Zacc Dukowitz

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Everything posted by Zacc Dukowitz

  1. InterDrone is one of the biggest conferences in the world devoted only to drones, and we’ve been going for years. Due to the pandemic, the event has been moved to an online format this year, which means we’ll be attending virtually instead of in person. But there will still be lots of opportunities to network at the event, and that’s what we’re going to cover in this article. Although business has lagged in many sectors due to the pandemic, there still seem to be good job prospects in the drone industry—and if you’re one of the people looking for a drone-related job, Career
  2. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently received a blanket BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) waiver to fly Skydio drones for bridge inspections anywhere in the state. Skydio’s Brendan Groves is calling the waiver the first “true BVLOS” waiver granted by the FAA, since all prior BVLOS waivers have required the use of a visual observer and expensive external technology, such as radar, to help detect and avoid manned aircraft in the area. This kind of permission was made possible due to the sophisticated autonomous capabilities of Skydio drones, wh
  3. DRONERESPONDERS and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) recently announced a partnership to help standardize training for the use of drones in public safety and emergency service applications. The new effort is called the Public Safety UAS Standardized Training Initiative (STI) and it will be administered solely by DRONERESPONDERS personnel for the public safety sector. This new collaboration will meet a rapidly growing demand in the U.S. for public safety UAS training—since the Part 107 rules were first launched in 2016, over 1,500 public safety agencies have adop
  4. Women and Drones just announced their 2020 Women to Watch honorees, as well as the winners of their annual global awards. One thing you notice right away when scanning the 2020 Women to Watch winners is how international the list is. This award is truly global, with winners from all over the world—honorees this year hail from the U.S., Brazil, Australia, and Switzerland. This year’s global award winners are also an international group—as the name makes clear—with winners based in Kenya, the U.S., and Switzerland. Read today's post to learn more about the four Women to Watch for
  5. AUVSI’s annual XPONENTIAL conference starts next Monday, October 5, and runs through Thursday, October 8. There are several reasons to consider attending this year, including the six co-located events happening alongside the conference, the XCELLENCE Awards, and AUVSI’s creative approach to organizing its educational tracks, which uses a cross-pollination approach to encourage dialogue across industries. But as the conference approaches, one of the things that has us most excited is the keynote lineup—keep reading to learn more about all of the keynote speakers on deck for next week’
  6. Last year the state of North Dakota invested $33 million in UAS infrastructure, with the goal of building a widespread BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) network within the state. The investment is starting to pay off. Last week the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), headquartered in Grand Forks, ND, announced that it is beginning to implement part of the BVLOS network. The initial launch of the network will take place in the areas surrounding Williston and Watford City and Williston, in western North Dakota. This site was chosen for the existing state and local gove
  7. Australia-based drone technology company Dendra Systems recently raised $10 million in a Series A fundraising round. $10 million is a solid first round of fundraising. The amount is even more impressive when you consider that Dendra Systems’ work is focused on saving the environment with drones. While companies like Airseed have developed technology that allows drones to fire seeds from the air to reduce the costs of reforestation, Dendra Systems’ work goes beyond just replanting and considers the big picture of what’s required to rehabilitate an entire ecosystem. Read toda
  8. AUVSI ‘s annual XPONENTIAL conference is less than a month away—the conference will run from October 5 through October 8—and it’s stacking up to be a great event. In a recent article we took a close look at the six co-located events happening during XPONENTIAL 2020. These are events happening at the same time as the conference, which allow attendees to take a deep dive into topics of interest. DRONERESPONDERS is one of the co-located event hosts, offering a deep dive into using drones for public safety applications. Check out the article to see the full list of co-located events
  9. Drones typically orient themselves using GPS, which helps keep them stable while in flight, allowing pilots to hover and to make sure they don’t fly above the 400-foot ceiling required by the FAA’s Part 107 rules. But if you’re flying in a mine—or in a variety of other scenarios, as we’ll cover below—a GPS signal may simply not be available. Read this recent article to learn more about GPS-denied drones, and for a list of companies currently working to develop drone technology that allows you to fly without GPS.
  10. Agreed with both of you @BuddyFriendly and @Cajun, the logistics still have to be figured out (Remote ID will help but that is really just about accountability, not dealing w/ the busy skies scenario BuddyFriendly is talking about). And Cajun, agreed that the math kind of seems dubious. It is really telling that Amazon isn't launching a delivery program right away after getting approval, and that the two other companies w/ approval haven't scaled aggressively. Drone delivery is fascinating, in my opinion, but it may never actually happen.
  11. @Extraterrestrial DJI is currently only banned from use at certain federal agencies right now, including the Army and the Dep't of the Interior. It looks like a blanket ban for all federal agencies will come in the form of the American Security Drone Act (ASDA) when it passes, which it probably will. It will also apply to grants provided to local entities, like police departments, although police departments can buy whatever they want with their budgets otherwise. If you're interested in learning more about the ASDA this article I wrote a little while back covers some common misconception
  12. Love the videos @Av8Chuck! You're right, 2018 was in Denver—it's the only one I've been able to attend, remember it well.
  13. This is one of the coolest drone stories we've gotten to write in a while. A video released today by Flyability highlights an expedition the company helped make to Greenland accompanied by world-renowned researchers and explorers. The goal of the expedition was to study the ice shafts and caves in the area, which are some of the deepest in the world, and the Elios presented an ideal tool for researchers because it was made for tough missions Read today's article to learn more about Flyability's Greenland mission and how researchers achieved their goals using the Elios.
  14. Canadian company NextGen Environment Research Inc. has been using senseFly’s eBee Plus to track hazards on the ice at Lake Winnipeg. The project is part of the Canadian Space Agencies Earth Observation Applications Development Program (EODAP), whose overall goal is to increase awareness about the growing dangers of ice travel. Historically, the ice on Lake Winnipeg is so thick that you could travel across it without any issues. But climate change has steadily reduced the level of ice on the lake, with studies projecting that the ice mass will melt significantly in the near futur
  15. Big news on the drone delivery front—the FAA recently issued Amazon Prime Air a Part 135 certificate for drone delivery, making it the third company in the U.S. to have official FAA approval for conducting drone deliveries in the U.S. Prime Air joins Alphabet's Wing and UPS' Flight Forward in receiving this coveted certification, allowing it to operate as a drone airline. Despite getting the Part 135, Amazon has yet to share specific plans for when it will launch drone delivery services, saying only that it plans to do more testing. Read this article to learn more about Pr
  16. AUVSI’s annual XPONENTIAL conference is one of the biggest events in the drone industry, and it’s right around the corner. From what we’ve seen, XPONENTIAL 2020 is stacking up to be one of the best so far. The educational tracks are diverse and exciting, the keynote lineup is impressive, and the exhibition hall is going to be packed (virtually, of course—the conference will be hosting virtual technology pavilions this year). But one of our favorite parts of XPONENTIAL is the AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards, which are given out every year in three categories—Technology & Innovat
  17. Thanks so much @Dronez for the catch, I really appreciate it. I'll update that post soon!
  18. I hear you @JFD49er, the regulatory scene here in the U.S. can be frustrating, especially when local laws basically make it impossible to fly. And sometimes those local laws aren't even technically legal, since the FAA controls the NAS—but, like your county did, they *can* legislate about where you can take off/land even though they can't legislate what happens in the air. Hang in there. I do think the FAA is—slowly—moving forward. Hopefully the results from the UAS IPP, which is wrapping up next month, may point the way toward reconciling federal/local concerns so we can actually fly.
  19. The Department of Defense (DOD) recently released a list of five drones that have been approved for use at federal agencies. The list was created by the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which has been testing the drones over the last 18 months. Here are the drones approved by the DIU: Altavian’s M440 Ion Parrot’s ANAFI USA Skydio’s X2-D Teal Drones’ Golden Eagle Vantage Robotics’ Vesper Read our recent article to learn more about the DIU's in-depth testing of these 5 drones and what the future might look like for drones in the U
  20. According to a new report from DroneAnalyst called Historical Performance of the American UAS Industry, the commercial drone fleet in the U.S. grew by 39% from 2018 to 2019. Things did not go nearly as well on the consumer side of things, with the consumer drone fleet only growing by 6%, although the industry hit a milestone with a record 1,000,000+ drone pilots registered by the FAA. DroneAnalyst’s new report was created from data shared by the FAA in its annual Aerospace Forecast, a report that updates key metrics from the last year and makes forecasts for the next 20 years fo
  21. As a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, Will Reckling has been using drones to study potentially harmful algal blooms. Right now, drones are helping Reckling in his algal research by: Mapping waterways so he can find algal blooms Collecting water samples that contain algal blooms The second application—using a drone to collect algal blooms—has been made possible by a unique water collection device Reckling created just for his research. Read today's article to learn more about how Reckling uses drones in his research, or comment below with other
  22. Well folks, it’s official—the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) will end in October. We first heard about the IPP ending from Chris Korody of the Drone Business Center. We reached out to the FAA for confirmation and they told us that yes, after the three year period mandated by the original IPP memorandum issued by the White House, the program would be coming to a close. But when we read the memorandum, we noticed that it doesn’t require the program to end. Rather, it states: “The Program shall terminate 3 years from the date of this memorandum, unless extended by the Secretar