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Drones For Good Award

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

First and largest governmental award for civilian drone application is offered by the Government of United Arab Emirates.

The ‘UAE Drones For Good Award’ was launched under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAV Vice President and Ruler of Dubai in February 2014. The official webpage of the award, www.dronesforgood.ae became online on 10th of May.

The Award has two parts: an international prize offering $1 million USD and a local prize of 1 million AED (approximately $275,000 USD). The National competition is dedicated to rewarding the best, most practical ideas for using UAV technologies today to improve government services in the UAE. The International competition is dedicated to rewarding the most promising prototypes of future services that may benefit humanity at large. Submissions must be able to demonstrate a working prototype that could conceivably be developed into a working system within the next 1 to 3 years.

Dronologista already mentioned in one of previous posts, that UAE is planning to deliver personal documents using drones. The Drones For Good Award is just another logical step that Government of UAE is taking toward systematic application of UAS for the benefit of humanity. In a bit cheesy video below you can get the picture of how it ought to work.

More information about the award and the rules can be found here.

Dronologista will be following development of this competition, and wishes all applicants good luck.

 

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Airliner almost collided with the drone or how to prevent midair collision

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

The first part of the title refers to the incident that happened on 22nd of March, that hit the headlines last week.

American Airlines Group Bombardier CRJ 200, almost collided with a remote controlled aircraft near the Tallahassee Regional Airport. Pilot reported that he saw the drone so close to the aircraft, that he was sure he collided with it. Fortunately he didn’t, as the subsequent inspection of the passenger jet didn’t find any damage or sign of contact with a foreign object. The “drone” was a fixed wing model of a F-4 fighter aircraft, so it is suspected that it was piloted by a hobbyist, not a commercial drone operator. FAA investigated the case, but couldn’t identify the pilot of the UAV.

This puts the FAA in an awkward situation of explaining why commercial UAV use is illegal, and use of UAV by hobbyist isn’t. Any justification based on safety of the air traffic is pointless, since it can be compromised regardless of the classification of UAV users. Hopefully, the FAA will take the point and equalize, from the legal point of view, hobbyist and commercial drone operators. Dronologista hopes that equalizing won’t mean making all UAV use illegal.

An interesting update of this story can be found on Drone Girls great blog

Now to the second part of the title: how to prevent midair collision between drones and airliners. Couple of months ago, DJI introduced a new model, the Phantom Vision + featuring a unique solution to increase flight safety and prevent accidental flights into restricted areas. Firmware  for the new DJI product line includes No Fly Zones around airports worldwide (Tallahasee Regional Airport is not among them; maybe a software patch would be welcome). How it works, you can see in this video:

If the lawmakers are slow to figure out what can be done to ensure safe operation of UAS, they should apply efficient solutions, such as one DJI uses. Best practice will always be the best, until better appears.

 

How to insure UAS business?

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

With new technology comes new risk. Public fear and skepticism towards UAS has been significant right from the start. However, such systems are being further developed, and are helping humans to accomplish numerous dull, dirty and dangerous tasks. But for general public acceptance, it is necessary to achieve adequate safety standards to mitigate new risks.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES: RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN INSURANCE

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES: RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN INSURANCE. Courtesy of Lloyd’s

Insurance companies can play a vital role here. Their expertise in risk management can facilitate adoption of unmanned technology and development of related safety standards. And unlike lawmakers, they were not caught off guard by the emergence of commercial UAS/UAV. Where regulation and safety standards are yet to be developed, insurers can encourage prudent progress by making their own risk assessments and providing policies for responsible operators, the report says. For example, underwriters at Lloyd’s wrote one of the first motor insurance policies in 1904 and the first aviation cover in 1911, long before today’s liability regimes were put in place. Some of the Lloyd’s underwriters, e.g. Kiln Group Limited are already insuring UAS. Risks being insured include hull loss and third party liability.

Insurance is an important part of any enterprise, and companies that are offering UAS services are not exception. Understanding risks and having a proper mitigation, could be the key component that will make the difference between successful and unsuccessful UAS operators.

Lloyd’s has published recently an excellent report on this topic that you can find here.

Do you know other insurers that are offering products for UAS operators?

Quadcopter failsafe algorithm

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to flying objects. Every development in the safety area, whether it is hardware, software or process related is priceless.

One of the recent achievements is a quadcopter safety algorithm that prevents a crash in case of propeller failure.

When a propeller fails, this fail safe routine will recover drone from stall, and keep it in more or less upright position. What is interesting is that the fail safe controller uses existing hardware that is already available on a standard quadcopter, and that it can be implemented as an algorithmic upgrade to existing systems.

Team around Prof. Raffaello D’Andrea designed a system that is likely to become a standard feature on future multirotor designs.

Dronologista hopes that this system can prevent scenes like this from happening.

Video is courtesy of Mr. Mark Mueller.