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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jan 30th, 2018)

Scientists are using drones to estimate dolphin populations in the Amazon River. Two species of dolphins - the boto and the tucuxi - inhabit the basin, but their populations remain unclear. Scientists at the Mamirauá Institute are working with WWF Brazil to record aerial video of the dolphins using drones. The footage is more accurate than counting dolphins manually from a boat. Scientists say the videos will provide more accurate population estimates of the dolphins, which face threats from fishing nets and mining contamination. The findings could influence the International Union for Conservation of Nature to list the species as vulnerable or endangered, which could allow fundraising efforts to protect the animals. - GUARDIAN

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A drone pilot was arrested after flying his UAV over a soccer match in Wales. The drone disrupted the first half of the FA Cup game between Tottenham and Newport County on Saturday night. The local police force confirmed the arrest on Twitter, warning users that anyone caught piloting a drone over the stadium could be prosecuted. In the United Kingdom, drone operators are barred from flying at night or above people. - THEDRIVE

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A U.S. citizen was detained at an airport in Bangladesh after failing to declare his drone. Mark Rumam Kutrovsky, 22, was waiting for a flight to travel back to the U.S. when customs officials seized his drone at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Tuesday. Customs Intelligence Chief Moinul Khan said Kutrovsky violated an import-control law by bringing the drone into the country without proper clearance. Kutrovsky reportedly told customs officials that he used the drone to capture videos and still images of the Bangladeshi countryside. Reports did not say how long he would be detained. - DAILYSTAR

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Worldwide spending on drones is expected to reach $9 billion this year. The International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Robotics and Drones Spending Guide forecasted that drone investments could grow at a faster rate than the market. The projected compound annual growth rate for the industry is 29.8 percent over five years. According to the IDC, the utilities and construction industries will spend the most on drones - $912 million and $824 million, respectively - in 2018. The fastest growth is expected to occur in the education and state or local government industries. - VCCIRCLE

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Fire departments will have new training tools to learn about drone use in public-safety scenarios. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide’s College of Aeronautics and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) will begin offering education, training and certifications for departments to incorporate UAVs into their firefighting tools. They will include online courses, workshops and seminars. - UASMAG

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The government of Andalusia, Spain will use drones to monitor wildlife. The Ministry of Government announced that it will track threatened and hunted species, including imperial eagles and aquatic birds, as well as some plant life. The program is expected to be fully developed by 2020. “This extensive application of unmanned aerial vehicles will place Andalusia at the forefront in terms of the use of this technology," the Regional Government of Andalusia said in a statement. Andalusia is an autonomous region in southern Spain.- EUROWEEKLY

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