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Technology

Delmarva Power launches “Paint the tank” contest for high school students

Eco-art contest offers New Castle County students $5,000 scholarship and opportunity to have artwork memorialized on Wilmington landmark.

NEWARK (DE): Delmarva Power’s storage tank is being repainted this summer and the company is giving local high school students the chance to design the new mural that will adorn the side of this Wilmington landmark.

To select a new mural, Delmarva Power, along with several community partners, today launched Paint the Tank, an innovative eco-art contest for high school students. The contest winner will not only have their original artwork painted on the side of the storage tank but will also receive a $5,000 scholarship they can put towards furthering their own studies and personal development.

“We are thrilled to provide this exciting opportunity for aspiring artists to showcase their talents,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president. “The storage tank is an essential component in our efforts to provide safe, reliable, affordable and clean natural gas service for our customers and serves as an important landmark along Wilmington’s Riverfront. This innovative eco-art contest celebrates the importance of protecting sensitive habitats, like the Riverfront and the land around our facility, and we eagerly await the great artwork from our local students.”

Paint the Tank Flyer

The storage tank is located just south of downtown Wilmington and is visible from Interstate 95. Delmarva Power’s property surrounding the storage tank includes nearly 30 acres of natural woods and marshland, which support the neighboring Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. In celebration of this important relationship, submissions for the eco-art contest will capture the importance of sustaining natural ecosystems and preserving the environment for future generations.

The contest will run from April 18 until June 1 and is open to individual high school students who reside in New Castle County, Del. or are enrolled in a high school in New Castle County, Del. In addition to the $5,000 scholarship for the winning submission, two $1,000 scholarships will also be awarded to two other finalists. The winning artwork and finalists will be selected by a panel of judges from Delmarva Power, its parent company Exelon, and representatives from a variety of community partners from local government, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Students interested in the contest should visit www.delmarva.com/paintthetank for more information. Delmarva Power also encourages students to share their artwork on social media using #paintthetank. Artwork submissions, along with a completed submission form that is available on the Delmarva Power website, should be sent to paintthetank@delmarva.com.

Delmarva Power’s storage tank provides clean natural gas supply for the company’s 132,000 natural gas customers during heavy winter demand and other peak times. The storage tank is painted about every 20 years as part of the company’s standard maintenance practices and to meet federal and state regulations.

Two high-tech companies are taking their business to the next level

Assistance from the state Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism is helping STF Technologies and TrafficCast take their businesses to the next level.

DOVER (DE): A company working to make NASA spacesuits stronger and safer and another providing data to millions of drivers to help them avoid traffic jams are both growing in Delaware.

“Growth in Delaware’s economy through projects like these stems from an ecosystem created in the state,” said Linda Parkowski, Acting Director of the Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism. “Delaware has a business environment that encourages research and innovation and has programs in place to provide the ready space and produce a well-trained workforce for high-tech companies.”

STF Technologies, which is based at the University of Delaware STAR Campus in Newark, develops advanced thickening materials that can change form between liquid and solid to improve the protective abilities of NASA spacesuits, making them more puncture- and impact-resistant.

Last year STF began manufacturing and selling shear thickening fluids. Previously a material mostly confined to research labs, these materials are now being used by a number of different companies to create next-generation protective materials and motion-control devices.

At its February meeting, the Council on Development Finance recommended a $50,000 Technical Innovation Program grant for STF to help provide a bridge between Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research funding from NASA.

“This technology could protect and save astronauts venturing to Mars,” said Richard Dombrowski, Co-Founder of STF Technologies. “It is gratifying to see the state showing confidence in the company by helping us find Earth-based markets for our materials. We are also grateful for the TIP grant, which helps us to maintain our research and product development activities between rounds of NASA funding.”

TrafficCast, which is based in Madison, Wis., is relocating its East Coast Traffic Operations Center to Delaware. The company uses data from 1.5 billion GPS trace points and its own road-based sensors to monitor traffic flow nationwide and provides real-time traffic data to more than three-quarters of all in-dash vehicle navigation systems.

The company is relocating 10 jobs and creating an additional 58 new jobs in a new office at The Mill, a coworking space in downtown Wilmington. At its February meeting, CDF recommended awarding TrafficCast a $171,600 Performance Grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund.

Many of the new jobs will involve software development so proximity to Zip Code Wilmington, which is also located at The Mill, is an important selling point for moving there.

Both The Mill and Zip Code Wilmington have benefited from past assistance through the state’s economic development efforts.

“Delaware provides a great opportunity for TrafficCast to grow and create a footprint in a state-of-the-art location in Wilmington,” said Al McGowan, CEO of TrafficCast. “Access to the talent required for that growth attracted us to Delaware, and the support we have found here in the private sector and in state government has shown us it was the right choice.”

Recreational DRONES and what you need to know about the legal stuff

Video Source: Epic Drones

On Saturday, September 5, 2015, at the US Open, a man was arrested for flying a drone into a small seating area. The man, a 26 year old New York City teacher, was arrested for reckless endangerment, reckless operating of a drone, and operating a drone in a New York city public park outside of prescribed areas. This took place just after Senator Chuck Schumer called New York City the wild, wild, west for commercial and hobby drones–a bit of foreshadowing.

This past July, a man took a shotgun and shot down a drone after his kids alerted him of the aerial vehicle. The man was charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment. The man said “Everyone I have spoken to, including police, have said they would do the same thing, yet he still got arrested.

In November, a Drexel University student, was charged when he flew a drone over a group of protesters in center city, Philadelphia. Police didn’t take notice until the drone almost crashed into a Police helicopter that was monitoring a group of protesters.

These are just a few of the hundreds of drone incidents and arrests happening around the country. As drones become more and more popular, more incidents are becoming the “norm” and have prompted the FAA to review its rules and regulations governing the pilot less crafts.

With the busy holiday season that has arrived, many are looking for a drone to fulfill a recreational hobby. Others are looking for a drone to fulfill a business gap, such as Photographers and Videographers for aerial footage to add to their existing portfolio or line of service. Some media outlets have began using drones to bring breaking news footage to their audiences.

Whatever the reason, there are rules and regulations governing drones. Regardless of the intended purpose, this article is designed to help you understand what drones are, how they operate, who can fly them, and what rules must be followed. Keep in mind that this article should not replace the actual FAA guidelines found on their site.

So what is a drone? A drone is an unmanned Aerial vehicle or (UAV).

To the military, they are UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems). However, they are more commonly known as drones. Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. They provide troops with a 24-hour “eye in the sky”, seven days a week.

The FAA recognizes a drone as a UAS. A UAS is a Unmanned Aircraft System. An unmanned aircraft system is an unmanned aircraft and the equipment necessary for the safe and efficient operation of that aircraft. An unmanned aircraft is a component of a UAS. It is defined by statute as an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(8)).

To civilians, their use is expanding in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications such as policing and surveillance, aerial photography, agriculture and drone racing. Civilian drones now vastly outnumber military drones, with estimates of over a million sold by 2015.

Drones are controlled with an app on your tablet or touchscreen computer while others are controlled by a remote control similar to one designed for a video game console. Used in both commercial and military applications, these drones are often similar to a helicopter and can come with more than one rotor blade.

While the cheaper model drones can reach 1000 feet or so from the person controlling the device, some more robust and more expensive models use cell phone towers or satellite signals and have a lot larger range of freedom.

Originally, drones were designed with an internal combustion engine inside, but due to power output requirements and distance limitations (not to mention lots of extra weight and noise), drones have adapted to lithium ion battery powered electric motors.

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One of the most popular drones on the market is the Phantom 2 Vision+. While slightly old now, it uses plenty of advanced technology and it is very popular with professional cinematographers. This UAV is ideal to explain drone technology because it has everything in one package. It includes the UAV, gimbal and camera and uses some of the top drone technology on the market today.

The time a drone can stay aloft is mostly determined by its battery size, power output, and price range; some only lasting minutes while others can stay in the air for more than an hour.

Chances are, as a consumer, you are looking for a photography drone or toy drone for just the joy of flying the device, but if you plan on using your drone for a practical application (like to help with farm work), be aware that there are several different types of drones to choose from and make your choice based on the practicality of your needs.

In order to increase flight safety and prevent accidental flights in restricted areas, the new firmware for the Phantom UAV series includes a “No Fly Zone feature”. These no fly zones have been divided into two categories: A and B.

The FAA is leading a public outreach campaign to promote safe and responsible use of unmanned aircraft systems. One of the organizations that is helping to lead the campaign is, “Know Before you Fly.” They have lots of useful information as well as FAA resources.

You can also find valuable information at Airmap, which focuses more on recreational drone flights and the rules associated with them.

The existing regulations for recreational drone operations in the US are actually quite simple and common sense. They are, however, generally completely misunderstood. The basic rules are:

 Never fly above 400 feet.
 Keep your drone within visual line of sight.
 Don’t fly over people.
 Fly in accordance with a set of community based guidelines.
 If you’re flying within 5 miles of an airport, give notice to the airport.

Click here to view a more detailed description of the FAA rules and regulations.

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