Tag Archives: UAV

Homeland Security looking at the possibility of using drones for neighborhood surveillance

Big Brother’s trying to find new ways to keep an eye on things.  Wired has a story on Homeland Security “soliciting industry feedback” on the viability of a high-endurance aerial camera drone capable of keeping an eye on four square miles at once, similar to drones the military’s been working on.  This is the “bad” side of drones becoming available outside of the military – privacy can disappear really easily.  (Although if the government can use them to actually reduce crime rates, that’d be awesome.)

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Civilian drones continue to prove their worth

A Dallas meat-packing plant was caught releasing blood and effluent into a nearby river by a civilian who was test-driving a 75$ UAV with an attached camera.  A good demonstration of one of the up-sides to having civilian UAVs.

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Argus One: a stealthy vermiform spy drone blimp

… a what, now?

No, seriously.  It’s an unmanned blimp, shaped like a worm or a snake, with a little gondola full of sensors for spying on stuff.  And it’s apparently got a small radar footprint.

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The Army’s new surveillance drone, the Hummingbird/ARGUS combo

The Army’s planning to deploy a new drone, the A-160 Hummingbird robot helicopter.  It’s got a long loiter time, allowing it to stay in the air for up to 20 hours at a time, making it invaluable for prolonged scouting missions.  But they’re also adding on an interesting system, dubbed the ARGUS, which is a package of 92 5-megapixel sensors capable of monitoring up to 36 square miles at a time.  And, because it’s got multiple sensors on board, it can also be used to track multiple targets at once, allowing one drone to keep track of an entire combat zone.

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CES continues(!), sunflower-inspired solar-thermal systems, and many other things

Technology

Military

  • The US military’s drone war in Pakistan is back online, despite the tensions created by “friendly” fire incidents.
  • Stealth tech keeps getting more and more elaborate.  This article in PopSci talks about a fluid cloak for submarines, and this one about low-heat-signature tanks.

Space

Health

Energy/Mining/Resources

Environment/Agriculture

  • A new photovoltaic solar system is being tested, in combination with a greenhouse, that will allow light through the panels in the winter, when the plants need it, and convert some of it to energy in the summer, when they don’t.
  • I mentioned incentives yesterday, here’s another example:  Conservationists are getting increasingly agitated about the increased rate of whaling these days; legal processes don’t seem to work, and illegal ones (Sea Shepherd, for example) don’t have much effect either.  So one bright fellow suggested that whaling be governed by quotas like the ones that some countries have set up for catching fish – whalers would have to bid for the right to catch whales, except that in this idea, conservationists would be able to bid as well in order to keep the whalers from catching so many whales.

Miscellaneous

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Cheap DNA sequencing, six-engine VTOLs, instantly-clotting sponges, and small fuel cells

Technology

Military

Space

  • NASA’s always looking at ways to explore space – the trick is getting a good idea and sufficient funding to pull it off.  Space.com’s got an article here about possible “next steps” beyond low Earth orbit.

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Energy/Mining/Resources

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CES, graphene heat sinks, drug-immune TB, and more

Ah, CES.  What wonders it holds each year.  And what a deluge of news stories.  Which I have sifted through and picked out what I think will actually matter.  Read on…

 

Technology

Military

  • The Marines are looking for a new brain/control-system for their robots – something that doesn’t need its hand held going from one place to another, and that can be plugged into multiple different platforms.
  • And speaking of military robots…  The US military’s airfleet is now 1/3 UAVs.  I repeat:  one third of all aircraft in the US military is now unmanned.  Mind you, this includes the itty-bitty ones that are launched by hand, but that’s still an… interesting milestone, considering that the number was 5% in 2005.  I wonder when it’ll become 50%?  or 90%?

Space

  • Is NASA thinking of sending another lander to Venus?  It’s not a particularly hospitable environment, what with a temperature around 1000*F, massive air pressure and a choking atmosphere.  Still, NASA’s building a hell-on-Earth simulator for wannabe Venusian probes, so they seem to be considering the possibility…

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Energy/Mining/Resources

Miscellaneous

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