Gasoline Powered Drone to Provide Long Duration Emergency Telecommunications and Internet Service in Disaster Areas

Gasoline Powered Drone to Provide Long Duration Emergency Telecommunications and Internet Service in Disaster Areas

By John R. Bednarz

A team of engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that can remain aloft for five days that could be used for disaster relief missions. The engineers are part of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works Center and recently presented their research results at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Denver, Colorado. Previous UAS designs, such as Facebook’s Aquila drone, have suggested that an aircraft could be solar-powered and remain in flight indefinitely, but the team of engineers determined that this was not feasible for long duration emergency response missions in locations far from the equator during seasons when there is not as much sunlight. In addition to these limitations, a solar powered vehicle requires a large surface area for solar panels and a heavy battery.

Read More

Overlapping Unmanned Systems and FinTech Industries Provide Glimpse into the Future

Overlapping Unmanned Systems and FinTech Industries Provide Glimpse into the Future

By Ramsey A. Ammar

The unmanned aircraft system, autonomous vehicle, and financial technology (FinTech) industries are each in their fledgling stages, but forging ahead at a rapid pace. While the relative growths of these industries are on parallel paths, those paths are beginning to diverge as companies explore how developments in one industry can benefit the other.

Read More

Will ATC Privatization Accelerate UAS Home Delivery Systems?

Will ATC Privatization Accelerate UAS Home Delivery Systems?

By William D. Ezzell

This week, President Trump announced his intention to push for the privatization of the U.S. Air Traffic Control system. In his trademark style, the president said that the ATC system was “ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible” and those previous efforts to update systems were a “waste of money.” 

The President raised legitimate concerns in this ongoing debate. ATC privatization could indeed transform the landscape and best position the aerospace industry as technology advances. Nevertheless, the speech triggered multiple discussions of the need for privatization to accelerate the UAS industry. In particular, home delivery platforms.

Read More

Crowded Skies are Coming

Crowded Skies are Coming

By Tyler Short

Google recently completed a series of tests related to multiple unmanned aircraft systems operating in the same airspace. The tests were carried out by Google and organized by the FAA and NASA. With an eye towards creating a world where delivery by unmanned aircraft systems is a reality, Google has created a traffic management platform that has the capabilities of automatically plotting the paths of multiple unmanned aircraft systems and then updating the paths while in mid-flight. This platform may be the key to operating several unmanned aircraft systems in the same area.

Read More

Emerging UAS Industry Triggers Growth in Specialty Insurance Market

Emerging UAS Industry Triggers Growth in Specialty Insurance Market

By William D. Ezzell

Unmanned Aerial Systems are without a doubt at the forefront of aerial innovation. As an emerging industry that is inherently fraught with risk, it should come as little surprise that the insurance market is quickly trying to capture and develop this promising new market. 

One major carrier, Liberty Mutual, recently announced a joint venture with Acend, Inc. to launch a new drone insurance platform. Details remain to be seen (the company states that it will begin writing policies this summer). And we are closely following the types of common and unique risks these policies should protect against.

Read More