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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jan 14th, 2019)

1. The Trump administration has put forward new drone rules that would allow pilots to fly over populated areas and at night without a waiver. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao outlined the proposal during a speech on Monday. The Federal Aviation Administration wants to end a rule that requires drone pilots to obtain waivers to fly at night. In addition, the FAA wants to allow operators to fly drones weighing 0.55 pounds or less over populated areas. For drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds, the manufacturer would need to demonstrate that if an "unmanned aircraft crashed into a person, the resulting injury would be below a certain severity threshold." The FAA said it is seeking to "balance the need to mitigate the risk small unmanned aircraft pose to other aircraft and to people and property on the ground without inhibiting innovation." - BLOOMBERG

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2. Wing and two other companies developed a new system to identify flying drones. The concept is expected to be unveiled in more detail on Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. It apparently uses different software applications that are linked by a common web-based system, allowing data sharing that could better identify the location of drones. Operators, government agencies and individual citizens could have access to the data. “We are moving as quickly as possible to address the complex issues” related to airborne identification of drones, an FAA spokesperson said. - WSJ

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3. Eight drones flew illegally near Singapore’s Changi Airport in the last three years, according to the senior minister of state. None of the drones interrupted flights at the airport, where UAVs are banned from flying within 5 kilometers without a permit. Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority plans to develop a system that would detect if individual drone pilots are flying with valid permits. The Republic of Singapore Air Force also has a jammer gun and a drone catcher system to bring down drones that are considered a threat. - CHANNEL NEWS ASIA

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4. Police used a drone to deliver a vape pen to an attempted arsonist during a standoff. On Saturday, 40-year-old Juan Roman unsuccessfully tried to burn down a gas station in Novato, Calif. During the encounter, Roman agreed to surrender if police delivered him a cigarette first. Police were concerned that the suspect had gasoline on his clothes, so they used a drone to deliver a vape pen. Roman was arrested and charged with attempted arson. - VICE

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5. Researchers used imagery from a DJI Phantom 4 Pro to count Atlantic Grey seal pups on the Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast. 

6. Police used a thermal drone to locate an assault suspect who was hiding under a pier in Washington state.

7. The Kansas City Star shared a drone video of the city's latest snowstorm.

8. Students in Salem, Oregon are proposing to use a drone to identify potentially harmful algae blooms in Detroit Lake, Salem's main drinking water source.

9. Transport Canada adopted drone regulations that require operators to register drones weighing 0.55 lbs to 55 lbs, among other rules.

10. Drone DJ profiled Autel Robotics' new LiveDeck and MultiCharger, which could be helpful for first responders.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine, and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news in southern California here. Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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