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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Mar 13th, 2018)

A drone that caught fire upon landing started a 300-acre wildfire in Arizona, according to the United States Forest Service. On March 6, the personal drone landed on a dry patch of grass and ignited in the Coconino National Forest in Northern Arizona. About 30 firefighters contained the blaze later that day. A drone owner, who was not identified, was charged in the incident. The person could face jail, a fine or community service. - NEWSWEEK

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Companies plan to develop an air-traffic control network for drones in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported. Amazon, Google, GE, and Boeing teamed up to create a privately funded Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system, which would regulate drone flights at low altitudes. Web and cellular applications would allow for remote tracking and collision avoidance. The companies will begin testing with NASA within the next three months. The UTM system would be separate from the FAA's existing radars and air-traffic control. - DRONEDJ

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Researchers in Sydney powered a drone with hydrogen. The team successfully conducted tests last month using a triple hybrid propulsion system comprised of a hydrogen fuel cell, a battery and a supercapacitor. Hydrogen fuel cells produce zero carbon dioxide emissions and are generally quiet. The hybrid system contributes to faster take-off, better climbing ability and increased fuel cell life, according to project leader Andrew Gong. - SUAS

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A conference scheduled in Florida next month will focus on the use of drones during emergencies. The UAS/Drones for Disaster Response conference will take place April 19 and 20 at the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University in Miami. Speakers from the private sector, universities and government agencies will give talks on the use of drones in disaster scenarios. Workshops will cover the different phases of drone deployment in emergencies. Live flight demonstrations will also take place over land and the ocean. - UA

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Two Midwest colleges formed a partnership to boost initiatives focused on drones and other aerospace technology. Southeast Missouri State University and Ohio-based Sinclair Community College have announced that they will work together on drone education, workforce training and applied research. The partners will look at ways to combine Sinclair's drones program and other academic certificates with Southeast's programs. - UA

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