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drones

Researchers designed a new drone that can start fires, potentially useful to keep people out of harms way during prescribed burns of rangeland.
Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

Every spring farmers and ranchers intentionally burn their fields to jumpstart the natural process of renewal. But those fires can be dangerous. That’s why researchers in Nebraska are designing a new drone to start fires, which may help protect people and the environment.

On a warm spring morning, a big burn crew dressed in yellow and green flame-resistant clothing gets ready to set 26 acres of tallgrass prairie on fire at Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Neb.

chrishunkeler / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Oklahoma House passed a bill Tuesday that places restrictions on how drones can be used by law enforcement and the state.

State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, says his bill doesn't place restrictions on the flight, design, manufacturing, or the people who purchase unmanned aerial vehicles.

During floor debate, Wesselhoft said the bill protects the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

commercial drone, unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV
Budi Nusyirwan / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma lawmakers have filed several bills this session that include limits on where drone operators can take their unmanned aerial vehicles.

Some of the bills would restrict flying over agriculture property and so-called critical infrastructure. Professional drone pilot Tom Kilpatrick told The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt these laws would duplicate what’s already in federal aviation rules:

OKC Drones monthly meetup at Wake Zone Cable Park in Southeast Oklahoma City.
Patrick Smith / KGOU

If a drone winds up underneath your Christmas tree this holiday season, keep in mind that the Federal Aviation Administration now requires registration. All unmanned aerial systems that weight between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered with the FAA.

Nick Brown, the CEO of Oklahoma City-based DroneBois, said the registration requirement keeps hobbyists accountable in case of accident or trouble-making.

OKC Drones monthly meetup at Wake Zone Cable Park in Southeast Oklahoma City.
Patrick Smith / KGOU

Drones are becoming a common sight in the skies over Oklahoma. The hobby of remotely flying these small, unmanned aircrafts has seen a spike in popularity in the past few years.

Don Price is a member of a drone enthusiast club called OKC Drones. The group recently had its monthly gathering in southwest Oklahoma City. Price has been flying remote-controlled vehicles for over 30 years, but became interested in drones in the past year due to the advances in technology.

Farmers Turn To Drones For Field Operations

Sep 18, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration recently came out with regulations about drones — aircrafts that can fly without a pilot on board.

The FAA says drones must be five miles away from an airport at all times and fly no higher than 400 feet. Those regulations are lenient enough that farmers and ranchers are starting to find ways to integrate this new technology into their work.

Brenda Salinas, a Here & Now contributor, reports from Bay City, Texas.

The First Drone Film Festival

Mar 6, 2015

The very first drone film festival takes place in New York City tomorrow night. Here & Now’s tech partner, IEEE Spectrum, sent David Schneider to investigate what all the buzz was about.

It shouldn’t take the whirring of a small drone to remind you that many people are awfully leery of these little aerial contraptions, fearing threats to privacy – and also to airliners.

A bill that would let property owners shoot down a drone that's over their land has made its way out of a Senate committee in Oklahoma, setting up a potential vote on the matter.

It's unclear whether the legislation has a chance of passage; we're reporting on it here as another facet of the debate over how drones are integrated (and regulated) in modern society.

okhouse.gov

The growing presence of drones in the skies above Oklahoma has prompted a state lawmaker to file legislation to regulate their use.

The measure by Republican Rep. Paul Wesselhoft of Moore would prohibit law enforcement authorities from using unmanned aerial vehicles without a search warrant or in other limited circumstances. Wesselhoft says it is designed to protect the privacy rights of Oklahomans and prevent unreasonable searches.

Code Pink
moppet65535

President George W. Bush enacted the Homeland Security Advisory System after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It designated colors to different levels of perceived threat. In response to the push toward military action they saw, a group of women, including Medea Benjamin, created CODEPINK to organize protests.

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