Drone Blogs

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  • Police and Fire Departments in Irvine, CA Embrace the Drone First Responder (DFR) Program

    About two dozen law enforcement agencies nationwide have developed a specialized crime-fighting program that allows them to respond automatically to 911 calls with drone-based aerial surveillance.  Dubbed “Drone First Responder,” the program sends a drone to a prospective crime scene in advance of arriving patrol officers, allowing them to size up the situation and adapt... Read More

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  • On the Road to Commercialization: Two Drone Companies Begin Ramping Up Production

    Building a drone assembly plant is the clearest sign a drone company can give that it’s preparing for full-scale commercialization.  Many drone firms have received some degree of airworthiness certification from the FAA, but without formal agency approval for a specific production design – a “type certification” – they cannot begin manufacturing a drone for... Read More

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  • Faced with a Crime Spike and Police Recruiting Shortages, Arlington County, Virginia is Turning to Drones

    Arlington County, Virginia – located on the outskirts of Washington, DC – is one of America’s five richest counties.  So, when its crime rate spikes, as it has since 2021, the county’s 200,000 residents start getting nervous.  But responding to the crisis hasn’t been easy.  Cutbacks in the county budget and low police salaries have... Read More

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  • FAA Grants Its First Drone Waiver for Large-Scale Commercial Farming

    “Precision” agriculture is emerging as a major commercial application for the burgeoning US drone industry.  By targeting the application of farm inputs to soil and crops with the highest prospective yield, farmers can reduce their resource and labor costs, boost production and maximize their profits.  Field labor is difficult to recruit and expensive to employ,... Read More

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  • With Its Unique Versatility, Swoop Aero Is Fast Ascending the Ranks of the World’s Leading Drone Companies

    Australia’s Swoop Aero is fast ascending the ranks of the world’s leading small cargo drone companies. Like its American counterpart Zipline, the Melbourne-based firm first cut its teeth with medical supply deliveries in Africa, beginning in Malawi, and later expanding into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other nearby nations.  From the start. the... Read More

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  • Drones Can Make the Perfect Holiday Gift

    Drones make the perfect holiday gift for children of all ages – from tots to teens.  Gift-givers have a multitude of models to choose from, with a wide variety of prices and capabilities.  For some smaller children, an inexpensive toy drone may be a fun novelty item; they already play with remotely controlled cars; now... Read More

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  • For Mountain Search and Rescue Operations, the DJI Matrice 30T Reigns Supreme

    Search-and-rescue (SAR) is among the most popular missions embraced by commercial and recreational drone fliers.  Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR), founded in 1965, first embraced the SAR drone mission in 2018 and has since made it a core capability.  The group provided aid to some 740 lost or injured hikers and skiers on Scotland’s mountainous western... Read More

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  • Public Safety Drones Are Beginning to Make Their Presence Known in the American “Heartland”

    Most US states located in the American “Heartland” – including Iowa and Nebraska – aren’t especially “friendly” to the drone industry.  In fact, Nebraska is tied for last on the annual drone-readiness scorecard issued by the Fairfax, VA-based Mercatus Center.  Iowa also ranks low – 45th.  Neither state has an executive-level task force to promote... Read More

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  • Assessing the Pros and Cons of Drone Hybrids

    It’s an open secret that drones, despite their many operational, cost and sustainability advantages over gas-powered vehicles, also suffer from a potentially fatal flaw:  they run on batteries, which limit their flight time, usually to about 30 minutes.  While breakthroughs in battery miniaturization are appearing on the horizon, most efforts to enhance drone endurance consist... Read More

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