Drone News Roundup – CleanTechnica
While small drones (sUAS) are a huge part of today’s electric aviation scene, it doesn’t make sense to cover every little thing that happens with them. But, there are still plenty of interesting things worth checking out as we witness the emergence of this relatively young cleantech industry. So, I’m going to do a quick roundup of a few recent stories that are worth looking at, but not enough on their own to merit a story.
If readers like this approach, I’ll start doing it regularly.
Zipline Brings Healthcare Drone Deliveries to Washington State
In a recent press release, Zipline and MultiCare Health System, a Washington-based nonprofit healthcare organization, announced a collaboration to make the state’s first commercial drone deliveries. Zipline’s electric, self-driving aircraft will transport medical supplies throughout MultiCare’s network of facilities, including hospitals, labs and doctors’ offices.
“Ensuring our providers have what they need, when they need it, is a critical part of providing affordable and accessible care to patients,” said Florence Chang, president of MultiCare. “We are always looking for like-minded partners who can help us improve the care we provide to the communities we serve in a sustainable and reliable way.”
Zipline’s instant delivery solution will be used by MultiCare to serve facilities in the Tacoma area. The drones will carry laboratory samples, medicines and test kits, among other things. The goal of the collaboration is to develop a faster, on-demand delivery system for MultiCare providers while improving the patient experience.
Zipline and MultiCare aim to begin deliveries in 2024 once regulatory approvals are received and will serve Pacific Northwest residents over the next two years.
Defense contractor talks about eliminating drone swarms and what integrated sensing has in common with Tesla
A recent Defense News The article gives us insight into an executive from Leonardo DRS, a company that focuses on networked computing on the battlefield. After acquiring an Israeli radar company, William Lynn (general manager of the company) said that Leonardo DRS was looking for methods to improve capabilities such as sensor integration and the use of directed energy and warfare electronics to destroy drone swarms.
Lynn said the RADA merger will immediately benefit the company in two of its four main markets: force protection, which includes its Low and Slow Moving Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Integrated Defense System, or MLIDS, counter-drone used by the US military, and advanced detection.
Regarding advanced detection, Lynn said that the integration of RADA’s radars into the Leonardo DRS portfolio “provides[s] the only sensor that we don’t currently have. This will be critical as sensor integration becomes more important in military vehicles such as tanks, Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
“Think Tesla,” Lynn said. “You’ve got a backup camera and you’ve got the side mirrors with collision detection. What Tesla has done now is put all of that into one image – so well, in fact, that it can drive the car… You get a full picture of the battlefield [with integrated sensing]you can take all this data [collected by various sights and sensors] and turn it into actionable, actionable data. We want to be part of that, and having a radar is essential. We think what’s going to happen is that sensors and computing are going to merge.
While there are big differences between doing the right thing to protect soldiers from deadly drone swarms, the common challenge is to quickly stitch data from different sensors together to form an operational picture faster than the human brain can. may.
Images of the upcoming DJI Mini FPV drone leak
A recent tweet (hats off to DroneDJ) gives us a preview of an upcoming DJI FPV drone.
Avata powered up! pic.twitter.com/yMOjxSHy9O
— OsitaLV (@OsitaLV) July 24, 2022
The photo revealed by reliable DJI leaker OsitaLV shows Avata with guarded 3-inch propellers, allowing the drone to fly safely around people and in confined areas. This style stands out from DJI’s other camera drones, which are designed to capture the stunning outdoors with exceptional clarity. While a propeller guard is available as an option for the Mavic and Spark, the cage around the props is an integral part of this drone’s design.
When leaked images of the product were released by the same source in May, they showed a single-axis gimbal-mounted camera and lower obstacle avoidance sensors. Earlier leaks also suggest that the fully pre-built, ready-to-fly DJI Avata will deliver excellent image quality – comparable to that of the new Mini 3 – in a much smaller and lighter form factor.
All of these features are designed for safe flight in tight spaces with complex turns. Unlike smoother flight, like you would for a real estate or construction video, FPV drones are meant to do crazy maneuvers that likely lead to crashes. So the drone is designed not only to create crazy, compelling videos without hitting any objects, but it’s also designed to be able to take a beating when the system sometimes fails to squeeze through really tight margins.
This Tesla video is a prime example of this type of theft and videography:
Airbus solar-powered drone breaks Arizona flight record
Another article on Defense News tells us about an incredible flight over Arizona, where, according to Army Futures Command, the solar-powered Zephyr drone has already surpassed its own record for time in flight as an unmanned aircraft system, with 36 days made so far, and counting.
Zephyr is the world’s first continuous stratospheric UAS, with a flight range of up to months at heights above conventional weather and air traffic. It has a wingspan of just over 82 feet – more than two school buses placed end to end but weighs less than 166 pounds. Air launched the aircraft June 15 from 70,000 feet over Arizona. The unmanned aircraft previously held a record of around 26 days in 2018.
“This experimentation allows us to build on this knowledge by demonstrating multiple types of payloads, fully exploring the military utility of stratospheric operations, and modernizing the areas of deep sensing, long-range targeting, and resilient communications,” said Michael Monteleone, Director of APNT/ Space CFT said in a statement. “Ultra-long-endurance unmanned platforms have the potential to provide significant military capabilities and increased confidence as part of the military’s diverse multi-layered architecture.”
The Zephyr drone collects solar energy during the day using its onboard solar panels and stores excess energy in battery cells for night flight. This allows for extended flights for weeks or even months in the future for various purposes.
Featured image: Airbus Zephyr drone, image courtesy of Airbus
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