Drone News Roundup: DJI Mini 2 Gets Big Update, FPV Video Features Tightrope Walker in CO, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz8 January 2021
This week we’re covering a recent update for the DJI Mavic Mini 2 that adds features to the popular new prosumer drone as well as fixes some pre-existing issues that were present when it was first launched.
We’re also covering an adrenaline-filled FPV video out of Colorado that includes footage of a tightrope walker crossing a canyon, a UFO sighting in Hawaii that was reported to the FAA, the use of drones to detect old oil and gas wells in New York, and the very first patent awarded for Remote ID for drones.
Now let’s get to those links!
DJI Mini 2 Gets Big Update, Adding New Features and Fixes
Photo credit: DJI
A new update for the Mini 2 (version 01.02.0100, to be exact) is available when you connect the drone to the DJI Fly app. The update adds several features to DJI’s latest prosumer drone:
- Zoom has been added to photo mode (video modes already have this)
- 48, 50, and 60 fps have been added for recording in 2.7K video
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been optimized to allow for quicker connections and improved stability
- Previous issues with strange colors appearing in DNG panoramas and strange textures appearing in the upper left corner when recording in 4K have been fixed
In addition to the above, the update has improved flight stability for the drone in certain scenarios.
FPV Video by Denver Drone Pilot Features Tightrope Walker Crossing CO Canyon
We’ve really been enjoying FPV drone videos lately, both those that feature stunts and those that take us on up-close tours of beautiful locations. And this video featuring FPV shots captured by drone pilot and videographer Will Strathmann is a great blend of both. With stunning shots of the Rocky Mountains, close flying along high-rise buildings in Denver, and shots weaving in and out as a tightrope walker makes his way across a canyon, this video has everything we want in FPV flying. If you want more great FPV videos like this one, check out this post we published a few weeks back.
Blue UFO Sightings in Hawaii Recorded on Smartphones, Reported to the FAA
Earlier this week, multiple sightings of a strange blue object in the night sky over the island of O’ahu, in Hawaii, prompted several calls to 911 and reports to the FAA. Videos of the object were captured by several people on their smartphones. Reportedly a smaller, white craft was also seen tailing it. The blue UFO was followed until it was seen crashing—or diving?—into the ocean. The FAA has confirmed receipt of multiple reports regarding these sightings but has stated that it “did not have any aircraft disappear off the radar nor any reports of overdue or missing aircraft” in that area at the time.
Drones Used to Detect Spilled and Abandoned Oil in New York
Photo credit: NYSERDA
Custom drones equipped with instruments that detect methane will be used in New York to find abandoned oil and gas wells. The project is a joint effort between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). These wells pose a significant risk to the environment, as they make up about 10% of New York’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Many of them are remnants from drilling that started back in the 19th century. Over 2,000 wells have been found so far, but New York officials believe there are many more that need to be located and plugged.
Aria Ascend Gets First Remote ID for Drones Patent from U.S. Patent Office
Photo credit: Aria Ascend
The FAA announced its new, much-anticipated Remote ID rule for drones right as 2020 was coming to a close. And now news has broken that the U.S. patent office awarded its first patent for Remote ID for Drones to Oregon-based Aria Ascend. More specifically, the patent was awarded to the company’s CEO, Kenji Sugahara, who is also President of the newly-formed Drone Service Providers Alliance. Some time back Sugahara wrote a white paper on Remote ID that he shared with the FAA Remote ID ARC, which informed the FAA’s thinking on the final rule that was recently released.
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