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Drone News Roundup: DJI Security Concerns, Lume Cube Strobe Sale, and Lots More!

BY Tres Crow
24 July 2020

This week’s roundup is a grab bag of drone stories. We have a little bit of drone security concern, a Lume Cube strobe sale, and even a dollop of thermionic power generation (thermi-what!?) to get you through this last official weekend of July. So, if you’re interested in using super-heated electrons to power drone flight for hours, you’ve come to the right place.

Enough pre-amble…onto the link!


Cybersecurity Researchers Raise Concerns Over DJI’s Android App

DJI New York Times Researchers Concerns

Image credit New York Times

Recent reporting by the New York Times calls attention to a security vulnerability found by cybersecurity researchers in DJI’s Android App. Researchers found that DJI can update the app directly on the user’s phone without the user being aware that it’s happening. The reason for this is because of the complicated relationship China has with Google, and the myriad technical workarounds Chinese companies must find in order to reach Google users abroad, but it still highlights the increasing security tension between the US and China. While the story doesn’t say which of DJI’s Android apps is affected, it does state that the same problem was not found on the apps designed for Apple phones.



Fundraiser for Louisiana Drone Pilot

ULC Tort Law Drones

Louisiana drone enthusiast James Benson has started a GoFundMe to help with the legal expenses in his ongoing case with the State of Louisiana over alleged trespassing with a drone. Louisiana officials claim that Benson was trespassing on his neighbors’ properties when he briefly flew over their homes, however Benson says his flight log clearly shows that he was following Federal drone guidelines and was safely at 300-400 feet when he flew over his neighbors’ houses. Benson faces fines, potential jail time and probation, and has been banned from using his drone. His case highlights the often confusing web of local, state, and federal rules governing drone use. You can donate to his legal fund below.



Lume Cube Strobes Now on Sale

Lumecube strobes on sale!

Image credit Droner

The popular Lume Cube Strobe is on sale for 25% off, so if you’re in the market for a new strobe light for your drone, now would be the time to jump.



Can Thermionic Power Generation Get Hours of Flight Time?

Thermionic is not a nuclear bomb

Image credit PRI

San Diego-based firm Space Charge is developing a prototype for thermionic power generation that could potentially help drones reach flight times of hours instead of minutes. Thermionic power generation is a fancy term for converting loose electrons into electricity by heating them up. The actual physics are significantly more complicated than that, but improvements in materials and electronics have made it easier and cheaper to build lighter weight thermionic generators. Space Charge has its eyes on building a generator that is light enough to power a drone, which could mean hours of flight time.



Skydio and DRONERESPONDERS Announce the Five C’s

Skydio and DRONERESPONDERS announce partnership

Image credit Medium

Drone manufacturer Skydio and the public safety drone non-profit DRONERESPONDERS have just announced the release of their Principles for the Responsible Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies. Dubbed “The Five C’s,” the document represents months of work by both organizations to identify the key ingredients of a public safety drone program.



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