Monday, September 24, 2018

the government wants to be able to shoot your drone out of the sky

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/new-law-would-give-federal-government-right-shoot-down-private-n912381

The 1,200-page FAA Reauthorization Bill posted by the House early Saturday morning includes a section titled "Preventing Emerging Threats" that would give the Department of Homeland Security and FBI the right to track and down drones that they deem a "credible threat" to a "covered facility or asset."

Seems to me they already have that authority.

Monday, September 10, 2018

drone deliveries at golf course

https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/05/technology/drone-delivery-golf/index.html

"He's explained to them how much cheaper a drone is when compared to the price of a beverage cart.
Palmiscno has also heard from the neighboring softball complex, whose organizers are open to drone deliveries from his course's restaurant. Palmiscno envisions athletes sitting around after a game, drinking beer, and having food dropped from a drone."

I still think of this as a gimmick.  How does the drone know who's getting the delivery?  Can someone reach up to the drone and get sliced and diced?  Can they steal the drone?  I have lots of questions still.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

totally solar powered quadcopter

https://newatlas.com/solar-powered-quadcopter/55993/

"Developed by a student team from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the drone is built mainly from carbon fiber, tipping the scales at just 2.6 kg (5.7 lb). It has no onboard battery or other energy-storage system, but is instead equipped with an array of 148 silicon solar cells, giving it a total surface area of approximately 4 square meters (43 sq ft).

So far, it has been flown by remote control up to an altitude of over 10 meters (33 ft). As it's equipped with a GPS system, it can reportedly also fly autonomously.  "


This is cool mainly because a copter could potentially fly all day long without having to come down for more energy.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

drones used to fight wildfires

http://wildfiretoday.com/2018/08/15/drone-flying-at-night-detects-spot-fire/

"
That video was filmed during daylight hours. Eight years later we now have the ability to have an unmanned aerial vehicle with sophisticated sensors orbit continuously over a fire, day and night, for 18 to 20 hours depending on the weight of its payload. If an incident management team on a fire activates a couple of these using the recently awarded Call When Needed contract, firefighters can have greatly enhanced situational awareness with near real time video.
Insitu was one of four companies that won CWN contracts in May. On the Taylor Fire in southwest Oregon on August 5, firefighters requested that the company’s ScanEagle aircraft monitor an overnight burn operation they were conducting along a ridge top road. As it orbited in the darkness at 8,500 feet, the sensors and the pilot detected a spot fire about 100 feet outside the fireline in the 'green' unburned area.
The pilot talked directly with firefighters in an engine, telling them where it was."

Another great use for a drone.  Much cheaper than a helicopter, and safer for all.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Feds worry about drone dangers

https://abcnews.go.com/US/federal-officials-reiterate-drone-threat-intel-bulletin/story?id=57249358

"Citing the Aug. 4 attack during an appearance of Venezuela’s president, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center issued an intelligence bulletin with the starkest of warnings: 'An attack could be conducted by one person or several people using a commercially available, off-the-shelf (drone) to target venues which attract large crowds, such as sporting facilities, concerts, and transportation terminals, or public figures.'”

Like anything useful, bad people will also find a use for any new tool.  I hope there are good ways to stop bad uses of drones.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

tinder-dry Aspen Colorado calls for drones to replace fireworks

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44708663

"The US town of Aspen is swapping its annual Fourth of July fireworks display for a drone show - because of a wildfire risk in the drought-hit area.
Officials say 50 drones will light up the night sky in patriotic colours to mark Independence Day.
The 15-minute show will start at 21:15 local time (03:15 GMT Thursday).
This comes after Colorado's fire authorities introduced strict fire restrictions across huge swathes of the western state."

I approve of this use of drones.  See for example...