Santa Monica-based drone operations company AirMap is among eight companies selected to help the Federal Aviation Administration establish technical requirements for Remote ID, a protocol that drones will be required to follow for broadcasting identification and location data while in flight.

The other companies include Airbus, Amazon, T-Mobile, Intel, OneSky, Skyward and Alphabet's drone subsidiary, Wing.

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In the midst of the current global health crisis, the commercial drone industry is helping businesses keep essential projects on track. Drones are a significant player across a full spectrum of industries, allowing companies in insurance, construction, infrastructure, energy and others to maintain critical operations by safe, contactless solutions. In fact, Barclays estimates the use of drones will result in cost savings of $100 billion across industries.

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Now that it's under new management, Stratolaunch is retooling a concept for a rocket-powered hypersonic vehicle that it first unveiled 18 months ago.

Back then, it was called the Hyper-A testbed vehicle, and it represented one of the engineering frontiers for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's space venture.

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