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Drones used in Project Premonition: Seeking to prevent disease outbreaks

Project Premonition aims to use mosquitoes, drones, cloud computing to prevent disease outbreaks

The development, titled Project Premonition, aims to use drone technology to access inhospitable areas and analyse the genetic data of mosquitoes to assess the likelihood of disease outbreaks.

mosquito trap

mosquito trap


A new Microsoft Research project aims to use autonomous drones, cutting-edge molecular biology and advanced cloud-based data analytics to detect early signs that potentially harmful diseases are spreading.






By Lia Reich

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 07:35 pm

Over 40 university and corporate partners including Texas A&M and Mississippi State University are providing analysis products for the marketplace. Additionally, PrecisionHawk’s acquisition of satellite data provider TerraServer will allow marketplace users to link satellite and drone data to observe change over time.

Raleigh, NC – The Algorithm Marketplace, launched today in BETA, provides automated analysis of aerial data acquired by UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). Using sophisticated algorithms, drone operators no longer need a background in geographic information system (GIS) or remote sensing to interpret their aerial data, instead, the marketplace provides an action-based report to improve management of assets. The BETA launch includes initial algorithms in agriculture, but users can expect solutions to be deployed in the areas of environmental monitoring, energy, insurance and infrastructure assessment.

“We spent the past 18 months aggregating more than 100 aerial analysis algorithms from leading research partners in North America and Europe,” said Dr. Ally Ferguson, PrecisionHawk Director of Geospatial Applications.  “Although several are deployed now, we are testing many of our internal and partner solutions in real world environments throughout the summer of 2015.”

The patent pending marketplace is a part of, PrecisionHawk’s drone data platform. Video Overview:

DataMapper is an end-to-end data processing, management and analysis tool for drones designed to deliver actionable insights across industries.

“As we deploy additional automation and verification tools over the next few months, users can expect many of the analysis algorithms to process in as little as a few minutes, empowering a wide variety of industries,” said Andrew Slater, PrecisionHawk VP of Software. “Automation benefits companies who not only need answers quickly, but also those who need to control costs when they need to analyze large volumes of aerial data.”

The market is open to companies, universities and students to post and monetize their analysis tools at no cost. A share of the revenue generated from every algorithm sale goes back to the partner. In addition, algorithm automation tools can be set to private by companies who wish to extract the benefit of automation without sharing any IP with anyone outside their business.

“We set out to build an open IP platform from the beginning,” said Bob Young, PrecisionHawk Chairman. “In the same way that desktop computers needed an abundance of easy to use software to change the world, similarly, drones need a platform where software developers can build the tools that are necessary to scale.”

“The Algorithm Marketplace opens up the remote sensing community and allows institutions like Texas A&M, to see its research solve tangible real world problems for non-technical users.” said Michael Bishop, founding director of the Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications and Technology at Texas A&M University.

Algorithms are being developed to help companies better evaluate change in conditions over time. To support these tools, PrecisionHawk recently acquired Terraserver (, a leading online satellite imagery provider. TerraServer, an 18-year old business, has 1.6 million visitors annually.

“We kept finding that we needed satellite data to create software solutions for the drone industry,” said Stefan Lataille, PrecisionHawk GIS Scientist.  “Drone platforms need to understand their environment, and Terraserver, with its access to historical and current satellite data provides the building blocks to create better analysis tools for drone users to identify how the world changes over time.”

About Data Mapper by PrecisionHawk:

DataMapper is a set of aerial software solutions created by PrecisionHawk. DataMapper provides users with the ability to store, process, share and analyze aerial data collected by unmanned aerial vehicles. The cloud and desktop based software tools are designed to help users efficiently move aerial data with software and compression tools, to process and interpret raw data into usable information in the form of automated 2D and 3D orthomosaic processing and allow users to simply apply analysis tools in The Algorithm Marketplace. To learn more visit or Twitter @TheDataMapper.




USA local: Drone America and AMR Collaborate to Make Emergency Drones a Reality

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Filed Under: NewsPress Releases

Drone America and American Medical Response (AMR) are collaborating to bring Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) to the emergency medical services industry. By leveraging UAS technologies, AMR’s specialty teams would be able to provide swifter and safer rescue operations in dangerous situations such as disaster response, mountain rescue and swift water rescues.

“We are looking at the various potentials for the use of UAS’s for both the delivery of medical services, such as an AED, and as a platform for public safety initiatives to support search and rescue operations and communication with patients,” said AMR’s Senior Vice President of Operations Randall Strozyk.

A Drone America’s pre-production medical DAx8 UAS was revealed at AMR’s booth during the American Ambulance Association’s 2014 Annual Conference Nov. 17 in Las Vegas. Recently the AMR DAx8 gave a short flight demonstration inside a North Lake Tahoe Fire Department station for a Channel 8 KOLO News story about drones.

“Drone America’s DAx8 is specifically engineered with emergency services and first responders in mind,” said President and CEO of Drone America Mike Richards.

“We place great emphasis on listening to first responders, which influences our designs and gives us the ability to manufacture mission specific unmanned systems. Once completed, our systems will be a tool that could make a difference in their everyday lives, including increasing safety, reducing response times and providing support during emergency situations and disasters.”

Both AMR and Drone America expect this collaboration will cultivate the use of unmanned systems for life-saving applications.

About AMR:

American Medical Response, Inc. (, America’s leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 18,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 3 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: EVHC), is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo.

About Drone America:

Drone America has more than 100 years combined experience in flight operations and aerospace manufacturing. Our products are designed and manufactured using the latest advanced composite fabrication techniques producing safe, lightweight and robust airframes enabling reliable operations for our customers. Our composite manufacturing processes developed in-house are also environmentally friendly.



HES announces breakthrough 700Wh/kg endurance power system for drones

Horizon Energy Systems announces new 700Wh/kg fuel cell for drones.

Catalyst-free solid hydrogen storage technology exceeds targets set by US DOE.



Singapore, April 22, 2014:
Singaporean company Horizon Energy Systems (HES) announced a breakthrough on-demand hydrogen generation technology based on a solid fuel system, further improving the flight endurance of small fuel cell electric drones. The unique ability to perform long endurance missions with a low-altitude mini-UAV provides considerable new benefits for long endurance missions such as border patrol, infrastructure surveillance, exploration, critical asset and environmental monitoring.

HES’ energy storage innovation follows extensive experience with a first mature system released in 2010 (AEROPAK), which was based on a liquid chemical hydride and a catalytic reactor system. The company will officially unveil the new solid chemical AEROPAK-S at the May 3-7 AUVSI trade show in Atlanta, Georgia (booth 401).

"The new AEROPAK-S is the result of years of effort in simplifying what are typically complex systems and making them easy to deploy “said Taras Wankewycz, HES’ Chief Executive Officer. “We have explored a number of feedstock options through the years and our new system trumps them all on performance, safety and scalability in manufacturing.”

Compared to 200Wh/kg lithium batteries and preceding fuel cell designs, the new 700Wh/kg solid fuel AEROPAK-S completely eliminates the need for a complex catalytic reactor, which reduces size, weight and complexity, while offering a self-contained, plug & play fuel cartridge system.

The new technology is an ideal candidate for powering small electric unmanned aircraft. AEROPAK-S has already powered a commercial mini-UAV flight earlier this year. Custom versions of the system have been in stealth development with several leading aerospace OEMs, some of which are moving to serial production in the coming months.

Numerous industry experts acknowledged HES’ ultra-light fuel cells as a potent power solution for small UAS platforms. While the company’s visibility has mostly been in the fixed-wing segment, it expects to set a new world flight duration record in the multi-rotor segment in the coming weeks.

About Horizon Energy Systems
Headquartered in Singapore, HES deliver the world’s highest performance fuel cells, achieving orders of magnitude beyond what is possible elsewhere today. Where battery performance limits the effective use of these promising unmanned systems, HES’ next-generation fuel cell systems improve versatility and open new mission possibilities for smaller low altitude aircraft, typically reserved for larger, higher altitude and more expensive aircraft.