This is your Drone News Brief for Thursday, March 14th, 2019.
BBC News reported Wednesday that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (the PSNI) has used their 6 drones over 370 times since June 2013. The drones have been used for wildfire rescues, to support district policing, for VIP visits, and for missing person operations. The PSNI must report their drone usage data every 6 months to the policing board.
Farmers in New Zealand have started using drones to herd and monitor livestock. The drone hovers near the livestock, playing a recording of dogs barking. One single drone can do the job of multiple dogs, proving to move livestock faster, and with less resistance.
On Wednesday the European Commission adopted a set of rules governing the responsible and sustainable operation of drones in the EU. The rules delineate the obligations of drone operators in terms of overall safety, security and respect for public privacy, noise protection, and the environmental impact of drone use. Drones built in the EU after the implementation of the new rules must bear a unique identification to enable authorities to trace them where necessary.
A postdoctoral associate at Yale University has invented a quadcopter drone that mimics the perching behavior of a bat. The technique could be a future work-around to the limited battery life of drones in cases when they need to recharge, such as in long-haul package delivery. By gripping onto a surface and powering down, the drone is able to conserve between 40 and 70 percent of its energy.
The United States signed a bipartisan bill into law Tuesday that prompts federal agencies to explore increased use of drones in fighting wildfires. Now that the bill is law, the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Aviation Administration have six months to ensure the program is up and running.
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