International UAS Surveillance Markets Heat Up as American Companies Wait for Guidance

International UAS Surveillance Markets Heat Up as American Companies Wait for Guidance

By William D. Ezzell

No one likes the idea of big brother. But what if big brother is the one writing the check? And not looking at you?

As we previously posted, American UAS companies are vying to compete with Chinese companies in the international UAS military market. Countries around the world are actively building UAS fleets but U.S. export controls have hampered American companies from competing. Foreign competitors continue to challenge the American UAS industry, which could not have been more evident at this year’s China Public Security Expo in Shenzhen, China. 

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Army Drops DJI Citing Cybersecurity Concerns

Army Drops DJI Citing Cybersecurity Concerns

By Thomas L. Gemmell

According to a Department of Defense memorandum referenced by sUAS News, the U.S. Army and Navy have concluded that there are cybersecurity risks associated with using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or “drones,” manufactured by Dajiang Innovation (DJI), the world’s most prolific developer and manufacturer of commercial and hobby drones. Citing research memoranda by the Army Research Laboratory, DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities, dated 24 May 2017, and Navy, Operational Risks With Regards to DJI Family of Products, dated 24 May 2017, the Army directed the Service to discontinue all uses of DJI products, including “all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GSS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.” The ban is significant given that the Army had "issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets.” Without going into detail, the Army noted that the order was “Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products.”

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FAA Establishes Committee to Develop Rules for Identifying UAS Vehicles

FAA Establishes Committee to Develop Rules for Identifying UAS Vehicles

By Bradley R. Gardner

As the number of unmanned aircraft operating in the skies continues to increase, it has become critical that authorities be capable of identifying the owner or operator of a UAS vehicle that is being operated in an unsafe or illegal manner. Unlike traditional aircraft, there are currently no rules or even guidance for requiring UAS vehicles to electronically broadcast identifying information. In order to come up with a solution, in late June the Federal Aviation Administration created an Aviation Rulemaking Committee tasked with: Identifying and recommending technologies for remote identification and tracking of UAS vehicles, identifying requirements for meeting the security and public safety needs of government agencies, including law enforcement, for remotely identifying and tracking UAS vehicles, and evaluating the feasibility and affordability of the potential solutions, and determining how well those potential solutions address the needs of the relevant government agencies. Committee members include representatives from more than 70 stakeholders, including manufacturers, UAS operators, law enforcement agencies, and research groups. A full list of the Committee members can be found on the FAA's website.
 

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Artificial Intelligence Legal Revolution - It Began with Parking Tickets...

Artificial Intelligence Legal Revolution - It Began with Parking Tickets...

By Adam P. Daniels

There was applause for IBM Corp.’s Watson when it beat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy, and people reveled at Google’s AlphaGo when it defeated Ke Jie, a Go world champion. But what about the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and the law?

Recently, on July 12, 2017, Joshua Browder announced a major upgrade to his free legal aid chatbot, DoNotPay, which has already helped fight 375,000 parking tickets in the U.K, New York, and Seattle. As part of the major upgrade, Browder introduced 1,000 new chatbots to help generate transactional forms in a variety of new legal areas in all 50 U.S. states and the U.K. In addition, Browder also announced the DoNotPay platform is open to anyone that wants to create a “law bot” to assist clients with identifying and filling out relevant legal documents.

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Inconsistent Energy Laws Complicate Energy Storage Adoption

Inconsistent Energy Laws Complicate Energy Storage Adoption

By Jacek M. Wnuk

While solar cells have been around in some form since the 1800s, increases in their efficiency were modest and slow until about 2000. Since 2000, the technology has seen rapid increases in efficiency, both at the research and consumer levels, and consistent deceases in cost of approximately 7 percent per year.

For all of these improvements, however, solar power has a significant inherent flaw – it generates energy at a very variable rate that is highly dependent on environmental conditions. Wind turbines, which have similarly improved in both efficiency and affordability in recent years, suffer from the same flaw.

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