Tuesday, August 21, 2018

totally solar powered quadcopter


"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


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


"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.