Drones are used for aerial photography, surveillance, news coverage, and rescue operations. Now a group of scientists and researchers are figuring out if drones can make it rain. The science is called cloud seeding, and it is being tested in Nevada at an FAA site, four hours north of Las Vegas.
Seeding clouds involves releasing flares of silver iodide from a plane’s wing to generate more ice particles in a cloud. This aims to help a cloud’s ability to produce and enhance precipitation. The weather conditions need to be right for this to take place–cloud cover and even the presence of storms are optimal.
The process has been around for decades and usually involves a piloted aircraft flying into a storm. Now, The Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems in conjunction with the Desert Research Institute has conducted tests with unmanned drones. They hope to have drones conduct cloud seeding flights in the future. The Governor of Nevada’s office has helped fund the project.
HAWTHORNE, Nev., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Nevada Drone Industry set a new long-distance record for aerial package delivery flying a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) under beyond line of sight conditions. The backdrop was an urban environment set among the scenic area of Walker Lake with the Nevada-headquartered Drone America flight team flying more than 39 miles to deliver a package to the Hawthorne Industrial Airport in the City of Hawthorne, Nevada, the same town where the Country’s first urban drone delivery was performed in Spring of 2016.
AviSight Works With Nevada Agencies on Historic Beyond Line of Sight Drone Cloud-seeding Flight February 24th, 2017Ron
The AviSight Drone Academy is Sept 27-30 at the South Point Casino Las Vegas. There are 1 Day, 2 Day and 4 Day classes. Learn how to fly a drone from the experts. Full course will teach you what you need to know to pass the FAA’s Part 107 test for drone pilots and how to fly a drone.
The rule comes into effect in 60 days time…. August 2016
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules (PDF) for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace. These new regulations work to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research and save lives.
“We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world.”
According to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.
The new rule, which takes effect in late August, offers safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting non-hobbyist operations.
The rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. The regulations require pilots to keep an unmanned aircraft within visual line of sight. Operations are allowed during daylight and during twilight if the drone has anti-collision lights. The new regulations also address height and speed restrictions and other operational limits, such as prohibiting flights over unprotected people on the ground who aren’t directly participating in the UAS operation.
The FAA is offering a process to waive some restrictions if an operator proves the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver. The FAA will make an online portal available to apply for these waivers in the months ahead.
“With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA’s mission to protect public safety,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “But this is just our first step. We’re already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations.”
Under the final rule, the person actually flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, an individual must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. If qualifying under the latter provision, a pilot must have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months and must take a UAS online training course provided by the FAA. The TSA will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications prior to issuance of a certificate.
AviSight, the nation’s premier drone services company, has announced its upcoming AviSight Drone Academy training class.
The next course will take place June 28-July 1, 2016 at the South Point Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
The course includes modules on current regulations, airspace requirements, flight operations, maintenance, sensors, power systems, and all other aspects of drone operations. Classes range from 1 to 4 day courses.
The 1-Day Course is for the Beginner/Hobbyist.
The 2-Day Course is for the Professional/Small Business operator.
The 4-Day Course is for those who wish to become a Drone Master. Both the Professional and Drone Master courses focus on the anticipated FAA Part 107 regulations.
“This is a great opportunity for those wanting to learn this exciting new industry from the best in the business, said Lt. Colonel (Ret.) James Fleitz, Co-Founder of AviSight. “Knowing FAA rules is critical and we make sure our students understand those rules, along with the mechanics of flight,” he added.
The expert AviSight Drone Academy staff includes professionals with diverse backgrounds that include Emmy Award winning television/news professionals, film industry experts, public safety experts, and pioneers of military drone operations. When students complete the course they will receive an official AviSight Drone Academy certificate.
Additional Classes will also be held later this summer – July 26-July 29 and August 23-August 26, 2016. You can visit AviSightDroneAcademy.com for more information — or you can CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.
About AviSight: AviSight is an aerospace and remote sensing services company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our company employs Aerospace systems, Remote Sensing technology, Analytics, and Data Collection/Distribution systems for commercial and government clients. For more information about AviSight please visit – http://avisight.com/
AviSight Drone Academy Announces Summer Schedule June 10th, 2016Ron
Speaking recently at a conference in New Orleans, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the agency is establishing abroad-based advisory committee that will provide advice on key unmanned aircraft integration issues. He also announced plans to make it easier for students to fly unmanned aircraft (PDF) as part of their coursework.
Huerta said the drone advisory committee is an outgrowth of the successful stakeholder-based UAS registration task force and the MicroUAS aviation rulemaking committee.
Those panels were set up for a single purpose and for limited duration. In contrast, the drone advisory committee is intended to be a long-lasting group. It will help identify and prioritize integration challenges and improvements, and create broad support for an overall integration strategy.
“Input from stakeholders is critical to our ability to achieve that perfect balance between integration and safety,” Huerta said. “We know that our policies and overall regulation of this segment of aviation will be more successful if we have the backing of a strong, diverse coalition.”
Huerta said he has asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to chair the group.
Huerta also announced the FAA, in the very near future, will start allowing students to operate UAS for educational and research purposes.
Soon you’ll be able to livestream from your drone. In January, Periscope started letting people with a GoPro broadcast live footage, and today it opened up support for drones from its iPhone app, too.
Periscope’s app now connects with DJI drone remotes so that users can control broadcasts by switching the feed from their smartphone’s camera to the drone. In a blog post today, Periscope pointed out a recent example, by restaurant review site Zagat, which used a drone to show viewers around Ryder Farm in Brewster, N.Y.
In addition to the support for drones, Periscope is also adding a search feature for looking up specific livestreams by keyword or topics. The search bar recommends searching for hashtags like #music and #food. Users can also tap on hashtags to add them to their own livestreams.
RENO – For the first time in aviation history, a fixed-wing unmanned aircraft has successfully tested a cloud-seeding payload during an experimental flight in Nevada.
Flown at Hawthorne Industrial Airport under the state’s FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site designation, the Drone America Savant™ aircraft reached an altitude of 400 feet and flew for approximately 18 minutes on Friday, April 29, 2016.
The Savant™ aircraft – named the “Sandoval Silver State Seeder” in honor of Governor Brian Sandoval’s dedication to the success of the state’s UAS industry – deployed two silver-iodide flares, successfully testing and demonstrating its ability to perform unmanned aerial cloud seeding operations.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the state of Nevada and everyone involved,” said the project’s lead scientist, Adam Watts, Ph.D., an assistant research professor at DRI and an expert in UAS applications for ecological and natural-resources applications.
Led by the Desert Research Institute (DRI), and supported by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development through the Knowledge Fund, this first-of-its-kind project is helping Nevada address the ongoing impacts of drought and explore innovative solutions for natural-resource challenges such as augmenting regional water supplies. The research team combines more than 30 years of weather modification research and expertise at DRI with the proven experience in aerospace manufacturing and flight operations of Reno-based Drone America, and the industry leading unmanned aerial data services of Las Vegas-based AviSight.
“We have reached another major milestone in our effort to reduce both the risks and the costs in the cloud seeding industry and help mitigate natural disasters caused by drought, hail and extreme fog,” said Mike Richards, President and CEO of Drone America. “With a wingspan of 11-feet, 10-inches and its light weight design (less than 55 pounds) the Savant™ is the perfect vehicle to conduct this type of operation due to its superior flight profile, long flight times and its resistance to wind and adverse weather conditions.”
Drone America performed the test flight under an FAA agreement in partnership with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS). This flight was the first use by DRI of the Nevada Test Site’s Certificate of Authorization (COA), which grants authority to operate the Savant™ at altitudes up to 1,200 feet.
“The Nevada-based research and flight teams that produced these trend-setting results are clearly leading the industry with this innovative technology. Conducting this unmanned cloud seeding test flight is a first flying in the National Airspace System and in Nevada,” said Dr. Chris Walach, Director for the FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site.
AviSight performed aerial support for the test flight with their manned aircraft, recording both infrared and HD video of the flight to support future system refinements and plans to conduct UAS flights beyond visual line-of-sight
“This is an important step for Nevada and the unmanned aerial industry,” said James Fleitz, co-founder of AviSight. “This collaborative effort highlights the diverse applications of unmanned systems and showcased the ability of this technology to support scientific advancements.”
Together with Drone America and AviSight, DRI researchers plan to create weather forecasts and conduct flight planning for manned and unmanned aircraft; conduct tests of cloud seeding operations using manned and unmanned systems as well as existing ground generators; and estimate the effectiveness of UAS cloud seeding applications across DRI’s current Lake Tahoe Basin operations area.
AviSight Part of Historic Drone Flight in Nevada May 9th, 2016Ron