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5 Drone News Stories to Keep You Warm This Cold Mother’s Day Weekend

BY Tres Crow
8 May 2020

Whew! What a week it’s been for the drone industry! Between DJI dropping yet another new drone and the FAA announcing their new technology partners for Remote ID, there has been a ton of moving and shaking going down. Since there’s a massive winter storm coming for the East Coast and it’s pretty much freezing everywhere east of the Mississippi, we figured we’d put all the best stories together into one big DRONE NEWS ROUNDUP to help us all get through this cold, cold Mother’s Day weekend. Speaking of Mother’s Day — looking for a last minute gift for the techie mom in your life? Check out our guide to top drones under $180.

Alright, now let’s get to the drone stories:

DJI Doubles Flight Time With New Matrice 300

SJI Matrice 300 obstacle avoidance

As cool as this image is, we checked and the DJI Matrice 300 does not shoot lasers out its eyes. Image credit DJI

DJI is bringing the heat from both ends this year with two new drones in as many weeks. Last week saw them introduce the newest tiny tyke to their collection of Mavics with the Mavic Air 2, and now they’ve announced their latest industrial drone, the Matrice 300. Boasting a 55 minute flight time, and a bunch of cool new features sure to tantalize commercial drone pilots, the Matrice 300 is a major step forward for DJI. We’ll hit you back next week with our official write-up of the new drone, but for now TechCrunch has a really solid review that should get you through the weekend. You can also check out the new DJI Matrice 300 landing page for more info direct from the horse’s mouth.

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FAA Releases Names of Remote ID Technology Partners

Remote ID FAA Technology Partners

Image credit Kittyhawk.

The FAA recently announced the technology partners that will be joining them on their journey to a functional national Remote ID system. The proposed system is not without controversy, but the FAA is pushing ahead with development with the help of tech and telecom giants like Wing, T-Mobile, and Amazon Prime Air.

According to US Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao:

The FAA will be able to advance the safe integration of drones into our nation’s airspace from these technology companies’ knowledge and expertise on remote identification.

There’s no word yet on when the Remote ID rule will be announced or how it will effect small-to-medium-sized professional drone operators.

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Study Finds Delivery Drones Use More Energy Than Trucks

Drone Delivery could waste energy

Image credit BBC.

Commercial drone delivery is rapidly expanding, as we pointed out last week, with the number of commercial drone operations increasing from 1 to 3. But, a recent study suggests that drones may not be as energy-efficient as proponents would like. According to the Chair of Operations Management at Germany’s Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Dr. Thomas Kirschstein, drones use more energy in urban areas than trucks because of the large amount of power required to hover, take off, and land, which are all more energy-intensive activities than idling for a truck. There’s a lot more info on the study and its ramifications in this great article by The Drone Girl.

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Frost & Sullivan Predict Power and Utility Drone Sector to Grow by 10x

DJI Matrice 300 in flight near a power line

Image credit DJI.

Business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan have released their latest report on drones in power generation and utilities, predicting the market will grow by a 23% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the 2020’s. This won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s been watching the rapid adoption of drones in tower and line inspection, but there’s still plenty of juicy info the report. You’ll need to register to get it, but it’s free and comes with a handy infographic with a lot of the key insights.

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Engineering Firm Announces New Drone-Based Bathymetry Solution

Bathymetric survey of the Atlantic Trench - not created with a drone

Image credit Wikipedia

Drones are already starting to be used consistently for land maps, and now the Latvian firm SPH Engineering have announced a drone solution for mapping the depth of water, otherwise known as bathymetry. Essentially, the firm attaches an Echo Sounder to a drone and fly the same types of grid patterns drone pilots use to make land maps. According to SPH Engineering:

Analyzing about 150 inquiries we have come to the conclusion that a drone-based solution could open a new business opportunity for drone service companies to do bathymetry surveys of coastal and inland water especially those for industrial needs.

They estimate, using drones could be twice as cost effective as current collection methods.

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That’s a wrap for this week, but if you’re looking for more drone news sign up for our free weekly newsletter at the button below, and every Saturday we’ll drop a megaton of drone industry news right into your inbox.

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