A Drone’s Eye View Of Dubai

Dubai drone

A video posted on YouTube by Team Black Sheep, a Hong Kong-based unmanned aerial vehicle maker (UAV), shows spectacular sweeping views of landmarks across the city.

The UAV, known as TBS Discovery Pro, was also used to capture footage above the Burj Al Arab hotel, Atlantis The Palm hotel, The Palm Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road.

“Strolling through Dubai’s skies to portray miracles of architecture,” said the company on its YouTube channel.

“The Palm, Downtown Dubai with its modern Metro, the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa and the insanely beautiful Burj Al Arab.”

It is part of a series of videos that also show views of the desert outside Dubai and another of dune buggies racing.

The Burj Khalifa has become the focal point for a number of films and events in recent years

Full details here via:http://bit.ly/1rdk7uM

Drones Join Fight to Protect African Wildlife

Unmanned aircraft are getting more affordable. Companies are pushing the boundaries of drone technology — and now, that includes protecting nature.

In Morrison, Colo., near Denver, a group is finding new use for its drones, 9,000 miles away.

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration is still working on regulations and standards for drones, but overseas in Africa, unmanned aircraft are already being used over game parks, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

Even at night, thermal imaging drones can track wildlife. With an eye in the sky, drones are able to do things humans could never do.

In places like Namibia, drones — unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs — have been purchased to monitor game parks and to track poachers.

Crawford Allen, director of The World Wildlife Fund North America, said, “The poachers out there know that there is something in the sky that is looking for them. … We think (drone technology) is going to be an important tool that will help produce far more effectiveness in protecting these precious species.”

The World Wildlife Fund is working with the government of Namibia by providing technical help as the country’s park rangers learn how to fly the drones.

A $20,000 eye-in-the-sky can track elephants and rhinos.
Full details via http://cbsn.ws/1oSHveZ

Drones: Coming soon to a farm near you?

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Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

Tech-savvy farmers have been waiting for years for the government to make up its mind about the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Right now, anyone flying a drone for business instead of as a hobby is actually breaking federal law. But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which oversees U.S. airspace, says it plans to roll out rules for drones this year.

Privacy and public safety concerns abound when it comes to camera-mounted machines flying around.   That’s the primary reason the United States lags behind other nations in allowing unmanned vehicles for commercial use.

Still, farmers with acres and acres of land want to keep an eye on their investment. Instead of spending days driving the edges of fields in a truck or ATV, farmers could use drone-mounted cameras to produce thermal image maps that can tell if crops aren’t properly irrigated or if they are being eaten by insects.

“I’ve been a seed dealer and involved in precision ag, and I look at this from a scouting standpoint,” said farmer Jared Brown of Beason, Ill. “Getting farmers out in their field, knowing what’s going on in their field I think would have a huge benefit.”

The same rugged yet inexpensive cameras strapped to surfboards and skydivers can gather the images farmers need for a fraction of what they’d pay to hire a plane or helicopter pilot. Camera and all, quadcopters sold to the public generally have a sticker price of $5,000-10,000.  That investment is small compared to other purchases in the growing high-tech arsenal available to farmers with deep pockets.

 

Full details here: http://bit.ly/1feXbjC

Unmanned future: Drones to clean your gutter, tend to crops and take aerial selfies?

25 March 2014

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The drone settles back on the cracked asphalt after a brief ascent into the lower reaches of the suburban troposphere.

“Yeah, it flies,” says Christopher Vo, director of education for the D.C. Area Drone User Group. His thumbs release the remote-control levers that animate the three-pound vehicle, which is the size of a large pizza.

“I want to give it a try,” says the quadcopter’s creator, Herndon resident Karl Arnold, a telecom sales engineer who got into drone building as a hobby. “Just get it up a few feet.”

“Right now?” Vo says, a bit incredulous. “Have you flown in the simulator?”

See more…

5 drone technologies for firefighting

Drones armed with cameras and sensor payloads have been used by military and border control agencies for decades to improve situational awareness. Commercialization now has brought more UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to market — making the technology more accessible to fire, EMS and emergency departments.

These eyes-in-the-sky can be used across public-safety services, from transmitting birds-eye video of a forest fire to incident commanders to mapping out hard-hit areas after a natural disaster. Here are five drone technologies worth watching for fire and emergency response operations.

1. ELIMCO’s E300 with FÉNIX

The ELIMOC E300 is a UAV with a large payload capacity and low-noise electrical propulsion being used by INFOCA, the Andalusian authority for the management of wildfires in Spain, to track wildfires at night.

The E300 can be launched remotely and operated for 1.5 hours with a radio control from up to 27 miles away. However, during night flights, the E-300 can loiter over a fire for around 3 hours and get as far as 62 miles from the launching point.

It is important to improve night wildland firefighting using technology, as a lull in firefighting efforts during the night lets wildfires expand. The night UAV with specific payloads can fly directly above the wildfire area to record video of the fire line, including thermal images that are then geo-tagged and relayed in real time to mobile command centers using the company’s planning and monitoring system for forest fire fighting (FÉNIX). FÉNIX lets operators locate and address spots in a forest fire in real time using a mapping application.

2. L3 Communication’s Viking 400-S

The Viking 400-S Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is integrated with Autonomous Take-Off and Landing (ATOL) technology supplied by L-3 Unmanned Systems’ flightTEK system. The UAS operates for up to 12 hours and can be equipped with up to 100 pounds of payload technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detectors for hazmat emergencies.

The CBRN payload would let a first responder stay up to 70 miles line-of-sight away from a hazmat incident and, instead, send a drone to collect CBRN information from the scene and transmit it wirelessly back to incident command. UAS units carrying high-resolution cameras can capture bird’s-eye images of a manmade or natural disaster, which can help incident commanders identify hard-hit areas and prioritize resources.

Images captures are transmitted wirelessly back to into a GIS software suite for mapping an affected area and later reporting needs.

3. Information Processing Systems’ MCV

Information Processing Systems (IPS) Mobile Command Vehicles and incident command mobile carts are deployable, customized, public-safety vehicles that integrate aerial, ground and subsurface remotely controlled robotic platforms. MCVs basically are custom mobile ground control station for UAVs and other public-safety robotics.

They are modified Ford trucks that can house security cameras, sensors, radar and communication infrastructure. The truck can be outfitted with trailers to carry drones, which then can be commanded from within the center.

Having a mobile command center for drone deployment allows wildland firefighters working in remote areas to take their entire communication system with them to launch a UAV or drones over a wildfire and map out affected areas.

In urban areas, an aerial video provides actionable information so commanders can make informed decisions at the response site — whether at a bombing or a hurricane. Chiefs running structural fires could send the truck to four-alarm fires where UAVs conduct a 360-degree investigation of the fire scene before firefighters enter buildings.

4. Sensefly’s eBee

Switzerland-based Sensefly’s eBee drones are tiny compared to other drones; they have a 37.8-inch wingspan and weigh 1.5 pounds. The foam airframe eBee drones are equipped with a rear-mounted propeller and feature a 16-megapixel camera to shoot aerial imagery at down to 3cm/pixel resolution.

The drone as a flight time of up to 45 minutes, which is long enough to cover as far as 10 miles in a single flight. In addition, users can pre-program 3D flight plans using Google maps prior to deployment, with up to 10 drones controlled from a single base station. Then, using its Postflight Terra 3D-EB mapping software, it can create maps and elevation models with a precision of 5 centimeters and process aerial imagery into 3D models.

eBees could be used as a lightweight, deployable drone added to wildland firefighters backpacks for situational awareness. In the future, 3D models can be displayed on firefighters’ ruggedized smartphones, which is expected in the next revision of NFPA 1802, the Standard on Two-Way, Portable (Hand-Held) Land Mobile Radios for Use by Emergency Services Personnel. The information can be transmitted to incident command and stored for later use.

5. Kaman’s UAT

The Unmanned K-MAX multi-mission helicopter is an Unmanned Aerial Truck based on the K-MAX heavy-lift aerial truck helicopter. The unit has 6,000 pounds of payload capacity and can move gear and personnel in and out of an area without endangering additional personnel.

Imagine providing supplies to firefighters, EMS and emergency responders in the field at a disaster with precision aerial delivery in high-wind, hot conditions without further risk to life or when personnel resources are stretched too thin. This ranges from delivering food, water, fuel, blood or even radio communications missions, such as sending the UAT to place data relay stations or communication equipment to a remote mountaintop.

With continued commercialization, drones carrying video payloads will arm first responders and incident commanders with myriad ways to capture data at a fireground, from CBRN dangers to wildfire spread, in order to better safeguard their community and emergency responders on the ground.

 

Via: http://bit.ly/1diKCsH

Small Drone Crash Lands in Manhattan…

3 October 2013

 

Eyewitness News

NEW YORK (WABC) — A small helicopter drone flying high above buildings on the East side of Manhattan crash landed just feet away from a businessman during the Monday evening rush hour.

The drone is small but the FAA says it should not have been flying hundreds of feet above a crowded Manhattan sidewalk.

The businessman who almost took a direct hit from the unmanned device, recovered its video card from the debris and then reached out to us.

The video from the crashed drone shows it taking off from a high-rise terrace in Midtown Manhattan on Monday. It’s evening rush hour and below thousands of New Yorkers are heading home, unaware that 20 to 30 stories above them, a small, 3-pound radio-controlled helicopter with a camera is flying overhead.

“Choosing their own personal enjoyment over any of the consequences,” a businessman, who asked not to be identified, told us. More…