13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop

2016-08-08

13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop
The White House launched a new effort Tuesday to help increase the use of drones and showcased how government agencies have become a proving ground for a wide array of new drone concepts and technologies.

The workshop, hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, outlined some interesting use cases for drone technology that the Federal government is leading the way on, as well as an aggressive agenda for boosting the profile of drones in the U.S. economy. Here are 13 interesting facts that came out of the workshop.

1.The FAA has registered more than 520,000 drone operators in the last eight months. “To put that in perspective, we have only 320,000 registered manned aircraft on the aircraft registry of the United States and it took us 100 years to get there,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

2.The size of the consumer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market is estimated to be approximately $16 billion. The commercial UAV market is projected to reach $4 billion by 2020. Over the next decade, the estimates are that drones will contribute approximately $80 billion to the U.S. economy.

3.To be able to safely operate multiple drones at once is going to become a critical factor for commercialization. Potential uses for multiple drones include search-and-rescue operations, delivery, or inspections of large structures, such as bridges. Current tests have successfully managed 100 drones through a single operator console. Work is underway to be able to scale that to potentially 1,000 or more drones, according to Intel Corp. CEO Bryan Krzanich.

4.There remain a number of significant regulatory challenges to integrating drones into the national airspace system, including privacy, spectrum usage, safety, and scalability. We are literally at the edge of developing drones that operators cannot run into other objects, Krzanich said.

5.Lockheed Martin has developed ground collision avoidance software for the F-16 fighter jet in the event of pilot loss of consciousness or control. That software has saved at least two pilots during recent operations. That type of technology can be applied to an unmanned system to prevent it from entering a restricted area, said Robert Ruszkowski, director of Advanced Air Dominance and Unmanned Systems Aeronautics at Lockheed Martin. I think there’s a lot of technology thats on the shelf, its ready to go and its been proven.

6.Drones have become a critical tool for the Department of Interior, which manages 500 million acres of land in the U.S. and 1.7 billion acres on the outer continental shelf. Drones are contributing to Interiors various missions of fire suppression, mine inspections, oil spill response, and critical infrastructure monitoring.

7.The future of unmanned systems at Interior includes a mix of in-house and contractor operated UAVs, a cloud strategy for data processing, and a 50 percent increase in DOI aviation users. By FY 2019, DOI will have in place procedures for rapid data processing of UAV-acquired data using the cloud. This will dramatically reduce the time needed to process imagery at a local office.

8.DOI will share near-real-time fire location information with the public by July 2017 as part of a multifaceted effort to prevent unauthorized drone incursions over active wildfires.

9.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is actively researching high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs that can be used for real-time weather data in the event of a problem with a satellite system.

10.Within the next year, NOAA plans to deploy an optionally piloted UAV. This is a medium-altitude aircraft that will be used to collect precise gravity measurements. NOAA collects gravity measurements across the entire United States and converts them into vertical elevation data of the surface. That data is used for flood plain mapping and preparing for hurricanes, tsunamis, and storm surges along coastal areas.

11.Within the next few years, were looking at how to use [UAVs] to collect weather data in real time and be able to put that data into our weather forecast models, said Robbie Hood, NOAAs unmanned aircraft systems director. NOAA has a study underway now using both a high-altitude UAV and a UAV that can be launched from a manned aircraft that can fly above storms and provide higher resolution data than is currently available via satellites.

12.NASA and the FAA are launching a data exchange working group under the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Research Transition Team (RTT) to address the challenge of coordinating information between operators, entities that use UTM to perform services, and the FAA. This group will develop a consistent format for data to be shared across the affected parties with recommendations slated for release in FY 2017.

13.The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General plans to publish new findings and analysis on the publics rapidly evolving opinion of drone delivery as a potential future logistics technology.



Minnesota DoT Testing Drones for Bridge Inspections

2015-11-30
Minnesota DoT Testing Drones for Bridge Inspections
“We do underneath rope access inspections,” said Barritt Lovelace, a regional manager for Collins Engineers Inc., an agency headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout the country. Basically, we rock-climb bridges. It’s a lot of fun. In Duluth recently, Lovelace stood with a host of others below the Blatnik Bridge to participate in a demonstration of the Minnesota Department of Transportations ongoing study of using drones for bridge inspection purposes.

Over 2,100 Commercial End Users, Vendors at First Annual Drone World Expo

2015-11-23
Over 2,100 Commercial End Users, Vendors at First Annual Drone World Expo
The first ever Drone World Expo had an extremely successful launch last week at the San Jose Convention Center. The exhibit hall floor featured 75 exhibiting companies and the event attracted 2,120 commercial drone professionals. The exhibitors responded enthusiastically about their experience at the new trade show with many already planning on renewing booth space for the 2016 Show which will take place November 15-16 back at the San Jose Convention Center.

Drone Standards Tough To Reach For Young Pilots

2015-11-11
Drone Standards Tough To Reach For Young Pilots

Megan Halek could be the best unmanned aircraft pilot coming out of the University of North Dakota’s highly regarded aviation program this year: Shes aced a training program and has enough air experience to fly private jets worldwide.

Drone World Expo  Exclusive Board Member Interviews

2015-11-04
Drone World Expo Exclusive Board Member Interviews

To find out what inspires their interest in UAS and attracts the Advisory Board Members to support Drone World Expo, we scheduled a series of exclusive interviews. Our eleventh interviewee is Gretchen West, Senior Advisor of Innovation and Technology at Hogan Lovells.

US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

2015-10-26
US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

In a surprise move, DOT just published a document,Clarification of the Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for UAS and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration for UAS, to the Federal Register. DOT is soliciting recommendations on all aspects of the UAS registration process, including which UAS should be exempt from the registration requirement.

UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines

2015-10-20
UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines
The UK’s Military Aviation Authority is preparing the release of an updated version of its regulations on unmanned air vehicles, which will draw on feedback from a first document that was released last January.

Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

2015-10-09
Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

Adazed and bloodied student who had just been mugged stumbled down a darkened alleyway in a slum. He lifted his shirt, revealing a gaping wound, before collapsing on the ground as curious onlookers gathered around.

 Air National Guard wants to Fly MQ-9 Reaper from Syracuses Hancock Airport

2015-10-04
Air National Guard wants to Fly MQ-9 Reaper from Syracuses Hancock Airport
The Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircrafts out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircrafts to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

2015-09-29
NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

Two Northwest Nazarene University assistant professors have been awarded a NASA grant to support their research on wildfire monitoring and assessment technology.
Assistant professor of computer science Dale Hamilton and associate professor of computer science Barry Myers weer awarded a NASA EPSCoR (experimental program to stimulate competitive research) Undergraduate Research Grant

RPAS Environmental Protection Demo in Wales

2015-09-25
RPAS Environmental Protection Demo in Wales

QinetiQ is to demonstrate the use of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) in tackling environmental issues in a one-week project on the Welsh coast in November 2015.


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