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Submission + - Lost your drone, there's an App for that (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: Your pride and joy flying off into the distance on a mission of its own is an all too common problem for amateur drone makers. Many things can cause it, lost radio link, failed control surface or servo. An iOS answer is now on the cards.

FIND MY DRONE is a FREE App developed by Communis Tech that connects your iPhone to your personal UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) using the popular MAVLink protocol.

If you were forced to land your drone some distance away, this convenient App will determine the latitude and longitude of the drones’ location and its’ distance from you. The inbuilt compass can then direct you to the drone, saving you a haphazard and time consuming search.

Submission + - Latest Navy Drone to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 (suasnews.com) 1

garymortimer writes: Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., on 22 May awarded a $15.3 million contract modification to the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector in Bethpage, N.Y., to upgrade the Triton’s software from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The contract modification concerns the MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) systems development and demonstration phase.

Also on 22 May Northrop Grumman experts completed the first flight of the Triton BAMS high-altitude UAV at the Northrop Grumman manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Triton is designed to fly maritime surveillance missions for as long as 24 hours at altitudes of more than 10 miles to enable coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles, Northrop Grumman officials say. The UAV’s suite of sensors can detect and classify different types of ships automatically.

Submission + - German railways to test anti-graffiti drones (suasnews.com) 1

garymortimer writes: Germany's national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, plans to test small drones to try to reduce the amount of graffiti being sprayed on its property.

The idea is to use airborne infra-red cameras to collect evidence, which could then be used to prosecute vandals who deface property at night.

A company spokesman said drones would be tested at rail depots soon.

Submission + - Google acquires kite-power generator (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: Google has acquired a US company that generates power using turbines mounted on tethered kites or wings.

Makani Power will become part of Google X – the secretive research and development arm of the search giant.

The deal comes as Makani carries out the first fully autonomous flights of robot kites bearing its power-generating propellers.

Google has not said how much it paid to acquire Makani, but it has invested $15m (£9.9m) in the company before now.

Submission + - Russia to test drones to monitor wildlife and track poachers (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Officials say they’ll test unmanned aerial vehicles at a nature reserve on Russia’s Pacific coast this summer to monitor wildlife and crack down on poachers.

“UAVs are silent and can fly at a very low altitude to produce high-resolution imagery and detect poachers, their boats and vehicles,” Alexandra Filatkina, deputy director for development at the Kronotsky nature reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula, told RIA Novosti Friday.

Submission + - First drone touch and go at sea (video) (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), marking the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

Submission + - Geologists in Norway are using drones with cameras to hunt for oil (suasnews.com) 1

garymortimer writes: Geologists have long used seismology on the bottom of the ocean or have been throwing dynamite from snowmobiles when they look for oil. But now researchers at Centre for integrated petroleum research (CIPR), a joint venture between the University of Bergen (UiB) and Uni Research, have found a new preferred method – using drones to map new oil reserves from the air.

Submission + - Control multiple drones via the web :-DroneDeploy (suasnews.com) 1

garymortimer writes: DroneDeploy announced today that it is launching a web-based drone control platform. Available at www.dronedeploy.com, the site enables users to operate multiple drones at the same time, on any web-enabled device.

Mike Winn, said “We built DroneDeploy to help people get stuff done with drones – we want to make it easier, safer and help people stay within the laws.”

Safety and legal is at the heart of DroneDeploy’s platform: “On the surface, we prevent collisions between vehicles on the platform, avoid tall structures, and ensure localised legal compliance,” said Jono Millin, “but we go much deeper than that. We monitor vibrations and inputs vs responses to detect early signs of wear and tear, and can take weather conditions, engine capabilities and fuel into account so your drone never flies out of range.”

Submission + - Canadian Police drone finds missing man (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: A Saskatchewan man, lost and alone, was found by an RCMP remote controlled helicopter that spotted him from the sky.

The 25-year-old had wandered away from where his car rolled on Highway 5 near St. Denis, about 40 kilometres east of Saskatoon, early Thursday morning.

RCMP arrived at the accident scene after midnight, but couldn’t find the driver.

“He had suffered a head injury in the crash and became disorientated and wandered off,” said RCMP corporal Doug Green.

Submission + - Robotic insect: World's smallest flying robot takes off (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: Scientists in the US have created a robot the size of a fly that is able to perform the agile manoeuvres of the ubiquitous insects.

This “robo-fly”, built from carbon fibre, weighs a fraction of a gram and has super-fast electronic “muscles” to power its wings.

Its Harvard University developers say tiny robots like theirs may eventually be used in rescue operations.

Submission + - Drone Helicopter Gets Lodged In Statue Atop Courthouse (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: MARION, Ohio — A 7-pound remote control helicopter got stuck in the arms of a statue atop of the Marion County Courthouse.

The Marion Star reported that Terry Cline, an independent visual communications producer, director and writer, was flying the camera-equipped drone to take pictures of the Marion County Courthouse for a special project.

He told the paper that the drone caught a breeze and lost control.

“I’m amazed it ended up where it is,” he told the Marion Star.

Marion officials said they were leaving it up to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office as to how to get the drone down.

Submission + - Laser over fibre powers tethered drone (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: InvisiTower, the world’s first tethered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft system powered by laser over optical fiber. The new, portable system can power any multi-rotor helicopter indefinitely using laser power sent via fiber optic cable, enabling aircraft to stay in the air as long as power is available on the ground.

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