gorge town of White Salmon when he picked up his cell phone and dialed a Seattle reporter. In an earlier e-mail exchange, the reporter had asked about the growth of drone manufacturing in Washington, and McGeer had written back, “Are you jumping on the hype bandwagon, or do you want to discuss reality?” 

The hype he referred to was the drone-phobia that hovers over any discussion of unmanned flying vehicles, from the small model-sized planes that buzz Seattle neighborhoods to the multi-ton aerial robots that are used in war and prowl Washington’s northern border. To McGeer’s dismay, the public doesn’t seem to like them much—the airborne snoops fly right up and peek through your window, don’t they?—even though civilian drone use is growing and the Pentagon is expanding its drone air force, including four bases in the Evergreen State.

Assured by the reporter that reality rocks, McGeer agrees to call. “I’ve got about a 20-minute drive,” said the 56-year-old Stanford aeronautical engineer, steering towards Hood River, Oregon, across the old two-lane toll bridge stretching three-quarters of a mile over the Columbia. He’s the pioneering entrepreneur behind the Washington-made unmanned aircraft systems—UAS, as they’re know in the industry—that linger over the desert and mountain terrain of Afghanistan in search of U.S. combat intelligence and terrorist targets. The 44-pound, gas-powered military drone he named the ScanEagle is also flown by a dozen other nations, and while most are used for war reconnaissance, some countries employ the ScanEagle for domestic security, as Japanese self-defense forces do, or to spy on drug cartels, as the Colombian military does. Read More

Trimble Takes Flight with its Next Generation Unmanned Aircraft System for Photogrammetric Aerial Mapping

Trimble Press Release

Trimble's Latest Innovations in UAS Technology Provide an Integrated Solution for Surveyors and Geospatial Professionals

Trimble UX5SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 17, 2013—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) introduced today its next generation Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)—the Trimble® UX5 aerial imaging rover with the Trimble Access™ aerial imaging application. The new solution builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, the Trimble Gatewing X100, to offer enhanced image quality and intuitive workflows. Combined with the Trimble Business Center photogrammetry office software module, the Trimble UX5 is the first complete UAS photogrammetric mapping solution specifically designed for surveyors and geospatial professionals.

Trimble's UAS for photogrammetric aerial mapping allows surveyors and geospatial professionals to collect data with an unmanned aircraft for large projects. A wide variety of traditional surveying applications such as topographic surveying, site & route planning, progress monitoring, volume calculations, disaster analysis and as-builts in industries such as surveying, oil & gas, mining, environmental services, and agriculture can now benefit from aerial imaging by allowing professionals to safely collect large amounts of accurate data in a short time. Read More

Insitu furthers payload offerings

May 23, 2013
Shepard Media by Tony Skinner

Insitu has developed two new payloads for its ScanEagle UAS, with the latest expected to be ready for flight tests in coming weeks.

The company has developed the EO900 High Magnification Imager, featuring a 170x optical zoom but in a gyro-stabilised system, which Insitu claims is an almost five-fold improvement from current daytime imagers.

Speaking to reporters at a Boeing facility near Seattle, Curt Chesnutt, senior vice president of ScanEagle programmes, said the EO900 allowed operators to zoom in on specific objects of interest without having to employ the high definition cameras used on much larger EO-IR systems.

Chesnutt noted that the system, which includes AVS video processing, featured a ‘picture-in-picture’ functionality, giving the option of viewing the wider area while at the same time employing the optical zoom.

The EO900 uses an on-board image stabiliser for the full motion video feed, rather than waiting for the imagery to be stabilised at the ground control station and then distributed. Read More

Drones over Pendleton: Unmanned military craft plies civilian airspace


An Oregon Army National Guard reconnaissance drone on the flight line in a hanger in Pendleton is dwarfed by Guard spokesman Pat Caldwell and a combat-ready Chinook helicopter. The RQ7B Shadow drones are now based at the Guard's armory at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport and will be used to train operators for combat missions abroad. RICHARD COCKLE

May 14, 2013
OregonLive by Richard Cockle

PENDLETON -- A 375-pound Oregon Army National Guard drone carrying a sophisticated camera was catapulted into the cobalt-blue eastern Oregon sky here Tuesday, in what Guard officials called the first-ever flight of an unmanned military aircraft through civilian airspace.

Until now, military drones have been confined to restricted airspace above U.S. military bases. The Guard expects to initially fly the four unmanned planes based here twice a month, and later expand the flights to once a week over the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton and wheat fields to the north, said Pat Caldwell, a Guard spokesman.

The brief flight of the Guard's RQ7B Shadow around the airport takes the Guard into potentially controversial territory.

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Oregon Guard to conduct first drone flight

May 14, 2013
Shepard Media

Insitu Pacific has delivered the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to its partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan in preparation for the system's evaluation by the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF).

Insitu Pacific announced in July 2012 that it had signed a contract to deliver the ScanEagle UAS to MHI for comprehensive operational evaluation by the JGSDF. The testing will take place over the coming 12 months.

JGSDF identified the need for a UAS to assess damage and provide vital real-time information for first responders to natural and man-made disasters in the wake of the country's 2011 earthquake and tsunami crisis. Insitu Pacific has worked closely with Sojitz Corporation and MHI, its partners in Japan, to deliver the ScanEagle UAS in support of this requirement. Read More

Drones Hit New Turf: U.S. Farmland


Ken Giles/UC Davis-  An unmanned aircraft able to spray insecticides flies over an experimental vineyard owned by the University of California, Davis in Oakville, Calif.

May 1, 2013
Wall Street Journal by Rachael King

Agricultural Groups Experiment With Unmanned Vehicles to Monitor Crops and Spray Pesticides

Farmers are starting to investigate the use of drones for a decidedly nonmilitary purpose: monitoring crops and spraying pesticides.

As the spring growing season unfolds, universities already are working with agricultural groups to experiment with different types of unmanned aircraft outfitted with sensors and other technologies to measure and protect crop health.

Oregon State University plans to use the unmanned vehicles to monitor the school's potato crop and those of a commercial potato grower. Both crops, located near Hermiston, Ore., are expected to sprout in coming weeks. The university last month ran its first test-flight.

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Drones get cheaper, and civilians want in on it


University of Missouri students guide a quad-copter drone off the ground at Columbia's Hinkson Field. Students also must learn federal aviation regulations.
Photos by David Eulitt / Kansas City Star

April 14th, 2013
The Bulletin By Edward M. Eveld and Lee Hill Kavanaugh / The Kansas City Star

Tiger One sits on the ground like a hubcap-sized, four-legged spider. Or maybe a Lego-colored prop for a sci-fi movie. In minutes, journalism students will try to pilot this thing they call a J-bot, but the world knows it as a drone. They're not computer engineers or information technology experts. They're future story-tellers learning how a cheap technology can enhance their reporting with a bird's-eye view of a story.

The national media has zoomed in on the University of Missouri journalism drone class in recent weeks. Is this yet another dimension of the coming of the drones, the future tool of the celebrity-chasing paparazzi?

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LaserMotive Unveils World's 1st Aircraft System Powered by Laser Over Fiber Today at SPIE DS&S

April 29, 2013
sUAS News by Gary Mortimer

LaserMotive, an independent company specializing in delivering electric power via lasers, today unveiled InvisiTower, the world's first tethered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft system powered by laser over optical fiber. The new, portable system can power any multi-rotor helicopter indefinitely using laser power sent via fiber optic cable, enabling aircraft to stay in the air as long as power is available on the ground. The first public flight of an aircraft powered by the new system will take place this week at the SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing (DS&S) tradeshow at the Baltimore Convention Center in technical demonstration booth T2 and booth #1970.

InvisiTower enables any helicopter to stay in the air as long as power is available on the ground. The system is compact and portable (small enough to fit in the back of an SUV) and does not require a pilot to fly – just someone to monitor the video coming from it.




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Unmanned aircraft system proposal takes flight

April 25, 2013
Innovate Washington and  PNNL. Press Release  

Consortium of twelve members commits to establish test site in central Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. – April 25, 2013 – A consortium of Washington-based organizations will soon submit the final section of a proposal to site an unmanned aircraft system research and testing facility in central Washington.  If successful, the proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration will result in the FAA naming the Pacific Northwest Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center as one of six U.S. testing facilities later this year.  

Innovate Washington, the lead agency of the state of Washington focused on fostering growth of the state's innovation sectors, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland are working with ten other state, county and private industry partners to be selected as one of six locations nationwide to conduct critical research that will safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.  Read More

Sagetech Delivers NextGen Technology for Satellite Constellation

April 22, 2013
Sagetech Corp. Press Release  

Sagetech Corporation delivered signal-processing receiver technology to Harris Corporation, GCS for satellite-based NextGen air traffic control. This technology will enable for the first time global tracking of aircraft flying over oceans and other remote areas.

Sagetech, an avionics company, provided Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver technology to Harris Corporation, a communications company developing space-qualified ADS-B receivers for AireonSM. Aireon is establishing a satellite-based air traffic management system that will be hosted on the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.  Read More

Pendleton area makes a play for drone development


Phot AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File

April 17th, 2013
KEPRTV by AP

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Pendleton officials trying to lure manufacturers of drone aircraft to their industrial park say a slowdown in commercial flights and sparse population make their Eastern Oregon site area prime for testing unmanned aircraft.

"There's not much to hit in the air, there's not much to hit on the ground," economic development consultant Steve Chrisman told the East Oregonian.

Chrisman said he and the leader of the local convention center plan a conference in Pendleton in October for drone manufacturers, and they hope to recruit participants at a similar conference in Seattle this week.

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Oregon House passes bill regulating police drones

April 15, 2013
Oregonian by Christian Gaston

SALEM -- A bill regulating the use of drones for police work easily passed the Oregon House Monday, the first step toward establishing a broad statewide policy on the use of unmanned aircraft.

Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, sponsored House Bill 2710, which outlines that police officers need to obtain a search warrant in order to use a drone to gather evidence, except for in emergencies. Huffman said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who was working on his own drone regulation, will focus on the measure passed by the House. Read More

Annular Wing Quadrocopter from Santos Labs

April 15, 2013
sUAS News by Gary Mortimer

Insitu's new South American partner Santos Labs unveiled its multirotor at LAAD 2013. A fish eyed 360 degree camera is fitted to the 1.5kg quadrocopter. It uses an annular wing to provide lift and prop guard. Named Orbis the platform is waterproof and is intended to meet a Brazilian Navy requirement. The flight video shows a sprightly performance, for just how many minutes we wonder. Read More

Insitu Integrator Export Variant Sold to Middle East

April 15, 2013
UAS Vison

Boeing subsidiary Insitu has sold several export variants of its Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to international customers, the company said last week.

The Block 2 variant for export is described as a separate baseline system to the 135-pound maximum takeoff weight (mtow) Integrator being developed for the U.S.Navy and Marine Corps RQ-21A small tactical UAS (STUAS) requirement. The Integrator and its smaller sister, the 44-pound mtow ScanEagle, use a common pneumatic catapult launch and SkyHook catch cable retrieval systems, and a common command-and-control system. Read More

UAS-maker partners for Brazilian market

April 11, 2013
sUAS News

U.S. unmanned aerial systems producer Insitu is teaming with Brazil's Santos Lab for manufacturing and marketing of its drones in the country.

The announcement of the partnership was made Tuesday at the LAAD defense and security exhibition in Brazil.

"Partnering with Santos Lab is the first step in establishing a local presence for technology transfer, which will enable Insitu's UAS business in Brazil to grow," said Insitu President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Morrow. Read More

Drone technology may help grow Eastern Oregon potatoes, minus the missiles


A 6-pound HawkEye remote-controlled aircraft will monitor potato fields during research trials beginning this spring.

April 9th, 2013
Oregon Live by Eric Mortenson

Agricultural researchers will begin testing two small, remote-controlled aircraft this month, flying them over potato fields in the Hermiston area in trials that may help farmers use water, fertilizer and pesticides more efficiently.            

Researchers believe the aircraft, equipped with sophisticated cameras that can zoom in on individual leaves, may increase crop yields and reduce costs as farmers spot and react to problems earlier. 

The trials beginning this spring will primarily involve irrigation and fertilizer issues. Researchers will artificially stress potato field sections at OSU's Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hermiston, said Phill Hamm, the station director.


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Insitu Announces Successful First Maritime Flight of RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System

April 9, 2013
Insitu Press Release

BINGEN, Wash., April 9, 2013 - Insitu Inc. announced today the successful first maritime flight of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) RQ-21A. The nearly two-hour flight launched from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) after three months of land-based development testing and operational assessment.

"Insitu is extremely proud of the partnership we have with Naval Air Systems Command," said Insitu Senior Vice President of Integrator Programs Ryan Hartman. "We see this milestone as confirmation of our government-industry team's commitment to delivering the first expeditionary, multi-intelligence UAS in this class to the Navy and Marine Corps." RQ-21A is an expeditionary, no-runway solution that supports missions afloat and ashore and has demonstrated rapid payload integration to help commanders quickly adapt to emerging threats. Read More

Unmanned Aircrafts Developed at UAF Get Huge Support from Alaska Lawmakers

April 7, 2013
Channel 2 News By Blake Essig

Alaska Lawmakers

With just a few weeks left in this legislative session, lawmakers in Juneau continue to focus on oil tax reform and declining revenues, but some lawmakers see the need diversify our state, seeing huge potential in unmanned aircrafts or drones.

"We need to be looking at other possibilities across the state," said Rep. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer. "It's expected that this industry will grow leaps and bounds in the next three years and it's important that Alaska get a piece of that pie."

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Drones have useful applications for OSU


Rick SpinradVP for Research at OSU / Karl Maasdam

March 9th, 2013
Statesman Journal by Rick Spinrad - Guest Opinion

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sometimes referred to as "drones," has been the focus of increased recent international attention. It also has captured attention in the Oregon Capitol with the introduction of House Bill 2710 and Senate Bill 524, which would set restrictions on the use of UAVs by law enforcement agencies, and Senate Bill 71, which would regulate the use of drones by private individuals and public agencies.           

Any legislative or public review of the use of UAVs should include a complete understanding that these aerial systems also have many domestic uses that are practical and benign, and should be embraced for their potential to save money and lives.


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Piccolo Nano autopilot introduced for small UAVs

March 19, 2013
Shephard Media

UTC Aerospace Systems has released the Piccolo Nano autopilot, the newest and smallest addition to the Cloud Cap Technology Piccolo family of flight management systems. The autopilot has been developed to meet the requirements of small hand launched and uniquely configured UAVs.

Piccolo Nano provides a small, lightweight, flexible architecture to support the myriad of designs in small UAVs. It has been designed as an unenclosed, distributable autopilot system to provide maximum installation flexibility to the system integrator, particularly for small UAVs where the vehicle structure provides the enclosure and the autopilot components need to be distributed within the airframe's available space. Read More

Bill regulating drones dies in Wash. Legislature

March 17, 2013
KGW News by Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- Despite having support from Democrats, Republicans, civil liberties advocates and those concerned over government intrusion, a measure regulating the use and purchases of drones by state agencies and local municipalities died in Olympia without getting a vote.

The bill saw opposition from one of the most influential players in Olympia: The Boeing Co. The aerospace manufacturer, one of the largest employers in the state, argued the bill would hurt future jobs in the growing unmanned aerial vehicle industry. Read More

Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public

March 15, 2013
US News by Jason Koebler

The company says it won't knock drones down, but will stop them from 'completing their mission'

Do you want to keep drones out of your backyard?

An Oregon company says that it has developed and will soon start selling technology that disables unmanned aircraft.

The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles—which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015—as unwanted eyes in the sky. Read More

FAA Grounds Local Aerial Photo Business

March 14, 2013
CBS Minnesota