sábado, 30 de septiembre de 2017

AirView: Fotografías y grabaciones de vídeo con multicópteros

Cualquier iniciativa audiovisual puede contar ya con imágenes aéreas hasta ahora vedadas por el alto coste de los medios tradicionales al uso, tales como avionetas y helicópteros.

AirView es una empresa española habilitada por la AESA (Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea) para la realización de trabajos aéreos con UAVs y sus pilotos cuentan con los conocimientos necesarios para realizarlos.

Realizan grabaciones en HD y hasta 4K, así como fotografías de 12 Mpx, para televisiones nacionales, autonómicas y productoras.

Más información:

Aeromax: Curso de piloto de UAVs

La industria de los UAVs promete generar  puestos de trabajo, pero en España sigue habiendo falta de pilotos de UAV. Bajo esta premisa, Aeromax ha creado un curso ajustándose al marco de la nueva normativa a entrar en vigor, para formar a los estudiantes en el emergente sector de los aviones no tripulados.

Más información:

The World’s Best Weaponized UAV Ever Built

Also known by the name of the Predator B, this is most probably, the world’s best weaponized UAV, judging by the amount of technology present inside it. 

Since it was released, it has managed to consolidate its place into the fleet of weaponized UAVs in use.

It includes a turboprop engine, which offers nine times the horsepower of the piston-driven power plant, thus allowing the UAV to carry 15 times the load of other models.

Not only this, but it can also deploy laser-guided bombs and shoot Hellfire missiles, directly against targets situated on the ground. The UAV has also been designed to use air-to-air missiles, meant to hit aerial targets. 

UAV Airstrike in Libya

An airstrike carried out on Tuesday 26th in Libya killed "several" fighters from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, according to a Thursday 28th statement from U.S. Africa Command. It followed a similar UAV attack last week that Trump personally approved, the first in Libya since the one President Barack Obama authorized in January the day before he stepped down from office.

As for whether the command could carry out strikes wherever it chooses in Africa, an official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss current operations says it limits its actions to pre-established agreements with partner countries. In this latest instance, AFRICOM coordinated with the de facto coalition governing Libya known as the Government of National Accord. It has similar arrangements with other partners in Africa, including with Somalia to hunt Islamic State group fighters and with others to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.

"These strikes were conducted under the Presidential Policy Guidance," Defense Department spokeswoman Army Maj. Audricia Harris says, referring to a 2014 document the Obama White House released explaining the policies that would govern covert war. "That allows for the use of all available tools of national power to protect the American people from threats posed by groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida and their associated forces."

US Army Testing Experimental UAV Resupply Drone Hover bike

Field testing for a Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), on Ft. AP Hill, VATesting included simulations of take off, landing and resupply.

DroneTools: Alta Tecnología Española

DroneTools es un fabricante español de UAVs diseñados a medida para realizar aplicaciones muy concretas a petición del cliente final.

Todos sus UAVs disponen de marcado CE, y cada uno de sus componentes está controlado y ajustado para ofrecer una máquina con las máximas garantías de seguridad y fiabilidad.

Su sede está en España y cuenta con delegaciones en Portugal, Argentina, México y Perú.

Más información:

Extreme Drone Piloting

Don't comment: Just watch:

China unveils its answer to the Reaper

After modifying it for certain missions, China has started commercial production of its deadliest UAV: an UAV named CH-5, able to fly for up to 120 hours, and that many experts believe it could be a rival to the Reaper. The initial output of this UAV will be relatively small: 10-20 units a year, and it is unlikely to exceed 20 due to the size and sophistication of the aircraft. Regarding weapons payload, this UAV can carry up to 16 air-to-ground missiles.

The CH-5 can be operated by an undergraduate student with basic knowledge of aviation after only one or two days of training, according to state media reports. This is because of the simplicity of its user interface, and the fact that operations like the take-off and landing can be automated. The UAV can also be modified to become a low-cost airborne early warning system, or equipped with high-tech sensors such as wall and ground-penetrating radars developed by China.

Summarizing: with the commercial production of the CH-5, China could be ready to offer international buyers a heavy military UAV with many features comparable to the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, but at around half the cost.

lunes, 25 de septiembre de 2017

Impresión 3D para UAVs impresionantes

Una de las tecnologías de fabricación de UAVs que están experimentando un mayor crecimiento en estos últimos años es la Impresión 3D, que está demostrando dia tras día su capacidad de aportar múltiples beneficios en lo que se refiere a la fabricación de series cortas de piezas, aptas para uso final.

Entre algunas de sus mayores ventajas se encuentra la versatilidad, ya que una sola impresora es capaz de producir infinidad de productos muy realistas hechos totalmente a medida, aportando a los departamentos de diseño una amplia flexibilidad y personalización en su trabajo.

En este webinar abordaremos los factores clave a la hora de obtener piezas de UAVs para coleccionismo que ofrezcan un aspecto similar al producto final.  Un webinar dirigido a todos aquellos fans de los UAVs a escala que quieran descubrir todas las facilidades que puede aportarles la impresión 3D en la fabricación de sus réplicas, y conocer las claves para obtener un UAV totalmente realista.

Enlace para inscribirse:

viernes, 15 de septiembre de 2017

Additive manufacturing in UAVs: Challenges and potential

UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are gaining popularity due to their application in military, private and public sector, especially being attractive for fields where human operator is not required.

Light-weight UAVs are more desirable as they have better performance in terms of shorter take-off range and longer flight endurance. However, light weight structures with complex inner features are hard to fabricate using conventional manufacturing methods.

The ability to print complex inner structures directly without the need of a mould gives Additive Manufacturing (AM) an edge over conventional manufacturing. Recent development in composite and multi-material printing opens up new possibilities of printing lightweight structures and novel platforms like flapping wings with ease.

This paper explores the impact of additive manufacturing on aerodynamics, structures and materials used for UAVs. The review will discuss state-ofthe-art
AM technologies for UAVs through innovations in materials and structures and their advantages and limitations. The role of additive manufacturing to improve the performance of UAVs through smart material actuators and multi-functional structures will also be discussed.

sábado, 9 de septiembre de 2017

Additive manufacturing techniques for millimeter-wave components

Additive Manufacturing technology has made significant advances in terms of materials, tolerances, and surface finishes.

The technique is becoming more common in science and industry. Since it has proven effective in constructing small parts with fine features, 3D Printing is well suited for improving upon the manufacturing processes of millimeter-wave components.

This paper explores the approach specifically applied to waveguide components produced using two different additive manufacturing approaches. Work is also being done to fabricate parts via additive manufacturing techniques in-house at General Atomics.

AUHSD Teams with Tesla Foundation for UAS Education

The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) is the first public school district in the nation to partner with the Tesla Foundation to provide students with training to successfully work in the emerging technology field of unmanned aviation, or drones.

A nonprofit science and technology think tank, the Tesla Foundation is launching its initiative beginning at Magnolia High School with after-school programs featuring FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved curriculum, equipment, and Drone Flight Simulation Kits.

The foundation’s goal is to identify and develop a “farm system” of young talent that can be future innovators and entrepreneurs in the unmanned systems industry. “We are excited to partner with the District in this most critical endeavor,” said Keith Coleman, chief strategy officer of the foundation. “Our focus is looking at the future of jobs and the future of work. Automation and the disruption that it will bring is real, yet while jobs will be lost, there will be lots of new opportunities in the (new) field of aerial robotics. Through this partnership, we will help move the needle forward for underrepresented students who may not otherwise have a pathway to these experiences. The Tesla Foundation sees critical thinking and access to technology as the democratization of opportunity.”

Trustee Al Jabbar thanked Superintendent Mike Matsuda for making the connection that led to the partnership. He also thanked the Tesla Foundation for “recognizing that AUHSD is at the cutting edge in preparing students for the 21st Century workforce. Once parents and the community learn about how this partnership promotes innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in an emerging STEAM field, I know they will be as enthusiastic as we are.” The Tesla Foundation estimates that the economic impact of drones will be $82 billion within the first decade of their operational integration into the national airspace system. Drone industries leverage many key technologies, including cybersecurity, sensors, data analytics, aeronautics, aviation, Additive Manufacturing, precision agriculture, first responders, geospatial information, and simulation.

Additive Manufacturing for the Drone/UAV Industry 2017-2027

In this report, the firm Research and Markets projects that the yearly value of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) industry to reach $1.9 billion, driving over $400 million in yearly sales of AM equipment, software, materials and services.

The Drone AM report also provides information on which companies and institutions in the space infrastructure industry are using additive manufacturing today, with relevant case studies. Key firms in the drone AM segment include: Boeing, CRP Group, DJI, EHANG, EOS, General Atomics, HP, Hubsan, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), Parrot, Ricoh,  Stratasys, 3D Systems and 3DR.

The report includes an in-depth analysis of the materials used for drone AM prototyping and production, which takes into consideration both high performance polymers and metals as well as composites, ceramics and technologies for direct 3D printing of electronics.

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7mvrn7/additive

viernes, 8 de septiembre de 2017

Marines take 3D printed UAVs from the lab to the field

Additive manufacturing is a technology the U.S. military has been pursuing for some time: “Imagine being in a forward deployed environment, and just like Amazon, you can ‘order’ the weapons and equipment you need for the next day’s mission from an entire catalog of possible solutions,” says Capt. Chris J. Wood, who oversees innovation efforts at the Marine Corps’ installations and logistics branch. “These solutions can all be upgraded literally overnight, in order to integrate new components or adapt to new requirements.”

In the coming weeks the service will deploy a tiny unmanned aircraft dubbed the “Nibbler,” which would become the first 3D printed drone used in combat operations by conventional forces. Marines see it as just the beginning of a new way of equipping and supplying forces in the field. The Nibbler will be used for surveillance missions, along with several other 3D printed unmanned aircraft that the Marines are still developing, Wood added. “We can have a backpack-able fixed wing UAS for long endurance ISR. We can have a small quadcopter for building clearing operations,” he said. “We will forward deploy these capabilities into a combat zone as soon as possible.”

Achieving ship's mission flexibility through designing, printing and operating unmanned systems with additive manufacturing and delayed differentiation

The Design, Print and Operate (DPO) Concept Of Operations (CONOPS) is proposed in this thesis as a new means of equipping ships with the appropriate capabilities. A companion concept of delayed differentiation is also introduced. In coupling the two concepts, Additive Manufacturing (AM) of capabilities in-situ becomes a possibility through the equipping of operational units with three building blocks: additive manufacturing systems and their raw materials, commercial off-the-shelf items and field programmable gate arrays.

A concept of operations on uses of additive manufacturing was developed to illustrate the flexibility that the nexus of DPO CONOPS and delayed differentiation can engender. A tactical UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was used as an illustration to contextualize the concept of operations to enhance the littoral combat ship's survivability when operating in the littorals. Assessments were then made on the feasibility of DPO CONOPS for shipboard uses. A tactical UAV was used as it was assessed to be operationally relevant and significant. Analytical models that could be iterated to achieve the specific-to-mission requirements were developed to analyze and assess the implementation approach. The models focused on the UAV's reliability in fulfilling the mission as well as the build-time of the UAV.

Link to download:

domingo, 3 de septiembre de 2017

Iran shows off new UAV base

According with Arutz Sheva, Iran has revealed a previously unseen Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) base in a new video released today, coming amid rising tensions with Washington.

The clip shows a long line of UAVs parked on the tarmac at an undisclosed air base. Iran is estimated to have considerable UAV capabilities, but today is the first time it has ever revealed its UAV's base.

¿More reasons to worry? OK: Tensions have been rising between the Islamic Republic and Washington ever since President Trump instituted new sanctions in July over its ballistic missile program, but Iran also announced yesterday that it was testing its new Bavar-373 air defense system, which it claims rivals the Russian S-300.

jueves, 13 de julio de 2017

¿Can 3D Printing get married with traditional technologies?

More and more, Additive Manufacturing is now seen as a complementary technology, as witnessed by the increased in hybrid printers that combine 3D Printing and CNC machining.

Now, Stratasys, one of the leading players in the 3D printing industry, is sharing some of that expertise via a new whitepaper titled "How Additive and Traditional Manufacturing Mix".

The whitepaper is free to download from 3dprint.com after you fill out a brief form, by clicking here: https://3dprint.com/stratasys-how-additive-and-traditional-manufacturing-mix/.

miércoles, 12 de julio de 2017

Introduction to Additive Manufacturing for Composites

Additively manufactured composites offer advantages that include greater design flexibility, decreased costs and production efficiency. In this e-book, you’ll learn more about:

  • Reinforced thermoplastics for high-performance applications
  • Multi-axis motion platforms for design optimization
  • Lightweight, agile mold tooling capabilities
  • Sacrificial tooling for easier production of hollow composites
  • Autoclave cure- and high-temperature-capable materials

Download this FREE e-book to learn how additive manufacturing enables a new era of lightweight structures with degrees of geometric complexity, part consolidation, and design optimization not previously possible.

 Click on the Image to Download your FREE e-Book

jueves, 6 de julio de 2017

Low-cost approaches to UAV design using Additive Manufacturing

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms are of major interest to Defense, Government, and commercial industries. The ability to remotely control an aerial vehicle capable of surveillance, offensive and defensive maneuvering, reconnaissance, or numerous other applications without the need to put a human life in jeopardy is a major attraction to their use. Furthermore, there exists opportunities to make these airborne vehicles largely autonomous, further reducing the need for even remote human operators. However, for all of the significant advantages of UAVs, there is a significant negative: the cost of manufacture, and the cost of design. Due in part to the substantial amount of complex electronic equipment on board, UAVs become not only a design of aeronautics, but an experiment in energy conservation through optimization. A limited range of UAV power becomes a limiting factor of UAV application. The challenge becomes to optimize the size, weight, and aerodynamics of the UAV based on the application. 

domingo, 25 de junio de 2017

Trump may take a hard line with Pakistan

Even though the US Government was unable to defeat the Taliban with 100.000 troops in the country, apparently Trump thinks that by taking a harder line with Pakistan and sending a few thousand more troops to Afghanistan he is going to pressure the Taliban into making peace.

The result will probably be for Pakistan to create more difficulties for the US Government in Afghanistan and also a point blank refusal to allow any drone attacks, as a majority of the Pakistani public would support such a move. However, the United States claims that the Pakistani spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has ties to the Haqqani network of militants who are thought to be responsible for some deadly attacks in Afghanistan. The Afghan Government too has accused Pakistan as giving safe haven to the militants. Pakistan Government denies this, as they have lost about 7.000 of its security forces and about 22.000 civilians as a result of militant activity since 2003.

There are some within the US Government and in various think tanks who do not consider Pakistan an ally at all:

  • The Pentagon designated the Haggani network that Pakistan is alleged to support, as "terrorist organization" in 2012.
  • Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, a top U.S. military officer, told the U.S. Congress in 2011 that the Haqqani net was a veritable arm of the Pakistani ISI.
  • David Sedney, who was Obama's deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan from 2009 to 2013, claims that Obama's attempt to make Pakistan a strategic partner failed miserably and said that it made Pakistan's behavior even worse.

But this appears very one-sided: Pakistan in effect allowed UAV attacks on its territory in the face of tremendous political opposition. It also eventually carried out military operations in the territories that were quite costly in casualties for their security forces.

The U.S. has given considerable aid to Pakistan since 2002: $33 billion and that included Coalition Support Funds (CSF) that is meant to reimburse allies that incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations. Pakistan did incur heavy costs in its operations in conflicts with various militant groups in the tribal areas of north-west Pakistan. However, the U.S. argues that Pakistan has failed to take action against the Haqqani network and last year withheld $300 million in CSF funding to Pakistan. US officials say the Trump administration may do the same... But also warns that moves such as this would encourage China to invest even more than the $60 billion it has already invested in Pakistan.

India to Purchase 22 Predator

According to The Diplomat, the Indian Government had expressed interest in purchasing an unarmed naval variant of the Predator already before 2015. However, the United States rejected India’s request because the country was neither member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) nor did it enjoy Major Defense Partner (MDP) status.

Now, the US Government has approved the deal, which is valued at over $2 billion. The deal, still pending congressional approval, would be the first such purchase by a country that is not a member of the NATO alliance. With these new UAVs, India seeks to protect its maritime assets, in particular in the Indian Ocean, and detect intrusions on a real-time basis.

Next to the threat of terrorism emerging from the maritime domain, India has been in particular concerned about the growing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

UAV designs ready to be 3D printed

A very good collection which includes custom UAV models ready for real life usage thanks to 3D printing technology. 

FDM Lightweight Structures

The FDM process offers several material options, from ASA to Nylon 12 CF, each has attributes that make it suitable for a variety of lightweight structural applications. With this variety in materials, FDM technology is boosting design freedoms without having to sacrifice material use or part stiffness in both Aerospace and Automotive Industries

Download this white paper now and learn how to: 
•    Choose the correct material for each required application
•    Create higher strength-to-weight value by using use the “single bead” design methods 
•    Increase stiffness-to-weight ratio by using sparse fill in structural parts

3D Robotics X8+ UAV Structure Scan Demo Using DroidPlanner 2.0

Adam from http://www.aeroworksproductions.com demonstrates a fully autonomous "Structure Scan" flight using DroidPlanner 2.0 and a 3D Robotics X8+ multirotor UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). Post processing done with Autodesk 123D Catch 3D stitching software.

Pakistan: JF-17 shoots down an iranian UAV

An Iranian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operating in Pakistan’s Parom area of Panjgur district was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) JF-17 fighter.

Iran’s army chief recently warned that Tehran would strike militant safe havens inside Pakistanremarks that drew a strong protest from Islamabad─ after 10 Iranian border guards were killed by militants allegedly from across the border earlier this year.

It was unknown when the UAV was shot down but the wreckage was recovered by local security forces last monday. According official sources, the UAV was shot down by a JF-17 in the Parom area of Panjgur district after it ventured “deep inside Pakistani airspace” on a spying mission.

The JF-17 (Joint Fighter-17) can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Technically is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) and the CAC (Chengdu Aircraft Corporation) of China.

China launches record-breaking UAV swarm

The China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) claims to have set a new record for the number of UAVs flying in a swarm, the state-owned Xinhua news agency quoted the corporation as saying.

The 11 June news report states that the swarm comprised 119 UAVs, breaking CETC's previous record swarm of 67 UAVs. Xinhua did not mention when or where the event took place.

The size of the mini UAV swarm is greater than that trialled by the USAF in October 2016 when three Boeing F/A-18 Hornet deployed a swarm of 103 Perdix micro UAVs, which the US DoD noted was one of the world's largest micro UAV swarms to date.

CETC published a video in 2016 of its fixed-wing UAV swarm prototype, which shows the UAVs in a coordinated launch from the ground. The corporation said that the UAVs were flying ad hoc networks, sensing and avoiding collision, and demonstrating autonomous group control.

A CETC engineer was quoted by Xinhua as saying that UAV swarms will become "a disruptive force" that will "change the rules of the game".


viernes, 23 de junio de 2017

UAV propellers ready to be 3D printed

Here you can find up to 1.926 printable 3D Models of UAV Propellers:


El CH-T4 podría amenazar los buques de la US Navy

China ha informado que el UAV solar Caihong-T4 (CH-T4) ha logrado volar por primera vez a una altitud de 20.000 metros, lo cual representa una importante amenaza para la US Navy ya que podría ser capaz de funcionar durante varios meses o incluso años gracias a la ausencia de nubes a esa altura.

De acuerdo con los expertos, el CH-T4 combina un gran tamaño (39 metros de envergadura) y un reducido peso (450-490 Kg), gracias a sus componentes de plástico y fibra de carbono. Puede alcanzar velocidades de hasta 201 km/h y planear a una altitud de hasta 19 kilómetros, lo cual le permite cubrir una superficie de hasta un millón de kilómetros cuadrados.

Todas estas capacidades del CH-T4 permiten al Ejército Popular de Liberación (PLA) poner en peligro a los portaaviones estadounidenses en el Pacífico, ya que permite obtener y proporcionar en tiempo real información de cada objetivo a sus misiles balísticos anti buques, más concretamente al DF-21D, más conocido como "Asesino de Portaaviones".

Taiwan: Foreign buyers interested in local defense UAV

As the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology products are not limited to military use, international buyers have expressed interest in buying its products, and the Ministry of National Defense has prepared a list of items that are ready for sale. The Institute is to showcase its products at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition in August, with a focus on UAVs, and during this year has attended multiple international events, including the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing trade show in California, the International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul, and the Paris Air Show. In all events, many visitors were interested in the institute’s self-developed defense UAV, named Multi-Functional Laser Sight System.

Global Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market 2017-2026

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market - Analysis and Forecast 2017-2026 (Major Focus on Type and End-Users)" report to their offering.

Key Topics Covered: 

Executive Summary 

1 Research Scope & Methodology 

2 Market Dynamics 

3 Competitive Insights 

4 Industry Analysis 

5 Global Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market, 2017-2026 

6 Global Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market by Type 

7 Global Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market by End-User 

8 Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft Market By Geography 

9 Future Opportunities 

10 Company Profiles

AeroVironment, Inc.
Airbus Group SE
Arcturus UAV
Aurora Flight Sciences
BAE Systems
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
Leonardo Group
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Textron Inc.

For more information about this report visit:

lunes, 19 de junio de 2017

Webcast: Nuevas impresoras 3D Stratasys F123

La serie de Impresoras 3D Stratasys F123 ha sido diseñada para eliminar las barreras a las que se enfrentan los diseñadores e ingenieros haciendo que el proceso de prototipado rápido sea más eficiente y productivo. Descubra las características y diferencias entre los distintos equipos de la serie Stratasys F123, las aplicaciones en las que estos equipos destacan y cómo aprovechar al máximo el potencial de las capacidades de conectividad de las Impresoras 3D.

Viernes 23 de junio a las 10:00 hrs.
Coste: Gratuito

Link para realizar la inscripción:

domingo, 18 de junio de 2017

PSS Technology: ¿Safety or New World Order?

Aside from the privacy concerns associated with persistent aerial surveillance, there are also worries related to transparency: In Baltimore, Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) technology was flown over the city without elected officials (including the mayor), the state’s attorney, or members of the public being informed first. And in Miami-Dade county, the mayor wasn’t aware of Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) persistent aerial surveillance plans. 

Military equipment has a tendency to make its way from foreign battlefields into the hands of domestic law enforcement. This is a trend that can be useful in investigating crimes, but policies that protect privacy should be in place before snooping airplanes take to the sky, and the public as well as local officials should be informed about the surveillance tools police are using. Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS), the Ohio-based company that made the sensor system deployed in Baltimore, uses technology originally designed for military operations in Iraq and AfghanistanThis kind of technology has prompted privacy concerns in others cities, with Baltimore being perhaps the most notable.

EU unveils plans to regulate small UAVs

According to IATA, 65 countries currently have rules for the use of small UAVs. And among EU countries, France is a pioneer: Government decrees already regulate UAV use and parliament has voted in a law coming into force next year that will punish users of UAVs flying over airports and other sensitive areas with fines or prison.

Current common European rules only cover UAVs weighing above 150 kilograms, but small UAVs can be used to deliver services in urban areas, collect data for a wide range of industries, inspect infrastructure, and aid farming. "UAVs mean innovation, new services for citizens, new business models and a huge potential for economic growth," EU Transport Minister Violeta Bulc said in a statement. "We need the EU to be in the driving seat and have a safe UAV services market up and running by 2019. The EU needs to take a leading role worldwide in developing the right framework for this market to flourish, by unleashing the benefits for key economic sectors." added.

The aim is to have the regulatory framework functioning by 2019, with basic services like registration and e-identification. The blueprint unveiled from the European Commission, the EU executive, covers allowing drones to operate in high density under the supervision of fleet operators. The Commission cited estimates that the drone services market could grow up to €127bn in the next few years, so the demand for regulation is increasing with the rising use of drones and the risk of collisions. The European Commission said it hopes negotiations involving the European Parliament and 28 member states will be completed by the end of the year as a key part of the process. The idea is to build a system similar to that of Air Traffic Management for manned aviation, that would supply information to allow UAVs to fly safely and avoid obstacles or collisions.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which sets global standards for the aviation industry, counted 856 cases worldwide between January 2013 and August 2015 of a UAV getting too close to a plane for comfort, so the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is trying to establish a global framework for the future use of UAVs. Fortunately, there have been no collisions to date, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) reported in February.

Airbus to implement UAVs at their plants

Airbus has already demonstrated the use of Ascending TechnologiesFalcon 8 UAV with RealSense depth-sensing technology from Intel to visually inspect airliners. The manufacturer has said it will implement UAV inspections of the A350XWB widebody airliner this year.

As said, for the initial tests the company used a multi-rotor UAV supplied by Ascending Technologies, a German company that U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Intel acquired in early 2016. “Now it’s a manual system with people having to climb all over the plane,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told the Xponential 2017 conference in Dallas in May. “With Airbus we’ve developed a system that’s capable of doing inspections both on the tarmac or in the hangar. Airbus has developed additional software that allows you to do an airplane inspection, identify and geolocate defects, understand their size and dimensions, then push out a data report that allows you to go back and do a repair.”

The GRVC-CATEC team will implement a UAV-based tool delivery and locating system at Airbus Defence and Space’s Centro Bahía de Cádiz site in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, early next year, said Antidio Viguria, head of CATEC’s avionics and unmanned systems department. The plant specializes in manufacturing carbon fiber components for programs including the A400M transport and A330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport). It also produces fan cowl doors for the A320neo narrowbody airliner.

UAVs keep dropping drugs and porn into prisons

A new report from USA Today found that UAVs have been used more than a dozen times to fly contraband into federal prisons over the last five years, as scattered reports suggest the smuggling operations have proven popular.

Local news reports from not just the United States but around the world have brought other instances to light over the past few years. In 2014, police in Australia said a UAV was employed for a planned drug smuggling operation. Later that year, there was another incident in South Carolina, where a UAV crashed while attempting to deliver weed.

And the list goes on: in 2015, a UAV-delivered drug package sparked a fight in an Ohio facility. That year, in yet another incident, two people were arrested for trying to smuggle contraband using a UAVThe paper writes that Justice Department documents showed attempts to smuggle cellphones, drugs, and porn into the federal facilities, although the tally almost certainly undercounts possibly successful attempts, as well as smuggling done in state facilities.

Understandably, officials are now wondering what to do about the problem. In April, the United Kingdom announced a new squad dedicated to combating the issue. The US Bureau of Prisons, meanwhile, has posted requests for technology that could be used to stop UAVs near facilities. While it’s likely impossible to get a full count of incidents, it does seem clear that the smuggling operations can sometimes be lucrative. Prosecutors in one recent case said a smuggler had been making $6,000 per drop.