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Member Articles

RUSTA celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force

Published March 29th 2018

On 1 April 2018, the Royal Air Force will be celebrating its 100th birthday.  This is a significant milestone for the service which, despite its young age compared to its sister services, has seen its fair share of operations in the last 100 years. RUSTA is a Veteran run company with all their air instructors having served on RAF frontline squadrons at some point in their careers. They recognise that without their professional Royal Air Force training, experience and discipline accrued whilst serving, RUSTA wouldn’t be able to offer the world-class courses it does today. Sion Roberts the CEO of RUSTA explains his affinity with the Royal Air Force, “I joined the Royal Air Force just before its 75th anniversary in 1992 and with just over 25 years passing since that last important milestone, aviation has changed quite radically. Back when I joined my first Nimrod Maritime Patrol Squadron no one would have imagined the impact that unmanned aircraft would have an... Read More »


Drones: What is Drone Law?

Published March 25th 2018

Drones: What is Drone Law?

Published March 25th 2018

The advent of the drone for civilian and commercial use is one of those large steps in personal transportation, which previously brought us the aeroplane, motor vehicles, trains, bicycles and even the wheel. Never before has it been possible for anyone and everyone to gain easy access to aviation, but with it brings all sorts of concerns affected by it, and lo a new subset of law comes together. The principal concerns surrounding private drone use have been safety, regulation and privacy, which must be forged together as the community makes advances in technology. With technology come regulations. The insurance sector will also play an increasingly important role in the future of drone use. The private use of drones may well flourish as a burgeoning practice area as individuals have already faced criminal prosecutions for breach of the regulations and it is possible that companies may have liability for the acts of their employees where they are required to pilot drones. T... Read More »


SalusUAV Completes BVLOS Research Project

Published March 25th 2018

In the very near future, all areas of the economy will begin to see the impact of drones on their operational processes; from the way we travel to how we receive goods and services. According to some sources, the extent of that impact equates to a total commercial UAV market value of $127 billion. The key to unlocking the full societal and economic potential of drones lies in allowing them to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight – BVLOS. Regulations in most countries demand that drones must have a Sense and Avoid System in order to conduct routine BVLOS operations. SalusUAV won funding from the Department for Transport Innovation Challenge Fund to develop such a Sense and Avoid system. Working with our partners at the University of Bath we have now successfully completed the project. An intense period of simulator modelling was followed by several increasingly complex real flight scenarios. Whilst the flight scenarios were complex, we know from our background as professional... Read More »


Drone-I are set to release new streaming app DRONESTREAM in April

Published March 19th 2018

OUR VISION Current streaming services seem to sideline the drone streaming potential for other streaming services, although it is offered, we do not feel they are appropriate platforms for a client to view from.    Our vision is to create a UAS centered streaming platform for the casual flyer, right to the commercial and government sectors.   That said, we understand the importance of potentially sensitive, confidential client data streaming through the platform - therefore, we have created the ability for the UAV operator to have groups or individuals that they can exclusively screen to securely.  We aim to produce this app with both the pilot and viewer in mind. Understanding that swift set up is required as the viewer may be a client or emergency services personnel that have little time to configure settings. OUR STORY Drone-i (the company behind the App) was started by a group of drone professionals and enthusiasts, he... Read More »


WINGTRA SETS A NEW BENCHMARK IN DRONE PHOTOGRAMMETRY

Published March 18th 2018

With the launch of WingtraOne PPK (Post-Processed Kinematics) drone, the Swiss UAV manufacturer Wingtra is setting a new benchmark in large-scale surveying and mapping applications. With the help of its industry-leading partners – photogrammetry software provider Pix4D, and the GNSS board and PPK provider Septentrio – WingtraOne PPK is now able to deliver orthomosaic maps and 3D models with an absolute accuracy down to 1 cm (0.4 in). “With the latest upgrade, our drone WingtraOne PPK can offer something that has never been seen before in drone photogrammetry – broad coverage and high resolution at ultra-precise accuracy. For example, in a single one-hour flight, the WingtraOne can cover 130 ha (320 ac), which is equal to 240 football fields and deliver maps at GSDs below 1 cm/px (0.4 in/px) with absolute accuracy down to 1 cm (0.4 in)”, explains the CTO of Wingtra Armin Ambühl. These results are new to the industry – professionals could ne... Read More »


UKRSPECSYSTEMS PRESENT THEIR UPGRADED PD-1 UAS AT UMEX 2018 IN ABU DHABI

Published March 18th 2018

Ukrspecsystems took part in the UMEX 2018 show in Abu Dhabi where they presented the new PD-1 UAS with new features and capabilities, including it's VTOL module. PD-1 VTOL generated a large amount of interest and collected many positive feedbacks from representatives of armed forces of different countries and also from our partners in UAV industry. Several agreements on further cooperation were signed right on the show. Originally PD-1 was a fixed-wing drone with runway takeoff and landing. As we wanted to simplify the operation of the drone and make it easier to use we changed our concept and converted PD-1 to a modular platform that can be easily customized without any special tools right in the field. Today PD-1 UAS offers multiple options in terms of launch and recovery: 1. Vertical takeoff and landing; 2. Catapult launch and parachute recovery; 3. Runway takeoff and landing. Same airframe – multiple possibilities. Ready for... Read More »


Robert Garbett in Mail Online: Robot ploughs could be on UK streets by 2021

Published March 4th 2018

As covered in the Mail Online and the Daily Express. The recent snowstorms, the Beast from the East and Storm Emma mean that ploughs are needed to clear snow out of roads and public places. However, operators may struggle getting to the vehicles in the first place. Robert Garbett said that autonomous unmanned ground vehicles would be able to work without the need of an operator. He said, 'as the recent cold snap settles and we count the cost of being ill-prepared, again, my mind settled on a story which was shared with me at a business continuity meeting in Cambridgeshire. 'The story revolves around an ingenious idea to solve the issue of not being able to get snow ploughs to the worst-hit areas of the region fast enough as they were located in a central compound area.  'A plan was executed to deploy snow ploughs to strategic points around the region ahead of an expected snowstorm which arrived in force in the early hours of the next morning. &#... Read More »


Handling data from drone inspections: 5 costly mistakes you might be making

Published February 14th 2018

Do you avoid these mistakes when handling your inspection data? If yes, then lucky you – because real money is on the line. Hint: It’s no lie that time is money. #1: No geo references If you don’t geotag your images, you're probably missing out – and your clients and work partners probably are too. Associating an image with an exact position and notes about issues – and being able to move your focus and zoom in and out with your mouse on a map, and see exactly the annotations and images associated with the part of the map you’re looking at – that makes things both easier and faster than doing everything manually. Here’s the way we like to do things, explained in short introduction videos: Image Inspection Tutorial #2: Spending too much time analyzing Of course, if you hired someone to analyze your inspection data for you, you would have some amount of expenditure for that. But what if they could do it quicker t... Read More »


36 Tech Barristers launch their dedicated service offering for the drone sector

Published February 14th 2018

36 Tech Barristers were very happy to join the Drone Major community this month as its only supplier of legal services, and a leading supplier of legal services in this multi-faceted, multi-jurisdictional sector. 36 Tech Barristers is a part of 36 Group Barristers Mediators and Arbitrators of 36 Bedford Row. This is a barristers’ chambers steeped in history but modern in approach. 36 Group provide legal services directly to businesses or to their own lawyers in a wide range of disciplines, including contracts, regulation, crime and commercial law. A full description can be found here. The 36 Tech division works in the area of technology, e-commerce and digital media. Joining Drone Major marks the division’s concentration on the commercial use and application of drones and drone technologies. It is an obvious area for 36 Group to work in with specialists with established practices in the area of aviation, and technology, as well as the many related disciplines that imp... Read More »


VideoDrone Finland proudly releases a new version of their octocopter VideoDrone X8L

Published February 12th 2018

VideoDrone Finland has reached a new record with their X8L model in its category. The X8L octocopter has become lighter and the new propulsion system means excellent performance. The flight time grew by 70%, payload by 25% and the octocopter’s dead weight is now 8% lighter.   The maximum flight time is up to 55 minutes and the max. payload is 2.5kg. So far this is unbeatable in this category (MTOW below 7kg).   The advantage of X8L compared to X4S is the stability in strong gusty winds. Longer flight times mean more time for inspections, mapping, surveillance etc.   “We are offering tailored solutions to our customers as well as support throughout the life cycle. Customers can expect nothing more than top quality and service“, says CEO Juha Tolvanen.   VideoDrone X8L‘s flight time relative to the payload’s weight is shown in the picture. Click here for more information. Read More »


AERIALTRONICS releases the new version of its intelligent camera AERIALTRONICS PENSAR

Published February 12th 2018

AERIALTRONICS releases the new version of its intelligent camera AERIALTRONICS PENSAR   AERIALTRONICS, a brand from DRONE VOLT Group, officially launches the new version of its PENSAR camera-computer driven by artificial intelligence. A true technological feat, PENSAR is one of the world's first platforms with dual spectrum digital vision that allows real-time analysis of images or data. Infinitely customizable, it can be mounted on a professional drone, mobile robot or used as an independent camera.   One of the world's first dual spectrum digital vision platforms with real-time analysis   PENSAR, developed in AERIALTRONICS' artificial intelligence laboratory, is one of the world's first dual spectrum digital vision platforms dedicated to real-time data analysis using a miniaturized NVIDIA® embedded processor with 1.5 teraflops of power. Its computing power, accelerated by the NVIDIA® Jetson™ GPU processor in the NVIDIA&re... Read More »


UKRSpecsystems introduce PD-1 VTOL module

Published February 7th 2018

The PD-1 fixed-wing drone has been upgraded to a completely new level! We are proud to introduce a VTOL module that converts any PD-1 drone to vertical take-off and landing aircraft!  The VTOL module can be installed on PD-1 drone right in the field. This upgrade does not require any special modifications and you will not need to send UAV back to the factory. Our truly modular design opens new possibilities and allows to add and remove system modules on-the-go.  PD-1 with VTOL module has wing-span of 5 meters and can stay in the air same 10 hours with 10 kg payload onboard. Take-off and landing processes are controlled by autopilot and done in fully automatic mode.  PD-1 VTOL is fully compatible with all our EO/IR payloads and supports a wide range of third-party equipment, such as SAR, LIDAR, radio repeaters and much more.  On the opposite side, the VTOL module can be easily removed from the drone and you can operate the same airframe as a standard... Read More »


No Roads, No Problem

Published February 6th 2018

No Roads, No Problem

Published February 6th 2018

Originally published on xyHt. A unique drone (the WingtraOne) helps a team meet the environmental challenges of planning a wind farm in the Alps. At a lofty altitude of 2500m above sea level, 20 wind turbines 100m tall need to be built. These wind turbines will produce 60 GWh per year to power 15,000 households. The engineering challenge is twofold: With the construction site in the middle of the mountains, there are no roads to access it, nor is there any pre-existing data for site planning of the wind farm, which is 800 ha (nearly 2,000 acres) large. This is the challenge that Swiss engineering company Cavigelli Ingenieure AG faced in the Swiss Alpine valley of Lumnezia. While mapping and 3D modelling large areas with high accuracy is a routine task for geospatial applications, the hilly terrain, high altitude, and quickly changing weather conditions in the mountains brought additional constraints. Keeping in mind the need for flexibility and low cost, the company... Read More »


Parazero: Enabling the drone market to operate everywhere, safely

Published January 10th 2018

We have been hearing of drone crashes and safety incidents on an almost weekly basis. The solution is provided by ParaZero a company that specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of drone safety solutions for commercial drones of different shapes and sizes. The company is confident that their solution will enable the drone industry to realize its full economic potential. You can call them Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), miniature pilotless aircraft or flying mini robots, but there is no doubt that drones are rapidly growing in popularity. Even though drones have been on the market for many years and many see them as a great gadget, they are quickly becoming an essential tool for various commercial applications. Today, for example, drones can be equipped with high-quality cameras and sensors that have created new markets. We see a clear evolvement into the commercial sector. In this sector, the impact of drones in the workspace is the most significant. The value... Read More »


Scopito: Creating a tag line for the leading company of its field

Published January 10th 2018

In this letter, we will present some thoughts about what Scopito wants to be in relation to the rest of the drone industry. At Scopito we cooperate with UAV pilots, asset managers and maintenance people from all over the world, on developing our software platform in a direction that will make sense for the actual users of the platform. A few days ago, we threw a small employee workshop at Scopito. We set a watch timer and every employee spent five minutes writing down ideas for a new company tagline/pay off on post-its. We then spent an hour evaluating the suggestions, and within this hour we became increasingly aware of the direction that we wanted Scopito to go and the direction Scopito was going. Which luckily is the same direction. But what is that direction? It can be described in the following points: - We want to create what people need. This may seem obvious, but actually doing it means that we have to actively cooperate with customers, stay in touch and find an int... Read More »


SalusUAV have trained more people than ever and made breakthroughs in their R&D programmes

Published January 9th 2018

2017 was a strong year for SalusUAV; we trained more people than ever and made important breakthroughs in our R&D programmes. Training – Because we are all professional pilots, we train our clients to operate their drones to the same high standards as professional pilots operate their aircraft. Of course, we want to be a successful business, but we also want the drone pilots we train to be the best and most successful in the industry. Our instructors are all experienced professional airline and military pilots as well as being experts in human factors and critical decision making. Unlike most drone training courses, we instruct from the angle of Human Factors and Safety. What we have learned in manned aviation allows us to show you how to operate your drone to the highest possible standards and reduce the potential for human error, the cause of 80% of accidents. We share the CAAs belief that PfCO courses should not be tick in the box exercises, but courses which will fu... Read More »


VideoDrone announces PPK solution for precise geotagging

Published December 13th 2017

VideoDrone Finland has announced a solution which promises accuracies at the 1-3cm level. The main purpose is to minimize or even eliminate the need for ground control points, thereby reducing costs. VideoDrone tested several RTK and PPK technologies suitable for UAV use. The tests clearly demonstrated that RTK is very vulnerable to the signal loss. RTK requires a stable radio link to receive base station data, which limits the range of the operation, can be prone to GPS signal blockage and will lose correction data with radio link outages, particularly due to the UAV flight dynamics, signal obstructions or long distance. Post-processing kinematic (PPK), in turn, logs data in the UAV and processes with base station data after the flight. There is no data loss or initialization loss as in RTK due to radio link limitations. All collected data is processed with similar algorithms to RTK, but forwards and backwards through the data. This ensures the most robu... Read More »


Approaching 2018: How was the year of 2017 for Scopito?

Published December 13th 2017

Approaching a new year, at Scopito we will look back on 2017 as a good year. As a startup that started making software about one year ago, with a background of building drones a couple of years back, and after that shifting to making drone inspections, we know how much can happen in the first year of business. Our founder, Ken Falk, decided to make software for drone inspections because of he, being a drone inspector himself, felt a lack of a way to handle all the data and images captured on inspections. And even though it took longer than expected to really get the wheels going for our software company, luckily it has become clear that our founder is not the only one who sees the need for software that makes handling the inspection data simple and effective. And at Scopito we actually believe this to be the part of the value chain with the highest potential for profit margins for drone operators. Here are some of the things we will remember 2017 for - DroneDeploy contacted us... Read More »


UKRSpecsystems Future Plans: PD-1 Fixed-Wing VTOL Upgrade

Published December 12th 2017

I am looking at the drone market and wondering where we should move next. When we were creating the PD-1 UAS, it was something that our country was lacking at the time. The concept was almost 20 years old, but something Ukraine was missing at that point. Later on, we got our concept proven when the PD-1 become a one of a kind UAV in service in the Ukrainian army. Now we are moving forward. We are starting to enter civil markets, offer services to agriculture companies and now we are currently working on an inspection project for one of the biggest gas and oil companies in Ukraine. We are getting great results and positive feedback from our clients, comparing to smaller drones we do more with better quality and simply faster. The biggest issue, however, is takeoff and landing. Even while we are using pneumatic catapult launcher and parachute recovery it takes additional time for flight preparations and involves additional risks, which we are currently trying to eli... Read More »


WingtraPilot Release 1.6 – a Huge Step in Mission Planning

Published December 11th 2017

In November 2017, Wingtra brought their users a game-changing software update. “The latest flight planning improvements will make a big difference for our customers. Especially those who rely on WingtraOne for complex mapping and surveying missions in difficult terrain” – says Armin Ambühl, CTO of Wingtra. And that is true –  extended flight planning possibilities, simplified operations and increased safety make the recent WingtraPilot 1.6 release the most significant software upgrade ever. Swap the batteries during long missions WingtraOne already comes with an area coverage of 400 ha in a single flight. But now it is possible to fly even longer with just one planning session. With the new “Swap and Resume” battery feature, our users can plan large survey missions without worrying about the range or flight duration. During the mission, WingtraOne automatically returns to home position once low on the battery.... Read More »