As we near the final month of 2023, we at Commercial UAV News thought it would be a good idea to call out some interesting and important stories we’ve published in recent weeks—stories you might have missed.

Below is a round-up of news stories, podcasts, and interviews that highlight important trends, issues, and innovations that are shaping the UAV industry.

How Does Lidar Empower the UAV Industry?: There’s no doubt that lidar has become an indispensable sensor for many drone-based operations. With lidar, UAVs not only free up time for humans but also offer solutions to problems such as covering vast areas in a shorter period of time, navigating tighter spaces, and protecting humans from unsanitary locations. In this article, leaders from Hesai explore the many ways lidar can navigate diverse challenges in commercial applications.

uAvionix Acquires Iris Automation: An interview with Jon Damush: According to Commercial UAV Staff Writer Juan Plaza, “Consolidation is one of the first signs of maturity for any industry, and uncrewed aviation is no exception.” To explore the ways that consolidation is impacting the drone sector, Plaza spoke with Jon Damush, the former head of Iris Automation and the new CEO of uAvionix. In an interview, the two discuss uAvionix’ recent acquisition of Iris Automation and what it means for the industry, specifically around advances in detect and avoid systems.

Rain Uses Latest Seed Round to Enable Rapid Wildfire Response: Recently, Rain announced that it had secured $9.7M in funding that will be used to advance pilot projects in the United States and enable rapid wildfire response with prepositioned autonomous aircraft. This effort builds on Rain’s previous work in natural disaster response, which includes the development of the Wildfire Mission Autonomy System to rapidly perceive, understand, and suppress early-stage wildfire ignitions.

Podcast: A Talk With Percepto’s Ariel Avitan: For a recent Uncrewed Views podcast, Commercial UAV News Editorial Analyst Scott Howe and Geo Week News Content Manager Carla Lauter spoke with Percepto’s Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer Ariel Avitan. In a wide-ranging discussion, the panel talked about Percepto’s recent round of funding and its approval to fly BVLOS nationwide. In addition, the panel looked at a new poll showing increased public acceptance of drones and explored the ways uncrewed technology may contribute to our understanding of climate change.

Quaze Technologies’ Charging Solution Offers Uninterrupted Drone Operations: As technology advances and commercial operations evolve, the need for drones to stay in the air for longer periods of time increases. This story looks at how Rheinmetall Canada and Quaze Technologies responded to this need by developing a new and innovative module to keep drones in the sky for safe and uninterrupted operations.

Drone-Focused Educational Programs Continue to Grow: Who will train the drone industry employees of the future? How will education change to meet the needs of our growing industry? These are just a few of the issues explored in this piece, which describes many of the new drone-focused training programs that have been implemented in recent months.