drones

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

On a cloudy summer morning, Rochester Institute of Technology professor Carl Salvaggio and a student from the school’s Center for Imaging Science stood in an open Pittsford field, eyes fixed on the sky. They were flying an unmanned aircraft system — also known as a drone — with the help of a longtime pilot. 

The trio took the DJI S900 n-copter on a series of 20-minute test flights, to check how well its sensors and six high-definition cameras can provide aerial imagery for precision farming. Salvaggio moved to a table off to the side, using a computer loaded with data-tracking software. He set up a small monitor on a tripod next to him to get a closer look at the airborne drone. Its short voyage would help the researchers assess the health of the vegetation.

What next for unmanned aerial vehicles?

Jan 29, 2015
flickr

Drones! One nearly crashed a White House party. There are questions about drone law as drones become an important asset for more companies. What limits should we see? What's next? We discuss this with our guests:

  • Agamemnon Crassidis, RIT associate professor
  • Brian Pitre, who teaches a new course at MCC designed to train pilots of small unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Ryan Delaney, Innovation Trail reporter

Community colleges in upstate New York are beginning to offer introductory courses to unmanned aircraft, often called drones.

Ars Electronica / via Flickr

There have been 1,020 small unmanned aerial vehicle flights - what most people call drones - in Canada this year, according to the Canadian transportation officials.

That's up from 945 in 2013 and 347 in 2012, Transport Canada reported.

"In Canada, as globally, UAV is exploding," said Joe Barnsley, an aviation attorney in Winnipeg, Canada. "It’s a huge growth area."

Meanwhile, The U.S. drone industry is simmering more than exploding. 

A remotely-piloted military aircraft taxied around Hancock Airfield for the first time Tuesday.

Officers of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard are calling it a small step toward a goal they’ve had for five years: launching their MQ-9 Reaper drones from Syracuse.

"A milestone," albeit not a dramatic one, is what Col. Greg Semmel, the 174th's commander, said of the event. 

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