07 Oct 15. The Federal Aviation Administration will test new technology to detect and track rogue drone flights around U.S. airports through a partnership with Arlington, Virginia-based CACI International Inc., the agency said on Wednesday. The FAA is also testing other safety- and security-related technologies including geo-fencing software in response to a recent surge in unauthorized drone flights near airports and crowded public venues, Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker said testified before a House aviation subcommittee.
“We will assess the results of that technology as well as geo-fencing as well as other technologies to try to develop an approach in conjunction with other agencies that have a security issue involved here,” Whitaker told lawmakers.
He said FAA is also considering setting up a registry with manufacturers to keep track of drone owners, whether commercial or recreational. Congress in 2012 prevented FAA from regulating recreational drones, which are believed to be involved in many rogue flights.
Officials say the growing number of unauthorized drone flights pose a safety and security risk to the public. But authorities have been able to track down the operators of the unmanned aerial systems in only a tiny fraction of cases.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon have been involved in developing jamming technologies that could be deployed by federal authorities and local police.
CACI International is a multinational professional services and information technology company that has contracted with federal agencies in the defense, intelligence and homeland security areas.
Whitaker also told the House panel that FAA and private sector partners have demonstrated technology that would enable commercial drones to detect and avoid aircraft and other objects automatically as well as radio controls.
Experts say detect-and-avoid and radio command-and-control technologies would be necessary for drones to fly autonomously over longer distances in package delivery systems envisioned by companies such as Amazon.com and Google
The FAA has proposed new regulations for commercial drone use. But the rules include restrictions that could limit commercial applications including provisions requiring unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to fly within an operator’s line of sight and during daylight hours only. A final version of the regulations is expected early next year.
“We are already looking beyond the small UAS rulemaking at what comes next in terms of the types of operations expected and what technologies we may need to certify to ensure safety,” Whitaker in written testimony. (Source: Reuters)
05 Oct 15. Hirth Motors Launches New 4103 8hp UAV Engine. Goebler-Hirthmotoren GmbH & Co. KG (Hirth Motors) launched a new 4103 engine based on their highly successful 4102 engine which to date has flown over 20,000 missions in theatre. The 4103 engine is an air-cooled, rotary valve controlled 2-stroke boxer engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI) and has been updated with the latest engine technology to create a new consumer off the shelf (COTS) propulsion system which meets the demanding requirements of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market.
Features include: advanced closed loop fuel control to optimize performance, CAN bus or RS485 interface for easy communication with the UAV flight computer, shielded ECU/harness to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and optional lightweight 500W starter/generator to provide remote start and air vehicle electrical power. It also features automatic altitude and temperature compensation enabling reliable start and operation in a wide operating range. Temperature: -40 to +50 degree C (-40 to +122 degree F). Altitude: 0 – 6000m (0 – 20,000 ft.). Hirth has been producing engines since 1917 and their reputation for reliable lightweight 2-stroke engines in the sport aviation market has helped expand their UAV business over the years as the global dema