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Inside Drones (Nov 17th, 2017)

DJI is seeking potential government partners for the new U.S. drone pilot program. The manufacturer said it would contribute its technology and resources - including UAS equipment and Aeroscope - to any joint projects. President Trump has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to launch the program asking state, local and tribal governments to partner with the private sector and propose drone operations. The venture will allow communities “to experiment with new technologies like package deliveries, emergency drone inspections, and more, on terms that work for them and in ways that support a unified and safe airspace,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said. The deadline to submit notices of intent for the program is Nov. 28. - UA

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Drones will be used in an anti-poaching campaign in Botswana. Organizers are using the "Bathawk" drones to capture and deliver video streams of possible elephant and rhino poachers. South African company UAV and Drone Solutions (UDS) developed the drones, which can fly for up to two-and-a-half hours. The UAVs can send live video streams from 15 miles away. Organizers have flown the UAVs in reserves and parks in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. As a result, poaching has dropped significantly or stopped in these areas, UDS' co-founder said. - NBC

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A drone carrying drugs and cell phones crashed into an Arizona prison yard. The incident, which occurred in late September, was reported on Friday. A homemade aerial drone had attempted to deliver the contraband to inmates,but crashed in a security area accessible only to officers at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye, reports said. It contained two cell phones and several bags of marijuana. The items will undergo DNA and fingerprint analysis. Any perpetrators would face a felony charge and up to five years in prison. It is the first drone-related incident believed to take place at an Arizona state prison. - AZCENTRAL

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DJI has unveiled a limited edition Mavic Pro drone in Alpine White for the holiday season. The drone, a remote controller, two extra batteries, two extra propellers and an aircraft sleeve are selling for $1,049 as part of a special holiday combo.The price is $128 less than a traditional Mavic Pro with extra batteries, Droned DJ reported. The company is selling the product exclusively on Apple.com and store.dji.com, as well as select Apple stores and DJI flagship stores. - DRONEDJ

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Drones will watch over beaches in Perth, Australia this summer. Surf Life Saving Western Australia, an emergency rescue agency, will use drones to patrol five beaches through early February (which is summer in the southern hemisphere). Equipped with HD cameras, the drones will be used to handle preventative maintenance and immediate problems, such as shark sightings. Pilots will fly UAVs every hour to view beach conditions and alert lifeguards about any issues. The cost to operate each drone is about $20,000 a year. “A great example of how this technology has benefited the lifesavers ... is where the helicopter picked up a shark off Cottesloe beach last week,” the agency's general manager said. - THEWEST

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