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How AI Will Help Radar Detect Tiny Drones 3 Kilometers Away - Defense One
via Brian Daly, AT&T

"AESA radars, which steer its multiple radar beams electronically instead of using physical gimbals, have been around for years. The real innovation lies in training software to detect objects, including objects as small as DJI’s popular Mavic drones, in radar imagery. But there’s very little imagery data to train a machine learning algorithm on how to see something that small. What’s needed is a dataset of extremely small modulations in the echoes of radar signals. The researchers used a GAN to turn a small bit of available training data into an abundance."
AI  radar  drones  UAS 
11 weeks ago by pierredv
HK$1 million in damage caused by GPS jamming that caused 46 drones to plummet during Hong Kong show | South China Morning Post, Oct 2019
Via Dale
"The GPS jamming that caused 46 drones to plummet during a display over Victoria Harbour during the weekend caused at least HK$1 million (US$127,500) in damage, according to a senior official from the Hong Kong Tourism Board."

"... the interference was likely to have been caused by someone standing by the harbour and pointing a device towards the drones, which landed on the water when they detected a signal interruption.

The distance from the water to the drone show suggested the jammer used on Saturday was a powerful device."
SouthChinaMorningPost  HongKong  drones  UAV  GPS  jamming 
april 2019 by pierredv
Echodyne gets OK to conduct drone detection at Super Bowl | FierceWireless Jan 2019
The FCC has given Echodyne the go-ahead to operate two low powered fixed radar transmitters in the immediate vicinity of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta during Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.

The radars are intended to be used as part of a drone detection system that will be installed at the perimeter of the stadium to alert security personnel, including federal officers, of any unidentified drone activity during the big game, according to material the company submitted to the FCC.
FierceWireless  FCC  Echodyne  drones  detection  radar 
january 2019 by pierredv
The US Army is making a laser-powered drone that can fly indefinitely | New Scientist Sep 2018
"THE US Army is taking wireless recharging to new heights, by using lasers to power small drones in mid-air."

"Now the US Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center based in Maryland is developing a power beaming system with a combination of lasers and efficient photovoltaic cells.

The aim is to provide enough power from 500 metres away to keep a drone patrolling indefinitely above a base, or flying over a convoy for its entire route. The system works by firing laser light at photovoltaic cells on the drone, which then converts the light into electricity."
NewScientist  drones  UAV  USArmy 
january 2019 by pierredv
Expert Commentary: The Dark Side of Detect and Avoid - Inside Unmanned Systems, Mar 2018
"Your task is to penetrate U.S. air surveillance networks, slip drones into American airspace and spy on critical infrastructure like dams, power plants, factories, etc. "

"EASY WAY NO. 1: Simply have 3PLA, the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Department—China’s equivalent to the U.S. NSA. hack into the databases of the NASA-designed future Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system to get fine-grained ground based DAA (GBDAA) data from the hundreds of radars that will be connected to UTM.... find out which companies are flying near your targets of interest, ... and then get 3PLA to hack into the target’s imagery servers. "

"EASY WAY NO. 2: This option is a bit more expensive, but gives you more control over the intelligence gathered. You do all the steps from easy way No. 1, but instead of just waiting, you take over their drone and gather your own imagery"

"EASY WAY NO. 3: Put your own data links on buildings near targets and take over drones to do your spying. A drawback to easy way No. 2 is that cell phone company cyber security is actually quite good, making it tough to hack into their network and fly them from China directly. Easy way No. 3 gets around cell phone company security by simply taking direct control of unwitting American drones. ... There’s a chance that upcoming airworthiness standards for beyond line of sight (BLOS) drone operations will err on the side of reliability and toss security out the window ... links that don’t ask too many questions when lost also don’t care if a slightly higher powered antenna takes over from their original ground station and gives their drone orders for a bit."

"EASY WAY NO. 4 (THIS SHOULD PROBABLY BE CALLED DEAD EASY WAY NO. 1): Start your own drone critical infrastructure inspection front company and make money while you spy!"

"The cell phone companies already have impressive cyber security for the relay portion of the network; your cell phone calls are very secure while they’re being relayed between cell towers. The problem remains with the drone data links themselves. The FAA simply must write drone command and communications standards that give link reliability and security equal footing."

"The issue will be the sheer volume of vetting required to manage the same level of security screening for the unmanned aviation business community."
drones  UAS  UAV  cybersecurity  hacking  UTM  spectrum  reliability 
october 2018 by pierredv
LeClairRyan | The FAA Reauthorization Act: What is in it and what does it mean for you? Oct 2018
Mark Dombroff, Mark McKinnon, and special guest panelist Jim Williams of JHW Unmanned Solutions LLC will unpack the hundreds of pages of legislation, explain what it means for the aviation industry, and explore its impact on the following areas:

• Integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System,
• Changes to aircraft certification requirements and procedures,
• The FAA’s ongoing restructuring efforts,
• Revisions to rest and duty rules for flight crews,
• Modifications to the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP),
• Efforts to strengthen cybersecurity,
• New studies and regulations affecting privacy,
• Changes to passenger rights,
• Funding for the Airport Improvement Program,
• Changes to the regulation of model aircraft.
LeClairRyan  UAS  UAV  drones  legislation  presentations 
october 2018 by pierredv
6 Great Uses for Contruction Drones - Dronethusiast
Uses For Drones in Construction Projects
= Drone For Surveying
= Inspection: "compare the model of the existing site with the design file, and the final product was a very useful heat map that showed the external contractor’s progress in amazing detail"
= Showing Clients the Progress
= Monitoring Job Sites
= Inspecting Structures - deterioration
= Better Safety Records - "When you can use drone imaging to show erection sequences, crane locations, and perimeter security like fencing, you can view them repeatedly to pinpoint where projects begin to get congested, and even predict where hazards could pop up"
= Keeping the Project On-track, On-Budget
drones  construction  UAS  UAV 
october 2018 by pierredv
FAA clears DJI and other drone companies to fly near airports - Engadget Oct 2018
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given nine companies permission to fly in controlled airspace, such as airports, as part of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) initiative. One of those nine companies is DJI, along with Aeronyde, Airbus, AiRXOS, Altitude Angel, Converge, KittyHawk, UASidekick and Unifly. It doesn't mean operators can fly those brands' drones over airports anytime they want, though -- it only means that professional drone pilots can now get authorization to enter controlled airspace in near-real time instead of waiting for months.

A pilot that's going to use a drone to conduct an inspection, capture photos and videos or herd birds away from airports, for instance, can now send their applications to fly in controlled airspace to LAANC
Engadget  drones  FAA  LAANC  DJI  UAV  UAS 
october 2018 by pierredv
Why The Use Of Drones Still Faces Big Regulatory Hurdles - Forbes Sep 2018
"While the debate over drone regulation is in its early stages, there’s little doubt there will be a Grand Canyon-size gap between what industry would like in certification standards and what the FAA and other regulators are willing to approve.
In the end, a new category of air operator may emerge — companies that are certified and approved to operate larger drones… And that transition — from an open-access system of ownership and operation to one with similar controls and barriers to entry as aviation and aerospace manufacturing — may be tumultuous as companies vie for what is currently an elusive standard of certification."
Forbes  drones  UAS  regulation  FAA 
september 2018 by pierredv
Drones and Frequencies to Fly on - ECC Newsletter August 2018
" CEPT held a Workshop on ‘spectrum for drones – UAS’ in sunny Copenhagen on 29-30 May 2018. The focus of the workshop was on drones which fly in circumstances where they do not need communications with air traffic control."

"The workshop heard from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which has new draft regulations before the EU Commission. The approach includes three categories of operations (Open, Specific and Certified) in an operation centric approach."

"These acts are expected to be published by the end of 2018 or in early 2019. They will be complemented by related standardisation initiatives."

"When it comes to UAS, frequencies are used in a number of ways: for command and control (CC) and identification, as well as for payload transmissions (e.g. on-board cameras sending information to the ground). Communications solutions are also needed for drones-to-drones, drones-to-infrastructure and for radar sensors and optical sensors on board the drones. In addition, they are needed for distribution of positioning information in order to avoid collisions, geo-awareness about fly zone restrictions such as around airports, sensitive facilities and locations, and drones traffic management."

"In the specific category, the basic principle is that a UAS operation, before being conducted, must be approved on the basis of a risk assessment."

"It was agreed at the workshop that, in the future, spectrum harmonisation may indeed be needed in areas of e-identification, geo-awareness and anti-collision. The various ideas for the technical solutions have, however, not converged in standardisation, while the use of several technologies may even provide a potentially safer approach using data fusion. Hence, the precise impact and needs for new frequency opportunities for drones/UAS is not yet clear."

"In February 2018, the ECC published ECC Report 268 on the technical and regulatory aspects and the needs for spectrum regulation when it comes to drones."
ECC  UAS  drones  spectrum  CEPT  workshop  risk-assessment 
september 2018 by pierredv
FAA to Hold First Drone Advisory Meeting Since Recharter, Chairman Resignation - Avionics, Jul 2018
"The FAA Drone Advisory Committee will host its first meeting since rechartering Tuesday at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. In mid-June, the FAA's advisory committee that provides advice on key unmanned aircraft system (UAS) integration issues was reestablished with a designated federal officer providing administrative support. The meeting comes after the group has faced a leadership shakeup and lawsuit."

"n the committee's new charter order, FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell said meeting records and minutes will be available to the public subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Historically, while the main committee meetings had been open to the public, task group meetings were not."
Avionics  aviation  UAS  drones  FACA 
july 2018 by pierredv
National Academies Report Rips FAA’s Risk-Averse Regulatory Culture 
What the National Academies report is really saying here is that there can be no reward without some risk. This is something I have spent a great deal of time writing about in my last book, a recent book chapter, and various other essays and journal articles over the past 25 years.
TechLiberationFront  Adam-Thierer  risk  NationalAcademies  FAA  drones 
july 2018 by pierredv
Stray drones at Dubai International prove costly | CNN Travel, June 2018
the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has implemented Skytrax, a system that monitors domestically registered drones to prevent shutdowns.
CNN  drones  UAS  aviation 
june 2018 by pierredv
Drone interference disrupts UAV event at Xian City Wall - May 2018
"Fascinating story from the Beijing News about an event using UAVs that went awry at Xian City wall this May. The article is in Chinese - you'll need to translate it using google or similar - but it appears the event was using over 1000 drones, some of which experienced directional RF interference which caused some of the drones to stop working

Link to the article is here: http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2018/05/06/485895.html

Also a video of the event can be found here:-

https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_2114248"
drones  UAS  Interference 
may 2018 by pierredv
Military unmanned aircraft prove vulnerable to GPS jamming - Military & Aerospace Electronics - Apr 2018
According to American defense officials, the Russian military is deploying a weaponized form of GPS jamming that is effectively blocking some U.S. unmanned aircraft operations over Syria - and is even affecting drones equipped with anti-jamming technology
Russia  GPS  UAS  jamming  drones 
april 2018 by pierredv
Military Drones Prove Vulnerable to GPS Jamming - Apr 2018
"Maritime security experts have warned for years about the hazards that simple GPS jamming methods could pose to merchant shipping. According to American defense officials, the Russian military is deploying a weaponized form of GPS jamming that is effectively blocking some U.S. drone aircraft operations over Syria - and is even affecting drones equipped with anti-jamming technology. As more and more operators contemplate the deployment of autonomous vessels and aircraft in the maritime space, the vulnerability of high-specification military hardware to GPS jamming may pose a cautionary tale. "
GPS  GNSS  jamming  drones  marine  shipping  military  warfare  Russia  Syria 
april 2018 by pierredv
Editor’s Corner—Private wireless networks are quietly becoming a thing | FierceWireless Apr 2018
"For years now, a number of wireless players have been promising that there is demand among enterprises and others for private wireless networks. The argument is that utilities, cities, manufacturing companies and others have specific applications that can’t or shouldn’t run over public wireless networks, and so they will need to build their own networks—and will spend money to do it."

Examples:
Port of Los Angeles
GE
Union Pacific Railroad

"Daniels said PACI is one of only a handful of companies that has obtained authorization from the FAA to conduct “non line of sight” flying, largely due to the company’s use of 700 MHz spectrum that won’t suffer from interference from other users. That means that PACI’s pilots will be able to install cameras on their drones and fly the drones by watching the real-time video (transmitted over PACI’s 700 MHz network) from the cameras."
FierceWireless  IoT  700MHz  drones  UAV  UAS  spectrum-leasing  spectrum-secondary-market  railroads 
april 2018 by pierredv
On the impact of inter-UAV communications interference in the 2.4 GHz band - IEEE Conference Publication
Abstract:
As the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) increases, protocols to avoid collisions between them, and to achieve collaboration through swarm-based configurations, are receiving more attention by the research community. In this work we study the performance of communication links between drones in the 2.4 GHz wireless band, where a high interference from the radio control unit is expected. We performed a large set of experimental tests, and the results demonstrate that the use of the WiFi 2.4 GHz band for any application is not compatible with overwhelming majority of remote controls working in the same frequency band. Moreover, the distance between drones, the data packet size, and the engines speed are also factors affecting the communications link quality.
IEEE  UAS  UAV  drones  interference  unlicensed  2.4GHz 
april 2018 by pierredv
LTE in the sky: trading off propagation benefits with interference costs for aerial nodes - IEEE Comm Mag, May 2016
Abstract:
The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles has exploded over the last few years, urgently demanding solutions to transfer large amounts of data from the UAV to the ground. Conversely, a control channel to the UAV is desired, in order to safely operate these vehicles remotely. This article analyzes the use of LTE for realizing this downlink data and uplink control. By means of measurements and simulations, we study the impact of interference and path loss when transmitting data to and from the UAV. Two scenarios are considered in which UAVs act as either base stations transmitting in downlink or UEs transmitting in uplink, and their impact on the respective downlink and uplink performance of an LTE ground network is analyzed. Both measurements and simulations are used to quantify such impact for a range of scenarios with varying altitude, distance from the base station, or UAV density. The measurement sets show that signal-to-interference ratio decreases up to 7 dB for UAVs at 150 m compared to ground users. Simulation results show that a UAV density of 10/km2 gives an average degradation of the signal-to-interference ratio of more than 6 dB. It is concluded that interference is going to be a major limiting factor when LTE enabled UAVs are introduced, and that strong technical solutions will have to be found.
IEEE-CommMag  IEEE  LTE  UAS  drones  interference  UAV 
april 2018 by pierredv
Raytheon Downs UAVs with High-Power Microwaves and Lasers | 2018-03-22 | Microwave Journal
A high-power microwave and laser system developed by Raytheon downed 45 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) during a U.S. Army exercise at Fort Sill, Okla.

Raytheon's high-power microwave system engaged multiple UAV swarms, downing 33 drones, two and three at a time. The high energy laser (HEL) component identified, tracked, engaged and killed 12 airborne, maneuvering Class I and II UAVs and destroyed six stationary mortar projectiles. The solid-state laser system was mounted on a dune buggy.
MicrowaveJournal  drones  counter-measures  UAS  UAV  Raytheon 
march 2018 by pierredv
SDR's Hard Side Shown in DARPA Hackfest | EE Times Mar 2018
"During the hackfest, we saw teams struggle to master the combination of SDR and UAV technology against the background of real-world phenomenon. Teams found that no matter how much FOSS is applied, they still had to confront a diversity of challenges, among them uncertainty and latency in moving the UAVs, computational limitations of embedded systems, different processor capabilities, and various issues with radio signals.

Teams experienced such challenges throughout the event. For example, the indoor environment by the range itself fluctuated as the doors opened and closed, or as people moved around. That led to ugly radio frequency propagation issues from the concrete walls that surrounded the radios. Using an automatic system for power control or executing similar adaptive behaviors could have helped overcome the environmental changes."
SDR  EETimes  DARPA  UAS  drones 
march 2018 by pierredv
Drones keep entering no-fly zones over Washington, raising security concerns - The Washington Post Jan 2018
"Drones inhabit a curious space in U.S. law, making them particularly difficult to regulate. They have been deemed “aircraft,” just like a Boeing 787, so they can’t simply be knocked from the sky. Sometimes dubbed “flying laptops,” they also are covered by laws against wiretapping and computer hacking. And most drones are categorized as “model aircraft,” but Congress has said the Federal Aviation Administration generally can’t issue regulations covering those."
WashingtonPost  drones  regulation 
january 2018 by pierredv
Based On Group's Recommendations On How To Remotely ID And Track | Aviation Week Dec 2017
"The FAA will craft a proposed regulation from the recommendations of a broad-based advisory group that met this summer to consider ways to remotely identify and track drones. However, the group ultimately could not agree on a weight or capability threshold that would trigger the tracking requirement. The group identified several technologies that small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) could use to transmit their positions, either by direct broadcast for local reception or through a network.

The agency released the final report of its UAS Identification and Tracking aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) on Dec. 19. "

"The process generated eight proposals for technology alternatives, which fell into two broad categories as either direct-broadcast or “network-publishing” solutions for position reporting."
AviationWeek  drones  UAS  FAA  identification 
january 2018 by pierredv
FCC Orders Lumenier To Pay FCC $180k For Non-compliant Transmitters - UASweekly.com, Dec 2017
"In an Order released on December 19, the FCC explained that Lumenier Holdco LLC (formerly known as FPV Manuals LLC) was advertising and marketing uncertified AV transmitters capable of operating on both amateur and non-amateur frequencies, including bands reserved for federal government use. Some of the transmitters also exceeded the 1-W power limit for Amateur Radio transmitters used on model craft, the FCC said"
FCC  EB  Enforcement-Bureau  drones  interference  ARRL 
january 2018 by pierredv
Drones More Dangerous Than Birds, FAA Collision Study Says | Aviation Week Nov 2017
The stiff structures and concentrated masses of batteries and cameras on small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will inflict more damage to aircraft structures than flexible birds, says the study by a consortium of universities under the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (Assure).
AviationWeek  drones  FAA  UAS  collision 
november 2017 by pierredv
FAA Releases 2016 to 2036 Aerospace Forecast, March 2016
A key portion of the forecast focuses on projections for the growth in the use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones. The FAA estimates small, hobbyist UAS purchases may grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020.  Sales of UAS for commercial purposes are expected to grow from 600,000 in 2016 to 2.7 million by 2020.  Combined total hobbyist and commercial UAS sales are expected to rise from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020.
FAA  trends  forecast  drones  UAV 
november 2017 by pierredv
British zapper destroys ISIS drones in Iraq and Syria | Daily Mail Online, Oct 2017
A British 'zapper' has helped American troops destroy at least 500 ISIS drones on the frontline in Iraq and Syria, it has emerged.

The zapper - a £1.5million Anti-UAV Defence System technology - can detect and jam drone signals, essentially taking control over the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the ability to send it crashing to the ground. 
DailyMail  ISIS  drones  jamming  UAV 
november 2017 by pierredv
Sprint tests flying Magic Box | FierceWireless, Sep 2017
"Magic Box, which is given free to Sprint customers who qualify, has proven to be a very useful product to get coverage where it’s needed, according to Günther Ottendorfer, COO of technology at Sprint. Then Sprint came up with another idea: use it for certain applications to provide coverage from the air."

"The aerial small cell is designed to be a rapidly deployable solution capable of extending Sprint’s 2.5 GHz data service initially up to 10 square miles. It can be used after natural disasters or for special events, like sports or concerts."
Sprint  drones  cellular  small-cells 
october 2017 by pierredv
Converge
via Brad Bernthal -- I asked about strong companies for the 3D Wireless conference, he replied "Converge from the 2016 Techstars class is on point"

About: "Converge was founded by two MIT graduates who are recognized leaders in the drone industry. They created the first app for flying a drone with a smartphone in 2008. Converge’s apps have been used on three separate continents, and at a variety of commercial, critical infrastructure, and residential sites. Converge’s team has over twenty five years of experience in the drone industry and has worked with over fifteen different drones. In 2016, Converge was selected to be part of the Techstars accelerator program, and was the first drone investment made by Techstars. Converge is backed by Samsung Next, Kima Ventures, Techstars Ventures and other amazing investors."
drones  UAS  Techstars 
september 2017 by pierredv
Commercial Fixed Wing Drone | UAV Drones | Unmanned Aircraft Systems
via Dale Hatfield
"At UASUSA we believe unmanned aircraft systems are civil servants in the air. With a different pedigree and no resemblance to the well-known military drone, UASUSA develops and sells civilian Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) that are helping governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations resolve some of society’s biggest commercial, environmental, and scientific challenges. "
drones  UAS  UAV  Boulder 
september 2017 by pierredv
Agribotix | Agricultural Intelligence. Drone Enabled.
via Brad Bernthal, Sep 2017, for conference
"Agribotix is the agricultural intelligence company that provides fully supported, user-friendly, drone-enabled technologies and services developed exclusively for agriculture."
Boulder  UAS  drones  agriculture 
september 2017 by pierredv
New swarming drone technology could help find lost hikers, study wildlife | CU Boulder Today | University of Colorado Boulder
"CU Boulder researchers have developed an advanced drone “swarming” technology that allows a single operator to control multiple unmanned aircraft for a variety of tasks, which could include searching for lost hikers or studying wildlife."

"The CU research team is part of the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing (IRISS) initiative within the CU Boulder Grand Challenge. . . .
IRISS includes a multi-disciplinary team that leads the design, development and deployment of novel remote and on-site sensing systems that use the mobility of aerospace systems to aid in data collection from the ground, atmosphere and space. "
CU-Boulder  drones  rescue  UAV  IRISS 
september 2017 by pierredv
New AGI Business to Focus on UAS Traffic Management for BVLOS - Unmanned Aerial Online, Jul 2016
"Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) – a developer of commercial modeling and analysis software for land, sea, air and space systems – has established a new business unit, SKYVUE LLC, which will deliver unmanned aircraft system (UAS) traffic management (UTM) software services for operations taking place beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). . . . The business will use AGI’s commercial situational awareness technology to provide air navigation services such as airspace management, real-time flight monitoring and deconfliction."
UAS  UTM  AGI  drones  traffic-management 
september 2017 by pierredv
Service Academies Swarm Challenge Pushes the Boundaries of Autonomous Swarm Capabilities, May 2017
"U.S. Naval Academy wins three-day tournament over U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy in experiment designed to develop innovative tactics for large groups of unmanned aerial vehicles"

“The teams absolutely achieved their goal for this event by demonstrating 25-on-25 mixed swarms of fixed-wing and quad-rotor aircraft conducting swarm-on-swarm battles,” said Timothy Chung, the DARPA program manager leading the research effort. “The Cadets and Midshipmen developed innovative tactics for these highly autonomous swarms and demonstrated those tactics in live-fly experiments. It was a phenomenal success.”
Darpa  drones 
august 2017 by pierredv
TEKEVER, ViaSat Enter Strategic Alliance to Expand the Civilian Use of Drones with Advanced Satellite Communications | ViaSat, June 2015
"The TEKEVER Group, a leading Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) manufacturer, and ViaSat, an innovator in broadband and communication technologies and services, have announced a strategic alliance to expand the civilian use of drones with advanced satellite communications. This joint collaboration will bring ViaSat’s communication technologies onto TEKEVER’s drone platforms to push the boundaries of UAS range in civilian Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) applications."
TEKEVER  ViaSat  satellite  press-release  drones  UAS 
august 2017 by pierredv
USAF Wants Authority To Down Drones After F-22 Near Miss | Defense content from Aviation Week
"As drone technology becomes cheaper and more commercially available, the U.S. Air Force is increasingly worried about the threats posed by small UAS such as quadcopters. But while the service is developing the tools to defend against these systems—from jamming their electronics to shooting them down—it lacks the legal authority to use them, says Gen. James Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command."

"Dealing with commercial drones near protected facilities is a complicated legal issue. The FAA is responsible for all U.S. airspace, and has already established no-fly zones over every U.S. military base so any drone flight there is illegal. But determining when it is OK for the military to disable or destroy UAS that wander into its facilities is still something of a gray area. Outside the Pentagon and FAA, multiple government agencies are involved, including the Department of Homeland Security and even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which mandates that only government agencies can use jamming against drones."
USAF  drones  UAS  AviationWeek  enforcement  Interference 
july 2017 by pierredv
Skyward aims to be the Verizon of drone services | FierceWireless Jul 2017
"It’s still early in the integration process—Verizon just acquired Skyward in February—but the drone-as-a-service company is not short on aspirations.

"Founded in 2012, the Portland, Oregon-based company wants to be the Verizon of drone services, so to speak, a goal it’s hoping to attain in part by participating in the process of actually creating rules for the road in the sky."

"Skyward doesn’t make drones, but its services enable enterprises to safely deploy drones at scale. The company employs a team of professional pilots and computer scientists who created the platform that serves various industries, including agriculture, construction, energy, mining, retail and sports."
Verizon  Skyward  drones  UAS  FierceWireless 
july 2017 by pierredv
Europe’s Complex UAV Studies Delivering Tangible Results | Aviation Week Jun 2017
"Europe’s reliance on fleets of U.S. and Israeli-produced unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has been a source of irritation for European aerospace over the last decade.

Despite billions of euros being spent across the continent to generate the technology to meet expected military needs, governments have flowed their money for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements into programs such as the U.S. Reaper or the Israeli Heron.

But change is in the air, with a number of key studies defining the future of Europe’s unmanned military capabilities now reaching maturity."
AviationWeek  drones  UAS  Europe 
june 2017 by pierredv
Why not auction off low-altitude airspace for exclusive use?
"Tech-optimists predict that drones and small aircraft may soon crowd US skies. An FAA administrator predicted that by 2020 tens of thousands of drones would be in US airspace at any one time. Further, over a dozen companies, including Uber, are building vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft that could one day shuttle people point-to-point in urban areas. Today, low-altitude airspace use is episodic (helicopters, ultralights, drones) and with such light use, the low-altitude airspace is shared on an ad hoc basis with little air traffic management. Coordinating thousands of aircraft in low-altitude flight, however, demands a new regulatory framework.

Why not auction off low-altitude airspace for exclusive use?"

JP notes:

There's an intriguing analogy between low vs. high altitude airspace, and licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum. Both distinctions are underpinned by different collision risk levels.

Given the experience in spectrum, I'm not sanguine about the prospects of secondary markets and subleasing.

A more fundamental objection might be exclusion. Unlike spectrum, one can't have parallel equivalent parcels in the same geographical area. If Amazon controlled a parcel, it's unlikely that it would allow Wal-Mart to use it. Airspace parcels seem to have natural monopoly characteristics that radio frequency blocks don't.
TechnologyLiberationFront  Brent-Skorup  drones  auctions  spectrum-auctions  UAS 
june 2017 by pierredv
Qualcomm Technologies releases LTE drone trial results | Qualcomm May 2017
"Today, we are pleased to present the results of the first the first* comprehensive, systematic study of cellular system performance in networks serving low-altitude (400 feet above ground level and below) drones. The analysis supports the viability of 4G LTE commercial mobile networks for drones operating beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) at 400 feet above ground level (AGL) and below."

https://www.qualcomm.com/documents/lte-unmanned-aircraft-systems-trial-report

"testing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as coverage, signal strength, throughput, latency, and mobility under various scenarios on commercial LTE networks."

"The field trial demonstrated that LTE networks can support safe drone operation in real-world environments. Our findings showed that existing commercial cellular networks can provide coverage to drones at low altitudes up to 400 feet AGL. Our test drones also showed seamless handovers between different base stations during flights. "
Qualcomm  drones  UAS  4G  LTE 
june 2017 by pierredv
How drone hobbyist John Taylor fought the FAA and won - Technical.ly DC
"For D.C.-area lawyer John Taylor, it was a sweet resolution to a year-and-a-half-long legal skirmish. But even in victory, Taylor remains uncertain, as it’s possible the FAA moves to temporarily halt a ruling favorable to hobbyists."
drones  UAS  law 
june 2017 by pierredv
Drones—what are they good for? - Economist Technology Quarterly June 2017
"Today’s drones are mostly flying cameras. They are already being put to a wide range of business uses"

Industries discussed
= agriculture
= construction and related industries
= mining and aggregates - supply chain
= "inspection of buildings and other infrastructure, such as pipelines, wind turbines, electrical pylons, solar farms and offshore platforms"

"So the industry has been pursuing the idea of “reality capture”, using technology to measure buildings precisely during construction and track the use of raw materials on site to ensure that everything is going according to plan. Drones are ideally suited to the task. Thousands of aerial photographs are crunched into a 3D site model, accurate to within a few centimetres, called a “point cloud”, which can be compared with the digital model of the building. And safety worries that hamper the use of drones in other fields are kept to a minimum because construction sites are closed areas, workers wear hard hats, and drones fly within line of sight."

"A single drone flight can generate as much as 100 gigabytes of data, says Anil Nanduri of Intel. Airware, which is working with large insurance companies in Europe and America, has developed a system that handles the whole process."
TheEconomist  drones  UAS  commerce 
june 2017 by pierredv
The future of drones depends on regulation, not just technology - Rules & tools - Economist Technical Quarterly, June 2017
"DJI’s drones already support “geo-fencing” using technology provided by Mr McNeal’s company, AirMap. Its database of where drones are and are not allowed to fly is built into the software used to control them, working with satellite positioning to prevent an operator from flying a drone too close to an airport, for example. AirMap’s database can be updated in real time to keep drones away from unexpected events such as fires and other incidents."

"The UTM system will be automatic, with drones filing requests to use particular flight paths with a local data exchange, which then co-ordinates all the movements. “The regulator only sets the rules and defines the exchanges, so it’s a very different way of doing things from air-traffic control,” says Dr Kopardekar."

"By contrast, his firm disables drones by intercepting their control signals and video feeds. Examining the radio traffic to and from a drone makes it possible to determine what type it is, track it and if necessary take it over to disable it or force it to land. Anti-drone systems made by SkySafe, and rivals such as Dedrone and DroneShield, are being evaluated for military and government use and to police airspace around airports, stadiums and prisons (to prevent smuggling of phones, drugs and other items to inmates)."

"Drones will need to be equipped with “sense and avoid” systems and long-range radio to communicate with each other and with the data exchange."
TheEconomist  drones  UAS  regulation  DJI  AirMap 
june 2017 by pierredv
[pdf] UTM: Air Traffic Management for Low-Altitude Drones - NASA
"NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., with
its extensive experience in autonomous systems and air
traffic management, is leading the UTM research in close
collaboration with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in
Edwards, Calif.; NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland;
and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Ames
has a history of conducting research in autonomy-related
topics, and is experienced at developing systems that can
adapt their behavior to environments that are complex, rapidly
changing and incompletely understood"

"NASA’s development and demonstration of technologies for a
possible future UTM system take place during four Technology
Capability Level (TCL) activities"
UTM  UAS  drones  traffic  traffic-management  aviation  factsheet 
june 2017 by pierredv
What can we learn about drone policy from 15 years of research in spectrum sharing? Martin Weiss, June 2017
But what does all of this have to do with drones (or UASs)? First, it seems that airspace is also a highly local phenomenon in that it is crowded in some localities and not in others. Second, it seems that we may want to partition different airspace users. Are three groups enough (as is the case in spectrum)? I’m not sure. But could we imagine a spatial database, like a SAS, to manage air traffic on a local basis? Could we imagine that some firms (e.g., Google or Amazon) may wish to purchase priority rights to certain air corridors?
Martin-Weiss  spectrum-sharing  drones  Medium 
june 2017 by pierredv
D.C. Circuit Strikes Down FAA Registration Rule for Recreational Drones | Global Policy Watch
"On May 19, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a Federal Aviation Administration regulation that required the owners of recreational drones—unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”)—to register with the agency.  The court held that the regulation violated the same law that the FAA had used, in part, to justify the requirement.  The court’s ruling had no effect on a separate registration requirements for drones used in commercial operations."
Covington  drones  UAS  law  FAA 
may 2017 by pierredv
SRG on wireless carrier support for drones: 'No one operator really stood out' | FierceWireless, May 2017
SRG looked at commercial LTE systems from Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to see what their coverage is like for the most basic functions of a drone—command and control (C2). Terrestrial cellular networks are designed to provide coverage from zero to 10 feet above ground, not 400 feet, but the analysts noted that several network operators are touting their network performance for drone coverage and they wanted to see for themselves how well the networks could support unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
FierceWireless  drones  cellular  SRG 
may 2017 by pierredv
Commercial UAS Services Business Launched By Airbus | Aviation Week, May 2017
"Airbus has formed a U.S.-based company, called Airbus Aerial, to bring together commercial satellite and unmanned aircraft remote sensing to provide data collection and image processing services to large and global enterprise customers."

"Airbus Aerial’s initial focus will be on developing new imagery services using information provided by drones, satellites, high-altitude aircraft and other sources. These could include Airbus’s Zephyr high-altitude, long-endurance “pseudo-satellite” unmanned aircraft system (UAS)."
Airbus  UAS  drones  satellite  3D-wireless 
may 2017 by pierredv
Europe proposes new UAV safety rules | ATWOnline May 2017
"The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has launched proposals to regulate the operation of small drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the continent."
Europe  EASA  UAV  UAS  drones 
may 2017 by pierredv
AT&T Labs working to combine drone video footage with artificial intelligence monitoring | FierceWireless
"AT&T Labs is researching ways to take video footage from a drone flying around an AT&T cell tower and use AI to analyze that footage for signs of rust, corrosion or other defects on the tower. The result would save AT&T the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers to do inspections (thanks to the drone), as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers review video from a drone inspecting a tower (thanks to the artificial intelligence)."

"Pregler’s drone team has been looking at ways to use drones to provide cell coverage in areas where the carrier doesn’t currently offer service, or where it needs to provide extra coverage."

"AT&T’s helicopter drone also carries a long tether cable that connects it to a box on the ground."
AT&T  FierceWireless  drones  AI  ML  cellular 
may 2017 by pierredv
Nokia and EE test drones armed with mini mobile base stations to revolutionise rural 4G coverage - Aug 2016
Nokia and EE test putting small cells on drones to provide temporary 4G coverage in hard-to-reach areas.
drones  cellular  4G  Nokia  EE 
april 2017 by pierredv
Whose Drone Was That Anyway? - IEEE Spectrum
"The Chinese company’s proposal attempts to balance the public’s interest in being able to identify who is using a drone at a particular place and time with the privacy interests of the drone’s owner or operator."
drones  privacy  IEEE-Spectrum 
april 2017 by pierredv
Spectrum for drones a key issue for WRC-15 — PolicyTracker, Oct 2014
As interest in drones ("unmanned aircraft systems" or UAS) continues to grow, one big question is what spectrum could be used for their command and control. WRC-15 will consider whether frequency bands allocated to the fixed satellite service (FSS) are suitable for the control and non-payload communications of drones in commercial airspace.
UAS  FSS  WRC-15  drones  CNPC 
april 2017 by pierredv
Islamic State Now Using Off-the-Shelf Drones | Aviation Week March 2017
"The conflicts in Iraq and Syria have seen the rise of a new form of unmanned warfare, the large-scale use of weaponized consumer drones. Islamic State group militants have also built a significant micro-UAV capability, and continue to grow that by leveraging commercial technology."

"Islamic State militants started using drones to film suicide attacks for recruitment videos in 2014 and soon moved to battlefield reconnaissance. A drone video of a Syrian military base was followed by suicide bombings at the base’s weak points. Islamic State drones guide armored truck bombs to their targets; in Mosul they locate targets and help adjust the aim of mortar fire."

"ISIS documents reveal a coordinated drone effort rather than local initiatives. The most common munition is a 40-mm grenade warhead in a finned aerodynamic body, produced in large numbers."
drones  AviationWeek  UAS  UAV  ISIS 
march 2017 by pierredv
P3 launches drone program aimed at helping U.S. operators | FierceWireless Nov 2016
"P3 Communications, a global consulting and engineering services company, announced the launch of the unmanned aerial vehicles program, which initially will be deployed by P3’s interference hunting team. The team tracks down and eliminates sources of RF interference that can result in everything from minor static and dropped calls to interruptions in vital data connections and throughput."
FierceWireless  drones  Interference 
november 2016 by pierredv
Public Perception of Drone Delivery in the United States | USPS Office of Inspector General - Oct 2016
= More Americans like the concept of drone delivery than dislike it, but a large number have yet to decide.
= Drone malfunction is the public’s primary concern — far more than fears about intentional misuse.
= Exposure to information about drone delivery correlates with greater interest in the idea.
= The American public anticipates that drone delivery will be offered within the next 5 to 10 years.
drones  USPS  survey 
october 2016 by pierredv
Maybe Drone Privacy Shouldn't Be a Federal Case - IEEE Spectrum
"Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s new drone rules went into effect. While many drone enthusiasts were pleased to see some long-awaited progress on this front, the folks at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., don’t count in that group. They’ve been wrangling in court with the FAA over the lack of privacy safeguards in the new regulations—an issue that has dogged drone regulation for years."
"Causby’s legal case went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1946, where the justices found that despite need for public airspace, landowners still commanded rights to “the immediate reaches of the enveloping atmosphere.” In Causby’s case, those immediate reaches went all the way up to 365 feet above ground level. We’re talking prime drone territory here."
IEEE-Spectrum  drones  privacy  FAA  law  opinion 
september 2016 by pierredv
Drone Hack: Spoofing Attack Demonstration on a Civilian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle : GPS World Aug 2012
By Daniel Shepard, Jahshan A. Bhatti, and Todd E. Humphreys

"A radio signal sent from a half-mile away deceived the GPS receiver of a UAV into thinking that it was rising straight up. In this way, the UAV’s dependence on civil GPS allowed the spoofer operator to force the UAV vertically downward in dramatic fashion as part of multiple capture demonstrations."
"The spoofer is implemented on a portable software-defined radio platform with a digital signal processor (DSP) at its core"
"These tests have demonstrated that civilian UAVs will be vulnerable to control by malefactors with a civil GPS spoofer looking to hijack or crash these UAVs unless their vulnerability to GPS spoofing is addressed. "
"Constructing from scratch a sophisticated GPS spoofer like the one developed by UT is not easy, nor is it within the capability of the average anonymous hacker."
GPSWorld  GPS  drones  spoofing  SDR 
september 2016 by pierredv
Main - Global UTM Association
"The Global UTM Association was founded in July 2016 as a non-profit organization. It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. As of August 31st 2016, it was representing organizations distributed across 15 countries and 7 activities: Air navigation service providers, UAS manufacturers, UAS operators, UTM software providers, Infrastructure providers, Regulatory bodies, and Academic experts."
UTM  UAS  drones 
september 2016 by pierredv
NASA UTM: Home - Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM)
"Enabling Civilian Low-Altitude Airspace and Unmanned Aircraft System Operations"
NASA  UTM  UAS  drones 
september 2016 by pierredv
Fact Sheet – Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations (Part 107)
The new rules for non-hobbyist small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operations – Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (PDF) – cover a broad spectrum of commercial uses for drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Here are the highlights of the new rule.
FAA  drones  UAS  rules  regulations 
august 2016 by pierredv
FAA Drone Rules Take Effect; Commercial Use of Drones Permitted with Certain Conditions | Global Policy Watch
"The Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) long-awaited rule on the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) took effect Monday, August 29, 2016, providing a comprehensive and generally applicable set of rules for anyone wishing to operate a small drone for commercial purposes."
FAA  drones  UAS  rules  regulations  Covington 
august 2016 by pierredv
EE and Nokia testing drones for extra coverage in "crisis" situations — PolicyTracker: the spectrum management newsletter
Sounds like drones will be deployed as pico-cells
"The UK operator told PolicyTracker that drones would not be part of the day-to-day operation of the emergency services network (ESN) it will begin running next year, but they could be used to establish impromptu networks when there is "crisis"."
PolicyTracker  drones  public-safety  EE  Nokia  PPDR 
august 2016 by pierredv
Facebook to enlist E-band spectrum for enormous flying drone Aquila - FierceWirelessTech
"Facebook's (NASDAQ: FB) Connectivity Lab announced a big milestone toward its goal of providing internet to the unconnected: The first full-scale test flight of Aquila, its high-altitude unmanned aircraft.

The solar-powered airplane, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 but weighs hundreds of times less, underwent its first flight at dawn on June 28, 2016, at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was there, along with a slew of engineers. Aquila was built by a team comprised of aerospace, software, operator and other experts with experience at NASA, Boeing, DARPA, Northrup Grumman and the British Royal Air Force, among others."
Facebook  FierceWireless  Aquila  drones 
july 2016 by pierredv
AT&T looks to expand drone program - FierceWirelessTech
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Flying drones might sound like a fun hobby, but some RF engineers are making it part of their job, going so far as to envision flying COWs, or cells on wings, to provide LTE coverage at concerts or during emergencies.

Earlier this month, AT&T announced the launch of a national trial involving drones "
"Longer term, it's investigating how to optimize the AT&T network to support command and control of in-flight drones across a range of industries. "We would like to see our network function as a backbone" of a drone traffic management system and drone data transmission system for industries like agriculture, construction, emergency services, insurance, logistics, package delivery, real estate, utilities and others."
drones  AT&T  FierceWireless 
july 2016 by pierredv
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