Brendan Jacobs's Posts (6)

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According to a new report, the 25-member drone task force will recommend mandatory drone registration be “simple and free” and be required for all drones that weigh more than nine ounces.

The task force will recommend users register by entering their name and address into a government-run website or mobile application.

Users will also have to attach a “legible” registration number to their drone.

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Traditional algorithms focused on this problem would use the images captured by each camera, and search through the depth-field at multiple distances - 1 meter, 2 meters, 3 meters, and so on - to determine if an object is in the drone’s path.

Such approaches, however, are computationally intensive, meaning that the drone cannot fly any faster than 5 or 6 miles per hour without specialized processing hardware.

Barry’s realization was that, at the fast speeds that his drone could travel, the world simply does not change much between frames. Because of that, he could get away with computing just a small subset of measurements - specifically, distances of 10 meters away.

“You don’t have to know about anything that’s closer or further than that,” Barry says. “As you fly, you push that 10-meter horizon forward, and, as long as your first 10 meters are clear, you can build a full map of the world around you.”

The drone is a modified Team Blacksheep plane, flown by an APM 2.5. More details in their paper here.

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The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the 25-member task force that will advise the administration on its proposed drone registration rules.

The FAA says the group’s co-chairs are Dave Vos of GoogleX and Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.

Amazon has two members on the task force, joining others from 3D Robotics, DJI, Google, GoPro, and many others.

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11 Problems with Drone Registration


Drone lawyer Jonathan Rupprecht shares several obstacles that could be in the way of a drone registration system. Rupprecht believes built-in geofencing will produce far better results than registration by preventing problems as opposed to pointing to who might have done it after something has happened. Here are some potential problems Rupprecht sees with mandatory registration:

Registration Only Helps if There's a Crash

Manned aircraft N Numbers are hard enough to see. I can’t even see the logo on my Cheerson CX-10 from 10 feet. If there is a crash, do you really think you are going to find the small piece of plastic that had the “sharpie-drawn” N-number on it, the mailbox number stickers, or the serial barcode sticker under the gimbal? The only counter to this is taglets mixed in the plastic matched up with laser etched numbers on the critical parts that would most likely survive a crash (motors, etc.).  Simple registration is useless unless this is a comprehensive manufacturer backed plan. What happens if DJI requires registration but Yuneec does not?

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Like It or Not, Drone Licensing Is Coming


By Stephen Mann

What an outrageous proposal. How dare you propose drone hobbyists be licensed before they start flying?

This is the only way to save the hobby of personal drone flight. It’s the only way to protect the hobby from overreaching, confusing, conflicting and almost always illegal attempts by the government to regulate flight.

Licensing is going to happen. Just look at all the hysteria that surrounds every drone sighting. No sensation-seeking journalist or politician can pass that opportunity for grandstanding. This is why we should get ahead of them and propose reasonable licensing now before the politicians force very unreasonable licensing terms on us.

Ham radio is a good example of how this can work. Amateur Radio operators have been operating in an environment regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for decades using volunteer examiners (VE) to administer the tests for various Amateur Radio classes of licenses. 

The VE forwards the test materials to the FCC and, if the applicant passes, they receive their Amateur Radio license. VEs usually are members of ham radio clubs who also provide classes in radio theory and FCC rules. The FCC does not collect any fees for the Amateur Radio license, but the VE may charge a small fee for preparing and administering the test.

Read more here:

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By Jonathan Rupprecht, Esq.

Amazon has a great plan on how to safely integrate delivery drones into the air. But as a drone attorney and flight instructor, I see that this plan has some regulatory hurdles to overcome.

Here are three major problems I see with Amazon’s drone airspace plan.

Airspace Problems in the FAA’s Proposed Regulations
The altitudes are logically broken down into 200ft (max height under a blanket COA), 400ft (max height under a “333 exemption”), and 500ft (generally, the floor of navigable airspace as defined in 14 C.F.R. 91.119(c)).

The 400-500 feet buffer zone provides a nice cushion in case there is a simultaneous altimeter error of a manned aircraft, a GPS error on a drone, or just a private pilot fiddling with or trying to find something in the cockpit.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) greatly detailing drone operations below 500 feet, but the NPRM and Amazon’s plans don’t exactly line up. The FAA will have to amend its proposed rules to match up with Amazon’s.

For example, the FAA’s proposed rules allow for drone flights up to 500 feet. The FAA would have to change the proposed rules down to 400 feet. Furthermore, the FAA’s proposed rules allow many small drones to fly in the 200-400 feet area, while Amazon’s plan would limit it to “well equipped vehicles as determined by the relevant performance standards and rules.”

Read more here:

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