Zacc Dukowitz

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Zacc Dukowitz last won the day on October 5 2019

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  1. U.S.-based Impossible Aerospace just announced the release of Air Support, a drone that can be stationed on a rooftop and deployed as needed in response to 911 calls. According to Impossible Aerospace, Air Support will allow cities to respond to emergencies “ten times faster than they ever have before.” When a 911 call comes in, Air Support’s drone is deployed and controlled remotely from a command center. It flies to the scene of the incident and hovers there, providing real-time visual data for first responders who are en route. Read today's article to learn more about Impossible Air Support and how it could help public safety agencies with COVID-19 containment efforts.
  2. In the fight against COVID-19, several police departments throughout the state of California have opted against enforcing the stay-at-home order that's in place with active measures, focusing instead on education and awareness. Among the different methods of communication that could be used in efforts to remind people about the importance of staying home, the Chula Vista Police Department will be the first to employ drones. Law enforcement officials in Chula Vista plan to use loudspeakers attached to drones to spread safety messages, as has already been done with drones in China, Spain, and elsewhere. Read today's article to learn more about how the CVPD plans to use drones in the fight against the coronavirus, and to get some background on the CVPD's leadership in using drones at public safety agencies.
  3. Bard’s Center for the Study of the Drone just released the third edition of its Public Safety Drones report. The new edition finds that at least 1,578 public safety agencies now use drones, up from 910 when Bard released its second edition in May of 2018. (The “at least” is because the report doesn’t include public safety agencies, such as those at the federal level, with undisclosed drone programs.) The numbers in the three reports paint a picture of extreme growth, with almost 600 new public safety agencies adding drone programs since the last edition. Read today's article for our top takeaways from the new report, and for some resources on how to get a drone program started at your public safety agency.
  4. One month ago we wrote about all the ways that China has been using drones to contain the coronavirus. Some of the top uses included medical deliveries, scolding people for being outside without a facemask, spraying disinfectant over large areas with retrofitted agricultural drones, and using thermal cameras to take people temperatures. Since writing that article the coronavirus has spread throughout the world, leading other countries to adopt some of the same drone tactics, as well as some new ones. Read today's article for an update on world-wide drone efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19. Know of ways drones are being used to fight the coronavirus? Chime in here to share what you know.
  5. Aquiline Drones has recently been making headlines as being “the fourth company to operate under an FAA 135 Air Carrier Certificate,” with the other three being Alphabet’s Wing, UPS’ Flight Forward, and Amazon’s Prime Air. Based on information we’ve found on the FAA’s website, only Wing and Flight Forward have actually been granted Part 135 certificates. (See the last three paragraphs of this page on the FAA’s website for more information.) But what we find interesting isn’t whether Aquiline Drones and Prime Air actually hold Part 135s—all signs indicate that they probably will soon—but rather the way that Aquiline Drones is going about acquiring its Part 135 certificate. In short, it looks like Aquiline may have found a way to bypass the FAA’s rigorous Five-Phase Part 135 certification process by acquiring a company that already has a Part 135. Read today's article to learn more about the Part 135 certification process for drone companies, as well as about a possible second route to getting permission to conduct drone deliveries in the U.S.
  6. Looks like agriculture drones are having their moment. Right now DJI’s Agras T16 agricultural drone is currently being featured at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City as part of an art exhibit called Countryside, The Future. Another Chinese ag drone manufacturer, XAG, has projected major growth this year as China pushes smaller farmers to consolidate their land into big farms. Ready today's article to learn more both about the Guggenheim's exhibit, XAG, and to see how farmer's are using drones in their operations these days.
  7. A drone recently helped archaeologists make a huge discovery on the island of Gran Canaria, one of the biggest and most populated of the islands that make up the Canaries. The archaeologists who made the discovery were part of an amateur archaeology group called “El Legado” (The Legacy), who were on vacation on the island. It is very unlikely they would have found these remains without the use of a drone, since accessing the cave was difficult and required climbing gear. Drones have become an essential tool for archaeologists for the last few years, especially when equipped with LiDAR. Read today's article to learn more about the tomb found in the Canaries, as well as how archaeologists are using LiDAR-equipped drones to make new discoveries.
  8. SkyPixel just announced the winners of their 5th annual Aerial Photography & Video Contest, and the winning videos and photos are stunning. Check out the winner of the grand prize this year in aerial photography: Every year, the contest brings in incredible work from photographers and videographers located around the world. Read today's article to see the winners in all four categories for both aerial video and aerial photography, and make sure to check out the SkyPixel website to see the 2nd and 3rd place winners, as well as lots of other impressive aerial photos and videos.
  9. Roger Fishman is an artist who works primarily in photography and video. A key tool in Roger’s kit are his drones, and he uses them to get surprising, often incredible aerial shots, like this one: We wanted to talk to Roger to learn more about how he started his work filming and photographing nature, how he got into drones, and to hear what advice he has to share with young photographers and videographers out there who are just getting started. Read our interview to see what he had to say.
  10. As the FAA’s proposed rule on Remote ID continues to draw criticism, DJI has released a video demonstrating how their drone-to-phone broadcast system for remotely identifying UAS works. One of the most important aspects of DJI’s remote ID solution is that—unlike the system in the FAA’s current proposal—it does not require the drone to have an internet connection. DJI’s drone-to-phone system works using an app that can be installed on any smartphone. Here is the data that can be transmitted via the app: The drone’s unique ID/serial number The drone’s altitude The drone’s speed The done’s direction The location of the drone The location of the drone pilot DJI created this drone-to-phone Remote ID system because it, like others in the drone industry, believed that the FAA would adopt a broadcast solution for Remote ID based on findings in the FAA's research. Read today's article to learn more about DJI's drone-to-phone app and the history behind the broadcast solution to Remote ID. Haven't commented yet on the FAA's Remote ID NPRM? Comments close on March 2—get help crafting your comment in our user-friendly guide.
  11. The drone industry has had many firsts over the last few years. Some of these have to do with breaking records, like longest flight times or heaviest loads carried, and some have been regulatory firsts, like getting FAA permission to fly BVLOS with a heavy drone or to make deliveries. But the outbreak of the coronavirus (also called the Wuhan virus, for the Chinese city where it started) is one of the first times we’ve seen drones used as a tool for fighting the spread of infectious disease on a large scale. Read today's article to see all the ways that drones are currently being used in China to try and contain the virus.
  12. News broke recently that the Department of the Interior (DOI) plans to keep its drones grounded due to security concerns, joining the growing list of federal entities that don’t trust Chinese drones, and specifically DJI drones. But not all federal agencies agree with a blanket ban. Some say that a blanket ban of Chinese drones would be naive, and would not reflect the current reality of the drone landscape. And yet legislation that would prevent U.S. federal agencies from buying Chinese drones has already been proposed by members of congress (though not made into law). Read today's article to learn more about the ongoing federal debate about whether to ban Chinese drones, and for a timeline highlighting the different moments in the DJI privacy story, starting with the U.S. Army's ban of DJI drones back in 2017.
  13. As the FAA’s Remote ID NPRM continues to collect public comments—there are 12,025 at the moment of writing this post—another recent NPRM from the FAA that proposes a rule for certifying drones for various types of operations, including delivery, has slid under the radar. This newer NPRM was issued on Monday, February 3, and has only garnered 11 comments as of writing this post—but it could be a game changer for the drone industry. Read today's article to learn more about the new drone certification NPRM, and how it could help create a new path for companies to get permission to conduct drone deliveries.
  14. According to industry rumors, after Autel unveiled the EVO II at CES 2020 last month DJI pushed back its launch date for the Mavic 3—which had been slated for the end of January—so that personnel could improve its specs to help it compete better against the EVO II. But now it looks like the EVO II may not hit the shelves until some time in March, if not later. Read today's article to learn more about the delayed release of the EVO II, and chime in here to share your thoughts on the delay.
  15. Wondering if drone deliveries will ever become a reality in the U.S.? Wonder no more—drone deliveries are now an everyday occurrence for the residents of Christiansburg, VA, where Alphabet Inc.’s Wing Aviation has a program fully up and running. Items being delivered include gifts, snacks, over-the-counter healthcare products, and customized packages. Read today's article to learn more about Wing's fully operational drone delivery program in Christiansburg, including details on how Wing got FAA approval to launch a drone delivery program in the first place.