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Skyborg design competition for USAF loyal wingman UAVs, catapulting a drone from a helicopter, FAA is investigating a Blue Angels close encounter, a drone that launches grenades and sprays crops, flying over Singapore and keeping an eye on people, and a drone crash caused by electric interference.

UAV News US Air Force launches Skyborg competition, artificial intelligence for loyal wingman UAV

Skyborg is the artificially intelligent software that would control a fleet of loyal wingman unmanned air vehicles, and the Air Force has now launched a design competition. A request for proposals was released on May 15 that could award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts worth $400 million per awardee.

U.S. Army successfully launches spy drone from Black Hawk

The U.S. Army wanted to test if a drone launched from a helicopter was possible. The question was if the drone could survive the launch and the helicopter downwash, so the Army conducted a series of tests with an Area-I air-launched, tube-integrated unmanned system (or ALTIUS 600). It was catapaulted forward from a UH-60 Black Hawk side-mounted tube, escaped the rotor downwash undamaged, and was able to fly its intelligence-gathering mission

FAA investigating Detroit drone flight that came ‘dangerously close’ to Blue Angels

A spokesperson for the FAA confirmed they are aware of the incident and that it’s under investigation. A set of guidelines for recreational drone usage is posted on the FAA’s website that includes, “Give way to and do not interfere with manned aircraft” and “Do not operate your drone in a careless or reckless manner.”

Farming Drone Goes From Plowshares To Grenade Launcher

Vinveli Unmanned Systems, Inc. is an international technology company that is primarily involved in energy systems, electric vehicle systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The “Vero” quadcopter can be outfitted with a launcher firing 38mm or 40mm grenades. As an industrial drone it can perform inspection missions, but it can also operate as an automated agriculture spray drone that covers 1,000 acres in less than 30 hours.

Airobotics Receives World’s First Approval to Fly Automated, Commercial Drones Above a Major Metropolis, Flies Above Singapore

The Home Team Science & Technology Agency (HTX) of Singapore is using Airobotics drones to identify congregations of people. The automated drones broadcast real-time data to the Singapore Police Force.

Railway cables overpowered errant drone’s compass and flung it back to terra firma

An Aerialtronics Altura Zenith ATX8 commercial drone crashed next to a railway line in October 2019. The flight only lasted 13 seconds and it crashed after flying over an electrified railway line. Aerialtronics investigated and found that the quadcopter’s onboard magnetic compass reading “had varied through about 60° within a couple of seconds of takeoff.” The next day, the operator performed an RF spectrum analysis and checked for magnetic interference with a handheld compass. He found deviations of up to 140°. The railway’s overhead high-voltage wires were the cause.

UAV Video of the Week Watch Illuminated Drones Create Beating Heart to Honor Healthcare Workers in Rotterdam Sky

Studio Drift created a three-dimensional image of a red beating heart in the sky above Rotterdam. It was part of the Franchise Freedom drone performance dedicated to healthcare workers. Franchise Freedom uses 300 illuminated Intel Shooting Star drones that are programmed to mimic the behavior of a flock of starlings in the sky.

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