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Cloudless: UAV startup’s drone swoops through the stratosphere nearly 25,000 meters above Earth

Appropriately named Polish startup Cloudless has successfully completed another experimental flight of its solar-powered Ultra Long Endurance Platform (ULEP-1) drone – this time at a dizzying altitude of 24,784 meters/81,312 feet above Earth. 

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aced a barrage of flight and performance tests during its 2.5 hours in the heavens. And once it completed those challenges, the craft touched down almost precisely on its designated landing spot.

That feat will catch the interest of players in the booming pseudo-satellite sector searching for economic yet efficient means of servicing their lower-altitude orbiters.

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Global UAV market expected to soar to new heights in 2020s

U.S. Army charge drone swarms UK military

Buckle up and screw on your hats, dronies: The currently booming market in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is set to blast into the stratosphere over the next several years.

Valued at $19.5 billion in 2019, the global market for all types of airborne drones is expected to surpass $55.6 billion by 2027, according to a new forecast by Research Dive.

Military and defense applications are projected to continue to dominate about half of total spending during that period. However, business in consumer drones is set to outpace the security side in annual rates of growth for most of the coming decade.

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China snags suspected US maritime intelligence drone

Allegations of US spying off China’s coast rang out after a technologically sophisticated maritime drone turned up in the net of a Chinese fishing ship this month.

According to multiple media reports featuring photos as evidence, the vessel is said to be a Wave Rider autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) manufactured by Boeing affiliate Liquid Robotics. The craft is used by both the US and British Royal Navy.

The development was just what the world needed: another source of tension in already fraught Sino-American relations.

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AIRT, AUVSI host Global Public Safety UAS Summit at XPONENTIAL 2021

Two of the biggest actors in promoting use of unmanned systems for the common good are renewing their previous partnerships ­­– this time as organizers of the Global Public Safety UAS Summit at XPONENTIAL 2021.

The Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) and Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International AUVSI will stage a series of panels and workshops at XPONENTIAL.

As always, their objective is to encourage deployment of unmanned systems and robotics in ways benefiting society and humanity.

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Mexican gangs use retail drones as airborne IEDs

Explosive drones

Mexican authorities have ordered two suspected drug cartel operatives to stand trial on charges that they outfitted commercial drones with explosives for use in attacks on security forces.

The April 24 decision to prosecute came less than a week after a pair of police officers were injured by devices in a commercial drone as they cleared a road blocked by drug cartels in the state of Michoacán.

Officials said the attack suggested Mexico’s criminal gangs may hope to use drones as weapons with greater frequency in the future.

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AI-enhanced drone scrambled to protect endangered NZ dolphins

Determined humans and a remarkably smart drone have teamed up in an effort to prevent New Zealand’s beloved Māui dolphin from looming extinction.

The partnership of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and concerned businesses are using a craft tricked out with artificial intelligence to locate, track, and safeguard the endangered mammals with vastly improved efficiency.

And all for a most worthy porpoise.

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