Interior Dept’s ‘Drone Meister’ discusses UAS past, present, and future

If a single person were to be designed the “Drone Meister” of US government aerial operations, it might well be Mark Bathrick – the recently retired director of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Aviation Services (OAS), who assembled and oversaw the increasingly diversified use of the world’s largest fleet of non-military UAS. Creator of the agency’s “Drones for Good” program, Bathrick spoke to DroneDJ about how those operations evolved over the past two decades and how it’s likely to continue in the future.

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Verizon selects Oregon site for its drone and robotics test facility

Verizon Robotics, the automation and machine development unit of the global communications giant, has said it will expand its testing and proof-of-concept capabilities by basing those activities at Oregon’s drone and aerial tech trial facility, Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Range.

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Microdrones owner mdGroup buys LiDAR specialist GeoCue

Convergence in the high-end mapping and 3D-modeling drone services segment is afoot with the acquisition of LiDAR tech specialist GeoCue by the mdGroup, owner of Germany-based Microdrones.

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Aerodyne seeks further European expansion in Astralution deal

Malaysia-based drone services company Aerodyne Group is seeking to extend its recent run of success through a new partnership with Norway’s robotic and drone tech specialist Astralution, in an effort to generate new clients from Scandinavia’s energy sector.

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For KLM, Mainblades drone inspection is about to become a vital part of aircraft maintenance

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken another stride toward the routine use of drones for passenger aircraft inspection. It’s transforming its previously exploratory relationship with UAV service provider Mainblades into a multi-year partnership that aims to develop the automated process into a regular part of airline maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activity.

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Blessed are the pilots: France’s villages turn to drones to steam clean churches

Some stories provide great examples of “drones for good” activity. This one might be described more as “drones for God.” A small village in the southwest of France this week deployed a drone to clean the façade, roof, and bell tower of its church in a mission usually carried out by scaffolding-perched workers. The time and costs saved in that were nothing short of miraculous.

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