Drone Information of the Week August 11, 2023 DRONELIFE

Read or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week ending August 11, 2023.  Click on the titles below for the full story.

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Due to the assistance of drone training specialist Aviassist, Surf Life Saving NSW’s Australian UAV Service could soon begin deploying long range drones to locate missing bushwalkers or people swept into rough seas. The technology was tested both night and day at Evans Head on the NSW far north coast, finding a pair of mock hikers who were “lost” in nearby scrubland.

John emil hernandez, CC BY-SA 4.0

FAA Updates Fact Sheet on State and Local Drone Regulations

Since before the passage of Part 107 in 2016, regularizing commercial drone use in the United States, state and local laws – sometimes in conflict with FAA regulations – have developed.  This issue is sometimes discussed as Drone Federalism, such as the failed “Drone Federalism Act of 2017,” or as FAA Preemption, which is the concept that the FAA rules the airspace from the ground up.  Former FAA Administrator Michael Huerta warned against the proliferation of state and local drone laws, saying that a “patchwork quilt” of regulations across the U.S. would only create confusion, limiting the commercial industry and not enhancing safety.

battlecreekcvb, CC BY 2.0

State Pledges $7 Million for Michigan Drone Park in Battle Creek: MICH-AIR

Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) has closed a $7 million appropriation in Michigan’s 2024 state budget signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on July 31st. This funding will be leveraged to support the development of MICH-AIR, an advanced air mobility park at the Battle Creek Executive Airport (BTL). The airport has roughly 200 acres of land available for development, making it the perfect site for drone operations.

SkyBound Rescuer Brings Eyes to the Sky: Automated Drone Service Helps Keep Traffic Flowing and Communities Safe

 SkyBound Rescuer is at the forefront of public safety drone use.  Internationally recognized founder and CEO Gemma Alcock is a thought leader in search and rescue (SAR) drone operations and the use of drones for community safety, expanding the use cases and value of aerial imagery in the U.K. and beyond. Now, SkyBound Rescuer has announced the trial of a new fully automated drone service for Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – one that promises to help resolve a major problem for cities and towns across the globe.  SkyBound Rescuer have installed an automated drone station in Walsall, designed to help smooth transportation across bus, train, road and tram networks.

AI-Powered Analytics, Digital Twins: Pointivo for Asset Inspection, with SmartNav™ [VIDEO]

Founded in 2014, Atlanta-based Pointivo is a pioneer in digital twins and analytics, developing a wide portfolio of the enabling technologies used as in-house systems in enterprise organizations.  Now, Pointivo continues its mission in powering the inspection, monitoring and management of physical assets with Pointive for Asset Inspection – the only solution on the market with Pointivo’s patented digital twin, SmartNav™ technology.

Remote Sensing Company Birdstop Secures Funding to Grow BVLOS Network

Remote sensing company Birdstop has secured $2.3M in funding for the purposes of growing its BVLOS network, improving its AI capabilities, and providing customers with more data-driven value. Led by Lerer Hippeau, the funding round saw participation from Anorak Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Data Tech Fund, Graph Ventures, Techstars, Timberline Holdings, as well as strategic investors Talon Aerolytics.

Global Mapper Mobile: Streamlining Data Collection and Processing

Available on iOS and Android systems, Global Mapper Mobile allows data to be brought to and from the field for reference, augmentation, and new data collection. The Pro version of Global Mapper Mobile, available with an annual subscription, improves functionality with additional support for external GPS device connections, expanded online data streaming sources, on-the-go terrain processing, and more.

NPS-DDP Marks 47th Drone Donation for Pennsylvania Fire Department: Paying it Forward in the Public Safety Community

NPS-DDP stands for National Public Safety Drone Donation Program.  The name says it all: the organization is focused on getting drones into the hands of communities who need it most, but may not have the public funding available to build a fleet. By collecting donations from individuals, drone manufacturers and partners, and NPS-DDP President Mark Langley’s drone services company Airborne Works, which directly supports NPS-DDP, the program is able to match applicants from communities across the country with the hardware they need to get started.

Aero Sentinel G3

Garuda Aerospace Offers Entry Into Growing Indian Drone Market: Partners with Manufacturers in US, Canada, Israel and Europe

Garuda Aerospace, a commercial and defense UAV firm based in Chennai, India, recently announced new partnerships with Titan Innovations, Easy Aerial, Azur Drones, Aero Sentinel, and Securiton for nationwide distribution of their units across security, infrastructure, and defense applications. After they announced aggressive expansion efforts in June, this major increase in Indian distribution for these international companies comes in the wake of India’s recent decision to ban DJI drones amidst rising tensions between the Indian and Chinese governments.

Groundbreaking Drone Flights with Radiation Detection Pave the Way for Improved Safety on Nuclear Sites

Groundbreaking Elios 3 Flights at Sellafield Pave Way for Improved Safety on Nuclear Sites. Drone pilots at UK nuclear site Sellafield Ltd have successfully completed two flight firsts leading to increased employee safety during decommissioning. Flyability’s Elios 3 drone was successfully deployed with a LiDAR sensor, marking a major milestone for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team and achieving peerless efficiency in mapping and 3D modeling.

EMED Group, Skyports Partner on Trial of Medical Courier Services by Drone

Leading healthcare logistics provider EMED Group and drone logistics and monitoring leader Skyports Drone Services have completed a proof-of-concept project seeking to provide medical courier services with additional innovation and sustainability benefits.  The four-week trial launched this past June, and was run with EMED Group customer East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT). The project saw the successful delivery of more than 400 pathology samples between two ESNEFT sites, demonstrating the ability of frequent drone operations to assist traditional medical courier services in further enhancing services for patients and healthcare professionals.

Insider View: How New York Power Authority Powers Their Enterprise Drone Program with ANRA MissionManager

As the world embraces the potential of drone technology, enterprises like the New York Power Authority (NYPA) are finding innovative ways to leverage unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for streamlined operations.  Drawing insights from a recent ANRA Huddle webinar featuring NYPA’s UAS Program Manager Peter Kalaitzidis and ANRA Technology‘s Chief Strategy Officer Brent Klavon, this article delves into NYPA’s adoption of cutting-edge technology and software to enhance the efficiency and safety of their enterprise drone operations.

Skydio Shifts Focus: Transitioning Away from Consumer Drones

US drone manufacturer Skydio has announced that they will sunset their consumer drone business to focus on the enterprise market. In a blog post by Skydio CEO Adam Bry published today, the company revealed that it will discontinue its consumer drone line to prioritize its offerings for the enterprise and public sector. This decision comes four years after the launch of the Skydio 2, a drone that gained attention for its unique features like follow-and-film capability and autonomous cinematography.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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