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Aerones SIA, a Latvian company accomplishes a parachute drop using a multirotor drone

Aerones, a Latvian company specialising in the development of heavy lift multirotor drones has completed a drop of a parachutist using their heavy lift drone.

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DJI Introduces New High-Performance Accessories

DJI today introduced new high-performance hardware and a premium customer support program to help professional customers get the most out of their aerial and handheld imaging equipment. The new Cendence remote controller, DJI Tracktenna high-gain antenna and CrystalSky monitor provide personalized controls and better performance for the most demanding uses, while DJI Circle delivers a new premium tier of support for DJI products and the people who rely on them to do their jobs.

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DJI Releases Phantom 4 Advanced

DJI has launched a new variation of the Phantom 4. This new version, the Phantom 4 Advanced is basically a hybrid of the Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Advanced. It features the same camera as the Phantom 4 Pro, but does not include the rearward and sideward obstacle sensing sytems.

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DJI Releases First Count Of Lives Saved By Drones

DJI, the world's leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, Tuesday released the first-ever survey of lifesaving drone activity, finding that drones have rescued at least 59 people from life-threatening conditions in 18 separate incidents around the globe.

More than one-third of the people rescued were saved by drones operated by civilian bystanders and volunteers offering their services to help professional rescue personnel, indicating that the widespread adoption of personal drones offers a concrete benefit to public safety. As drones have become more widely used by public safety agencies as well as individuals, the rate of lifesaving drone work now averages almost one per week.

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DJI Proposes Higher Maximum Weight For Lowest Risk Drone Category

DJI, the world?s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, Monday released a white paper concluding the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set its weight standard far too low for determining which drones pose the lowest risk to people.

While the FAA's 2015 Registration Task Force (RTF) said drones weighing up to 250 grams posed the lowest risk, further research shows that standard was based on poorly chosen data and deeply flawed assumptions, including an almost 50-year-old model of casualties from a nuclear war that destroys all hospitals. Using more accurate scientific inputs, DJI's white paper concludes unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) up to 2.2 kilograms can be safely flown with the lowest risk.

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2017 UAE Drones For Good Award Update

The 2017 UAE Drones For Good Award Finalists have been announced. The finals will be held at Dubai Internet City on 17-18 February. There are 10 finalists for the National competition and 10 finalists for the International competition.

Editorial : Passenger Carrying Drones

After the CES, there has been much talk about the eHang 184 passenger carrying drone. According to the company it has completed some early flight tests in China, however much of the promotional footage at CES was computer generated, promoting the idea of the future, rather than the reality of the present. What is the future of passenger carrying drones ?

We take a look at what's being developed.

Setting World Endurance Record, Vanilla Aircraft - Small diesel-powered unmanned airplane pushes the envelope for low-cost, long-range, persistent flight

The Vanilla Aircraft VA001, a small diesel-powered airplane under development through DARPA (left), flew for 56 hours recently over Las Cruces, New Mexico (right), setting a new world record for flight duration for its weight class. The airplane is designed to ultimately carry a 30-pound payload at 15,000 feet for up to 10 days without refueling.

Editorial : Drone Swarms - What Are They and How Would They Work ?

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has launched its new OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program. From the DARPA website : "OFFSET seeks to develop and demonstrate 100+ operationally relevant swarm tactics that could be used by groups of unmanned air and/or ground systems numbering more than 100 robots. These swarm tactics for large teams of unmanned assets would help improve force protection, firepower, precision effects, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. OFFSET plans to offer frequent opportunities for engagement with anticipated end users in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps and would share successfully tested swarm tactics with them on a rolling basis."

One of the ideas for implementation of drone swarms is in the "urban canyon" environment, where instead of using one UAV / UGV to clear / map an area of hostile activity, a swarm of hundreds of drone could be used to very quickly and efficiently map / clear a large area.

This is all great in theory, but how would it actually work ?

French Civil Aviation Authority authorises French postal service to operate a commercial parcel delivery route using drones

The General Directorate for Civil Aviation (DGAC) has authorised DPDgroup, the international express subsidiary of Le Groupe La Poste, to operate a regular commercial line in the Var department of France.

Following two years of tests, crowned with success, DPDgroup, GeoPost's international parcel delivery network and international express subsidiary of Le Groupe La Poste, received authorisation from the General Directorate for Civil Aviation to deliver parcels using drones on a regular 15km route.

Northrop Grumman Passes Key Development Milestones on DARPA/US Navy Tern Program

SAN DIEGO - Nov. 28, 2016 - A future with highly autonomous unmanned aircraft conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), targeting and strike missions from small-deck U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps ships gained momentum recently when Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully passed two key milestones for the Tern program.

Amazon Prime Air's First Customer Delivery in Cambridgeshire, UK - 7 December 2016

A man living near Cmbridge in the UK became the first customer to receive a Prime-Air delivery. The package containing a Fire TV and a bag of popcorn was delivered in 13 minutes, autonomously (except for packing) from the Prime Air centre in Cambridgeshire. The man is one of two current customers in the area with plans to expand the Beta test to dozens more shortly.

UK MOD agrees GBP100M contract to develop cutting-edge Protector Remotely Piloted Air System especially for RAF.

"We are delighted that our first foreign customer for Predator B also will be our initial customer for Certifiable Predator B," said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. "We have been honored to support the UK's ISTAR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance] needs over the past decade and look forward to satisfying its emerging requirements for a MQ-9 Reaper replacement than can be certified to operate in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace."

DCNS and Airbus Helicopters join forces to design the French Navy's future tactical VTOL drone system - 20 October 2016

DCNS, a world leader in naval defence, and Airbus Helicopters, the world?s leading helicopter manufacturer, are joining forces to design the future tactical component of France's Naval Aerial Drone (Systeme de Drones Aeriens de la Marine - SDAM) programme. By pooling naval and aerospace skills and expertise, the teaming of DCNS and Airbus Helicopters will be equipped to address all technical challenges arising from the naval integration of the drones through the creation of a robust system architecture that can evolve and adapt to meet every need.

Marines Testing Out World's Smallest Drone (ARTICLE BY: HOPE HODGE SECK SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 - DEFENSETECH)

QUANTICO, Virginia - Top Marine Corps brass have said they want rifle squads to deploy with drones in the future. And if they deploy with this one, they won't even notice the weight in their pack.

The PD-100 Black Hornet, made by Proxdynamics of Norway, redefines small when it comes to unmanned aerial vehicles. The pocket-sized black or grey birds, which look like helicopters in miniature, weigh 18 grams?the equivalent of three sheets of paper, Proxdynamics General Manager Arne Skjaerpe told Military.com. They come equipped with day or night-vision cameras and can be operated using a device reminiscent of a beige Nintendo Wii controller and an attached tablet.

FLIR Systems Acquires Prox Dynamics for $134 Million

Acquisition adds unique nano-drone unmanned aerial systems leveraging Lepton capabilities to Surveillance product range

WILSONVILLE, OR -- (Marketwired) -- 11/30/16 -- FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today that it has acquired Prox Dynamics AS, a leading developer and manufacturer of nano-class unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for military and para-military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications, for approximately $134 million in cash.

Bell Helicopter Introduces Bell V-247 "Vigilant" Tiltrotor Unmanned Aerial System in Ship-Borne Configuration

FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 22, 2016) - Speaking before an audience of aviation and military experts assembled at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today unveiled the Bell V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor.

Watch This Self-Flying Quadcopter Land on a Car Traveling at 50 Kilometers an Hour

Micro air vehicles have notoriously short ranges, which limits the potential of the drone delivery business. But the ability to take off and land from moving vehicles could change that.

(MIT Technology Review / Emerging Technology from the arXiv - November 30, 2016)

DJI Revolutionizes Personal Flight With New Mavic Pro Drone

Small Size And Folding Design Make Mavic Pro Perfect For Wherever You Go

September 27, 2016 - DJI, the world leader in unmanned aerial technology, Tuesday revolutionized personal flight by introducing Mavic Pro - a portable, powerful and easy-to-use drone featuring DJI's most innovative flight technology in a sleek, foldable package that enables creative fun wherever you go.

DJI Invited To Join FAA Drone Advisory Committee

World's Leading Drone Maker Will Represent Manufacturers And Their Customers

August 31, 2016 - DJI, the world?s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, has been invited to join the Drone Advisory Committee established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify the most important issues raised by the growth of drone use and to recommend strategies for safely integrating drones into the national airspace.

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