Michael Pehel

Recent Posts

DroneDeploy Raises $9 Million, Partners with DJI and 3DR

DroneDeploy raised $9 million in funding from Emergence capital for their new drone operation and data platform. Investors expect a high adoption rate as DroneDeploy integrates with drones from popular UAV companies DJI and 3D Robotics.

Mar 31, 2015 10:57:52 AM

Topics: Mapping, Startups and Partnerships

Hearing Reveals State of Commerical Drones in U.S.

A Senate Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee hearing revealed earliest acceptance of the recently proposed FAA rules regarding UAS would occur in the last quarter of 2016. In the interim, the FAA will be taking other critical steps to expedite the exemption process and remove some hurdles for commercial drone testing and usage, but will remain committed to addressing issues of safety, and dealing with the complexity and volume unique to US airspace.

Mar 26, 2015 9:55:23 AM

Topics: Regulation

FAA Makes it Easier to Fly Commercial Drones

The FAA recently announced it will help streamline the exemption process for companies and individuals applying for commercial drone usage and testing. Under the interim policy, before the official UAS rules are changed, the agency will grant a COA (Certificate of Authorization or Waiver) for flights at or below 200 feet to any UAS operator with a 333 exemption.

Mar 25, 2015 1:14:32 PM

Topics: Regulation

Exelis Takes First Steps Toward Highway for Drones

Aerospace company Exelis provided a preview of its a low-altitude surveillance system to Reuters yesterday. The system will be fully integrated with the data on manned aircraft that Exelis currently supplies to FAA eliminating the concern for collision with commuter air traffic.

Mar 11, 2015 12:21:44 PM

Topics: Control Systems

These Drones Make a Difference

Somewhere between military drones and paparazzi drones, people are finding uses for drones that improve the world and help noble causes. As UAS technology becomes more ubiquitous, use cases for conservation, search and rescue, and safety are appearing with increasing frequency.

Mar 10, 2015 3:20:02 PM

Topics: Drone Development

Begun the Drone War has!


In one of the latest examples of Star Wars fanaticism, Olivier_C created a working TIE Interceptor out of a Prophecy 335 quadcopter.

Mar 4, 2015 2:55:27 PM

FAA's New Rules Proposal Only the First Step Towards Regulation


Feb 17, 2015 1:49:00 PM

Topics: Regulation

The Widening Regulation Gap for Commercial Drones

Drone technology evolves fast, and if this year’s CES is any indication, fully automated UAV systems are near. From parachutes to crash avoidance systems, manufacturers demoed their efforts to improve the safety, reduce human error, and automate flight functions at the show last week. With all the exciting new tech moving the space forward, the FAA released a 12-page document on January 8 reiterating that “line of sight” is still a requirement for drone operation.

The document is to act as a guide for law enforcement agencies in handling unauthorized usage of UASs, UAVs or drones, and better define their role in enforcing the FAA's current regulations. Although local enforcement agencies may be used to gathering information, the document states, “Other law enforcement processes, such as arrest and detention or non-consensual searches almost always fall outside of the allowable methods to pursue administrative enforcement actions by the FAA unless they are truly a by-product of a state criminal investigation.”

Jan 13, 2015 2:55:00 PM

Topics: Regulation

Drone Crash Avoidance Systems Make a Splash at CES

Every drone owner wants to fly more and crash less. At CES this year, the new set of drones about to hit the commercial market promise to make that a reality. Purchasing a drone with a crash-avoidance system sounds like it would break the bank, but a few manufacturers have products poised to crush that expectation. These detection systems will give the next generation of drones previously unthought-of abilities, like navigating a maze without human assistance.

Jan 7, 2015 3:47:00 PM

Topics: Control Systems

Land v. Air: Parrot's Mini-Drones Face Off

Dec 18, 2014 8:57:00 AM