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Comment: George Orwell 1984 (Score 1) 3

by charliehotel (#39245663) Attached to: Police drone hits SWAT team tank
The FAA are resisting the use of UAV's in the civilian commercial use for aerial photography and the like, but they are quite happy to allow random untrained (in UAS at least) police departments to test out and fly UAV's that are capable of being retrofitted with grenades and shotgun shells. And then they go and plonk it into their own vehicles. I'm a big supporter of the technology and a UAV nut don't get me wrong, and the only reason I care about the yanks going all George Orwell 1984 on their citizens while stalling civilian commercial uses of this technology is because unfortunately that kind of scenario will end up filtering down to all other "free" countries if that makes sense. It seems like UAV's are being used for all the wrong reasons already. Not too long ago the police got a Military Predator drone to help catch some cattle rustlers. Military resources spent on civil matters with no state of emergency declared? Makes you wonder. Maybe I'm just paranoid? Maybe they are just dumb? Are Americans just plain stupid and don't see how the US is rapidly becoming a police state?

+ - Saturn's Moon Dine has an Oxygen Atmosphere->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dione, one of Saturn’s moons, has oxygen in its upper atmosphere. An international team of researchers revealed that the Cassini space craft, originally launched in 1997, made the discovery with its on-board atmospheric sensors as it passed close to the moon.

Dione is a mere 700 miles across. The Earth, by comparison, is 7926 miles across. Despite this, one scientists said of the moon:

"The concentration of oxygen in Dione's atmosphere is roughly similar to what you would find in Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 300 miles. It's not enough to sustain life, but — together with similar observations of other moons around Saturn and Jupiter — these are definitive examples of a process by which a lot of oxygen can be produced in icy celestial bodies that are bombarded by charged particles or photons from the Sun or whatever light source happens to be nearby.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Police drone hits SWAT team tank-> 3

Submitted by
garymortimer writes "A drone has crashed during a police test flight near Houston, adding to growing safety concerns as more police departments take flight with the unmanned aircraft.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office north of Houston became one of the first police departments in the country to begin flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for police missions in October 2011.

County officials and the maker of that drone confirmed on Friday that a recent police-only photo mission went terribly wrong."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Innovation from crowdsourcing (Score 1) 147

by charliehotel (#38958763) Attached to: Sanctions Or Not, Iranian Competition Yields Successful UAVs
While people are joking and laughing at the Iranians for making their little toy models of the crashed drone, they are rapidly catching up in the UAS department. A UAV competition means they have realized that the amateurs and students are where the real innovation lies.

+ - Iran drone competition sucess->

Submitted by
garymortimer writes "In this competition, participants must provide a UAV equipped with a Camera to search a 10 square kilometer area for at least 40 minutes to find 3 square meter marks on the ground with different English letters on them. Finding ground targets and reporting the geo location are criterion for choosing the contest winner."
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Boeing Hummingbird Drone Crashes In Belize 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the drone-go-boom dept.
garymortimer writes "Still not reported elsewhere, Flight International reports another crash of the Boeing Hummingbird helicopter UAV. The Hummingbird A160 is in development, but test flights already demonstrate successively greater endurance, higher altitudes, more extensive autonomy, and greater payload. The program has ambitious goals of a 2,500-mile (4,000 km) range, 24-hour endurance, and 30,000 ft (9,100 m) altitude. Flights are largely autonomous, with the aircraft making its own decisions about how to fly itself so as to meet certain objectives, rather than relying on real-time human control. Maximum speeds are over 140 knots. The aircraft is 35 ft (11 m) from nose to tail and has a rotor diameter of 36 ft (11 m).[2] Until recently it was powered by modified Subaru automotive engines, but newer versions fly with the Pratt & Whitney PW207D turboshaft."

+ - DARPA buys tail sitting UAVs-> 1

Submitted by garymortimer
garymortimer (1882326) writes "Has DARPA been sold a pup a pup? The VBAT is a nice idea because it combines the holy trinity of UAS flight, speed,range and vertical flight. Small helicopters just don't cut the mustard when it comes down to endurance and speed. But so far no evidence of autonomous transitions from forward to vertical flight have been shown by the VBAT. Perhaps in the military world $260K is not much of a punt. The stated aim of covert package insertion just does not seem to hold true either as this video demonstrates its a noisy old beast. I would put money on DARPA having a fuel cell powered rotary thing hiding in the wings for covert stuff. If not, they should."
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