This week’s “Around the Commercial Drone Industry” news round-up reports on changes to Amazon’s drone delivery service, how Porsche used a drone to measure the height of a record-setting ocean wave, progress in the tethered drone market, and a unique program that uses drones to help farmers with disabilities.

Amazon Shuts Down California Drone Delivery Site
According to reports, Amazon is shutting down its Prime Air delivery operations based in Lockeford, California. At the same time, the company said in a blog post that it plans to enlarge its drone delivery program in other parts of the US in 2025. To this end, the company is working with the FAA and Arizona officials to get permission to establish a drone delivery program in Tolleson, Arizona, near Phoenix, using its recently introduced MK30 delivery drone.

Porsche Drone Measures Record-Breaking Ocean Wave
A drone prototype developed by Porsche was used to measure “what might be the biggest wave ever” in Nazaré, Portugal.” Developed through a “joint technology project between Team Steudtner and Porsche Engineering,” the drone determined that the wave “measured at 28.57 metres (93.73 feet).” The drone development project focused on creating a measuring drone that work “quickly and precisely determine the height of waves” and replace the current methods of measuring waves “by analysing video footage and still images.” Once measured, this massive wave was surfed by German big wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner.

Tethered Drone Market Poised for Growth
A report by DataHorizzon Research predicts significant growth for the tethered drone market. In 2023, the report stated, “the tethered drones market size was valued at USD 0.1 Billion” Because tethered drones “have emerged as a transformative technology in surveillance and security, providing continuous aerial monitoring capabilities with their capacity to remain airborne for prolonged durations, often surpassing 24 hours,’ DataHorizzon predicts the market will grow to “USD 0.2 Billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 5.9%.”  The report called the Asia-Pacific region one of the leaders in tethered drone adoption.

Missouri Program Uses Drones to Help Farmers with Disabilities
The AgrAbility program at the University of Missouri (MU) Extension helps farmers with disabilities and their families succeed in their agricultural operations. The program “links MU and Lincoln University extension services with a nonprofit disability organization to provide practical education and on-the-farm assistance that promotes agricultural and rural independence.” Recently, AgrAbility has started incorporating drones to help program participants perform a variety of tasks that increase productivity, efficiency, and safety. Watch the video below to learn more.