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UAS Cluster Initiative Newsletter
July 7, 2017  

All Things Kansas
If you are like me, I just love to learn new facts and as we prep for the UAS Tech Forum in Wichita, Kansas on August 30-31, 2017 I thought I would share with you a few reasons why Kansas is a national UAS hot spot.

Did you know...
  • Kansas is known as the "Air Capital of the World"
  • Kansas State University created one of the first undergraduate programs in the country offering four-year degrees in UAS technology.
  • The Drone Training HQ website Drone Training HQ website ranks the K-State program No. 2 in the nation and, puts the school atop its list of the "16 best drone universities".
  • Kansas State University is one of the members that comprise the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, or ASSURE
  • In the 1920's and 30's Kansas City became the center of lightplane manufacturing.
  • Kansas is home to Spirit AeroSystems, Garmin International, Koch Industries, BNSF Railway and many other UAS industry leaders
  • If you attend the UAS Tech Forum you get an exclusive tour of GoCreate! and get to see the drone they created there
Well, the last one I snuck in! Hope you enjoy this week's newsletter.
UAS in the News
Textron's Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Eligible for Navy Sea-Based ISR
The Navy added a second provider of contractor-owned and operated small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for its sea-based missions, signing an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with Textron for use of the company's Aerosonde...

FAA Offers To Delete Names, Refund Drone Hobbyists
Complying with a recent appellate court ruling, the FAA said it will delete the registration information it has collected from recreational drone users and return the $5 fee at their request. On July 3, the agency made available a "registration...

KSU Polytechnic now offering UAS night flying in curriculum
Students will now be able to experience night flying of unmanned aircraft, thanks to a three-year waiver granted by the FAA to the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus Applied Aviation Research Center. David Burchfield, teaching assistant...

OSU, OU taking weather forecasting to new heights
Taking flight in meteorology: unmanned drones are becoming an integral part of storm technology and with the help of two out-of-state universities, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma are working to master it. From takeoff to...

Kansas State Polytechnic Gets Green Light for Nighttime UAS Flights
Kansas State Polytechnic's Applied Aviation Research Center, which houses a UAS research program, received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct drone flights at night. The waiver will be used as part of the research program,...

FAA Offers Dream Job Opportunity
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will be accepting applications from candidates for entry-level air traffic controller positions starting tomorrow, from July 7-14, 2017.
Upcoming UASCI Events
Green Country Unmanned Aircraft System Competition
August, 25-27, 2017
Tulsa University - Reynolds Center, H.A. Chapman Stadium and Mabee Gym
The University of Tulsa Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will host an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) competition on the TU campus. UAV systems are effective in recruiting middle and high school students to fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The industrial applications of UAV systems continue to expand, and TU is home to innovative UAV research.

UAS Tech Forum 2017
August 30 - 31, 2017
Wichita, KS
Early Bird Registration ends July 21. Register now to get the best rate.
Upcoming Industry Events
July 19 - 21, 2017
Portland, OR
ASCEND is the essential Conference & Expo for the commercial UAS industry, developed by the team behind Drone360 magazine. It will help you go beyond the basics, the broad strokes, and the bullet points to find the actionable processes, detailed...

UAS Summit and Expo
August 21 - 23, 2017
Grand Forks, ND

September 6 - 8, 2017
Dallas, TX

Drone World Expo
October 3 - 4, 2017
San Jose, CA
Thought leaders, industry experts and end-users will gather at Drone World Expo in the heart of Silicon Valley to present real-world solutions to your business and environmental challenges. UAS/UAVs provide the capability for you to capture data in...
Drones disrupt firefighting efforts four times on Lightner Creek Fire
The Durango Herald | 07/05/2017
Firefighting operations were disrupted at least four times in four days by drones flying over the Lightner Creek Fire, according to the La Plata County Sheriff's Office.
Local law enforcement made contact with three suspects, and a fourth case remained under investigation Monday, said sheriff's spokesman Dan Bender.
The cases have been referred to the Bureau of Land Management for possible prosecution, Bender said.

FAA's New UAS Committee Holds Inaugural Meeting
Unmanned Aerial Online | 07/05/2017
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given a brief update on the first meeting of the newly established UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which came together on June 21-23. According to the agency, which remains mum on many details, the first meeting "advanced key policies of concern to the FAA, industry and law enforcement."

FAA Drone Remote Identification System In The Works?
International Business Times | 07/02/2017
Drones have already become common, but with commercial ones being tested by the likes of Google and Amazon, the government will sooner or later have to step in and determine how they should be managed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on remote identification system for drones, which would ensure their safety.

Drone Deliveries Could Change Logistics Permanently
International Business Times | 07/01/2017
Drone-based delivery is increasingly being tested for widespread implementation. It faces challenges on using the airspace for commercial drones, keeping such drones safe, the cost and even the environmental implementation of such as paradigm. Yet, the probability that we may see drone delivery becoming mainstream in the near future, maybe even by the end  of the year is high. And why are companies investing in it? The answer lies in the economics of drone delivery.

Drone Bills Loom as Tension Between Industry, Localities Heats Up
Bloomberg BNA | 06/29/2017
Multiple drone-related bills are hitting Congress at a critical juncture in the emerging technology's deployment, as local advocacy groups and the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry debate whether more state and local authority would help or hinder drone deployment and adoption. UAS industry groups and local and state government organizations are split on whether the growing list of Congressional bills could airlift the drone industry over increasing tensions surrounding state and local authority to police the low-altitude areas where drones operate.

Time for Congress to support drone federalism to benefit the nation
The Hill | 06/27/2017
Last week, both the U.S. House and Senate unveiled their long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bills. Both contain lengthy sections on unmanned aircraft systems, including many good policy proposals. The time has come for Congress to affirmatively declare that total federal preemption of local or state UAS rules and regulations is the wrong approach. The policies in the Drone Innovation Act are a step in the right direction.

Amazon Visualizes Speedy Home Delivery From Cylindrical Towers
Forbes | 06/26/2017
A new patent application filed by Amazon outlines the company's vision for vertical cylindrical structures that will enable drones to deliver customer purchases directly to their homes. The tall, multileveled buildings would receive truck delivery on the ground level and through robotic manipulations then transport customer orders to drones sitting on their launch pads on each floor of this high rise; each drone would then fly off and make home deliveries.
This is like a vision of life in the space age; remember The Jetsons?

Senate Bill Seeks to Advance Traffic Management, Federal Spectrum Policy for Drones | 06/26/2017
Four senators have introduced a bipartisan bill known as the Safe DRONE Act of 2017 that would direct the secretary of the Transportation Department to collaborate with NASA to establish within a year an implementation plan to help drone traffic management attain full operational capability.

Cities look for ways to enforce no-drone zones
San Francisco Chronicle | 06/24/2017
San Francisco Gay Pride organizers are prohibiting drones from this weekend's celebrations, but if the recent Golden State Warriors parade is an indication, keeping the popular quadcopters from taking off might be difficult. At least 78 drone flights were detected during the June 15 NBA championship parade in downtown Oakland, even though police tried to make the celebration a no-drone zone, according to San Francisco startup Dedrone, which was enlisted to track the devices.

Congress tries to navigate coming drone economy
Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune | 06/24/2017
U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minnesota), who sits on the House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation, doesn't want cities to be able to ban drones outright. But he does want local governments to be able to set their own drone traffic guidelines and to start figuring them out now, before fleets of Amazon drones start cruising down the street.
His "Drone Innovation Act," one of several similar bills recently introduced in Congress, would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to work with state and local governments to develop a regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems — drones — that would protect individual rights and privacy without squelching drone-based commerce.

Don't call it a drone: Boulder scientists advance system to track greenhouse gas
Boulder (CO) Daily Camera | 06/24/2017
Researchers at the Boulder's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado have developed a new way to take to the air to learn what's coming from the ground. Scientists have teamed up to demonstrate a new mobile, ground-based system capable of scanning and mapping atmospheric gas plumes over distances of a couple kilometers.

Local experts: Future of drones is exciting
Aiken (SC) Standard | 06/24/2017
Drones have become a popular and controversial issue to the point that President Donald Trump met with several drone companies at the White House this past week to discuss regulations for unmanned aircraft. A local entrepreneur, Lance Knowles, has his hands in different drone companies and hopes educating the public will help drones and their new, improving industry move smoothly into the future.

Drones rising as valuable tool in commercial film industry
Boston Globe | 06/23/2017
Mike Gearin's drone company, PhotoFlight Aerial Media, based in Manchester, Conn., is tapping into the commercial potential of drones for real estate, surveying, marketing and cinematography. The Boston Globe spoke with Gearin about whether the sky's the limit for drones.

Trump meets wireless, drone executives on new technologies
Reuters | 06/22/2017
The White House recently brought together venture capitalists and executives from the telecommunications and drone, or unmanned aerial system, industries to discuss how the government can speed technologies to market..

AP Interview: Drones 'a huge game changer' for aviation
Associated Press | 06/21/2017
In an Associated Press interview last Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, the head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called the drone revolution "a huge game-changer" for the aviation industry, "similar to powered flight or jet engines."

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