What The U.S. Is Using Drones For In Africa And At Home

What The U.S. Is Using Drones For In Africa And At Home

Until the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority can come up with regulations for the commercial drones in the U.S., the only companies flying drones legally are those that have a Section 333 exemption, Robohub reports.

The Center for the Study of the Drone has compiled database of every U.S. company and individual with an exemption. This database offers a detailed view to date of the emerging domestic commercial drone industry in the U.S., according to Robohub.

The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York state is an online space that says it is open to all visions of the drone. It encourages constructive debate and welcomes contributions, according to its website. It aims to bring together research from diverse academic and artistic perspectives that, until now, have remained somewhat silent on the issue of drones, it says.

“We aim to encourage new creative thinking and, ultimately, inform the public debate,” the center says. Bard College is a private liberal arts college in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York state. Its campus overlooks the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains.

Here are  some of the educational, government and private drone activities involving the U.S. in Africa, in the U.S., or beyond, according to a weekly roundup by the center.

From Robohub.

The U.S. is operating drone surveillance and reconnaissance flights out of an airstrip near Kismayo, Somalia, according to Foreign Policy. The outpost is part of an expanded U.S. military presence in the Horn of Africa. The U.S. has long based Predator and Reaper drones at an airfield just north of Somalia in Djibouti.

The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association is working with the government of Ghana to create a network of drones that will ferry medicine and supplies to difficult-to-reach areas, according to UAS Magazine.

U.S. representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Duncan Hunter introduced legislation that, if passed, will create an interagency working group to develop best practices for integrating drone technologies into firefighting efforts, according to a press release.

The U.S. Navy appointed Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier to be its first director of unmanned weapon systems. The new directorate will be part of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and will coordinate the Navy’s programs to develop undersea, air, and surface unmanned vehicles. (USNI News)

Kansas State University-Salina plans to offer a Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree in unmanned aircraft. The degree, which will mainly focus on how to fly drones, will include studies in computer science and electronic and mechanical engineering. The university also plans on adding two minors for drone studies. (Daily Record)

A Stratfor briefing argues it’s likely that many militaries around the world will begin developing hybrid drone systems that can perform some functions without a human operator.

Amazon is reportedly scanning certain properties in Seattle in preparation for its drone delivery program. (Forbes)

NASA is developing a small unmanned glider to survey the martian landscape during the first manned mission to Mars. (Engadget)

A drone was used to carry a lifejacket to two boys who were stranded in the middle of a river in Maine. (ABC News)

Police in Madison, Wisconsin used a drone to help find a car thief who was hiding in a marsh. (Wisconsin State Journal)

Read more at Robohub.