Viewing entries tagged


There’s a new Silicon Valley of drones, and it isn’t in California

Nice article about a trend by Sally French

Published: June 23, 2015 11:20 a.m. ET

A vibrant startup scene

Despite the challenges, other (often smaller) drone companies benefit from the test site.

Most of those companies are based in Fargo, a city that entrepreneurs say bursts with an energy that’s akin to that of the startup scene in San Francisco. But this scene is dominated by drone-based industries.

“We’re becoming a robust startup community,” said North Dakota’s lieutenant governor, Drew Wrigley. “They are the geek squad over in Fargo. You’ve got technical companies and young, energetic entrepreneurs.”

Appareo Systems builds flight-data recorders and ADS-B, a type of aircraft tracking system. Since 2001, that startup has worked on a project in partnership with NASA and the University of North Dakota to build, design and manufacture the ADS-B equipping the airplanes.

Another company, Packet Digital, combines high-speed power electronics with advancements in solar to double drone flight times. The ultimate goal is to provide drones with unlimited flight.

“Once you extend flight time, you open up the possibility of many more types of applications and uses for drones,” said Terri Zimmerman, Packet Digital’s CEO. Those applications could include agriculture, allowing farmers to fly drones over farmland to monitor their crops.

And as more drones fill the airspace, there’s a company working on technology that gives pilots situational awareness of other drones in the area. Botlink allows operators to control a drone from a tablet and detect other drones flying nearby.

The company was founded by Shawn Muehler. He’s the guy behind DroneFocus, a meet-up group in Fargo that grew to 50 members, including Becklund, local startups and public officials. “We’re bringing the government, the private sector, the commercial side together to cut through the red tape,” Muehler said. “It’s the only meet-up where we get every industry player in one room.” Lt. Gov. Wrigley has been known to attend.

Indicative of the group’s attitude, the whole thing is organized through That means anyone is welcome; you just click a button to join. When the group huddles, the gathering feels more like a block party than a rigid policy meeting with a strict agenda, according to attendees.

“We just have a different personality out here,” Muehler said. “It’s not about how we can beat our competitors. It’s how we can help each other out to propel this industry forward.”

Read full article...



France local: Atos moves in as trailblazer with a new offer to enhance the drone value chain

Press release

Le Bourget France, 17 June 2015

Atos, an international leader in digital services, presents its know-how in civilian professional drones and Bull technologies for the protection of sensitive areas at the International Air Show in Le Bourget, June 15 - 21, 2015.

As legislation moves forward, the civilian professional drone sector in France is on the up and up, across a range of areas: media, industry, public services, agriculture etc. The civilian drone sector has now reached a turning point, as players struggle to meet the expectations of major buyers. Civilian drones are also now playing a much heightened role in the protection of territory, defense, transport and industry. Their increasing numbers, their discretion, size and the simplicity of their operation, however, do entail certain risks. It is in this context that the Bull experts working at Atos have developed a ground-breaking solution to create a protective shield for areas vulnerable to drones.

Atos is industrializing and extending the entire drone value chain

Thanks to its expertise in spatial systems and work in close cooperation with its partners over the last 15 years with the main French and European earth observation entities (SPOT Image now AIRBUS DS Geo, CNES, ESA), Atos has the capacity to extend and industrialize the entire drone value chain. Atos is approaching customers with a unique offer to enable them to secure immediate benefits in terms of quality, security, costs, rapid deployment, and products built to last.

Atos has entered into and intends to pursue partnerships with players in the drone sector to produce a turnkey offer: consultancy and deployment in SAAS mode, including flight authorizations from the French civil aviation authority, collection of information picked up by drones, and analysis and correlation in real time with other earth observation data sources to provide results and innovate with new services and usages beyond the present scope of the profession.

Atos is capitalizing on its capacity for innovation, especially Cloud & Big Data, already deployed on recent projects: the SparkIndata consortium, a platform federating earth observation data sources (agriculture, town planning, security, climate, health etc.); datalift, a management solution for massive flows of heterogeneous data to administer and upgrade drone sector data and assist with the emergence of new ecosystems.

Bull technologies to protect sensitive areas against drone risks

The Bull solution aims to protect against two types of drone risk:

  • Infringement of confidentiality: images of industrial secrets, private life etc.
  • Physical risks to people and vital infrastructures, in the case of drones with offensive equipment.
    When the area to be protected has been defined (buildings, monuments, events etc.), it takes only a few minutes to install the electronic surveillance equipment.
    The Bull solution scans the area permanently, automatically pinpointing threats and threat levels by radio waves across a broad spectrum.

As soon as a threat is detected, the solution can act on the drone in two ways:

  • It forces the drone to land, enabling the law enforcement authorities to conduct the necessary investigations on the basis of data carried by the drone.
  • The Bull solution can also force the drone to retrace its steps, giving the authorities an insight into the geographic and human origins of the threat.

This ground-breaking, fully reliable system was produced thanks to the experience of Bull engineers in security, which has helped create intelligent jamming solutions for remote-controlled explosive devices, for example.



France local: CerbAir, creator of DroneWatch - the very first effective and accessible small drone detection system

Press Release : June 15, 2015

TechnoFOUNDERS launches start-up company CerbAir, creator of DroneWatch - the very first effective and accessible small drone detection system

In response to the recent growth of the civilian drone market (nearly two million will be sold within the next five years) and the increasingly problematic threat they pose, French start-up company CerbAir, conceived by TechnoFOUNDERS, has developed DroneWatch, the first drone detector to feature a stereoscopic camera.

Until now, there existed not a single small drone detection system - despite more the presence of more than five million sensitive sites worldwide. Now the call for detection has been answered: French start-up company CerbAir, launched by the venture builder TechnoFOUNDERS, introduces a revolutionary drone detector: DroneWatch!

DroneWatch was created with businesses, government institutions and private parties in mind. Aside from easy installation, a secure and customizable online platform and real-time alerts, DroneWatch boasts even more cutting-edge features:
 o     Optical stereoscope technology allows for precision tracking of aerial targets, paving the way for eventual neutralization;
o     Precision data-processing algorithms allow for highly accurate, real-time detection and analysis of small, airborne drones within the surveillance zone;
o     Accessible pricing for any and all establishments seeking to equip their premises with a counter-drone system capable of detecting spy and cargo drones.

Compared to competitors, DroneWatch has positioned itself as the first effective and accessible small drone detection system. As the first start-up company launched by venture builder TechnoFOUNDERS, CerbAir forecasts hundreds of unit sales, as well as the creation of approximately 15 jobs, all within the next few months.

Bastien Oggeri, CerbAir product manager, said, “While nearly two million drones will be sold within the next five years, we are responding to a gap in the market with an effective small drone detector.”

While nearly two million drones will be sold within the next five years, we are responding to a gap in the market with an effective small drone detector.