Valqari UAM winner400x275Five winners in the urban air mobility space will share a total of $50,000 in cash prizes as part of the 2022 Urban Air Mobility Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Advanced Technology International (ATI), TechConnect and The Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC). The winners were announced at the Defense TechConnect Innovation Summit & Expo in Washington, D.c.


The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released an engineering brief (#105) that provides initial guidelines for advanced electric-powered air mobility (AAM) aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) capabilities.


SkyDropDelivery400x275SkyDrop, formerly known as Flirtey, has released the first episode of a documentary series telling the historical story of the first FAA-approved drone delivery on U.S. soil.


AeroVironmentSwitchblade300 400x275AeroVironment, which develops multi-domain robotic systems, has announced it received a $20.6 million firm-fixed-price contract in August from the U.S. Army Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) project office. The contract is for the procurement of Switchblade 300 tactical missile systems, a back-packable and rapidly deployable-from-ground system designed to engage beyond-line-of-sight targets.


OutpostTestFlight400x275During a technical session at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Outpost presented a paper on the findings of its two successful flight tests of its autonomous paraglider re-entry system, which enables the return of payloads to Earth from orbit. The tests, conducted in April 2022, mark a milestone for the company in creating a technology aimed to disrupt the future of satellite operations.


AeroVironmentVapor400x275AeroVironment has announced the launch of its next-generation VAPOR Helicopter unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the VAPOR 55 MX. With a completely redesigned modular autonomy framework, the VAPOR 55 MX enables increased endurance and expanded payload capacity to meet current and emerging needs of defense, commercial and industrial customers.


ReliableRobotics Africa400x275Reliable Robotics, which is developing autonomous aircraft systems, has announced a strategic collaboration with Astral Aviation, a Kenya-based airline, with the goal of enhancing aviation safety and increasing air cargo connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa. The two companies will work together to develop operational, regulatory and business plans to launch automated aircraft operations in the region.


MFEInspection400x275MFE Inspection Solutions has announced its appointment as a reseller of Emesent, which develops drone autonomy systems. The partnership will give MFE customers access to the full line of Emesent products, including their flagship product Hovermap ST, an autonomy and mapping payload.


IndoorRobotics Tando400x275Israel’s Champel Capital has announced it added Indoor Robotics to its investment portfolio, raising $18 million in Series A funding. Indoor Robotics is developing an autonomous, aerial indoor security robot.


TeledyneFLIR SIRAS400x275Teledyne FLIR has launched its SIRAS drone aimed at industrial and utility inspection tasks, as well as uses in public safety, firefighting, and search and rescue missions. The professional drone includes a quick-connect dual radiometric thermal and visible camera payload, and is engineered for data security, performance and affordability.


AeroVironmentMantis400x275AeroVironment has announced its Mantis i23 D, a multi-sensor daytime imaging payload that is compatible with the Raven B small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS). The Mantis i23 D is an enhanced daylight variant of its predecessor, the Mantis i23, and uses the same modular interface to allow for quick and simple swapping between payloads with no software updates required to avionics or ground control systems.


XAGP100 Vietnam400x275Le Thanh Nguyen, a 62-year-old farmer who was born and raised in Tam Nong District of Dong Thap Province, Vietnam, now turns his seven hectares of rice farm with XAG drones. He had been farming in a traditional way for over 40 years since he was 15, but is now open to the new technology. He is one of the earliest farmers to adopt agricultural drones in rice production and a dedicated follower of drone solutions.


KEFRobotics TE UAS400x275KEF Robotics, which develops visual autonomy systems for aircraft, has announced it was awarded a 12-month, $1.5 million Phase 2 SBIR award from the Army Applications Lab. The contract will fund KEF to develop advanced computer vision algorithms to fly tethered autonomous drones through an urban environment in day or night conditions. The company said the award will speed its ambition to provide vision-based autonomous flight to any aircraft, even in GPS-denied environments.


ReliableRoboticsFog400x275Reliable Robotics, which is developing autonomous aircraft systems, has announced the certification basis of its advanced navigation and autoflight system has been accepted by the FAA. The final G-1 issue paper defines the certification basis for the company’s Supplemental Type Certification (STC) on the Cessna 208 Caravan, a cargo aircraft. 


AeroVironmentJUMP 400x275AeroVironment has announced it received an Other Transaction Agreement award from the U.S. Army for Increment 1 of the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS). The contract includes the purchase, testing and delivery of one JUMP 20 medium unmanned aircraft system (MUAS) to a selected Army Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and associated services, training and support.


FAA DroneEmergency400x275The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $2.7 million to support research on how drones can assist in disaster preparedness and in emergency situations.