Each week GeoDataPoint finds a selection of good reads related to hot topics in the geospatial community. This week, the FAA banned outdoor drone use at the University of Missouri; teams in Florida are using Faro laser scanners to save Cape Canaveral's space history; and an interesting article in The Atlantic discusses using drones to work on renewable energy projects.
FAA bans outdoor drone use at University of Missouri: "The FAA has grounded a University of Missouri journalism class for flying drones. The journalism school's one-credit course in flying the unmanned aircraft for news-gathering purposes was brought inside after the FAA told the school to stop last summer. A federal judge ruled in early march the agency did not have the authority to ban commercial drone use, but the class continues to be held indoors while the FAA appeals the decision to the National Transportation Safety Board, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune."
Teams use lasers to save Cape's space history: "Lacking funds for major preservation projects, the cultural resources manager for the Air Force's 45th Space Wing has turned to technology to save what's left of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's historic launch complexes — virtually, at least — before it's too late. Over the past year, a University of South Florida team has been visiting to document the sites with a Faro 3D laser scanner. It's the latest project for USF's Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies, which has scanned archeological sites in Florida and around the world, all threatened by time, climate and people."
- Want more renewable energy? Send in the Drones: "A Google-backed San Francisco startup called Skycatch has developed a small and cheap drone outfitted with a high-resolution camera and various sensors. Failing solar modules emit a distinctive heat signature, which means a Skycatch five-pound quadcopter equipped with a thermal sensor can easily spot malfunctioning modules that help generate green electricity in California. These quadcopters fly low over solar arrays, going as fast as 50 miles per hour."