Drones to Fly on Battlefields

The US National Defense Magazine states that the US Marine Corps will be issuing quad-copters to all squads to enable aerial view and assist in mapping terrain data. For this purpose, the Marines acquired the Mk-2 GEN3-A0 drone which apparently is a highly agile quad-copter that could be even hand launched. It secures data by directly sending it to the pilot instead of saving it on an on-board memory. The 0.5kg (1.2lbs) drone has a flight endurance of up-to 30 mins and can reach speeds of up to 48.3 kmh (35 mph). It can travel up to about 1.93 km (1.2 miles) and withstand wind speeds of up to 48.3 kmh (30 mph). Pretty awesome drone to have. Fly safe, fly responsibly
Source: Thomas Luna, WE TALKUAV



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DJI Mavic Pro vs DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

This post is long overdue considering I own a DJI Mavic Pro and the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum was unveiled end of August 2017. The biggest difference between the two is the Mavic Pro Platinum’s enhanced endurance of 30 minutes as compared to 27 minutes on the Mavic Pro. Three additional minutes may not seem much, but to a serious aerial photographer it could make a world of difference in taking that shot or to return to home. The second significant difference is that its much more quieter. The 8331 propellers along with the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) on the Platinum contributes to a quieter flight since it controls how fast and efficiently the motor spins. However, it would not make much of a difference if its flying further from you for you can hardly hear both.

Personally, I am not too excited by both. After all, the DJI Mavic is not meant for professionals but more for armature aerial photographers who wish to learn the ropes before migrating to the more sophisticated and professional drone platforms. The video I have attached, also states that both the batteries and propellers are compatible. In fact, when using the Platinum propellers on the Mavic Pro, there seem to be a slight reduction in noise as well as the RPM of the motor.

So, if you are considering which one to buy, price could be another issue depending on your budget. The DJI Mavic Pro fly more combo is priced at RM4,819.00 while the Mavic Pro Platinum is priced at RM8,323.20 on 11 Street. Fly Safe


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Parrot’s New Releases

Parrot is planning to launch two new prosumer drones that certainly has its practical use. One has firefighters in mind while the other is for the farmers.

The Bebop-Pro Thermal
This drone has been designed with aerial thermography in mind and proves to be very useful for firefighting, construction and inspections. Equipped with both a 14MP camera and a FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera it has a flight endurance of 25 minutes on one battery. It retails with a Skycontroller, 3 batteries and a backpack. It should be in the market by November 2017and is priced at $1,400.00.

Bebop-Pro Thermal Specs & Features
• RGB camera Full HD 1080p
• Thermal imaging: FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera
• Battery life: 25 minutes flying time (with Power Battery)
• Internal memory: 32 GB Extended memory
• Max horizontal speed: 16 m/s
• Weight: 604g / 1.33 lb with the FLIR ONE Pro camera
• Range: up to 2km with Parrot Skycontroller 2 in an interference free and unobstructed environment
FLIR One Pro Thermal Imaging Camera Specs
• Thermal resolution: 160×120
• Visual resolution: 1440×1080
• HFOV / VFOV: 55 ° ± 1 ° / 43 ° ± 1 °
• Frame rate: 8.7Hz
• Scene dynamic range: -20 °C to 400 °C (-4 °F to 752 °F)
• Accuracy: ±3 °C (5.4 °F) or ±5%, typical Percent of the difference between ambient and scene temperature. Applicable 60s after start-up when the unit is within 15 °C to 35 °C (59 °F to 95 °F) and the scene is within 5 °C to 120 °C (41 °F to 248 °F)
• Size: 68mm W x34mm H x14mm D (2.7in x 1.3in x .6in)
• Weight: 36.5g

The Parrot Bluegrass
Designed especially for agricultural applications, the Parrot Bluegrass comes equipped with an HD camera and a a special sensor called the Parrot Sequoia. It is designed to detect problem areas in the many different types of crop fields. can fly 30 hectares at 70m/230ft flight altitude per battery. It retails at $5,000.00 and will also be available in November 2017. The price includes a year’s access to Parrot’s software that allows autonomous flight path.
Bebop-Pro Thermal Specs & Features
• Area Coverage: 30ha (74ac) in a single flight at 70m flight altitude (230ft)
• Range: Up to 2km – 1.2 miles, in an unobstructed area free of interferences
• Ground resolution: 7.4cm/px (2.7in/px) at 70m (230ft) flight altitude
• Automatic flight plan powered by Pix4Dcapture mobile app
• Vertical take-off and landing
• Weight: 1850g / 4lb
• Size: 50 x 44 x 12 cm / 20 x 17 x 5 in.
• Removable propellers for transport

Fly Safe
Source: UAV Coach


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The Blade Inductrix 200 FPV

The Blade Inductrix 200 FPV drone is a lightweight fully assembled airframe. It has an exclusive SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology in controlling that simplifies flying it. It comes with a beginner, intermediate and experienced modes of flying. It has a fully integrated FPV flight camera that is compatible with FatShark headsets and video monitors on 5.8GHz. Its durable rotor guards help prevent damage which is a plus point for beginners both to normal flying as well as FPV flying. It comes with powerful brushless out-runner motors as well as brilliant LED status lighting. It is powered by an 800mAh 3S Li-Po flight battery. Fly Safe
Source: Horizon Hobby.com

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Eagles to the Rescue

No matter what regulations are put in place to safe guard security, privacy and safety; there are always some rogue drone pilot who gets a thrill by flouting these laws, rules and regulations. Authorities, on the other hand are looking at new means to curb these rogue pilots and to bring down their drones. There is really no one size that fits all in that there is no one best way. One could jam its radios to force the drone to Autoland, use bigger drone to capture it or merely shooting it out of the skies.

The Dutch National Police, however, had come up with an ingenious economical way to bring down rogue drones (I suppose there really is no such thing as a rogue drone but only pilots). They have embarked on training eagles to take down menacing drones that are being problematic. The eagles are natural when trained to take down a drone. They are trained to identify and capture drones. On snatching the drones, they then find a safe place to land. The advantage here is that one doesn’t have to worry about a disabled drone falling on the heads of the public. The Dutch are not the only ones who have embarked on training eagles for this purpose. the French Air Force are also doing it. Fly Safe and Responsibly
Source: https://spectrum.ieee.org/…/dutch-police-training-eagles-to…



The Alpine Griffon-01 Drone

The Alpine Griffon 01 drone comes out of the box fully assembled. The propeller guards can easily be attached with the screw driver and screws that comes along in the box. The 3.7V 550mAh battery that comes along with the AG 01 offers about 7-10 minutes of flying time and takes about 70 minutes to fully recharge. The AG 01 is controlled using a remote controller with your smartphone attached to it for visual. I downloaded an app called Wifi UFO from the play store which seemed to work well. Unfortunately, the instructions that came with the box was in Chinese. The drone is small and light and therefore you need to be careful if its windy; for it becomes quite erratic and difficult to control. The buttons on the RC is not marked and therefore you need to memorise the various functions until you become familiar with them. There is a retractable panel on the top where you place your smartphone, but I found that its quite restricted and may not be able to accommodate wider body smartphones. Otherwise, the standard two thumb-style joysticks, one which controller the drone’s throttle and yaw, and the other which controls the forward, backward, upward, and downward movement of the drone is quite obvious. There is a button that can be pressed for “headless” flight mode, which means the drone can be flown without reference to its front or back. The video and camera functions are ergonomically well positioned in the centre of the drone’s remote control. The Alpine Griffon Drone also includes push-button flips and rolls. To fly, first turn on the drone, then the RC. Bring both joysticks to the bottom right to calibrate the RC and the drone. This should then be followed by pushing the left joystick up and down. It is now ready to fly. Fly Safe



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First Ever Drone Parachute Jump

Drones, other then those used by the military, have always been associated with aerial photography. It has always been considered as a platform to carry sophisticated cameras to take great shots from the air. Multi-rotors are now creeping into extreme sports as well. They have been used for snowboarding and surfing; and now Aerones drone company from Latvia came up with a powerful drone designed to be used by firefighters and search and rescue teams. Its capable of carrying a person. On May 12, 2017 Aerones’s 28 propellered drone lifted Ingus Augstkalns to a height of 330 metres from where he jumped and landed using a parachute. Enjoy and Fly Safe