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Drone News Roundup: Teal Launches Golden Eagle Drone, Commercial UAV Expo Americas Starts Next Week, and More

BY Zacc Dukowitz
11 September 2020

This week we’re covering Teal Drones’ release of the Golden Eagle drone, which has already been approved by the Department of Defense for use by federal agencies.

We’re also covering Commercial UAV Expo Americas annual conference taking place virtually next week, the live Spinup drone event happening this Saturday on YouTube, Seatrec’s self-charging underwater drone, the FAA’s second phase of UTM testing, and Shell’s new drone partnerships with both DJI and Avitas.

Now on to the links!

Teal Launches Government-Approved Golden Eagle Drone

Photo credit: Teal Drones

We’ve been hearing about Teal Drones’ Golden Eagle a lot lately. It is one of two drones that uses FLIR’s new plug-and-play Hadron dual sensor module (the other is Vantage Robotics’ Vesper). It’s also one of only five drones recently approved by the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for use by government agencies, also called Blue sUAS. The Golden Eagle’s primary use case is aerial surveillance but it looks like it has the potential to do a whole lot more for commercial drone applications.


Commercial UAV Expo Americas Kicks Off Next Week


Commercial UAV Expo’s annual U.S. conference will be held virtually next Tuesday, September 15 through Thursday, September 17. The conference kicks off with a Virtual “Outdoor” Flying Demonstration on Tuesday, followed by an Emerging Technology Showcase featuring new cutting edge tech in the UAV world. For the first time ever, the event will feature a virtual (FAA) Support Center, providing guidance to attendees on how to navigate waivers and authorizations and how to operate safely in various environments, not to mention a bevy of talks, demos, and sessions on various aspects of the drone industry.


SpinUp 2020 Starts this Saturday


SpinUp is an annual drone event that includes speakers and drone enthusiasts from all over. It’s taking place this Saturday, 9/12 from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. EST (the event usually takes place in person but it has been moved to YouTube due to the ongoing pandemic). SpinUp 2020 will feature talks from Sally French (AKA The Drone Girl), Miriam McNabb of DroneLife, and Rachel Jacobson, the new president of DRL (among others). The event is completely free on the Ready Set Drone YouTube channel but there are also tiers for paid attendance, which you can learn about by clicking the link below.


Seatrec Launches Stations that Power Drones Using Temperature Changes in the Water

Photo credit: Seatrec

This is the coolest tech we’ve heard about in a while. In a recent announcement, Seatrec shared the news that it has developed a drone that operates by harnessing the natural changes in the temperature of the water using “underwater energy harvesting stations.” The stations tap the differences in temperature between the warmer water at the ocean’s surface and the colder water at the ocean’s depths, creating a sustainable way to charge drones that can be used for mining, monitoring, or military applications, according to Seatrec.


FAA Moves to Phase 2 of UTM Testing

Image source

Pandemic or not, the FAA is moving forward with its plans for testing and rolling out UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management). The FAA first started its UTM testing in January of 2019, after NASA completed its own years-long project. Phase 2 will test Remote ID in dense airspace, such as the airspace found near airports or in busy urban areas. The testing will take place at two locations—the NY UAS Test Site at Griffis International Airport and the Virginia Tech, Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP). MAAP is also a UAS IPP partner and has worked with Wing in its drone delivery testing, which resulted in the launch of the first consumer drone delivery program in the U.S. at the start of this year.


Shell Doubles Down on Drones, Forming Partnerships with DJI and Avitas

Photo credit: DJI

In the Oil and Gas industry, Shell has proven that it’s determined to be one of the fastest adopters of drone technology, recently announcing partnerships with both DJI and Avitas. The DJI partnership will not only cover the use of DJI drones for inspections that support Shell’s massive Oil and Gas infrastructure, but will also include the creation and deployment of new drone technology made to spec, including a new feature call AI Spot-Check made for inspections. Shell’s Avitas partnership will focus on using drones equipped with optical gas imaging cameras and laser-based detection systems to locate methane leaks in its operations in the Permian Basin, a huge area for oil and gas production spread across parts of West Texas and New Mexico.


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