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Drone News Roundup: DJI Launches the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, Eagle Carries Drone Away, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
12 February 2021

This week we’re covering DJI’s new Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced drone, a souped-up new version of its popular Mavic 2 drone made for commercial work.

We’re also covering a video of an eagle attacking a drone in the wild, Google’s moves to create a new type of fire-fighting drone, an FPV drone video featuring a nail-biting ride down a mountain face in Scotland, and NOAA’s testing of a greenhouse-gas detecting drone.

Now on to the links!

DJI Unveils the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

dji-mavic-2-enterprise
Photo credit: DJI

DJI’s Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is an updated version of the company’s popular Mavic 2 made for commercial applications, including surveying, mining, and inspections. The new drone features big upgrades, with its thermal camera boosted from 160×120 thermal resolution to 640×512 and its visual camera jumping from 12 MP to 48 MP. The drone also comes with an RTK module that DJI says will enable “vastly superior real-time positioning precision.”

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Eagle Grabs Drone As It Flies Over the Ocean

You might remember that eagles have been tested before as an anti-drone solution. Back in 2016, the Dutch National Police had a program that trained bald eagles to take drones out of the sky. And the approach seemed to work—surprisingly well, actually. Makes you wonder if the eagle that took out the drone in this video might be a graduate of that program . . .

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Google Seeks Approval to Test New Fire-Fighting Drone

HSE-UAV M8A Pro unmanned aircraft system
Photo credit: HSE-UAV

A section of Google called the Research Climate Energy Group wants to test the use of a crop-spraying drone for fire fighting and fire monitoring. The drone Google wants to test is the HSE-UAV M8A Pro (shown above). To get permission for exploring these new use cases for the M8A Pro, Google has sent a formal request to the FAA requesting “relief from specified requirements” of its drone regulations so that it can conduct testing at a private site located in Firebaugh, California.

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FPV Mountain Biking Video Highlights Harrowing Descent in Scotland

Danny MacAskill - The Slabs

This adrenaline-infused FPV video was shot using a combination of GoPros mounted on the bicyclist and FPV racing drones. It features some incredible, occasionally terrifying mountain biking from Danny MacAskill, a professional street trials mountain bike rider.  The ride took place in the Dubh Slabs, located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where MacAskill is from. According to him, it was “some of the steepest terrain I have ever ridden”—and it was practically in his backyard.

SEE HOW THE VIDEO WAS MADE


NOAA Begins Tests of Its Greenhouse-Gas Sampling Drone

noaa-drones-for-good
Photo credit: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) has built a drone called HORUS that can be used in high altitude greenhouse gas sampling, and that drone is almost ready for primetime. HORUS has already passed airworthiness review with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) and Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB). Upcoming flight testing will take place at EAFB in restricted airspace, and will look at how the drone performs the execution of several different flight profiles and patterns. The ultimate goal is to use HORUS for flying at 95,000 above sea level to collect gas samples in the stratosphere, enhancing the accuracy of the data NOAA can collect and the frequency with which it can collect it.

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