Fifty years ago, Mike Sanders watched with awe and anticipation as the crew of Apollo 11--Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins--splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Landing men on the moon and returning them safely to the earth was a seminal moment in the history of flight, and it had a profound effect on then 7-year-old Sanders, who now heads the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. Looking back, Sanders says he never expected the day to come when he would be working with NASA on anything, let alone another chapter in the history of flight. But this year, he landed in the middle of one of the most important aeronautical projects of this generation: an effort to build a safe and effective unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) platform. In August, Texas A&M–Corpus Christi's Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and its partners' workers stood alongside NASA scientists and engineers as they flew 22 small physical and digital drones above and between tall buildings in five areas of Corpus Christi.
Intermap Technologies ("Intermap"), a global leader in geospatial intelligence solutions, today announced the launch of its Lido Surface Data NEXTView ("NEXTView") data solution, co-developed with Lufthansa Systems, for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market. NEXTView is a high-accuracy, global 3D elevation dataset customized for aviation applications. It is continually refreshed to ensure currency and compliance with regulatory update requirements. The UAS market is composed of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones) and the control systems that fly them. It is a critical time for UAS technology as it expands in many commercial, government and military applications around the world.
Despite longer-lasting aircraft, more durable engines and innovations in maintenance techniques, recent research has shown maintenance spending continues to increase. In fact, airlines now spend more money on maintenance than on fuel or crew. The need to cut maintenance, repair and overhaul costs is a pressing issue for airlines, as is the need to keep assets operationally available.
The panel will address the relationships between the HF (Human Factors) research community in aviation and aircraft and avionics manufacturers and look at how the two communities could work more efficiently together. The panelists come from both worlds -- some of them with a foot in both camps -- and have all past experiences of interaction, cooperation, or contracts with the other party.
Sure, the feds finally made it reasonably easy to get a drone pilot's certificate, but it's clear they still see unmanned aviation as a dodgy proposition. Among the many questions that come with any new tech is a basic limitation: The radio links and Wi-Fi that control the aircraft limit range to a few thousand feet, and aren't robust enough for reliable drone control over long distances. So the new rules, which took effect last month, limit drone use to visual line-of-sight operation, hamstringing operators interested in delivery, search-and-rescue, and remote-inspection operations. The solution may lurk in your own line-of-sight--on top of water towers and rooftops, or shrouded by poorly faked roadside "trees." Qualcomm Technologies and AT&T announced today they're collaborating to make wide-ranging drone operations reliable and safe, using current 4G LTE and future 5G networks.