AUVSI Cascade Chapter News


Robotic Skies

Robotic Skies to support Alpha Unmanned Systems' commercial UAS
AUVSI (11/15/2018)

Alpha Unmanned Systems has selected Robotic Skies Inc. to develop and implement a global support plan for its current and future commercial UAS, which currently features the company's flagship product, the Alpha 800 unmanned helicopter. The Alpha 800 has a flight endurance of more than three hours, a payload capacity of three kilograms and a range of up to 18.6 miles.

LAANC processes 50,000 applications in one year

Since launching the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) a year ago, the FAA has processed more than 50,000 applications from drone operators for authorization to fly in controlled airspace. The FAA says the nationwide deployment of LAANC has exceeded all the program's original objectives. Today, LAANC covers nearly 300 air traffic facilities serving about 500 airports with near-instantaneous approvals under Part 107 for airspace authorizations to commercial and public agency operators. There are 14 companies that provide LAANC services. Drone operators may also file for airspace authorizations using the FAA  DroneZone, including for areas not covered by LAANC or when the operator holds a Part 107 waiver.

Airbus' drone taxi takes to the skies for the first time.
The aerospace company envisions a future with autonomous passenger taxis.

February 2, 2018

When Airbus first announced its plans to develop a self-flying taxi, it sounded like a fever dream of a sci-fi fan. Now, the aerospace giant has proven that it wasn't joking: Airbus' Vahana team have successfully flown their autonomous air taxi dubbed "Alpha One" for the first time. Sure, it only reached an altitude of 16 feet and remained in the air for 53 seconds before descending, but it did so while fully self-piloted. The team conducted another test flight the day after, and by the sound of things, that one also went well.
Airbus created the project to "democratize personal flight" by leveraging all the latest technologies, including machine vision and electric propulsion. Based on that vision, the Vahana team created Alpha One as a single-passenger electric vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) self-piloted vehicle. The company's ultimate goal is to build an autonomous passenger drone network, similar to the ride-hailing fleet of self-driving cars Waymo is preparing to launch this year, but way more ambitious. Before that happens, though, Airbus has to develop its technology further and to perform loads more flight tests until it can transition to forward flight.