As drones progressively flock to the skies, the current path where remote-controlled airplane are blazing a trail is into the night, according to an analysis acquired by U.S.A TODAY.
The Federal Aviation Administration has given 314 special authorizations for drone flights since detailed guidelines were completed Aug. 29, and 306 were for flying at night, reveals the analysis by the trade group Association for Unmanned Car Systems International (AUVSI).
With some overlap, 11 waivers were given for flying multiple drones simultaneously. Three were for flying far away than the pilot could see and one each was for flying over people, flying from a moving automobile and operating with limited exposure throughout cloudy weather.
Perhaps the most prominent exemption– for both a night flight and multiple drones at the same time– was granted to Intel Corp. for the 300 drones that were recorded flying for Woman Gaga’s halftime program at Super Bowl LI.
Brian Wynne, CEO of AUVSI, stated the analysis reveals the popularity of uses for drones ranging from inspecting infrastructure to surveying crops. But he stated the market and the economy would take advantage of expanding drone regulations to regularly permit flights at night, over people and farther than the pilot can see, which the market calls beyond the line of sight.
The FAA developed thorough guidelines for the remote-controlled airplane to make sure safe flights and prevent accidents with passenger planes or individuals on the ground. The rules allow regular flights for drones weighing approximately 55 pounds during the day, within sight of the pilot and about 400 feet above the ground.
The guidelines avoided the need for the FAA to evaluate many drone applications on a case-by-case basis. But the market continues to broaden and look for extra methods to fly that aren’t consistently enabled. The FAA sets limitations on the size, speed, and height of drone flights to prevent harming individuals or residential or commercial property.
Flying several drones simultaneously is crucial because they would follow automatic courses that would be essential for uses such as shipments, rather than be guided by a single pilot with a joystick controller. Intel of Santa Clara, Calif., demonstrated for the Super Bowl how the technology is developing: 300 Shooting Star drones flew developments that looked like the American flag and the Pepsi logo for Gaga’s show.
But because of FAA constraints versus flying over sporting events or crowds, the drones were flown days before the football video game and recorded. The FAA waiver restricted the flights to 200 feet above any building, and the drones were flown with software application restrictions called geofences that limited their movement. Each drone weighed less than 12 ounces.
Not all the functions are photography and home entertainment. DroneSeed of Seattle got consent to fly numerous drones at once over remote forests to plant seeds, track their growth and spray herbicide.
CNN of Atlanta got the waiver to fly over people while reporting the news. The connected Fotokite Pro 1 drone weighs less than 1.4 pounds and can fly no higher than 21 feet above the ground. The FAA still prohibited flights above outdoor assemblies of people.
The FAA had chosen CNN in 2015 as one of its “Pathfinders” to assist try out drones to know how they could be flown securely in inhabited city locations.
BNSF Train Corp. of Fort Worth, another of the FAA’s speculative “Pathfinders,” received a waiver for flying at night, farther than the pilot might see and potentially during low visibility with cloudy weather. The railway is evaluating the use of drones to check its facilities, such as flying along tracks far away from the remote pilot.
For flying at night, the drone must remain below 200 feet above the ground or above a structure that it is navigating around, inning accordance with the waiver. And it must have a light noticeable a minimum of 3 miles away to assist other pilots in avoiding it.
The FAA required that a “visual observer” to keep it in sight, under the waiver if the pilot can’t watch the drone anymore. The pilot and observer need to be able to communicate with each other. Flights are permitted throughout cloudy weather. However, the pilot and observer must keep an eye on the aircraft in spite of the weather.
For an information about DJI Mavic Pro Night Flying, start with this video tutorial: