Comment on the proposed FAA rules up this week

Before the proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules come into effect there is a timeframe in which you can submit your comments. As of now, fewer than 100 comments have been received about flight at night and over people. The FAA actually pays attention to your input and takes it into consideration when making the final rules.

You can submit your comments on:

  1. proposed new rules to allow professionals to routinely fly drones at night and over people

  2. how to safely prepare for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), implement payload restrictions and enable flight beyond visual line of sight.

Comment on Operating over People and at Night

Comment on Performance Restrictions

So, take a minute or two and check out these links below and submit your comments for the FAA to consider. The deadline is Monday, April 15th.

9 Ways Drones are Disrupting Agriculture

There’s a lot more to farming than just planting seeds, watering them and picking them once they’ve grown. And with the widespread adoption of drones, agriculture is getting even more precise and efficient.

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1. Fighting Crop Diseases

Drones can be used for multispectral imaging, outfitted with crop health sensors that run NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index). Aerial NDVI sensors aren’t totally new — they used to be outfitted to manned airplanes — but with drones, they are quicker and cheaper.

2. Fertilizer

NDVI is used for more than just analyzing diseases. NDVI images may be able to prescribe fertilizer applications, estimate yields and identify weeds. (NDVI is an important graphical indicator for farmers to analyze remote sensing measurements and assess whether the land contains live green vegetation or not.)

3. NIR Sensors

Similar to NDVI, near-infrared sensors can determine plant health based on light absorption.

4. Pollination

Drone companies such as Bee Innovative have been tracking honeybees in real time for precision pollination. Bee Innovative claims that its “BeeDar” solution has already delivered 20 percent increases in crop yields and returns for farmers season to season. And California-based agriculture technology startup DropCopter allows farmers to pollinate orchards via drones.

5. Food Security

Whether it’s generating more vegetables, fruits or even coffee beans, drones are able to maximize crop yields. There’s no better example of that than the work being done by Lyela Mutisya, who is using drones to help her father’s coffee farm in Kenya. She said many Kenya farms can’t afford fertilizer (a well-managed coffee farm can produce up to 30 pounds of coffee per tree, but a coffee farm that can’t afford fertilizer produces more like 5 pounds of coffee per tree). Drone technology is effective at collecting data to help coffee farmers improve crop health. They can have a role in efficient crop scouting, earlier yield predictions, earlier crop stress detection, enhanced irrigation management and control, and more precise nutrient and chemical applications.

6. Pesticides

And on that note, pest and decision control is very important in coffee farming, as well as all other types of agriculture. Pests can cause an 80% loss in coffee trees. That alone can significantly hurt a coffee farm. If a tree were to get infected and lose 80% of their crop, a drone can help prevent that.

7. Herbicides

In fact, DJI launched its own crop spraying drone back in November 2015.

8. Thermal Cameras

In December 2015, DJI announced a collaboration with Flir Systems Inc., an Oregon-based sensor manufacturer that focuses on thermal imaging. In agriculture, farmers use thermal imaging as they fly over fields to indicate dry spots, over-watering, crop height or pesticide use.

9. Planting Seeds

Companies such as DroneSeed are building drones that can blast fertilizer and seeds into the ground at 350 feet per second. DroneSeed says its solution is good for the environment, worker safety and investors. DroneSeed’s drones currently have a flight time of about 30 minutes; after changing batteries, the drones can cover an acre within 1.5 hours.

View the full article by drone girl here

Getting Started on Drone Photography

Drones have taken the photography industry by storm and have created a new type of photography that is sought out for a variety of purposes.

Drones come in a range of sizes, have different features and components, and prices for drones vary greatly. If you’re like thousands of other photographers out there and want to jump into the drone phography and videography, then there are a few things to know and to consider before purchasing and launching your new tool into the air.

Here is a Great Article to Get you Going!

1-inch CMOS Hasselblad Camera on the Mavic Pro II

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DJI has yet to announce, but Mavic 2 will reportedly have 360-degree collision detection and sport DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems and Active Track 2.0 to assist in flying the drone. The battery life is clocked at 31 minutes.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro comes equipped with a 1-inch CMOS Hasselblad camera where the Zoom model has a 2x zoom lens.

This is something to watch!

Propellerless Drone Design

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This drone flies using four air blowers, instead of exposed rotor blades like most drones.

The impeller system sucks air in through the vents on the side of the drone and then accelerates it through a circular duct, creating an upward thrust as the air is pushed out through the bottom.

For now, the motor efficiency does not compare well with a standard drone, but Kung hopes that can be improved with more development.

Learn More

Elevate Your Listing With These Six Best Practices for Drone Video and Photography

Any real estate professional knows that “curb appeal” and “location, location, location” have long been twin pillars of selling a property. Today’s technologies, combined with the expectations of a new generation of buyers, are raising the bar on how to present a listing in the best possible light.

Savvy real estate professionals are not just focusing on a home’s interior — they’re also raising their eyes to the sky. Dronography is the listing agent's new essential tool for marketing any property consumers would want to rent (apartments), lease (vacation homes) or buy (residential or commercial properties).

Now, there’s little barrier to entry for real estate professionals raising the bar on listing videos or photography.

A uas , or Drone, photographer offer a highly cost-effective way to elevate your marketing efforts. Aerial video and photography capture stunning, views of a property and also convey a lifestyle.

Here are 6 Things You Can Do to Make them the Best:

1. Get acquainted with the roof and gutters.

Most of us pay no attention to them until problems occur. Sellers should know beforehand that the roof is in great shape and the gutters are free of leaves and debris. Buyers will be deterred if your drone video reveals missing shingles or saplings growing in the gutter.

2. Clear the clutter.

Just as you’d declutter a home’s interior, clear the exterior of kids’ toys, bicycles, hoses or trash bins. The rule about clutter applies whether inside or out: A property appears more spacious when it’s clutter-free.

3. Avoid outdoor maintenance work on the day of the drone appointment.

Get the landscaping and the pool cleaning done ahead of time and be sure all equipment is out of sight. And be sure your drone appointment doesn’t coincide with trash pick-up day.

4. Alert the neighbors in advance.

Drones have an unmistakable hum, and they are not that common in most neighborhoods. Sellers should avoid unwanted surprises by telling the neighbors the day and time the dronographer is due to arrive. The entire video shoot should take less than 30 minutes, so emphasize to clients and their neighbors that it’s a short process.

5. Notify parents of young children, too.

If the neighborhood kids regularly play outside, Mom and Dad may be more comfortable if they have the option to keep them inside or take them out for a ride.

6. Cloudy days are fine days for capturing aerial images and video.

Since a cloudy sky eliminates the harsh shadows projected on a landscape. Still, many sellers want sunshine in their drone videos and photography. Any customer-focused photography company should have the flexibility to happily reschedule the drone appointment when requested.

With these best practices in mind, you can elevate each and every property listing with dronography.

Winners of ‘Drone Awards 2018’

The inaugural Drone Awards attracted the attention of photographers from 101 different countries. And with over 4,400 submissions. The grand prize winner wascFrench photographer Florian Ledoux who took home the title of Photographer of the Year for his award-winning photo of a polar bear swimming through the freezing waters of northern Canada.

The winners of the first annual Drone Awards demonstrate the artistry of drone photography.

5 Ways We Can Help Farmers this Spring

Throughout the whole growing season, drone images can be a good tool for farmers to make their work more effective. Already in spring, drones can be used in the field to help answer important questions: How was the establishment of winter crops and how has the winter affected the crops? Where do I need to reduce or increase the seed rate next time? Should I change the time of fertilization? Where do I have weed problems?

 

Drone image showing variations in establishment

Evaluate Crop Establishment

Before winter wheat begins to grow and enter stroke phase, a map based on drone imagery can help evaluate how even the crop is within the field. It can show parts of the field with thinner and denser crop and can serve as a good guide where to look at during the field walks in order to establish the reason for variations.

 

Variable Rate Fertilizer Application

Drone imagery collected early in the spring can help determine if there are thinner parts of the field that would benefit from early nitrogen application to facilitate the development of roots and side shoots, especially for late sown and slightly sparse stocks.

 
Drone imagery shows variations in crop establishment

Drone imagery shows variations in crop establishment

Variable Rate Seeding

In case drone images capture the variation in crop establishment and/or soil differences, this can be in future used as a basis for variable rate seeding.

NDVI-index from drone imagery shows variations in crop establishment Areas of poor establishment, often on stiffer soil, should be sown considerably thicker than lighter soils, where you may instead get too dense and vigorous crops which may result in crop lodging. Areas with more clayey soil have also generally higher crop potential than areas with coarser soil texture.

 

Drone image shows weed spread in the field

Weed Control

Drone image shows weed spread in the field With a high definition RGB camera on a drone, it is relatively easy to map weed spread. This information can then be used during the field walks. In parts where the drone images show that the weed spread is low, you may not need to make any treatment at all. It is also possible to create a variable rate application file and thus reduce the use of herbicides, benefiting both the environment and economy.

 

Inspect Drainage

When the soil dries up in the spring, the drainage system can sometimes be clearly seen, as the soil above the drainage pipes dries up first. Drone images collected on one of these days can be used to make new drainage maps and evaluate how the drainage system works. If the soil type is similar across the field, then the drying should also be fairly even. If the drone maps show areas that dry significantly slower, it may be a sign that something is wrong with drainage system and further investigation may be performed.

 

Drone images collected at the right point in time can help decide correct nitrogen rate or vary seed rate during sowing and thus achieve more even crops with higher yield potential. We can makes it easy to turn drone images into valuable insights and prescription files that can be directly used in the field.

Yuneec's new Typhoon H drone is the biggest challenge yet to DJI

Our favorite consumer drone has consistently been produced by one company, DJI. So far no one has produced a unit that delivers the same quality, consistency, and ease of use, but...

Yuneec unveiled a new unit, the Typhoon H, the promises to deliver a high-end, Hollywood-caliber drone, but at just two-thirds of the price of DJI's Inspire 1.

The Typhoon H, like the Inspire 1, has retractable landing gear and a camera which can pan a full 360 degrees. Unlike the Inspire and the previous version of the Typhoon, the new unit has six rotors instead of four. Yuneec says this will allow the craft to remain stable and land in the event it loses one or two motors. DJI also has a six-rotor craft aimed at Hollywood professionals, the S900, which sells for $3,400 when fully equipped with a HD camera. The Typhoon H is expected to retail for $1,799, while the Inspire 1 goes for $2,600.

The new Typhoon H is also promising the full suite of autonomous features, something which has become table stakes for drones these days. It has Orbit, Point of Interest, Curved Cable, and something called Journey. It has basic sense and avoid technology on board, using "ultrasonic proximity detection" to automatically dodge large obstacles. In theory it should also give the aircraft more lift, allowing for heavier and more sophisticated camera equipment.

Read More

Typhoon H

5 Drone Film Festivals and How to Enter

If you’re looking to reach a wider audience, gain some recognition from the press, get inspired, or see your work broadcast on the big screen, entering these competitions is your best bet. You may even win some cash and new drone gear. Here are five festivals I recommend looking into and, even if you’re not a filmmaker, attending.

InterDrone Film Festival

Arguably the largest commercial drone exhibition in the world, the International Drone Conference and Exhibition is hosting its third annual film festival alongside the rest of the event. Submissions have already closed but conference attendees can view finalists on the big screen Wednesday, September 6th from 5:45 – 7:00 pm.

Toronto Drone Film Festival

A major international drone film festival is finally arriving in Canada in late September. Put on by The Sky Guys, it takes place in conjunction with the Second Annual Big Drone Show. Submissions are open until September 15th and are not only free, they’ll also grant a 70% discount to the two-day Big Drone Show conference. Simply input your basic information including a link to the video you want to enter and select the film’s category.

Los Angeles Drone Film Festival

The sister festival to New York City Drone Film Festival (NYCDFF), Los Angeles Drone Film Festival makes its debut this October 6th – 8th. The final deadline for submissions has been extended to September 6th as the festival’s notoriously indefatigable organizer, Randy Scott Slavin, has promised “some exciting news.” This is one of the few festivals that boasts a still photography category. If it’s even half as well-organized as NYCDFF (more on that, below), then it’s worth the steep $50 entry fee and ensuing trip to one of the most populous cities on the West Coast.

Flying Robot international Film Festival

Returning for its third consecutive year to San Francisco’s historic Roxie Theatre, the world’s first-ever international drone film festival is accepting entries until September 18th. Organizer Eddie Codel likes to keep participation accessible to everyone, including students, with a low $10 Early Bird Deadline fee. Last year, Flying Robot international Film Festival (FRiFF) received 180 submissions across 8 categories from 40 countries. FRiFF’s jury is made up an eclectic group of top robotics industry professionals including Star Simpson, Veronica Belmont, Rhianna Lakin, Mike Senese, and Zoe Stumbaugh (ZoeFPV).

New York City Drone Film Festival

The fourth installment of the very first festival dedicated solely to aerial cinematography returns March 2nd – 4th, 2018. Submissions opened on August 20th and close January 7th. I was able to attend the third event, this past March, and was amazed at the quality of films, the spacious venue, knowledgeable panelists, and thoroughly informative master classes. Luisa Winters’ course on Color Correction was my favorite. Festival founder Randy Scott Slavin did a stellar job emceeing the event and moderating talks. For it’s size and scale, it’s efficiently executed from beginning to end.

Read the full article at Dronelife

Beautiful Drone Video of Scotland

The Locations in the video are:

0:00 - Glencoe (opening scenes of Braveheart shot here) 0:19 - Eilean Donan Castle. 0:34 - Dunnottar Castle 0:52 - Dunnottar Castle 0:59 - Forest near Loch Oich 1:08 - Old Man of Storr (Isle of Skye) 1:18 - Inveraray Castle 1:24 - Finnich Glen - Devil's Pulpit 1:34 - Quiraing (Isle of Skye) 1:40 - Mealt Falls (Isle of Skye) 1:52 - Kilchurn Castle 1:55 - Offshore Northeast of Isle of Skye 2:02 - Neist Point Light House (Isle of Skye) 2:11 - Castle Stalker (Monty Python) 2:23 - Neist Point Light House (Isle of Skye) 2:29 - Quiraing (Isle of Skye) 2:36 - Loch Pooltiel 2:56 - Loch Dunvegan 3:00- Neist Point Light House (Isle of Skye)

DRONES GO TO WORK

The disruptive economics of unmanned vehicles are taking hold. Here’s how to think about the drone economy and your place in it.

You might think of drones as toys or flying cameras for the GoPro set, and that is still the lion’s share of the business. But like the smartphone and other examples of the “commercialization of enterprise” before them, drones are now being outfitted with business-grade software and becoming serious data-collection platforms — hardware as open and extensible as a smartphone, with virtually limitless app potential. As in any app economy, surprising and ingenious uses will emerge that we haven’t even thought of yet; and predictable and powerful apps will improve over time.

Great article worth a read at hbr