Drone News of the Week June 9 2023

Wingcopter in Africa

Read or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week ending June 9, 2023.  Click on the titles below for the full story.

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Wingcopter GmbH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens Healthineers Middle East, Southern & Eastern Africa to develop and implement an integrated drone delivery solution for the transportation of laboratory diagnostics materials and medical supplies in Africa. Leveraging both Siemens Healthineers’ Laboratory Diagnostics testing capabilities and Wingcopter’s drone delivery services will result in enhanced diagnostics and quicker treatment. The solution will employ both companies’ most recent digital technology, including highly automated drone delivery as well as Laboratory Information Systems capable of accurately tracking and reporting results directly to patients.

Prevention, Response and Recovery: GLOBHE Uses Drones to Manage Disasters Around the World

Margherita Bruscolini is the Global Head of Drones, leading the client delivery team at GLOBHE, the impact tech company using drone data to help stakeholders understand the planet. As climate change leads to more and more deadly climate events, that data serves a critical role in disaster management.  A drone pilot with a background in geology and environmental science, Margherita Bruscolini is a committed advocate for technology solutions to meet environmental issues.

Medical Drone Delivery in Thailand, as Services Expand Across Asia

Drone delivery leader Skyports Drone Services has completed a medical drone delivery demonstration for Thailand’s Medical UAV Committee, consisting of members from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), the Ministry of Public Health and Department of Medical Services, with support from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), AEROTHAI and Satun Province. This follows the company’s recent acquisition of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

Phase 1 Technology drone camera SORA-CAMR4Phase 1 Technology Announces New Drone Camera: NDAA-Compliant, SORA-CAMR4

Advanced imaging solutions leader Phase 1 Technology Corp. has announced the launch of its SORA-CAMR4, an innovative camera designed specifically to meet the needs of the drone industry. The SORA-CAMR4 has the potential to transform major sectors including Mapping, Photogrammetry, and Infrastructure Inspection, with additional use cases within Construction, Civil Works, Power line, Gas line, and Cell Tower inspections.

Who Will Replace Billy Nolen? The Next FAA Acting AdministratorWho Will Replace Billy Nolen? Polly Trottenberg Rumored to be Next FAA Acting Administrator

Finally, some answer to the question of who will replace Billy Nolen at the FAA.  Reuters has reported that Deputy U.S. Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg is expected to be tapped as the next Acting Administrator for the FAA. While no official announcement has been made, the news comes as the aviation industry anticipates the imminent departure of the current FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen, who will leave the agency at the end of the week.  Nolen is reported to be joining passenger eVTOL firm Archer Aviation.  Nolen’s departure will leave a vacancy at the top spot in the FAA.  The Biden administration has not yet announced another nominee for the permanent position, since top pick and Denver Airport CEO Phil Washington withdrew from the process in March.

Portable Counter Drone System: DedroneTactical

Today, smart airspace security leader Dedrone announced the launch of its DedroneTactical agile CsUAS (counter small uncrewed aerial system) response kit, providing modular sensor-fusion and mitigation flexibility with Radio Frequency (RF) detect and defeat, in addition to camera and radar. All configurations utilize DedroneTracker.ai, an AI-driven autonomous command and control (C2) platform granting end-to-end CsUAS kill chain capabilities, allowing DedroneTactical to offer the most rapid and accurate CsUAS solution in any environment. So far, the company has sold over 100 DedroneTactical kits to US and global governments.

When You Don’t Want to Drive in the Snow: Aviant Launches Kyte Drone Delivery in Norway

Norwegian drone logistics company Aviant has announced the launch of Kyte, a home delivery service bringing groceries, food and non-prescription medicines to sparsely populated locations in Norway. Aviant has also secured an additional €1M of public funding from Innovation Norway for the autonomous delivery of essential prescription medicines from pharmacies to people in remote and suburban locales.   Aviant was founded in 2020 by Lars Erik Fagernæs, Herman Øie Kolden and Bernhard Paus Græsdal at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Drones for Public Safety on the Drone Radio Show! AARDVARK Tactical

Don’t miss a critical conversation about drones for public safety on the Drone Radio Show with Randy Goers!  Jon Becker, CEO and Founder of AARDVARK Tactical, talks about the release of the new Loki-2 drone for tactical use and the challenges and opportunities in the sector.

Aloft Offers New APIs, Allowing Deep Linking LAANC Capabilities and More: It’s a Big Deal

Aloft announced today that they have added native LAANC integrations to their portfolio. The deep-linking integration is a significant new capability for the enterprise drone industry ecosystem.  With these new APIs, Aloft is knocking down barriers to entry for the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) and more for developers and users of apps for the commercial drone industry.

intelligent drone swarm

Image, public domain: CCO

Intelligent Drone Swarms Could Mimic Bird Flocks: New Research from University of Houston

The global increase in the use of low-cost drones has seen them leveraged in a wide range of applications, sometimes deployed in entire swarms. However, despite advancements within drone technology, swarm mechanics have remained largely the same. Though it is possible to fly large numbers of drones in synch, these swarms are preprogrammed by teams of animators and are refined with hours of computer simulations.  Aaron Becker, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston, is working to refine algorithms enabling the coordinated control of drone swarms based on the behavior of flocks of birds and schools of fish.

bathydrone underwater surveying droneBathydrone: Aurigo Software, University of Florida Develop Underwater Surveying Drone System

Capital planning and construction management software leader Aurigo Software has announced a partnership with the University of Florida’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for the development of Bathydrone, a new system for underwater surveying, mapping, and inspection. Currently, collecting data for underwater construction or inspecting existing assets involves manual surveying or boat-mounted survey sensors. The Bathydrone system deploys a drone carrying a small vessel equipped with a COTS sonar unit, removing the need for manual surveying. The sonar unit features down-scan, side-scan, and chirp capabilities and logs data within the hull’s onboard console, which can be retrieved post-mission and plotted in various ways.

Skydio Dock, Remotely Operated Drones Get Major Win in Japan

This week, autonomous flight leader Skydio announced that it has been granted an unprecedented, nationwide approval by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) to remotely operate drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The approval allows for streamlined BVLOS operations utilizing Skydio Dock and Remote Ops. Skydio’s AI and autonomous technology allows for the safe operation of drones in close proximity to structures beyond what would be possible with manual drones.   The JCAB approval does not require the use of additional crew members like visual observers or technology to detect crewed aircraft, removing major hurdles faced by operators.

MatrixSpace radarMatrixSpace Scores $10 Million in Funding

AI collaborative sensing solutions leader MatrixSpace has announced its raising of $10M in Series A funding, for a total of $20M in funding since its first year of operation in 2020. The company will leverage this additional funding to further its technology advancements, customer adoption and revenue growth. The Series A round was led by venture fund Raptor Group, with participation from Intel Capital and a prominent set of technology executives.

The Drone Industry Wants a BVLOS Rule. The Public Isn’t So Sure.

…BVLOS flight opens the door to truly remote operations, such as perimeter security or long range infrastructure inspection without humans on site.  BVLOS flight would dramatically improve the commercial viability of drone delivery projects, industrial inspections, power line inspections, and more… Still, the FAA has not published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on BVLOS flight.  Instead, they have ramped up the pace of BVLOS waivers, allowing limited advanced operations in order to gather more data.  The proposed BVLOS permissions for Phoenix Air, uAvionix, Zipline, and UPS Flight Forward could move the rulemaking process forward, providing a bigger data set and proving the safety case.  Public comments, however, provide some insight on the pressures that confront the FAA with respect to drone integration.





Miriam McNabb

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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Previous Skydio Wins Nationwide BVLOS Waiver in Japan
Next Drone Industry Events June 12 – 18

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