Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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6 unmanned systems inside   August/September ugust/Septe   August/September   August/September be   August/September 2016 0 2016 6 2016 EDITORIAL OPINION R EDITORIAL OPINION Photos courtesy of (Top to Bottom) Blair Farms, Altavian and DroneSeed W ith restrictions on commercial drone operations finally easing, new technology and creative applications are emerging from un- expected corners. In this issue we depart temporarily from our all- domain format to focus on these new uses for unmanned aircraft and on the potential impact of the Federal Aviation Administration's new Part 107 rule. One of the more unusual, and certainly most timely, new drone missions is using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to plant trees. With wildfires raging around the world officials need tools to rebuild the leafy green expanses so essential to helping keep our environment in balance. At least two firms are working out how to plant trees efficiently from the air, using small drones to rejuvenate areas humans would find hard to reach. (page 40) Reducing environmental impact is also a goal of a California firm develop- ing a 'precision fishing' payload for use with unmanned rotorcraft. The key to making fish-finding drones practical for small marine operators—and thereby reducing their fuel consumption and the inadvertent killing of non-target spe- cies—is fully automating drone takeoffs and landings from a vessel that is not only changing location but shifting across all 6 degrees of freedom. (page 48) A cutting edge, global location technology with advantages for drone op- erators (page 44) might be very useful for the drone delivery services being developed for hospitals and healthcare providers. While the overall potential of UAS delivery has long been discussed the focus in these early days is on con- veying small, high value packages like vaccines, blood, bio-samples and snake bite serum to remote locations. Firms are now looking at expanding on that idea to deliver both within and between large hospital buildings. (page 22) The surge of aerial innovation these stories represent is being supported by a growing UAS service sector including schools across the country dedicated to training new pilots. Institutions are adapting and expanding their curriculum to reflect both new opportunities and the FAA's revised operator criteria. (page 32) reflect both new opportunities and the FAA's revised operator criteria. (page 32) reflect both new opportunities and the FAA's revised operator criteria. (page 32) The hopeful energy swirling through the unmanned aircraft industry at this moment is infectious. Those who spoke with Inside Unmanned Systems about Part 107 called it significant, even disruptive, saying that people don't fully appreciate the impact it will have as firms that have been holding back until now move off the sidelines. (page 8) Even so there are many in the industry who are already focused on the next step—including lifting limits on beyond-the-line-of-sight operations and flights over people. Those things need to happen as soon as possible; but let's flights over people. Those things need to happen as soon as possible; but let's not shortchange the moment. Someday people will look back and marvel at the changes after drones became a common tool—much like they speak about 'back then' before cell phones, GPS and the Internet. This is one of those before-and-after moments when life for every person will be different in an every-day kind of way. To all those who worked so hard to make this happen, who bet their livelihoods on the peaceful promise of drones when there were no guarantees; take a breath, look around and appreciate the history you helped make. as drone flight rules ease Groundswell of innovation

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