The sUAS News Podcast Celebrates – Dies Natalis


May 9th 2013 marked the one-year anniversary of the sUAS News Podcast Series. We celebrated the occasion (and 200,000+ downloads) by airing a special “Really Big Show”, or episode #48 recapping the highlights and ground covered from the past year’s 47 information packed episodes.

The entire sUAS News team takes pride in the popularity of the show and all of the positive feedback. The numbers imply that folks from outside of the UA Kumbaya campfire circle are tuning in to hear about the technology applications and end-user aspirations.

The Podcast Series was introduced as an additional content vehicle (manned). sUAS News believes in giving the public what the public wants, and multi-platform information distribution appears to suit this busy and technologically diverse audience. The ethos was to do more than just produce some Cavett-esque interview program, we wanted to try and build a groundbreaking experience. Part of that goal manifested itself by bringing the audience into the field for applications and conceptual firsts. Some, of those live locations are places that most people have only read about or imagined going to in person, and no, I’m not just talking about Vegas. We were all there together as hosts, participants and audience sharing in the history being made. Fortuitous as this is exactly what the show is designed to be, a couple of years in front of the cutting edge and outside of what most understand as the drone purpose perimeter.

The audience not only gets to share in these firsts with adroit relevance sans hype… they get an unvarnished true north view of the unmanned technology ecosystem. To transcend just reading about ‘firsts’ we provide a venue where the listener can live it live. Every field episode is an education in non-scripted reality, subject to all of the trials of the exercise exposing the listener to the go, or no go for that day.

While the live from the field episode are popular, so are the shows that give insights into how people are using UAS to collect data that has been heretofore inaccessible. The podcast series is one of those venues where these types of illuminating conversations can take place, and many believe it to be informational venues like this that are helping to educate people on the potential of unmanned technologies. That includes those outside of the industry, helping to turn the tide of public disapproval/mistrust of this technology. Hopefully we are inspiring likeminded individuals to come forward and invest their time and energy into writing and talking about all of the benefits and promise that we can realize.

We hear well wishes from some previous podcast guests including Ted Wierzbanowski with an ASTM F38 standards update. As if that were not enough, Ted also gave us a little encouraging inside information about the SFAR and the standards work. This nugget is exactly why we ask folks if they listen to the episodes. The information you get in the series is the same that you would have to pay a consultant tens of thousands of dollars to hear. It is not all braggadocio when we say there is gold in this series, in almost every episode and not all of it inside baseball either.

Geoff Bland from NASA checked in with the lowdown on the Costa Rican Volcano plume sampling fieldwork Dave Pieri, and he did with sUAS.

Small drones were employed to safely collect sulfur dioxide samples from inside the volcano plume.

Finally, we heard from Mike Hutt of the USGS. We got the lowdown on what else they have been up to since being on the program way back in January. It appears the applications are mushrooming, and we hear that even the National Park Service is talking about virtual tours of the parks. What a cool idea, imagine what that means for people who are not in shape or can not afford to go themselves.  I know there is some real talent out there, and I can not wait to see what they produce. Mike also commented that he could see this thing growing legs into a big commercial service market.

While most of the stories and topics were run here on the sUAS News, there is no substitute for a quick spoken rundown. I’m hoping we might be able to foster some collaborations and data cross-pollination.  Even better, would be a live episode from the field with several of these agencies working together. It would be a super applications show… The Dronechella Festival  (Stay tuned)

In coming years, we will carry on what is now becoming the tradition of bringing new guests, new applications and exciting subject matter to the audience. We’ve set a pretty high bar, but we’re ready to keep the challenge. As always, if there is a guest or subject matter you want to learn more about drop us an email. [email protected] or [email protected]

Again, thanks for listening.

(If, by the way, you ever find yourself needing more drone and technology talk there are additional lectures, recordings, PowerPoint presentations and videos posted at the various sUAS News outlet channels.)


Previous articleUnmanned aerial vehicles spur demand for advanced foams
Next articleX47 B Touch and Go
Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).