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August 22, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'August 22, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'

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VOL 1, ISSUE 14 August 22, 2017
Top Stories
Autonomous drone finds thermals
A Microsoft research team tested a drone in the Nevada desert that was controlled by a computer programmed to learn on the fly and make its own decisions. The system proved capable of finding thermal updrafts that allowed it to extend its flight time. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft.) Read more >
DARPA seeks to ensure armed robots can be trusted
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has long been at the forefront of robotics research, and with armed, autonomous systems on the horizon, the Pentagon's research agency is enlisting help to ensure those killer robots of the future can be trusted. Read more >
Armed drone for sale
Duke Robotics has drawn attention with Tikad, an armed drone that carries a machine gun and grenade launcher. Not everyone is comfortable with the concept. Read more >
AI drones could drive billion-dollar market
Artificial intelligence is rapidly developing, and unmanned aircraft could be among the key assets once they are programmed to fly themselves. Read more >
Training and Safety
AOPA drone seminars fill fast
AOPA has teamed up with flight schools around the country to offer Part 107 seminars at airports, and the first set filled up fast. While seats for the seminars on Aug. 27 and 28 are all spoken for, registration is still available for additional seminars scheduled into November. Find a seminar near you and register now >
Drone data security tips
The security of data captured by drones has become a hot topic in recent weeks, partly because of the writing of David Walters, a software engineer with a British firm that produces drone data management solutions. In his latest blog post, Walters offers tips for safeguarding data. Read more >
Enterprise drone conference set for November
DJI has lined up speakers, exhibits, and training opportunities for its second AirWorks Conference geared toward enterprise users Nov. 7 through 9 in Denver. Learn more >
DJI creating data privacy option
Less than two weeks after the U.S. Army grounded DJI drones because of security concerns, DJI announced it is developing a software solution to allow users to block transmission of data from the company's drone control apps. Read more >
Fixed-wing drone can perch on walls
The University of Sherbrooke has unveiled the Sherbrook Multimodal Autonomous Drone, or S-MAD, and it can perch on vertical surfaces to take a break and save batteries. The S-MAD won "Best Robotics Paper" at Stanford University's Living Machine 2017 conference. Read more >
Entry-level drone buyer's guide
If you're contemplating a first drone but confused by the myriad options, Popular Science has some advice. Read more >
Scouting locations with Google Maps
Photographer Ty Poland uses satellite images provided by Google Maps to scout locations where great drone photos can be captured. Read more >
DR1 drone racing lands sponsors
With the Drone Racing League having completed another season on ESPN, DR1, the competing drone racing league that will air upcoming races on Fox Sports, is ramping up the publicity and plugging title sponsor DHL. Read more >
Regulation and Policy
LAPD drone proposal sparks debate
The Los Angeles Police Department's proposal to deploy drones in a limited capacity has drawn protest. Read more >
ALEA develops drone standards
The Airborne Law Enforcement Association and Public Safety Aviation Accreditation Commission (PSAAC) have developed draft standards for unmanned aircraft use by member agencies, and have invited comment. PSAAC CEO Jim Di Giovanna told AOPA Drone Pilot that comments received by Sept. 30 will be considered and may result in changes to the draft standards. The final version of the standards will be released in mid-October, Di Giovanna wrote. Read more >
Nebraska lawmaker seeks drone restrictions
Nebraska is one of a dwindling list of states that has not yet enacted state-level drone laws, but one lawmaker wants to change that with proposed legislation touted as more comprehensive than other state laws. Read more >
Quadcopter lands on aircraft carrier
Some might think it's obvious that landing a drone on the deck of Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's largest warship scheduled to be commissioned later this year, is a bad idea. The pilot, who unsurprisingly asked not to be named, expressed surprise that his unauthorized landing was not challenged. Read more >
Pentagon develops drone shoot-down policy
U.S. military bases are strictly off-limits for drones, and now the U.S. Department of Defense is has issued more detailed (and classified) instructions that will likely lead to anti-drone action. Read more >
First responders count on drones
ABC News takes a closer look at how drones are transforming search-and-rescue, water-rescue, and other public-safety missions. Watch the video >
Featured Video
Flying drones into storms
Most pilots, whether in the aircraft or on the ground, keep their distance from thunderstorms. But a research team from Colorado State University is using drones to probe the fringes of storm cells to better understand the inner workings of potentially deadly weather, as detailed Aug. 16. The project seeks to improve forecasts and save lives. (Composite of images courtesy of Colorado State University.) Watch the video >
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