Safety regulations for drone usage continue to be formulated, with the US Federal Aviation Administration last month proposing a four-tiered classification system with different rules for how drones can and can t interact with crowds.In February last year U.S. president Barak Obama asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration NTIA , which advises on telecoms policy issues, to bring various stakeholders together to help develop best practices to address privacy, transparency and accountability issues relating to private and commercial use of UAS aka drones .Voluntary best practice for drone operatorsAmong the recommendations suggested, drone operators are urged with some caveats to provide prior notice to individuals of the general timeframe and area that they may anticipate a UAS intentionally collecting covered data — where covered data means data that can identify a particular person.This policy is suggested to include:the purposes for which UAS will collect covered data;the kinds of covered data UAS will collect;information regarding any data retention and de-identification practices;examples of the types of any entities with whom covered data will be shared;information on how to submit privacy and security complaints or concerns;information describing practices in responding to law enforcement requests.without express consent from the data subject :employment eligibility, promotion, or retention;credit eligibility;healthcare treatment eligibilitySo your boss should not really be deploying a drone over your house to check if you are sunbathing in your garden that time you called in sick.However no limits are placed on the use/sharing of aggregated covered data as an input e.g., statistical information for broader marketing campaigns .
Unless you're a media companyYou can't use drones to check whether your employee really is sick, or to take pictures of your neighbors, unless you're a news organization in which case the sky is the limit - or more accurately not the limit.As the name suggests, the guidelines are not obligatory or legally binding but will form the start of a broader US government effort to come to terms with drone technology and how it will impact citizens and businesses in the future.In many respects, the guidelines are the antithesis of recent rules published by the Federal Aviation Authority FAA : where the FAA's rules are precise, the NTIA guidelines are vague; where the FAA threatens fines, the NTIA advises caution; and where the FAA is often hopelessly unrealistic, the NTIA's guidelines are grounded in reality.It also recommends that some potential uses be banned altogether, including anything relating to: employment eligibility, promotion, or retention; credit eligibility; and healthcare treatment eligibility.It also advises people not to fly over private property, not to gather personal information, to give people a reasonable level of privacy, and to delete data on people if they ask.Instead they should "operate under the ethics rules and standards of their organization, and according to existing federal and state laws."
They say drones represent the next frontier in aviation, and as such, decisions about where and when they can fly should be made collectively, not by landowners through tort law.Ryan Calo, an assistant professor of law at the University of Washington, says decisions about where and when drones can fly should be made collectively, not by individual landowners.Before airplanes, the right to exclude went up indefinitely; now it usually ends at 500 feet, where navigable airspace managed by the FAA begins.Eventually, property owners airspace rights were limited to what they could reasonably use, and the area above 500 feet or so became navigable airspace, regulated by the federal government.For that reason, decisions about where and when drones can travel should be made collectively through thoughtful limits, not individually through tort law or self-help.Indeed, government and industry already are starting to work through some of these issues.
The owner of a drone store outside Nashville told Ars on Friday that two of his customers have had their unmanned aerial vehicles shot at in recent weeks.As drones become more pervasive, it seems that drones, perceived privacy violations, and firearms are increasingly becoming a dangerous combination.The drone was maimed a little, two propellers were damaged, but he was able to land it."If a drone flies over private property, is it trespassing?We need not determine at this time what those precise limits are.The Federal Aviation Administration reiterated to Ars that shooting at any aircraft, drone or otherwise, is unwise and illegal.
This reinforces our overall approach to find solutions to get data out of accidents as soon as possible, said Charles Champion, Executive Vice President for engineering at Airbus Group SE s plane making unit.The cockpit voice and flight data recorders are equipped with underwater beacons to help locate the storage devices, but the batteries on the beacons last only 30 days.Airbus has been pursuing a dual-track approach for alternatives to the current problems, which have also hobbled other accidents including the 2009 crash of an Air France AFLYY -1.80 % flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it took about two years to recover the storage devices.One concept Airbus is working on is a system to monitor parameters during a flight.Whether that concept would have aided the Flight 804 probe is unclear.The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has resisted calls for mandating deployable recorders, particularly if they would supplement rather than replace conventional versions.
Image copyright Blighter Surveillance Systems Image caption Auds uses a strong radio signal to freeze a drone mid-flight - it will now be tested in the USA UK-developed system capable of jamming signals to small drones is to be trialled by the US aviation authority.A thermal imaging camera allows the Auds operator to target the unwanted drone before signal jamming, via a high-powered radio signal, is activated.Auds was designed by Enterprise Control Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems and Chess Dynamics."Sometimes people fly drones in an unsafe manner," said Marke "Hoot" Gibson, an FAA senior adviser."Government and industry share responsibility for keeping the skies safe, and we're pleased these three companies have taken on this important challenge."Two other firms - Gryphon Sensors LLC and Sensofusion, both US-based - will also take part.
The US's Federal Aviation Administration FAA will trial the "world's first fully integrated detect-track-disrupt-defeat Anti-UAV Defence System AUDS ", developed by a trio of British companies.Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems describe AUDS as intended "for countering drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems RPAS in remote border areas, at key infrastructure sites such as airports, air fields, nuclear power stations, oil refineries or for protecting political or sporting events in urban areas.Pic: Blighter Surveillance SystemsBlighter's press release explains: "The AUDS counter-UAV system can detect a drone six miles 10km away using electronic scanning radar, track it using precision infrared and daylight cameras and specialist video tracking software before disrupting the flight using an inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it.AUDS team member Mark Radford assured the drone-busting kit would not pose a threat to innocent equipment.He said: "AUDS is able to operate effectively in complex airport environments night and day whatever the weather and without disrupting other airport equipment.Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter."
Now, according to the company, it is possibly only half a year away from using drones to check the inventories in its warehouses, the first step in what will likely be a much larger utilization of UAVs in coming years.The other two — which are far more ambitious and won t be happening any time soon — would be using drones for curbside pickups and to deliver packages to someone s home.Speaking to Reuters, Walmart VP of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajan said: We are still in early phases of testing and understanding how drones can be better used in different types of business functions.In the case of warehouses, a human-operated drone will be used to fly down inventory aisles, taking images with a camera of products and presumably sending them to a separate system alerting workers about low product inventories or products that have been placed in the wrong area.While it would be neat to get a delivery from a drone rather than having to wait for the mail truck to show up, that future is still a long way off.Such notions also raise concerns about machines replacing humans -- when autonomous GPS-guided drones are making most of our deliveries, far less human drivers will be needed, no doubt resulting in slashed job numbers.
An anti-drone system developed by a trio of UK companies is to receive its first public test by America s Federal Aviation Authority FAA , in an effort to protect airports from the risks of hobbyist unmanned aerial vehicles.The system, called the Anti-UAV Defence System Auds , looks like a mounted turret but instead of shooting drones out of the sky with bullets, it fires nothing more menacing than radio waves.In its announcement confirming the trial the FAA s senior advisor, Marke Hoot Gibson his name is given as such on the FAA s website said: Sometimes people fly drones in an unsafe manner.Government and industry share responsibility for keeping the skies safe, and we re pleased these three companies have taken on this important challenge.Liteye systems said: Our Auds team is very excited to join the FAA s efforts to counter rogue UAVs … As the legitimate use of unmanned vehicles becomes more prevalent in many industries, unfortunately this large number of aircraft also makes them readily available for illicit use.With the right technologies we can assist the UAV operator to conduct his mission, while protecting against those who wish us harm.
An Anti-UAV Defence System Auds developed by UK companies has been cleared by the US aviation authority for trials.Enterprise Control Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems and Chess Dynamics developed the system which can block the signaling systems of small drones after identifying the unwanted ones.The Federal Aviation Administration FAA is ramping up efforts to obtain technology capable of detecting small, unmanned aerial vehicles near airports.The British Airways flight, with 132 passengers and five crew members on board, was on a flight from Geneva when the plane was hit by a drone just prior before landing at the London airport.Under the existing rules in the UK, flying a drone close to an airport is punishable with imprisonment of up to five years.In February this year, Airline pilots had called for urgent action on drones after four separate near miss incidents at UK airports.
Walmart is getting into the drone game.Walmart's VP of Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajan demoed the retailer's new technology to reporters from a Bentonville, Arkansas distribution center on Thursday, on the eve of its annual shareholders meeting.The drone technology will be replacing the jobs of inventory quality assurance employees, cutting inventory checks across massive distribution centers — the one in Bentonville is 1.2 million square feet — from one month down to a single day.When Natarajan joined Walmart in November 2014, he and his team were tasked with investigating cutting edge technologies, asking, "How can we can converge them in ways that make sense for us?"he said.The application at the top of the list was using drone technology to improve the safety and efficiency of Walmart's 190 US distribution centers.In collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA, Walmart is developing internally autonomous drone technology that allows a quad-copter drone, roughly 3 x 3 feet, to take 30 images per second from a top-mounted camera.The camera is linked to a control center and scans for tracking number matches.Matches are registered as green, empty spaces as blue, and mismatches as red.An employee monitors the drone's progress from a computer screen.Natarajan said that the technology is six to nine months from maturation.The company also noted that employees who served as inventory checkers will be given new job opportunities to ensure a smooth transition.Walmart did not reveal how much money it has invested in its Emerging Sciences division, but noted that future applications of the drone, as well as other artificial intelligence and virtual reality projects, are in the works.BI Intelligence takes an in-depth look at the most important aspects, including market forecasts for commercial applications, regulatory process, and the leading players.
The commercial drone industry has undergone significant technological developments over the past few years.There have been efforts to regulate the use of UAVs to ensure that safety measures are in place even as the industry is seeing an increase in the number of commercial drones being used for defense, agriculture, filming and weather monitoring among others.Drone technology has been on the rise, especially with these unmanned aircrafts offering the best tactical solutions in dangerous, messy or repetitive missions.Expanding frontiersA growing network of drone hardware and software vendors has emerged, catering to a growing list of clients in different industries, which ranges from construction to land management to agriculture to energy.Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and General Atomics and AeroVironment Inc. are some of the main drone manufacturers.The manufacture of Eagle XF Drone by UAV-America and the first electric-powered passenger drone by a Chinese entrepreneur, simply spells the advancement in drone technology.
View photosFILE - In this May 17, 2016, file photo, a plane lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.Union officials says new, state-of-the-art airport towers due to go into operation this fall in San Francisco and Las Vegas need extensive remodeling so they can accommodate technology dating back more than half a century but still relied on by air traffic controllers.The looming problem was news to the federal official who's in charge of air traffic operations.Rinaldi raised the issue during a discussion of legislation sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, to remove air traffic control operations from the FAA and spin them off into a private, nonprofit corporation controlled primarily by major airlines and other segments of the aviation industry.The roughly 15,000 controllers employed by the agency is the lowest number in nearly three decades, and many controllers in New York, Atlanta and other busy facilities routinely work 6-day weeks and 10-hour days, union officials said.However, even after a contractor is selected, there are likely to be many years of development, testing and installation, Rinaldi said.
The awesome EHang 184 passenger-carrying flying machine first hovered into view at CES 2016, impressing many with its absurdly simple method of operation put simply, you don t have to do anything .The hope is that one day the so-called drone taxi could become part of the state s transportation system.The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems NIAS , a state nonprofit group sponsored by the Governor s Office of Economic Development, will help the Guangzhou-based firm test and develop the machine, the LV Review-Journal reported.That s right – there s no joystick, buttons, or levers to worry about.The 184, which gets its name from having one passenger, eight propellors, and four arms, stands about 4.9 feet 1.5 meters tall and weighs around 440 pounds 200 kg .Hu believes his creation has a shot at making a global impact across dozens of industries beyond personal travel, adding, The 184 is evocative of a future we ve always dreamed of and is primed to alter the very fundamentals of the way we get around.
The FAA issued an advisory warning pilots on Saturday that global positioning systems GPS could be unreliable during six different days this month, primarily in the Southwestern United States.On June 7, 9, 21, 23, 28, and 30th the GPS interference testing will be taking place between 9:30am and 3:30pm Pacific time.Map released by the FAA showing the GPS jamming that will occur at different altitudes this month FAA I gave the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division a call yesterday, but they couldn t tell me much.The FAA claims that the jamming test could interfere with the business jet s aircraft flight stability controls.GPS technology has become so ubiquitous that cheap jamming technology has become a real concern for both military and civilian aircraft.These tests are naturally going to fuel plenty of conspiracy theories about mind control, weather modification, and aliens—especially with China Lake s proximity to both large population centers like LA and Las Vegas, and the fact that Area 51 is practically just down the road.
The military is up to something and it may cause GPS disruptions in the American west, according to a notice from the Federal Aviation Administration.It's not clear what exactly is going on, but the FAA's advisory specifies the epicenter of the possible disruptions being China Lake, California, which is home to the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Weapons Station.The disruptions start today and will run throughout the remainder of the month.They will take place during a timespan from 9:30AM to 3:30PM PST, and may result in unreliable or unavailable GPS signal.Judging by the FAA's advisory, it appears that GPS disruptions on the ground won't be happening, or at least not in any significant way.Speaking to Gizmodo, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division provided scarce details, with a public affairs specialist simply saying that it s general testing for our ranges.
If you re flying a plane in the Southwest U.S. on certain days this month, you might want to reconsider those plans.What it looks to be, based on an FAA advisory, is some type of test of a jamming device.Attempts to get clarification from the Navy have not resulted in any further information.It s a potentially problematic issue for some pilots, especially those piloting Embraer Phenom 300 business jets.Those planes are being asked to avoid the testing area completely during these times, as their flight stability controls rely heavily on GPS systems.Given these are fairly popular areas among the jet-setting West Coasters, we re sure this will inconvenience more than a few celebrities and tech execs this month.
There are more drones than ever, but a new report claims that sightings by pilots are falling, so it s possible we can put to rest some of the fear over a drone bringing a plane down.AMA analysed Us Federal Aviation Authority FAA data and found that, while there are still a lot more pilot drone sightings now than in 2014, sightings peaked last summer and have been falling ever since.This is all good news, but since the falling numbers cover less than a year, there could be other reasons for the lack of sightings.The drone-meets-engine scenario seems pretty damn frightening nevertheless.To combat the problem, the FAA is testing out a system to track drones getting too close and making an app to show exactly where it s okay to fly.That s not good, of course, but it s still far more reassuring than the assured-death scenario keeping everyone up at night.
The US Federal Aviation Authority FAA is warning aircraft to stay a few hundred miles away from the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California, because the military is testing a new gizmo that disrupts GPS – and may also mess with flight control systems.Like Bob Marley, the US military is jammin'The FAA has issued a Notice to Airmen NOTAM warning PDF that on June 7, GPS readouts will be unreliable or nonexistent for 253 nautical miles 291 miles at 50 feet above sea level, for 340NM 391 miles at 4,000 feet, and for 375NM 431 miles at 10,000 feet, covering a huge area of very busy airspace.The above map shows the Los Angles Basin, the San Francisco Bay Area and Las Vegas in Nevada are among the areas affected in some way.In addition, the FAA is warning pilots flying the Embraer Phenom 300, one of the world's most popular executive jet aircraft, that the testing could interfere with flight stability controls and has said extra care should be taken in the area.The UK communications regulator Ofcom has issued an advisory that aircraft-based GPS jamming exercises will be held over the Scottish Hebrides at 0900-1100 and 1300-1500 local time for the entire month of July.It's also possible that the jamming is, in fact, just a testbed for some new anti-jamming technology under development.
Chinese firm Ehang, which unveiled the electric Ehang 184 passenger drone at CES in Las Vegas in January, has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems NIAS and the Governor s Office of Economic Development Goed to put the drone through testing and regulatory approval.Tom Wilczek, Goed s aerospace and defence specialist said: The State of Nevada, through NIAS, will help guide Ehang through the Federal Aviation Authority FAA regulatory process with the ultimate goal of achieving safe flight.The founder and chief executive of Ehang, Huazhi Hu, said the move would lay the foundation for the 184 s commercialisation and kickstart the autonomous aerial transportation industry.Over the past five years, Nevada has been positioning itself as a test bed for advanced transport solutions, being one of the first states in the US to permit the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.The company envisages a system where by a passenger simply inputs the destination and the drone takes care of the rest, taking off vertically, flying at altitudes up to 3.5km 11,500 feet at up to 100kmph 63mph for up to 23 minutes using eight propellers on four arms.Given that fully autonomous road vehicles are unlikely to be widely available until the middle of the next decade, the time when commuters can simply jump in a flying autonomous taxi drone to get to work appears to be some time off yet.