Control a Drone Over LTE

Robotic fliers might soon have always-on internet access.

Internet-connected drones will be necessary if you're going to see fliers that can communicate when they're delivering packages, livestreaming video or otherwise coordinating with the outside world. But how well can you control them over an LTE data connection when they're soaring hundreds of feet above the ground? Quite well, if you ask Qualcomm. The chip maker has published the results of a trial run using LTE-linked drones, and it believes that they're ready for prime time... mostly.

The dry run (which included over 1,000 flights) showed that existing cellular networks are up to the job. Drones will still get a strong LTE signal at altitudes as high as 400 feet, and they get "comparable" coverage. In fact, they have an advantage over the phone in your pocket -- they don't have to hand over connections as often as ground-based devices.

There are improvements Qualcomm would like to make. It wants to see steps to minimize interference (more common at altitude) and signal power tweaks to allow more LTE-enabled drones in the sky at once. Also, it would like software that's better at picking the strongest cell tower signal. It's more a question of when these optimizations happen than "if"," though. Qualcomm is sharing its findings with other companies and the 3GPP wireless standards group, so you might soon see drones that are always online.

See the article at engadget

Flatlands - Surreal Images by Drone

Büyüktaş uses a drone, 3-D rendering, and Photoshop to create a warped view of the world in Flatlands II. He pulled the same trick two years ago, turning his hometown of Istanbul into a mind-bending world that brought to mind the work of M.C. Escher. This time, he focused on the American Southwest. “The area is like heaven for a photographer,” he says.

Why a Farmer Should Hire a Drone

What in the world would a farmer do with a drone?

Quite a bit actually, the limit is 400' and your imagination.

  • Check crops, irrigations, ditches, grain bins, & animals
  • Record drainage tile, problem areas, and mark wet spots
  • Train new recruits with a new perspective to show them the ropes
  • The list goes on and on but the most important thing is that if you are a farmer, you need to hire a drone!

Watch a Film Shot Entirely on a Drone

DJI released “The Circle,” a 14-minute short film starring Ryan Phillippe and Noah Schnapp (Will Byers from Stranger Things) as an estranged father and son (respectively) in Depression-era America.

The Circle was shot entirely on the Inspire 2, using the drone’s X5R camera for every shot in the film. It was created by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda, known for his work on “Life of Pi,” “Oblivion,” and “Tron.”

See the behind the Scenes

Flying a Drone in a National Park

The National Park Service in August 2014 made it illegal to launch, land, or operate unmanned aircraft under 36 CFR 1.5, which essentially gives the National Park Service the authority to impose public use limits such as hours of operations or not walking off the path.

However, there is a chance you can still fly your drone there. Purposes such as scientific study, search and rescue operations, fire operations, and law enforcement can operate under written permission from National Park Service administration.

No matter what National Park you want to fly in, contact that park’s specific management team well in advance and explain what you need to do. It would help if you can prove your case and professionalism. Ideally you would have a Part 107 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to prove you are a licensed drone pilot. If you don’t, get it first!

Seven Ways to Use Drone Mapping on the Farm This Season

As one ag industry expert put it, using a drone on the farm is like being able to see your field from a 10,000-foot altitude, but also being able to zoom in to two inches above the plants. Growers are increasingly discovering that drone mapping is an invaluable tool, both for its ease of use, and for its many applications on the farm.

1. Crop Scout to Detect Parasites and Fungi

Using drone mapping to pinpoint plant health issues such as parasites and fungi.

2. Compile Plant Counts

One of the most exciting uses for drone mapping in agriculture is the ability to conduct complete, accurate plant counts.

3. Analyze Stand Establishment

In addition to plant counts, corn and soybean growers are using drone mapping to analyze stand establishment of newly planted crops to decide whether they need to replant certain areas.

4. Generate Variable Rate Prescriptions for Nitrogen and Pesticides

Drone maps provide a rich amount of data that can be used to make more informed decisions about issues like crop reseeding and targeted nutrient applications.

5. Assess and Clean-up Damage After a Storm

Generate a detailed Skymatics crop damage report

6. Negotiate Fair Crop Loss Percentages

Detailed information provided by drone map, gives an adjustor a second look at targeted areas and ultimately offere a far higher loss percentage.

7. Assess Slope and Drainage After the Harvest

Drone-generated elevation map can give a sense of the slope and drainage of a field. Paired with volume measurement tools, growers can plan the cut and fill of future terraces and waterways.

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Drone Captures Volcano Eruption In Iceland

It’s an interesting time for photographers, with previously unavailable technologies allowing them to capture breathtaking never-before-seen imagery. The footage below captured by drone manufacturer DJI is one such example.

Too dangerous for a manned aircraft, a drone was the safest bet when a DJI team decided to capture footage of the erupting Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland. Geophysicist for the National Icelandic Civil Protection, Bjorn Oddsson, told ABC News, “The volume of the lava is the largest we’ve seen in Iceland for 230 years.”

And check this out: the camera flew so low into the fissure that the GoPro camera attached to the drone literally melted — its lens turned into a jelly blob on the front of the camera body (though luckily, the SD card was salvaged). Because of DJI built-in technology, the device was able to detect trouble and fly itself back to a landing point, saving this magnificent footage from being lost in the belly of the volcano.

The Farming of the Future: Agriculture Drones Take to the Skies


Agriculture already leads the market for commercial drone usage, and it is expected to generate $350 million in drone revenue in 2025.

New regulations will make it easier for American farmers to use drones to check fields for disease, spray fertilizer, or watch over livestock.

The Best Drone Photos in the World

For the third year in a row, the international Dronestagram contest has recognized outstanding drone photos.

The nine photos in this gallery showcase the top three winners in each category: Nature-Wildlife, Sports Adventure, and Travel. They were selected from 5,900 entries spanning 28 countries. Together, they speak to what Jarret says is the purpose of this contest: “to celebrate the beauty of drone photography, a new photographic language.

Benefits of Using a Drone for Building Inspection


Proper building maintenance means doing regular, visual inspections of the exterior. The problem is that sometimes it can be difficult to see parts of the outside of the building, particularly if it is more than a few stories. Even a roof inspection on a one-storey home would be impossible without climbing up and taking a look. Keep Reading

Learn why Project Managers on Construction Sites Consider Drone Mapping an Indispensable Tool

Keep Your Construction Project on Track with Drone Mapping

More and more, project managers are finding drone mapping to be an indispensable tool during all phases of construction. Easy-to-use software allows them to create high-resolution orthomosaic, elevation and 3D maps in a matter of hours. Combined with built-in measurement tools and annotations, they can keep real-time tabs on projects and identify potential issues before they become costly. Cloud-based maps make sharing and collaborating with everyone from site engineers to project owners simple. Executives and offsite stakeholders stay informed and, because drone mapping is cost-effective, they see a return-on-investment almost immediately. Keep Reading

10 Ways Drones Are Changing Your World

Drones have been a hot topic in the news for some time. Depending on what you’ve read, they’re devastatingly effective weapons of war, the next big threat to personal privacy, a revolutionary leap in video technology, or hazardous toys capable of chopping your fingers off.

To be fair, there’s a measure of truth to all those statements. But you might be surprised to learn that drones will soon affect our everyday lives in a host of useful ways. People are already using them to deliver fast food to hungry teens in Virginia, improve the productivity of Midwestern farms, and even protect rhinos and elephants in Africa from poachers.

In the next year, almost 2.3 million of the unmanned aircraft will be sold, according to market analysis firm Skylogic Research. And the vast majority will be the multi­rotor models embraced by apple farmers, wedding photographers, and search-and-rescue workers. [Keep Reading]

Disney World Drone Light Show

Disney World To Launch 300-Drone Light Show.

Earlier this month, Intel showed its video of 500 drones flying in formation at night in Germany. The LED lights on the drones spelled out the word ‘Intel.’

That was the first known example of a mass of hundreds of drones being used to portray a company logo in the sky at night.

A version of that drone light show is now moving to Walt Disney World in Orlando.

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How Drones Will Reshape the Enterprise

Thanks to technological breakthroughs — including longer and safer flights — and new federal guidelines enacted this year, drone use is expanding beyond military and consumer markets and is seeping into the enterprise. Analysts at PwC forecast the emerging global market for drone-powered business services to be valued at more than $127 billion.

Drones are making a real impact on a number of industries, and quietly transforming the enterprise as we know it.

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