Category Archives for "Civilian Drones"

DJI Phantom 2 No Fly Zone Feature

As any PPL (Private Pilots Licence) holder knows one of the most important things he or she must do when conducting flights is to avoid restricted or controlled airspace into which the pilot is not allowed due to the privilege limitations of the licence held.  In layman’s terms this means a private pilot has to stay outside of designated areas centred upon major and some minor airports.  The pilot will have learnt this as part of the PPL syllabus, but nevertheless controlled airspace infringements continue to occur for a variety of reasons; navigation error in flight, poor flight planning, use of out of date charts etc.  Drone or sUAV pilots need to observe and adhere to the same regulations and the DJI Phantom 2 No Fly Zone feature that will be good news to both quadcopter flyers and aviation authorities all over the world.

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The New DJI Phantom Vision Plus

DJI Innovations have announced the launch of the new Phantom Vision Plus quadcopter.  Rumours of its imminent release were circulating on forums in the past few days after CNET published a short review containing footage of it.

It has all the features that you would expect of a Phantom, but with a new integrated camera that shoots at 1080p/30/25s HD and 720p/60fps for slow motion video.  It captures 14 megapixel stills and super wide angle and stores them in RAW format.  The camera is mounted on a three axis gimbal which stabilises it in role, pitch, and yaw.  The camera provides ninety degrees of tilt allow the pilot to shoot horizontally and through 90 degrees to straight down vertically.

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RQ-4 Global Hawk back in Japan

U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

The number and range of uses of RQ-4 Global Hawk HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) UAVs continue to increase.  It was announced earlier this week that the US would be deploying two RQ-4’s at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in the north east of Japan.  The drones are currently stationed in Guam but this puts them in the path of typhoons that frequently pass through the area.

The Global Hawk proved its worth in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami by providing surveillance and intelligence gathering during disaster relieve and recovery missions.  It’s worth reminding ourselves that the Japanese company TEPCO used a sUAV to photograph and film the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant after the disaster.  The photos and footage obtained greatly assisted the engineers in assessing the situation without putting anyone at risk while gathering the information.

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