A flying car company offers the Commaris VTOL UAV for commercial operations, hazmat responders using drones, QF-16 target drones, endangered porpoises spotted from the air, the US Navy repels drones, AT&T COWs provide cell coverage, new drone rules in India.
Terrafugia Inc. announced the launch of the new Commaris™ brand, along with the brand’s first product – the Seeker™. This electric, fixed-wing/VTOL aircraft is designed for autonomous commercial aerial applications. Commaris planned to debut the Seeker at the Commercial UAV Expo held in Las Vegas September 7-9, 2021. Terrafugia has been developing the Transition® Roadable Aircraft since 2006. The Seeker features a three-hour flight time, a top speed over 60 MPH, and a 15-foot wingspan. Multiple payload configurations are possible up to 10 pounds.
According to the author, the drone is “One of the most significant advances in resources for hazmat response.” Drones allow safe monitoring on-scene, but equipment costs can be high. In response, multiple agencies can work together and private organizations can be a source of funds.
A U.S. Air Force QF-16 drone is an F-16 assigned to the 82d Aerial Targets Squadron and used for training purposes. Up to four QF-16s can be remotely controlled by a single pilot and the QF-16’s can perform maneuvers that simulate an adversary fighter.
The Korea National Park Service released footage of four endangered finless porpoises mating in the sea. The footage was shot using a “helikite” – an unmanned aerial camera drone-like device used to observe marine animals.
It’s called DRAKE (the Drone Restricted Access Using Known Electromagnetic Warfare system) which was originally built by Northrop Grumman and used on Humvees during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it protects Navy vessels from curious eyes by jamming the drone’s signal.
AT&T’s COW drones (“Cell-On-Wings”) provide LTE coverage over a 40-mile range. They are tethered, hover at 300 feet, and can endure severe weather – winds up to 50 MPH, heavy rain, and hot and cold temperatures. These are effective at providing cell coverage to areas hit by natural disasters. The tethers have a fiber-optic cable for transmitting data to a solar-powered ground station and to provide power to the drone.
Drone restrictions in India are relaxing but you still can’t take a drone with you on a domestic flight. This affects people taking vacations who want to bring a drone to capture videos. However, now a remote pilot license is not required for nano and micro drones used for non-commercial or personal use. Also, model aircraft and nano drones do not require a certificate. An airspace map for unmanned aircraft system operations is being planned by the government.