You can’t fly a drone at night. You can’t fly a drone over people. You need to be able to see it with your naked eye at all times — or have a dedicated observer who can. These rules exist to keep dumb drones (and reckless pilots) from crashing into people, property, and other aircraft in the skies.
But what happens when drones get smarter, and can dodge obstacles on their own? That’s the kind of drone that Skydio builds, and it appears to be successfully convincing the FAA to create exceptions to that naked-eye, Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) rule.
This week, the FAA granted the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) a blanket waiver to fly Skydio drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect any bridge, anywhere across the state, for four whole years. They primarily need to make sure the bridge isn’t occupied by random people, and fly within 50 feet of the bridge and 1,500 feet of the drone’s pilot. You can see the full waiver here (PDF).
It’s not the first time the FAA has granted a BVLOS waiver; the agency has granted limited waivers since the first drone rules rolled out, but early waivers were often for a single flight or series of flights by a licensed pilot who’d applied months in advance. But in 2015, the FAA signaled that it wanted to enable more advanced uses of drones, particularly beyond visual line of sight, as quickly as it can — and over the past year, we’ve seen it start to happen in a bigger way.
Last October, the UPS won FAA approval to operate a “drone airline” with a Part 135 Standard certification, allowing its delivery drones to fly beyond visual line of sight. This August, Amazon’s Prime Air got the
If you’re one of the lucky few who scored an Nvidia RTX 3080 before stock was decimated and snatched up by bots, congratulations! Hopefully that purchase didn’t leave you with buyer’s remorse, because an increasing number of early adopters are reporting that their shiny new RTX 3080 graphics cards are crashing to the desktop in the middle of various gaming sessions.
VideoCardz was the first English language site to report that several 3rd-party, factory-overclocked RTX 3080 models from ZOTAC, MSI, Gigabyte and others are exhibiting unexplained crashes or severe graphical artifacts while gaming. Since then the problem has become more widespread, with complaints mounting on sites like Reddit, LinusTechTips and Nvidia’s own forums.
What’s The Problem, Exactly?
In a nutshell: when the affected models reach a boost GPU clock speed of 2.0GHz or higher, the card crashes to the desktop.
Igor’s LAB published a fascinating investigative report that found a pattern among the the models that users are reporting problems with: an array of cheaper capacitors.
Each RTX 3080 has six capacitors on the back of the GPU which are used for filtering voltages and delivering “clean” power. The Igor’s LAB report explains how various combinations of cheaper (POPSCAPs) and more expensive (MLCCs) capacitors are used on some models.
The “problem cards” tend to use more of the cheaper POSCAPs (highlighted in red below) instead of the more expensive MLCCs (highlighted in green below).
Two worthwhile notes here before we move on: First, Nvidia’s own Founders Edition cards are not exhibiting these issues (possibly because Nvidia uses a combination of capacitors).
Second, the teardown shows that the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 uses