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.

In a project with the Welsh Government and Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, QinetiQ will highlight the potential of RPAS applications in the areas of fisheries protection, flood risk management and coastal erosion monitoring. The initiative will be the first major showcase of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre (formerly Llanbedr Airfield) as part of the unique West Wales RPAS test and evaluation environment and associated segregated airspace.

The demonstration will consist of two scenarios; one exploring the use of RPAS in fisheries protection, and the other in managing the threat to the Welsh coast from flooding and coastal erosion.

In the fisheries protection scenario, a remotely piloted aircraft will seek to locate and identify participating fishing vessels and determine their intent. This will assess the potential for RPAS to support Natural Resources Wales in its commitment to doubling sustainable growth of aquaculture and achieving Good Environmental Status for its territorial waters by 2020.

The flooding and coastal erosion scenario will see the aircraft survey the coastline to monitor water levels and identify areas that may be vulnerable to flooding or collapse. Around 60 per cent of the Welsh population live in coastal areas, with an estimated 84,731 properties at risk from tidal flooding. Around 2,000 properties will be at risk from coastal erosion over the next 100 years if there is no active management. This exercise will examine the possibility of providing an early warning system for these events, enabling better preparedness and timelier response.

Jeremy Howitt, Unmanned Services Campaign Manager at QinetiQ, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the potential for RPAS to be used as part of a multi-layered approach to environmental protection. Through this project we will identify ways in which RPAS technology and QinetiQ’s unique expertise could help to improve capability in fisheries protection and coastal change monitoring, providing value for money for the taxpayer. It is an excellent showcase for Wales and QinetiQ, which are well-positioned take leading UK and EU roles in the demonstration of medium and large-scale UAVs.”

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: This will be the first trial of its kind in the UK and positions Wales at the forefront of the drive to advance civil applications for remotely piloted systems. Significant infrastructure investment at Llanbedr, which complements the existing infrastructure at the West Wales UAV Centre at Aberporth, means Wales is ideally placed to maximise these emerging opportunities. Apart from the potential economic benefits it also illustrates how Welsh Governments environmental obligations can be supported by the adoption of this technology and deliver value added benefits.

Dr John Idris Jones, Chairman of Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, said: Our vision is to create a centre of excellence for test and development flying of remotely piloted systems at Llanbedr – a strategically important site within the Enterprise Zone. These trials mark an important step forward and ensure we are in pole position to take advantage of the high growth potential that is forecast in civilian applications for these systems.

Lee Paul, Chief Executive Officer of Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, owners of the former Llanbedr Airfield said: We, with the support of the Welsh Government and Qinetiq, continue to invest substantially in the airfields infrastructure and its facilities to meet the demands and aspirations of the rapidly expanding RPAS commercial sector. Our aim is to provide a second-to-non facility and environment to enable the UK to be a leading forerunner in the growth of applications of this nature. We are delighted to host this programme as the first of many and are busy in discussions with a number of other potential customers whom are keen to take advantages of this unique facility.

The aircraft that will be used for the demonstration is an F-330, manufactured by Unmanned Services Group and flown by two operators on the ground at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre. The F-330 has a wingspan of 3.3m, weighs 21.5kg, can fly for up to eight hours and has a data link range of approximately 50km.

Discussions are also underway to see whether the technology can be used to monitor protected marine mammals and birds off the Welsh coast.

Mike Camplin, Senior Marine Monitoring Ecologist & Marine Monitoring Team Leader at Natural Resources Wales, said: Monitoring the wildlife around our coastline can often be difficult and were interested to see whether this technology can help us get a better picture of species such as bottlenose dolphins and birds, such as the red throated diver.




FAA Small Drone Rule Lets Unmanned Aircraft Soar

2017-09-11
FAA Small Drone Rule Lets Unmanned Aircraft Soar
A host of new users is changing the world of commercial aviation thanks in large part to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) small unmanned aircraft rule, Part 107 (PDF), which has now been in place for a year.

US Naval Research Lab Tests Stackable CICADA Microdrones Swarm

2017-08-22
US Naval Research Lab Tests Stackable CICADA Microdrones Swarm
The U.S. Naval Research Lab has been working on its CICADA (Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft) drones since at least 2011. The tiny drones are designed to be carried aloft by other aircraft and dropped, whereupon they’ll use GPS and little fins to glide to within 15 feet of their destination.

The Drone World Expo 2017 Interviews  Hector Ubiñas

2017-08-22
The Drone World Expo 2017 Interviews Hector Ubiñas
In the third of a series of interviews with key figures involved in the success of Drone World Expo, we talked to for Hector Ubiñas, Aviation Services Manager, San Diego Gas and Electric. Hector joined SDG&E in September 2016 and has been overseeing the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program since starting with the company. In this role, Hector is responsible for the daily operations of the UAS program and continuing to develop new work methods for its application in the utility industry.

Swarms of Drones Test New Dogfighting Skills

2017-04-25
Swarms of Drones Test New Dogfighting Skills
Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form of aerial combat.

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.

New Report: Drones in Public Safety and First Responder Operations

2016-07-24
New Report: Drones in Public Safety and First Responder Operations
It may not seem like it, but drones are still in their infancy and only proving themselves through the rigorous testing done privately, commercially, and by state and federal government agencies. Despite the tangible benefits that drones can provide, the public has mixed sentiments about their use by law enforcement, firefighting, and search & rescue operations.

Drone World Expo  Exclusive Interviews  Mark Bathrick

2016-07-14
Drone World Expo Exclusive Interviews Mark Bathrick
We wanted to find out more about the team behind Drone World Expo – what makes them tick, what motivates them and what are the secrets behind the success of the event. We interviewed Advisory Board member Mark L. Bathrick who directs a nationwide aviation services business for the U.S Department of the Interior (DOI) overseeing the safe operation of over 1,200 contracted and government-owned manned and unmanned aircraft across a wide range of business applications.

Rwanda Readies Life-Saving Drone Delivery System

2016-07-03
Rwanda Readies Life-Saving Drone Delivery System
This summer, small autonomous airplanes will begin carrying life-saving blood to 20 hospitals and healthcare centers across Western Rwanda, Africa, in one of the first-of-its-kind drone-based delivery demonstrations.

Tree-Planting Drones

2016-06-28
Tree-Planting Drones
Beaverton, Oregon-based drone startup DroneSeed created a drone with a device that fires seeds into the ground using compressed air in an effort to reforest the Pacific Northwest, and eventually forests around the world.

FAA Finalizes Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

2016-06-21
FAA Finalizes Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the firstoperational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nations airspace. These new regulations work to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research and save lives.


Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

Back to the list