Category Archives: Commercial UAS Application

CAMCOPTER® S-100 AGAIN SUPPORTS MOAS (MIGRANT OFFSHORE AID STATION) REFUGEE RESCUE MISSIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Malta, 7 June 2016 – After the successful 2014 and 2015 operations, Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 continues its substantial support of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a global search-and-rescue charity organization.

SCHIEBEL_MOAS

For the third time MOAS and Schiebel will join forces in order to help refugees in distress at sea. In their concerted rescue operations over the past two years more than ten thousand men, women and children could be saved from a drowning death on their way from North Africa to the shores of Europe. The impressive success of this humanitarian mission, to a large extent, is owed to the support of Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100.
Besides its takeoff and landing capability on the 40-meter-long MOAS ship MY Phoenix, the S-100 provides real-time daylight and infrared video which enables the MOAS crew to precisely locate and rescue persons in emergency situations and provide them with medical aid from their ship-borne station. Especially over long distances beyond horizon, in rough sea conditions and at night, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System significantly increases chances to find and identify small ships, thus saving the lives of thousands of migrants.

MOAS with CAMCOPTER S-100 Embarked

Due to the rising number of asylum-seekers expected to cross the Mediterranean in the upcoming summer months, the privately-financed non-profit MOAS organization has just revived its successful rescue project for 2016. The MY Phoenix set sail departing from Valetta, Malta, yesterday and, once again, the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 is onboard. As the ideal choice for search and rescue in the maritime environment and particularly suited for single-spot vessels, Schiebel’s S-100 will continue to play a fundamental role in the mission. Hans-Georg Schiebel, owner of the company, emphasizes: “We are very happy about our long-term cooperation with MOAS. Our CAMCOPTER® S-100 is a perfect fit for this mission, as it widens the view of the crew onboard and enables them to locate migrants in distress even well beyond the horizon.”

Proud to be part of this extraordinary engagement, Schiebel provides MOAS with a CAMCOPTER® S-100 system, as well as with an experienced team of onboard operators.

Source: Schiebel

More information: MOAS

CAMCOPTER® S-100 – SUCCESSFUL FLIGHTS WITH “DETECT AND AVOID” SYSTEM

CAMCOPTER® S-100 – SUCCESSFUL FLIGHTS WITH “DETECT AND AVOID” SYSTEM
Vienna / Den Helder, 09 February 2016 – Schiebel and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the Netherlands Coastguard and the Royal Netherlands Air Force conducted a series of  successful flights with a newly developed airborne Detect
and Avoid System at the airport of Den Helder in December 2015.

The AIRICA (ATM Innovative RPAS Integration for Coastguard Applications) project marks a major step forward in the process of safe integration of RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) into all classes of airspace.

S100 CAMCOPTER Detect and Avoid
S100 CAMCOPTER Detect and Avoid

During a special demonstration held at De Kooy Airfield in Den Helder, Schiebel provided it´s unmanned helicopter, the  CAMCOPTER® S-100, onto which the NLR developed AirScout Detect and Avoid System was installed. The Netherlands Coastguard provided a Dornier Do-228 as “intruder” and the Royal Netherlands Air Force contributed with an Alouette helicopter as “intruder”, and provided the Air Traffic Control services.

Several scenarios were successfully executed where the CAMCOPTER® S-100 “unexpectedly” encountered an intruder aircraft. The system then determined in real time the corrective action to ensure the necessary separation from the intruder aircraft.
The AIRICA project is funded through the European SESAR programme (part of the Single European Sky initiative) and the key focus – integration of an RPAS into the airspace for Netherlands Coast Guard´s applications – was effectively demonstrated
during the flights.

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Edwin van der Pol, Head of Operations Kustwacht: ”In the future we hope to use unmanned systems for our search and rescue operations. These trials are important to achieve regulations for bringing RPAS into non-segregated airspace.”

Chris Day, Head of Capability Engineering at Schiebel: “This demonstration is another positive step towards unmanned air systems gaining access to a broader range of airspace.”

Source: Schiebel Press Release.

Other sites of interest:

ARICA (ATM Innovative RPAS Integration for Coast Guard Application)

ARICA Innovation Concepts

ARICA Detect and Avoid Outcomes

PrecisionHawk, Verizon, Harris and DigitalGlobe Demo Solution to Enhance UAS Safety

PrecisionHawk, Harris, DigitalGlobe and Verizon recently completed initial testing of airspace services, a solution designed to make it safer to integrate unmanned aerial systems into the National Airspace.

The companies integrated various technologies for this solution, including Verizon’s LTE network, Harris’ ADS-B network, DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data Platform and PrecisionHawk’s LATAS (Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety) platform, according to a news release. Assessment of this ecosystem is taking place through the FAA Pathfinder program and the NASA UTM project.

“We are leveraging satellite-derived information to create consistent information and analytics for safe drone flights,” said Dr. Shay Har-Noy, DigitalGlobe’s Senior Director of Geospatial Big Data, according to the release. “This is a significant collaboration that represents a huge step forward for the FAA and the safety and well-being of the American public.”

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LTE networks potentially can allow UAS to deliver sensor data for processing, analysis and decision making mid-flight, as well as receive command-and-control inputs in real time, said David Famolari, Director, Verizon Ventures, according to the release. This helps to make the airspace safer for both manned and unmanned aircraft.

PrecisionHawk’s LATAS platform operates over LTE and through satellites, according to the release, and connects airspace safety technologies such as dynamic geofencing, detect and avoid and aircraft tracking, providing safety as a service for the UAS industry. By using the existing infrastructure of Verizon cell towers, LATAS is scalable for UAS operating throughout the U.S.

LATAS will use DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data Platform to enable UAS to identify and avoid obstacles, including buildings and cable lines, according to the release.

The Nationwide Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) ground station deployment by Harris is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen surveillance initiative, according to the release, which is designed to improve the quality, accuracy and reliability of flight tracking data throughout the National Airspace System. The data is a synthesis of all FAA system derived aircraft surveillance data available in the U.S. National Airspace System.

This collaboration between PrecisionHawk, Verizon, DigitalGlobe, and Harris can provide the industry with an integrated, complete solution to safely manage UAS traffic, according to the release. The companies will continue to test this ecosystem and bring on other partners to further expand its capabilities.

“With this collaboration, the innovation of the tech community is addressing the timely need for a safety services to accelerate drone integration,” said Tyler Collins, Director of LATAS at PrecisionHawk, according to the release. “Verizon, Harris and DigitalGlobe bring technology components, expertise and credibility that are critical to the success of this ecosystem. We look forward to expanding testing through the FAA Pathfinder and NASA UTM programs in 2015.”

Courtesy: Inside Unmanned Systems

PRECISIONHAWK JOINS THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND FAA IN THE CREATION OF A SAFETY TASK FORCE FOR UAS

The task force will collaborate on the development of a streamlined registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

PrecisionHawk today announced its contribution to a safety task force created by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA. The task force brings together a diverse group, representing the UAS and manned aviation industries, the federal government, and other stakeholders, to develop an augmented registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

PrecisionHawk is working on many safety solutions, procedural and technological, that we believe can contribute to safer operations for commercial drones in the national airspace,” said Ernest Earon, PrecisionHawk CTO and co-founder. “The creation of this task force further demonstrates the willingness of the FAA to move forward with industry leaders to promote rapid and safe integration.”

“As a UAS technology company and operator, we know how important coordinated identification is to the environments in which we work,” said Thomas Haun, VP of Strategy at PrecisionHawk. “The goal of this task force, to create a streamlined registration process for UAS, will have a direct and positive impact on the operations of our partners and service teams.”

This task force presents another opportunity for PrecisionHawk to serve as a technical resource to regulators as we move towards the adoption of UAV regulations. Earlier this year PrecisionHawk was also named, alongside CNN and BNSF, to the FAA Pathfinder Program to test and develop technology solutions to solve beyond line of sight operations.

Source: Media Release

US Announces the Upcoming Federal Drone Registry: Register or Face ‘Consequences’

Published on October 19, 2015 by Michael Zhang

The Obama administration announced today that it will be creating the first ever federal drone registry to reign in the wild wild west of drone usage. Drone owners will be required to register their drones with the database in order to fly legally, and those caught flying unregistered drones will face “consequences.”

Reuters reports that at a press conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed that the administration is putting together a task force consisting of industry and government representatives. The group will be tasked with putting together a set of recommendations for the drone registry.

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Courtesy Petapixel

FAA to Require Recreational Drone Operators to Register – Will CASA or EASA Follow?

US Federal regulators announced Monday that recreational drone operators will be required to register their aircraft.

“There can be no accountability if the person breaking the rules can’t be identified,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference.

A task force of more than two dozen people will be responsible for creating guidelines for the national registry by Nov. 20, with the goal of instilling the program before the end of the holiday season, when around 1 million drones are expected to be sold.

The increased number of recreational drones worries FAA officials and pilots, who have reported seeing twice the number of unmanned aircraft while flying this year than they did during all of 2014. A spate of high-profile incidents — including drones’ crashing into the stands at the U.S. Open tennis tournament and interfering with firefighting efforts in California — has increased pressure to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft.

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Courtesy NBC News

Other articles: U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Announces Unmanned Aircraft Registration Requirement 

US Defense Dept wants Cargo Drones for the Pacific

Promoting the development of cargo drones will be the focus of next year’s operational energy capability improvement fund, according to a Defense Department official.

“The [fiscal year 2016] theme for OECIF is unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Steve Mapes, deputy director for expeditionary operations in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for energy plans and programs. “What we’re talking about is unmanned aerial vehicles for resupply.”OECIF provides seed money to programs that could potentially improve the energy usage of deployed forces or deliver long-term cost savings.

By using UAVs to transport cargo “you can take those trucks [that would normally have to be used to transport supplies] off the road or you can navigate or circumvent bodies of water without having to send actual forces or troops or ships” to deliver materiel, Mapes said Aug. 25 at a National Defense Industrial Association power conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

OECIF investments in 2016 would be “targeted specially toward the Pacific,” which presents unique logistical hurdles because of its vast size, Mapes said.

“Tyranny of distance right now is hands down one of the most challenging things we have to deal with, particularly in the [U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility],” he said. “We rely heavily on host nation agreements. We rely heavily on our joint partners to move equipment and assets from point A to point B. But one of our major defense challenges is just distance.”

As a solution, he envisioned launching supply drones off ships. “We’re talking cargo aircraft that can navigate from a ship-based platform [and] … allow us to navigate that distance without bringing that ship right up to the coast,” he said.

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Courtesy UASVision

UK-Singapore Collaboration Prepares for Record 300km Hydrogen Fuel Cell UAV Flight

A new civilian fuel cell UAV designed for search and rescue is gearing up for the world’s first ever 300km UAV flight to cross the North Sea, linking Scotland to Norway

Set to take off within days, this historic flight is the result of a joint effort between UAV fuel cell power systems supplier Horizon Energy Systems (HES) of Singapore, and Scottish UAV developer RaptorUAS. The team is working with Northern Colorado Search and Rescue in the US, as a first end-user of the long endurance UAV system.

The Singapore-built fuel cell is able to keep the Raptor E1 UAV flying for over 12 hours, which makes it an ideal support tool in difficult search and rescue operations over large areas of sea or land. Recognized as the world’s longest endurance energy storage systems for electrical UAVs, fuel cells from HES have helped set new world records in the past including the NASA-backed 5kg Pterosoar UAVsystem which flew 128km in 2007.

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Courtesy: SUAS News

Amazon provides new details on its plan for a drone superhighway in the sky

When I arrived in San Jose last night, the newspaper on the front desk at the hotel had this headline splashed across the front page: “Drones Putting Lives at Risk.” At least five times this year, fire departments trying to battle wildfires in California were unable to fly their helicopters close enough to assist teams on the ground because small drones flown by ordinary citizens were in the airspace capturing footage of the blaze.

This morning, at NASA’s UTM Convention, Amazon announced details of a plan designed to solve these kinds of problems. The company laid out its vision for a multi-tiered superhighway in the sky, one in which all drones flying above 200 feet would have the ability to communicate with — and ideally sense and avoid — other aircraft. It’s an attempt to put an end to the Wild West atmosphere that has been the norm for uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) over the last five years, replacing it with a next-generation air traffic control system. It hopes to establish a basic regulatory framework and set of technical standards that manufacturers can work toward. All this would prepare the airspace for a time when thousands, even tens of thousands of drones fly over the average city delivering parcels, monitoring air quality, and handing out parking tickets.

Amazon’s proposal, which is in line with similar ideas floated by NASA and Google, would create a slow lane for local traffic below 200 feet and a fast lane for long-distance transport between 200 and 400 feet. Altitudes between 400 and 500 feet would become a no-fly zone, and anything above that is already against FAA regulations for hobbyists. While some commercial drone operators are pushing to fly large UAS above 500 feet, Amazon is avoiding that discussion for now.

Commercial aircraft are governed by FAA’s Air Traffic Control, and in Amazon’s vision, there would be a similar central command and control network that takes in data about the position of each drone and shares it with every other vehicle connected to the network. There would also be vehicle-to-vehicle communication, similar to what we are starting to see with autonomous automobiles. Access to the different layers of the airspace would be governed by how well your drone can communicate with its pilot, the command and control network, and other drones. “Everyone can have access to the airspace,” says Gur Kimchi, who heads up Amazon’s Prime Air program. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist or a corporation. If you’ve got the right equipment, you can fly.”

If you’re operating a radio-controlled quadcopter with no internet connection, then you would be relegated to the area below 200 feet. That may rub some hobbyists the wrong way, but given that even cheap consumer drones are now connected to the internet through their apps, it seems unlikely that there will be too many UAS which fall into this category. And while complex sense and avoid (SAA) technology is not yet widespread among consumer drones, we are already seeing it appear on units like the Lily, in software from Skydio, and in developer hardware like DJI’s Matrice. If the pace of development in this area continues, sense and avoid technology will be standard on consumer drones within a few years.

Still, startups working on consumer facing drones took issue with parts of of the plan. “Amazon’s proposal to create a commercial airspace dedicated to drones is smart thinking for the future of its business proposition,” said Antoine Level, CEO of Squadrone System, the company behind the HEXO+. “The uptake of drones means that regulation will need to change to adapt; however, given the utility of personal-use application of drones, regulation must be careful not to regulate commercial use in such a way that drones become too costly to deploy and inaccessible to consumers, as this will in turn create a bar to their usage and adoption.”

In traditional air traffic control, humans have handled much of the work. But with small UAS, the number of aircraft in the sky at any given time is likely to be many times greater than the number of commercial aircraft. So Amazon is proposing we let the machines handle more of the work themselves. “Right now the standard is an aircraft that can basically fly itself, with a human at the controls to take over at anytime,” says Kimchi. “But with UAS, there won’t be a single operator for every drone. We need a lot more automation than we have with the traditional model.”

Amazon says its drones would automatically adjust their path if they are on a collision course, and also warn one another about obstacles. “I am from Seattle, there are many seagulls,” Kimchi says. “Our drone would automatically get out of the way and also alert others in the area.”

This new air traffic control system would also link UAS with traditional aircraft. If a helicopter from the fire department needed to fly low over an emergency, for example, it would be able to communicate with command and control, warning drones it was in the area, and creating a geofenced area around itself that would become a no-fly zone, as depicted in the graphic above.

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