Expodrónica Air Show 2023: Spain’s Airspace Integration Week Drone Extravaganza

Expodronica Air Show 2023Expodrónica at Airspace Integration Week 2023 Madrid

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Walker Robinson

Airspace Integration Week begins in Madrid on September 25. The event will last four days and it will highlight integration between both manned and unmanned aircraft sectors, showcasing the latest innovations and applications in aerospace technologies.

The event will be hosted by IFEMA Madrid and Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome. There will be exhibitions, networking opportunities, and expert presentations in the four theaters of IFEMA Madrid during the first two days of the event. The following two days will have additional exhibitions and live demonstrations at the Cuatro Vientos Airport.

Airspace integration week is designed to bring together the industry actors and government officials under the umbrella of aviation systems and space exploration. Some of the officials in attendance included members of the European Union, NATO, the U.S. Armed Forces, EUROCONTROL, NASA, and national air safety agencies.

“Airspace Integration Week allows our attendees the only opportunity to get closer to the inner workings of airspace management and the single sky and to learn first-hand about the pioneering initiatives that will transform the way we understand the world,” says Brian Bruckbauer, President of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA).

Three additional interrelated events will take place during Airspace Integration Week. The Airspace Integration Congress (AI) will be held from September 25th to 27th, highlighting key successes in the integration of unmanned aircrafts into airspaces. The first ever World Space Summit will take place at the same time, aimed to connect actors involved in the development of new technologies for the exploration of space. Concluding the week, the Expódronica Air Show, taking place at the Cuatro Vientos Airport, will exhibit how both manned and unmanned aircrafts can integrate and coexist.

“In the last decade, innovation has won the sky. But never before the opportunities have been so clear.” says Isabel Buatas, Director of Expódronica, “AI and advances towards autonomy in traditional manned aviation; the integration of advanced area mobility in cities and its deployment in economic sectors as important as logistics, agriculture, industry and security; its full integration in the field of defense and its approaching incorporation in the transport of people and goods.”

Towards the end of the week, prizes will be given to the projects that have contributed the greatest to aerospace integration in each field; unmanned, manned, space, and civil-military cooperation. The week concludes with a Drone Film Festival and a drone light show.

Registration is open and free to anyone interested in attending. Airspace Integration Week is an opportunity to see how manned and unmanned aircrafts can safely and efficiently share the sky.

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Walker Robinson is a 2022 Graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a passion for renewable energy and emerging technologies. An early career professional experienced in both sales and development of residential and utility-scale renewable energy systems, he is delighted to be part of the drone industry.

NBAA, Stakeholders Caution AAM Working Group: Competition is “Fierce and Rapidly Advancing”

PLANA AAM, Hi-AirNBAA Offers Guidance on Advanced Air Mobility Integration Initiatives

In a recent statement, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has addressed two crucial initiatives aimed at facilitating the safe and seamless integration of advanced air mobility (AAM) into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS).

Drawing from insights gathered through its AAM Roundtable and Emerging Technology Committee, NBAA has provided valuable input to government agencies concerning proposals that hold implications for pilots, manufacturers, infrastructure developers, and various stakeholders.

The first initiative involves NBAA’s response to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the “Integration of Powered-Lift: Pilot Certification and Operations; Miscellaneous Amendments Related to Rotorcraft and Airplanes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).” This endeavor aims to establish transition regulations, or Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFAR), for pilot certification and operating rules to enable the commencement of services.  (See the proposed rule here.)

Collaborating with organizations including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association, and the Vertical Flight Society, NBAA has expressed several concerns pertaining to the proposal. Additionally, they have outlined practical suggestions to ensure safe pilot qualification and operations.

The concerned parties have highlighted that the proposal deviates from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for airman certification, placing undue burdens on powered-lift manufacturers and operators and introducing impractical mandates for powered-lift aircraft equipped with a single set of controls. Furthermore, the suggested rule fails to align with ICAO guidance regarding operational rules, limiting operators from fully utilizing the capabilities of these aircraft.

According to the associations’ collective commentary, “Unfortunately, this NPRM does not empower the development of powered-lift aircraft with the potential described by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The proposal for airman qualification creates a barrier for most AAM aircraft manufacturers to enter the U.S. market and the proposed operations rules create an uneven playing field for powered-lift aircraft, failing to take advantage of the many benefits provided by vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.”

The associations stress that aligning with ICAO standards will enable U.S. manufacturers and operators to meet the projected operations launch timeline in 2025 and ensure a thriving AAM industry in the United States for years to come.

NBAA Cautions IWG: Competition is “Fierce and Rapidly Advancing”

The second initiative involves NBAA’s dual-pronged recommendations to the Department of Transportation’s AAM Interagency Working Group (IWG), which was established following the passage of the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act in October 2022.

As stated in the Request for Information (RFI), “As the IWG knows, the U.S. has been at the forefront of aviation leadership and innovation for decades. We have the potential to continue to lead the next phase in the evolution of aviation with AAM, but competition with other nations is fierce and rapidly advancing. Among other considerations, this means the FAA will need to keep pace with its promised regulatory schedule, so that the first AAM commercial operations can occur as soon as 2025.”

NBAA has underscored the paramount importance of safety while advocating for the timely and thoughtful introduction of AAM services. In the long term, the association has urged the agency to collaborate closely with stakeholders to facilitate gradual scaling of AAM operations. Additionally, NBAA has emphasized the need to foster community acceptance and address potential concerns stemming from the integration of on-demand air mobility services into the existing aviation system.

The RFI outlines, “The path to realizing the goals of advanced air mobility is a complex and multifaceted endeavor. However, by upholding a steadfast commitment to security, adhering to regulatory timelines, harnessing existing infrastructure and fostering community acceptance, we can pave the way for a future where the skies are not just a symbol of boundless potential but a tangible and integrated component of our modern transportation landscape.”

Highlighting the significance of this united industry approach for federal AAM planning, NBAA Chief Operating Officer Chris Rocheleau has emphasized that “Taken together, the industry’s input on these two key initiatives will inform the work needed to ensure that the U.S. remains the world’s leader in fostering the development, integration, and utilization of promising advanced air mobility technologies.”

View NBAA’s full comments here.

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RIEGL Integrates VQ-840-G Topo-Bathymetric Laser Scanner into Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100

RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH and SCHIEBEL have successfully completed the integration of a high-end laser scanning system, the RIEGL VQ-840-G topo-bathymetric LiDAR sensor, on the Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS).

The RIEGL VQ-840-G, combined with the outstanding technical specifications and performance of the CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS, enables an efficient and secure way for surveying shallow waters, where monitoring from boats becomes a challenge. The applications of Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry (ALB) include the mapping of coastlines and river banks as well as the monitoring of natural habitats, water reservoirs and hydraulic engineering applications (e.g., canals, dams, bridges).

In a single data acquisition mission, data below and above the water surface are covered.

Source: Press Release

UVision USA and Axxeum Launch Hero 120 Loitering Munition System from An Airborne Helicopter

UVision USA, the US subsidiary of UVision Air, in collaboration with Axxeum, a full-service aviation integration facility, has announced the successful launch of its Hero 120 loitering munition system from an airborne helicopter.

The capability was demonstrated during the EDGE 23 event in May 2023 at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.

The trial showcased the system’s ability to complete a sensor-to-shooter cycle by launching the Hero 120 from a Bell 412EP helicopter to strike a ground target. The Hero 120 demonstrated safe separation, successfully launching from the helicopter while it was airborne. Several parameters were tested and proven successful during the trial, including launching from a safe altitude without endangering the helicopter, transferring tactical control between the on-board operator and the ground operator six times, pursuing the munition to a forward location, controlling the system within a 30-kilometer range from the helicopter, and effectively attacking a ground target over a 50-kilometer flight.

The successful launch was made possible through the cooperation between UVision USA and Axxeum. Axxeum designed a fully mechanical docking system for the single canister launcher, conducted all structural and load analysis, established safe flight envelopes, and operated Axxeum’s Bell 412 helicopter. This accurate modeling and integration allowing for electrically-triggered launches without the need for integration with the helicopter’s electrical systems or flight controls. This revolutionary solution enables safe launch and installation in any helicopter or aerial platform.

Major General (Ret.) Avi Mizrachi , CEO of UVisionAir Ltd, the parent company of UVIsion USA , expressed pride in the successful demonstration of the Hero 120’s advanced capabilities.

The company conducted extensive mechanical and aerodynamic analyses over five months to ensure the system’s performance and its impact on the helicopter were thoroughly tested. UVision works closely with various defense forces in the U.S., and this successful demonstration reaffirms confidence in the company’s advanced solutions.

Oleg Sirbu, CEO of Axxeum, echoed the sentiments of Mr. Truxel. Sirbu was on board the Bell 412 during the first ever aerial launch of the Hero 120. Following the trial, he said,

“I am excited that Axxeum could play a key role in this collaborative program with UVision USA. The combined efforts brought forward a capability in five months that not many other companies could have completed. Axxeum’s experience in supporting major OEMs in rapid prototyping programs showcases our future together with UVision USA. I look forward to the ongoing success of the UVision platform and working with the US Government customer in future demonstrations for added capability of this tremendous system.”

The Hero 120 Loitering Munition System is a mid-range, anti-tank system designed to meet the demands of the modern battlefield. It employs high-precision strikes against anti-armor, anti-material, and anti-personnel targets, including tanks, vehicles, and soft targets in urban areas.

With minimal collateral damage and a range of multi-purpose warheads, the Hero 120 provides operational users with an effective engagement solution.

Source: Press Release

Benefits Multispectral Cameras For Drones – Exploring the Power of Multispectral Cameras in Drone Technology

In an era marked by rapid technological progress, the integration of multispectral cameras with drones has brought about a new dimension in image capture and analysis. With the increasing demand and significance of multispectral cameras for drones, we look at how these cameras work, their applications and the best drones with multispectral cameras.

What Are Multispectral Cameras?

Multispectral cameras are advanced imaging systems that capture image data within specific wavelength ranges across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Unlike the human eye, which sees colour in three bands (red, green, and blue), multispectral cameras can capture data in multiple bands, including those beyond the visible spectrum, like ultraviolet and infrared. By enabling us to see what the naked eye can’t; multispectral cameras allow us to observe a vast range of data from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, including ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, thus providing a richer, deeper understanding of the world around us, its composition, and hidden patterns.

These insights can be utilised in industries like agriculture and forestry management, where they help monitor crop health, forest density, allowing for early detection of disease or pest infestations and enabling more sustainable management of resources.

In environmental science and conservation, they facilitate the study of plant and animal populations and changes in ecosystems over time. Moreover, in the field of archaeology, they help uncover buried structures and artefacts, revealing insights into our historical and cultural past that may have otherwise remained hidden.

When we consider the best drones with multispectral cameras, we’re looking at an incredibly powerful combination. When commercial drones are equipped with multispectral cameras, they offer the capacity to gather high-resolution, detailed image data from vantage points that were once challenging or impossible to reach.

This combination has considerably expanded the potential applications of multispectral imaging, offering high-speed and efficient data collection over extensive areas.

In today’s fast-evolving digital landscape, multispectral cameras for drones have become instrumental in transforming sectors like agriculture, environmental science, infrastructure inspection, and disaster management.

This article will delve into the captivating realm of drone-based multispectral imaging, illuminating its workings, applications, and the compelling advantages of choosing the best drones with multispectral cameras.

Applications Of Multispectral Cameras For Drones

1. Precision Agriculture

In agriculture, drones armed with multispectral cameras have revolutionised crop health monitoring and irrigation management. They enable the capture of detailed images that can help identify areas of stress in crops due to disease, pest infestation, water shortage, or nutrient deficiency. This technology, often referred to as precision agriculture, allows farmers to target their interventions, leading to increased yield and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, multispectral cameras can help monitor irrigation systems and identify areas where water distribution is uneven, thereby conserving water and ensuring optimal crop growth.

2. Environmental Management

In the field of environmental science, multispectral cameras mounted on drones are used to track deforestation and study wetlands. They can detect changes in vegetation and soil health over time, providing crucial data to researchers. In wetland studies, these cameras can help differentiate between various types of vegetation and monitor changes in water levels, contributing to better management and conservation strategies.

3. Infrastructure Inspection & Monitoring

The infrastructure sector has also benefited from drone-based multispectral imaging. Building and construction inspections that once required intensive manual labour can now be done quickly and safely. Drones can access areas that are hard to reach or potentially dangerous for humans, like high rooftops or unstable structures. Similarly, in pipeline monitoring, drones can cover vast distances quickly, identifying potential leaks or weaknesses with high precision.

4. Archaeology 

In archaeology, multispectral drone cameras are used for site discovery and analysis. These cameras can reveal details invisible to the naked eye, such as soil discolourations indicating buried structures or artefacts. This technology allows for non-invasive examination of archaeological sites, preserving their integrity while gathering valuable data.

5. Disaster Management

Drones equipped with multispectral cameras play a crucial role in disaster management. They can quickly assess damage after a natural disaster, providing real-time data to emergency responders. This enables a swift response, potentially saving lives and speeding up recovery efforts.

Why Drones Are Better For Capturing Aerial Data

Drones have several advantages over traditional methods of aerial data collection, such as manned aircraft or satellite imaging. First, they are cost-effective, requiring less fuel and resources. Second, they can fly at lower altitudes and in narrower spaces, capturing high-resolution, detailed images. Drones are also flexible, capable of immediate deployment and easily adaptable to various missions.

Furthermore, they can be equipped with various sensors, like multispectral cameras, to collect specific types of data, thereby providing a versatile platform for data collection and analysis.

Multispectral Cameras For Drones

Due to their capability to capture data beyond the visible spectrum, multispectral cameras are an extraordinary enhancement to drone technology. However, not all drones are equipped to carry these cameras, and integrating them requires careful consideration of various factors. Let’s explore the types of drones that can carry multispectral cameras and how these sophisticated cameras are integrated into these aerial systems.

Types Of Drones That Can Carry Multispectral Cameras

The ability of a drone to carry a multispectral camera largely depends on its size, payload capacity, and flight capabilities. Here are some common types of drones that are often used for this purpose:

Multi-rotor Drones

These are the most commonly used drones for carrying multispectral cameras due to their stability, ease of control, and ability to hover in a single spot. However, their battery life and speed are relatively limited. Quadcopters, a type of multi-rotor drone, are frequently used for tasks requiring multispectral imaging.

Fixed-wing Drones

These drones are excellent for covering large areas due to their longer flight times and higher speeds. They are suitable for multispectral imaging tasks like large-scale crop monitoring or environmental surveys. However, they require more space for take-off and landing, and they cannot hover.

Hybrid Drones

These drones combine the advantages of multi-rotor and fixed-wing drones. They can take off and land vertically like multi-rotor drones and cover large distances quickly, like fixed-wing drones. As a result, they are highly suitable for various tasks requiring multispectral imaging.

Best Drones With Multispectral Cameras

Within the field of drones with multispectral imaging capability, a select few drones stand out due to their integrated multispectral cameras. Specifically, there are three notable models that come with built-in multispectral cameras. Two of these are advanced quadcopters engineered by DJI, a renowned global leader in drone technology. The third hails from AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc., a Swiss drone company known for innovative drone solutions. Beyond these, there are a variety of both multirotor and fixed-wing drones that, while not coming with pre-integrated multispectral cameras, have been designed to allow for the attachment of such imaging devices. This adaptability provides users the flexibility to customise their drones based on specific needs and application scenarios.

The following list provides an overview of these three drones with integrated multispectral cameras and includes a few examples of drones that can be retrofitted with such cameras.

It’s important to note, however, that while this list attempts to highlight some key models in the market, it only encompasses part of the full range of drones capable of supporting multispectral imaging. The dynamic drone industry continues to evolve and expand, yielding an ever-growing assortment of solutions to meet the diverse requirements of multispectral imaging applications.

Related: Best Commercial Drones

1. DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral 

Multispectral cameras for dronesThe DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral is DJI’s latest offering in the domain of drones with multispectral cameras. This state-of-the-art drone has been designed to be compact and easy to transport. Despite its small size, it comes packed with a multitude of powerful features that make it one of the best drones with multispectral cameras currently available on the market​. Its advanced imaging system lies at the heart of the DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral drone.

It houses a quartet of 5MP multispectral cameras that operate in the green, red, red edge and near-infrared wavelengths. Additionally, it is equipped with a high-resolution 20MP RGB camera that employs a 4/3 CMOS sensor. This potent combination of cameras opens up a world of possibilities, from precise aerial mapping to monitoring crop health and even conducting surveys of natural resources.

The RGB camera’s high-speed burst capability is a bonus, offering rapid image capture sequences​. The integrated sunlight sensor is one distinguishing feature of this DJI drone with a multispectral camera. This innovative feature records solar irradiance data in image files, which aids in compensating for light changes during 2D data reconstruction. The outcome is more accurate NDVI readings and superior consistency in the gathered data over time, making it a vital tool for reliable agricultural and environmental data collection​.

Incorporating an RTK module, the DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral drone is capable of achieving centimetre-level positioning. This feature facilitates high-accuracy aerial mapping without the need for ground control points. It’s a remarkable function, especially when precise geospatial data is essential, such as in comprehensive surveying or mapping tasks​.

One of the impressive features of this DJI drone with a multispectral camera is its long flight time. The drone can stay airborne for up to 43 minutes and can map a whopping 200 hectares in a single flight. This performance efficiency reduces the time and effort required to survey vast areas​​.

The drone’s O3 transmission system ensures a stable signal and smooth image transmission, even at distances up to 15km. Coupled with omnidirectional obstacle sensing, the drone can securely navigate and capture high-quality data in diverse conditions​. If you want a powerful yet compact drone with a multispectral camera, the DJI Mavic 3M is the best option.

2. eBee AG 

Multispectral cameras for drones

The eBee Ag is a precision agriculture drone designed by AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc. to provide user-friendly crop mapping and monitoring solutions. Built for farmers, agronomists, and agricultural service providers, it comes equipped with advanced aerial imaging capabilities that allow for comprehensive crop and field analysis. This aids users in making informed decisions concerning irrigation, fertilisation, and pest management.

One of the key features of the eBee Ag drone is the Duet M multispectral camera, which captures high-resolution RGB and multispectral images. The multispectral camera provides essential insights into plant health, stress levels, and vegetation indices by collecting data across multiple wavelengths, including visible and near-infrared bands.

The drone’s lightweight and durable airframe ensures efficient and extended flights, allowing it to autonomously navigate predefined flight paths and capture high-quality imagery with its integrated camera system. Furthermore, depending on various factors such as payload and weather conditions, the eBee Ag drone can offer flight durations of up to 55 minutes on a single battery charge, significantly enhancing its utility for agricultural data collection.

In the field of precision agriculture, the eBee Ag drone proves to be an invaluable asset by improving crop management and increasing agricultural productivity through its high-resolution multispectral camera and extended flight capabilities.

3. DJI Phantom 4 Multispectral

Multispectral cameras for dronesThe DJI P4 Multispectral drone is part of the iconic Phantom 4 series and maintains the design aesthetics of these drones. It was the first DJI drone equipped with a multispectral camera system. This drone’s features include a robust integrated imaging system that offers stability and comprehensiveness.

It’s equipped with an RGB camera and a multispectral camera array that includes five cameras, each designed to cover unique bands. This sophisticated imaging system ensures the collection of extensive and diverse data sets. Enhancing its precision, the P4 Multispectral drone showcases an impressive flight time of up to 27 minutes, and thanks to DJI’s OcuSync system, it can reach a transmission range extending up to 7 km.

These features allow for extensive area coverage and reliable data transmission, which is crucial for large-scale agricultural operations and environmental monitoring. One of the standout features of this drone is the incorporation of a spectral sunlight sensor, which measures solar irradiance. This inclusion elevates the accuracy and reliability of data capture throughout varying times of the day.

User experience with the drone is made versatile, with the ability to seamlessly switch between preliminary NDVI analysis and the live RGB feed. This enables real-time identification of areas necessitating attention and facilitates timely decision-making for targeted treatment applications.

Accuracy is further enhanced by the drone’s TimeSync system, which aligns the flight controller, cameras, and RTK module to provide centimetre-level measurements. Additionally, the P4 Multispectral drone is compatible with the D-RTK 2 Mobile Station, amplifying RTK positioning accuracy.

4. MicaSense RedEdge-P

Multispectral cameras for dronesThe MicaSense RedEdge Panchromatic (RE-P) is a high-end multispectral camera that combines a panchromatic sensor with five narrow bands to produce high-resolution multispectral and RGB imagery from a single flight. It offers a sharpened resolution down to 2 cm when flying at 60 m, making it twice as precise as the RedEdge-MX. The high resolution makes it suitable for applications requiring plant-level detail, such as plant counting and species identification, thereby proving valuable in fields like environmental monitoring and research.

The MicaSense RedEdge-P showcases remarkable versatility, effortlessly integrating with a diverse selection of commercial drones across the market. 3 of which are listed below.

4. DJI Matrice 300 RTK With MicaSense RedEdge-P

Multispectral cameras for dronesRevolutionising the realm of drone technology, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK is an aerial powerhouse packed with advanced AI capabilities. Engineered for various industrial applications, this drone’s standout features include an impressive flight time of up to 55 minutes, formidable wind resistance, and advanced sensors that ensure safe operation by detecting and avoiding obstacles in all directions. Its capacity to integrate multiple payloads allows for the use of a diverse range of sensors and cameras, making it a highly versatile device. The drone’s RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) system ensures that positioning data is accurate to the centimetre, promising precise data capture. It also includes an integrated health management system, offering real-time data on the drone’s critical systems for enhanced operational reliability.

5. WingtraOne VTOL Drone

Melding the best of both worlds, the WingtraOne is a unique VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) drone, capable of taking off and landing like a multirotor drone while offering the extensive coverage capabilities of a fixed-wing drone. The WingtraOne excels in coverage, being able to scan large areas up to 310 ha in one flight. Its VTOL capabilities permit take-off and landing in tight areas, while its user-friendly interface facilitates a smooth operation. Built for durability, this drone can weather diverse operating conditions, providing a reliable solution for challenging applications.

6. eBee X Fixed-Wing Drone

The eBee X from AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc is a robust fixed-wing drone meticulously designed for mapping and surveying applications. Despite being lightweight, the eBee X doesn’t compromise on capabilities. It offers up to 90 minutes of flight time, enabling it to cover up to 500 ha in a single flight. Its modular design accommodates various payloads, allowing for customisation based on specific mission needs.

Paired with the proprietary eMotion flight planning software, the eBee X facilitates accurate and efficient data capture. Even though it’s feather-light, the eBee X is designed to endure challenging weather conditions, ensuring dependable performance. Its compatibility with the MicaSense RedEdge-P multispectral camera transforms the eBee X into a versatile instrument for a plethora of applications demanding advanced aerial imaging.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, drones fitted with multispectral cameras are making a big difference in many areas. They’re helpful in sectors ranging from farming to environmental study, from exploring ancient sites to managing emergencies. They can capture detailed images in different wavelengths, which offers a new level of detail and efficiency for gathering data. We’ve dug deep into how these cameras work, looked at their wide range of uses and highlighted some of the best drones that work well with these cameras. Looking ahead, it’s clear that these drones and their multispectral cameras will only continue to improve and open up new opportunities in various fields.

Altitude Angel – Enhancing drone flight planning with UK SSSI integration

The integration of UK Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) into our flight planning platforms is an exciting development for drone operators. This integration, driven by valuable feedback and requests from the drone community, aims to enhance your drone flight planning by providing more information to ensure responsible and respectful flights in the UK. 

UK Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are designated areas recognised for their outstanding ecological importance. These sites, carefully selected by Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, and Scottish Natural Heritage, showcase diverse landscapes, rare species, and culturally significant landmarks. They serve as vital ecosystems and play a crucial role in preserving our natural heritage. 

With the integration of UK SSSI sites into our flight planning platforms, drone operators will find the sites under ‘Ground hazards’, visible by zooming in during the flight planning process within Drone AssistDronesafetymap.com and partner solutions. This will display SSSI sites in the area, giving drone operators visibility of these sites prior to their flights.  

By having visibility of SSSI sites during the flight planning stage, drone operators can proactively plan their flights in a way that minimises potential disturbances and prioritises the preservation of any ecologically sensitive area. It empowers drone operators to make informed decisions. 

British Company Launches World’s Most Advanced Electric Jet Engines for Commercial Drones

Whilst the commercial drone industry continues to expand, key issues surrounding the safety, integration and noise pollution of unmanned aircraft are failing to be addressed. Founded in 2022, British company Greenjets Limited is capitalising on these industry shortcomings with their family of breakthrough electric jet engines.

On May 10th, Greenjets launched its first propulsor to market, named IPM5. Designed to power the next generation of small unmanned aircraft, the engine has an all-up weight of 750g/1.6lb and provides a maximum thrust of 5kgf/11.0lbf at an efficiency of 360W/kgf.

IPM5 is engineered around a ducted fan architecture, which offers both a reduction in noise and an increase in safety over open bladed propellers. Greenjets has also patented several features that overcome weight and efficiency challenges traditionally faced by ducted fans. Alongside the development of IPM5,Greenjets is using this technology to produce propulsors for eVTOL and regional aircraft.

‍Anmol Manohar, Greenjets’ CEO, added,

‘‘With a team that combines decades of knowledge in traditional jet engines from Rolls-Royce, expertise in volume production of automotive engines from Cosworth and expertise in electrification from the UK Motorsport Valley, Greenjets is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in this space with ultra-quiet and ultra-efficient engines.’’

‍Guido Monterzino, Greenjets’ CTO, concluded,

‘‘Moving forwards, we have a very different business model. Unlike our rivals who only offer off-the-shelf products, Greenjets can offer product as well as quickly create bespoke engines that match their customers’ precise requirements for weight and thrust, thanks to our proprietary design systems and manufacturing methods.’’

Photo: Anmol Manohar, CEO with Dr. Guido Monterzino, CTO seen with a drone powered by the company’s new IPM5 electric jet engine

Source: Press Release

Full NAS Integration Plan of Action 2023

Golly, after twenty-plus years of UAS NAS integration, most folks still can’t figure out how the Chinese beat us at our own UAS game. Just ten short years ago, the AUVSI put out a forecast (political numbers Smokey Mountain forecast) that this industry would be worth $82.1 billion by 2025. We missed the mark; how and why did this happen?

Honest introspection is long overdue. Was it ineptitude, laziness, or shiftlessness on the part of the FAA? Or maybe it was just one of those one-in-eighty-two-billion crazy coincidences you see in the movies? Whatever realization we come to; the punchline is that our Chinese friends have a monopoly on small drones. Those vociferously defending the Chinese do so out of self-preservation, as without DJI, the “visionaries” have no business model.

We must implement the following, or we will spend more time on the regulatory wheel of suffering.

Conduct industry-funded scientific safety study with NASA.

 General risks to the NAS, including people and property on the ground.
 Kinetic energy
 Reliability

Compile industry data from manufacturers and regulators for public outreach, grassroots political advocacy, and regulatory purposes.

 Total hours flown, take-offs, and landings.
 Reliability
 Statistics for licensing, registration, and enforcement actions.

Advocacy platform for local, state, federal, and international purposes –

These efforts aim to put the economic and national security of the United States of America and NATO ally countries first.
 FAA should adopt standards that incentivize using domestically manufactured hardware, subsystems, sensors, software, etc.
 FAA needs to comply with the laws passed by Congress. That includes the full NAS integration mandated for September 30th of, 2015.

 FAA reauthorizations need to include compliance with the laws Congress makes. No deviations or missed deadlines, or mandates without peer-reviewable scientific data to confirm assertions.
 The FAA will not promulgate new rules or policies without peer-reviewable scientific data to justify the need.
 All regulations and policies promulgated with the assistance of representatives from companies funded by or complying with rules and laws of the Chinese Communist Party or the Peoples’ Republic of China need a forensic review. Those regulations and policy changes may have assisted in facilitating a monopoly for Chinese-made drones and may have inadvertently circumvented the rights of the people guaranteed them by the Constitution of the United States of America. A committee of SMEs appointed by Congress should conduct the review.

 The FAA must disclose any ex parte correspondence with the CCP/PRC representatives in text, email, sidebar meetings, or phone calls on or off the public’s time. No more private-public rulemaking.
 FAA will conduct due diligence and investigate committee participants/SMEs to determine whether they are representatives of companies that received direct or indirect investment from the CCP or PRC. Compliance with the FARA Act is a must. The FAA must disclose publicly that those representatives work as foreign agents in writing and on official policy or rulemaking documents. https://www.justice.gov/nsd-fara

 Advocate for a nonbiased and independent Drone Czar – (I have nominees)

The Drone Czar is a person who has professional/expert knowledge of not only the problems associated with UAS integration but also understands the history, engineering, systems, and regulation that it would take to put the Rube Goldberg machine together. This person has to have an intimate understanding of the laws and processes for UAS NAS integration and would be responsible for reporting to the highest levels of Government. International harmonization and working with international groups would be a plus. They would also need to have the trust of the end-user community. Ulterior motives that would benefit, for example, a spouse’s consulting firm or facilitate a former employer-moving product would not fly. Full integration in any sort of organized and timely fashion means hiring someone capable of integrating science, international business relations, and law with the pure interests of the business community.

ELYSION: Integration of CONTROP Camera System significantly expands capabilities for C-UAS solutions

The successful integration of CONTROP´s EO/IR Camera Systems in ESG´s core intelligence for drone detection and defence, the ELYSION C4I system, expands the capabilities of C-UAS systems for military and police customers significantly.  

End of April ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd. signed an MoU to strengthen cooperation in the further development of C-UAS solutions. The continuous integration of trend-setting sensors and effector technologies is elementary to sustainably successful detection and defence against uncooperative drones. An important capability is the enhancement of the verification of (incoming) threats or detections. 

Enhanced algorithms of ESG´s C-UAS core intelligence ELYSION hereby enable ever-increasing levels of automation and a combat-proven mission system backbone that provides interoperability of multiple systems in complex scenarios.
With CONTROP´s EO/IR camera systems integrated in ELYSION, ESG will soon provide a very robust, high-performing, field-proven and reliable sensor at an attractive ratio in terms of size, weight, power (SWaP) and cost. Thus ESG´s customers will benefit from a significant portfolio enhancement – day & night, long distance, on the move capability (OTM).

Knowing that strong partners are crucial for modular, effective and reliable C-UAS solutions, ESG will be continuing to work closely together with CONTROP and other capable partners to drive the joint development of robust C-UAS sensors and effectors to meet the specific requirements of its customer – now and in the future. 

About ESG:

ESG has been one of the leading German providers of design, integration, operation and in-service support of complex, security-related electronic and IT systems for more than five decades. In Germany and internationally, ESG provides products and services for customers from government authorities, the fields of defence and public security and industry. 

ESG is a certified aviation company for aircraft and aviation equipment for the Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces) and an aviation engineering company in line with EASA Part 21J, EASA Part21G and EASA Part 145. 

As a special systems company for mission avionics, simulation and training, as well as special deployment systems, ESG offers customized solutions. Independent process and technology consulting is one of ESG’s key competencies. Technology transfer between markets is what makes a significant contribution to our customers added value.


CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd. is a privately owned company headquartered in Israel, that specializes in the development and production of EO/IR systems for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting missions for air, land, and maritime applications including C-UAS, Homeland Security, Defence, and more.

Drone Detection: AeroDefense Launches Low Cost, Low Profile Remote ID Receiver [VIDEO]

AirWarden drone detectionAeroDefense Announces Remote ID Integration for Detection Systems, New Remote ID Receiver

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

AeroDefense has announced Remote ID integration for its AirWarden™ drone and pilot detection system, as well as the new AirWarden Remote ID Receiver: a compact and affordable Remote ID broadcast receiver. Under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Remote ID rule, flying drones are required to broadcast identification and location information that can be received by anyone. Newly manufactured drones are currently required to comply with this rule, while existing drones will need to do so by September 2023.

How it works:

A member of the Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership’s (SAAP) first flightPlan Aviation Accelerator cohort, AeroDefense developed the AirWarden Remote ID Receiver with the assistance of a research grant from the SAAP with the Atlantic County Economic Alliance. “AeroDefense embraced the collaboration and innovation opportunities that SAAP offers, and we hope to see many more cohort graduates achieve the same success,” said Program Director Carole Mattesich.

The system receives Remote ID broadcasts, with the AirWarden Command Console alerting the user to any breach in airspace by a Remote ID compliant drone. Essential information such as drone type, speed, and drone/pilot location is provided in real time while all other Remote ID information captured during detection can be reviewed on-demand. Organizations monitoring multiple sites can do so from a single screen, receiving visual alerts when a drone incident occurs in their specific area of interest.

AirWarden for Drone Detection

“The innovative AirWarden Remote ID Receiver not only receives Remote ID broadcasts but also detects WiFi drones publicly transmitting,” said AeroDefense Founder and CEO Linda Ziemba. “The affordable receiver makes drone detection realistic for critical locations such as our nation’s schools that are unbelievably vulnerable to violence. Security operations centers can monitor multiple locations and dispatch emergency response vehicles equipped with more powerful AirWarden sensors to detect and track drones that are not transmitting and can connect to AirWarden Remote ID Receivers when needed.”

Offenders might interfere with the Remote ID signature, disable the broadcast module, or fly a homemade device. As such, organizations with a high drone threat level and low risk tolerance need a solution capable of both receiving Remote ID broadcasts and identifying non-broadcasting drones regardless of make and model.

AeroDefense’s AirWarden full suite of fixed and mobile drone detection solutions includes the AirWarden Remote ID Receiver, the AirWarden Sensor (Fixed or Mobile), and the AirWarden Direction Finder Module, which is set to enter the beta testing phase in Q3 2023.

Read more:

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.