The government is aiming for drone flight beyond the visual line of sight in manned aircraft zones in the target period of 2022. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been cooperating with the concerned government agencies and they have been working towards developing technology and establishing an environment to achieve this goal. This document introduces this policy trend.
The authors define a "drone society" as a society in which problems are discovered and solved using drones and related digital technologies, and discuss the utilization of drones for realizing such a "drone society." First, examples of UAV/UAS usages in various industries are presented as well as robots and self-driving cars. Second, the authors discuss social acceptance, safe operation management, human resources development, and impacts on cities. These issues should be discussed in greater depth with citizens. Finally, necessary deregulation and feasibility studies are also pointed out. It seems desirable to conduct rule-making and social experiments by considering not only small UAV or UAS but also auto-pilot maritime drones, robotics and self-driving cars.
I describe the technical aspects of multirotor-type drones. First, I explain the typical mechanisms and hardware configuration for current multirotor aerial vehicles, and automatic flight using GPS. Next, I summarize technical issues and prospects where further research and development will be needed for future applications. I also describe research and development aiming to further expand the range of application of drones, such as work in high places, development of multirotors with more degrees of freedom, and introduction of machine learning for perception and control.
This paper surveys laws and regulations in Japan pertaining to drones, i.e., unmanned aircraft. Unmanned aircraft exist in a variety of types, such as fixed-wing, helicopter, and multicopter with multiple rotors. However, the Civil Aeronautics Act, amended in 2015, and its enforcement regulations have explicitly stipulated the condition that drones cannot be flown without obtaining permission. Generally speaking, any craft with a takeoff weight of 200g or more is subject to regulation as an unmanned aircraft. Needless to say, compliance with laws and regulations other than the Civil Aeronautics Act is also required. There are many regulations on drones, in areas such as flight requirements, functions which airframes should have, and performance standards, but drones have also been called an "industrial revolution of the sky." There are high expectations for utilization in the future, and public/private discussions to advance that goal have begun.
In recent years, studies of the three Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt have been conducted from multiple perspectives, yielding a variety of archaeological data about them including texts, excavated artifacts, and environmental data. Survey data on pyramid form, however, has rarely been updated. Yukinori Kawae will provide historical insights on the development of pyramid construction methods and discuss how a Japanese consortium, Giza 3D Survey, is using a drone-based 3D approach to update survey data.
Aomori Prefecture, located at the northernmost tip of Honshu, has already seen the use of drones in various industrial fields. The author adopted drones in laboratory, and, to begin with, worked with the students in the field of Owani Town and Hakkoda hot springs as a practical application for tourism promotion mainly based on aerial photography. In the future, utilization in the field of agriculture is also considered as a research target, and unique approaches will be introduced as part of research into the use of pesticides in Aomori Prefecture. In addition, Aomori Prefecture has an all-climate environment from hot summers to heavy snowfall, and is also suitable for a demonstration experiment environment when developing all-weather drones and the like in the future. We will also report on the industrial promotion system by industry-academia-government-finance cooperation in Aomori Prefecture and efforts to attract drone-related research and development companies.
Freight transportation by drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: UAV) is becoming practical due to dramatic technological progress. In 2018, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport experimentally examined “Drone Delivery Promotion” at five sites, and clarified the tremendous potential and various issues. This article provides an overview of the five promotion projects, and concisely describes current potential for freight transportation by drone, including key technologies, conditions for establishing a market, and legal constraints in terms of aviation and radio law.
This paper introduces an overview of the “Drones and Robots for Ecologically Sustainable Societies (DRESS) Project” promoted by NEDO, and the progress status of the all-Japan system that gathers intelligence from top players in this business field. In addition to basic research and demonstrative experiments concerning such as drone operation control systems and collision avoidance technology at Fukushima Robot Test Field in particular, this paper provides an outline of comprehensive initiatives for promoting international standardization and such that reflect the results of this research using specific examples. The paper explains the research and development to achieve goals such as “a society where many logistics drones can fly in urban areas” and “a society where drones can fly safely in the same airspace as manned helicopters and other such aircraft”, which are the goals of this project.