Weekend Roundup

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This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

The State of Nevada has completed the first step for applying to participate in the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) filed the notice of intent, so it will serve as Nevada’s lead applicant for the program. (Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems)

Oakland County is looking for a local business to develop, deploy and maintain an autonomous vehicle pilot program that aims to increase public safety. The program would be the county’s first project in the field of autonomous vehicle technology. (The Oakland Press)

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has issued a call for participants for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC). The goal of UASSC is to “coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs” required to facilitate the safe integration of UAS into the United States’ national airspace system. (ANSI)

On the day proclaimed “Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Day” by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, EasyMile’s EZ-10 driverless shuttle traveled on a dedicated stretch of road near the Technology and Operations Center of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company on Dec. 4. EasyMile opened its U.S. headquarters in Denver, Colorado this fall. (The Denver Post)

In an effort to boost "public awareness" of small UAS operations and reduce the number of calls and distractions, the FAA recommends that remote pilots and other small UAS flight crew members wear brightly colored and reflective vests during their UAS operations. The FAA says, “by taking this simple action, the sUAS flight crew can demonstrate that they are accepting responsibility for the activity and that they are intending to operate in a safe and compliant manner.” (FAA)

Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie presented the value, risks and costs associated with UAS to the Board of County Commissioners during a work session on Dec. 5. The presentation sought further direction on the county's UAS program, which is still relatively new. (Post Independent)

A new UAS toolkit from Measure allows electrical utilities to build a professional UAS inspection program staffed by their own linemen. Using the toolkit, linemen are trained and prepared on how to quickly and safely identify structural defects and damage on transmission lines, towers and substations using UAS, which can be a faster, less expensive and safer alternative to traditional ways of conducting an inspection. (PR Newswire)

AirMap and Rakuten launched a joint venture— Rakuten AirMap—back in March to bring unmanned traffic management (UTM) to Japan. Nine months later, Rakuten AirMap has launched the AirMap platform, which will serve as a localized UTM platform for Japan. (AirMap)

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) recently hosted its first ever UAS race. Held at the university’s Patty Center Ice Arena, the race was the first time that the hobby racing club has partnered with UAF’s official UAS research wing, and had access to a large sports arena for a race. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

After receiving a Notice of Consideration for Award of a $50 million contract, Pentagon Performance Inc. (PPI) will provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services to the United Nations MONUSCO mission, which is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations Headquarters Committee on Contracts approved the award for PPI. (PR Newswire)

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR) has applied to the FAA's UAS Integration Pilot Program. WA DNR would like to use UAS for a variety of tasks in the future, including carrying heavy seed bundles up dangerous slopes in forested areas, providing a radio tower link for firefighters working in rough terrain and mapping landslides. (StateScoop)

An AUV helped locate historic test models of a Canadian interceptor aircraft in Lake Ontario. Developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the deepwater diving-AUV has helped locate two of the confirmed eight aircraft models, which is considered a huge success, being that people have spent the last 50 years looking for wreckage of the aircraft. (Phys.org)