Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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Air Force May Be Developing Stealth Drones in Secret

Air Force May Be Developing Stealth Drones in Secret | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The Air Force’s multi-billion-dollar drone fleets may have helped against the insurgents of Iraq and Afghanistan. But in a fight against a real military like China’s, the relatively defenseless unmanned aerial vehicles would get shot down in a second. So once again, the air will belong to traditional, manned bombers and fighters able to survive the sophisticated air defenses.


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Drone crashes mount at civilian airports

Drone crashes mount at civilian airports | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Reaper and Predator crashes in Africa occur perilously close to passenger jets, documents show.


A review of thousands of pages of unclassified Air Force investigation reports, obtained by The Washington Post under public-records requests, shows that drones flying from civilian airports have been plagued by setbacks.


Among the problems repeatedly cited are pilot error, mechanical failure, software bugs in the “brains” of the aircraft and poor coordination with civilian air-traffic controllers.


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Majority of US drones still openly broadcasting secret video

Majority of US drones still openly broadcasting secret video | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The reconnaissance video streamed by U.S. military drones is still vulnerable to hacking, potentially allowing enemies to watch the valuable intelligence despite the military’s prior knowledge of the security weakness, according to a report from Wired Magazine.


Published: October 31, 2012

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Cooperative Quadrocopter Ball Throwing and Catching

Quadrocopters that can play catch with each other are providing a glimpse at the future of coordinated, autonomous drone technology.


Their creators, ETH Zurich say the copters have potential application in both the military and civilian worlds, with ever-improving technology that allows them to work as a well-coordinated team.

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Iran TV shows 'captured US drone'

Iran TV shows 'captured US drone' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Iranian state television shows images of what it says is an unmanned US drone captured in its airspace, but the US Navy denies losing one.


The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle - one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans.


Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told the Fars news agency that the drone had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Gulf in recent days.


But the US Navy said none of its drones was missing in the Middle East.


Other nations in the region, including the United Arab Emirates, also operate ScanEagles - low-cost, long-endurance aircraft with a 10ft (3m) wingspan, Associated Press says.

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Open source model disrupts the commercial drone business

Open source model disrupts the commercial drone business | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The do-it-yourself (DIY), open-source drone movement is turning into a real business that could disrupt the commercial and military drone industry. It’s another case of how exploiting the curiosity of hackers can turn into a commercial opportunity.


That’s the view of Chris Anderson (pictured), editor of Wired magazine and a drone hobbyist and businessman on the side. He spoke about this DIY trend and his own efforts to lead it in a talk at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas (July 27, 2012).


Anderson said the whole project is “open sourcing the military industrial complex.” Drones have been the domain of the U.S. military, which has created huge awareness about drones such as the Predator and the Reaper by using them against terrorist targets in a variety of areas where troops can’t go. Those drones cost millions of dollars, but the DIY drone business is focused on created ubiquitous drones that cost tens of dollars.


Dean Takahashi

venturebeat.com

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San Diego's drone industry doubles in size

San Diego's drone industry doubles in size | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The size of San Diego County’s unmanned aerial vehicle industry doubled over the past five years and could double again as UAVs are increasingly used for everything from spying on suspected terrorists abroad to monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border, says a National University System report released Wednesday.


The industry, which is centered in North County, generated at least $1.3 billion locally in 2011 and directly and indirectly supported 7,135 jobs. The report says the true impact could be far higher due to classified programs that are not included in public records. (...)


Analysts say the global market for such aircraft could exceed $12 billion by 2019. (...)


“This is a dynamic, growing industry, and San Diego has a big opportunity to take advantage of the expected growth,” said Kelly Cunningham, an economist at National’s Institute for Policy Research and lead author of the report. (...)


Cunningham sees it clearly and notes that San Diego has at least two competitive advantages: An educated workforce and the county’s desirable weather. Local contractors also have long, successful ties to the military, a primary user of drones. (...)


“Our challenge in San Diego is access to FAA-approved airspace for flight testing autonomous UAVs,” said John Kosmatka, an engineering professor at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “This is the advantage that North Dakota, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have over us, where large open spaces and military bases are available.


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Linux Powers Airborne Bots

Linux Powers Airborne Bots | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Essex University researchers say they've created the world's smallest flying web server using a toy helicopter equipped with an 8-gram gumstix processor. Next up: military applications. By Kevin Poulsen.


The UltraSwarm project is an experiment in swarm intelligence and wireless cluster computing that might one day spawn military surveillance applications. In one scenario, a flock of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, with video cameras could take in a hostile landscape from a variety of angles and process the image locally, in the sky. (...)


"We'll have a flock of helicopters; they will be autonomous individually and as a swarm, and they will be gathering and processing visual data in distributed way," says Owen Holland, project director and deputy head of the university's computer science department. (...)


In March (2005), Brooklyn-based defense contractor Atair Aerospace announced the first successful demonstration of flocking and swarming techniques in a UAV, after dropping five computer-guided Onyx parafoil gliders in an experiment funded by the U.S. Army. The company says the parafoils can be released from 35,000 feet, autonomously glide as a flock for 30 miles, then land together within 150 feet of a preprogrammed target. The system is designed to air-drop troop supplies with once-unachievable precision.


by Kevin Poulsen 01Jun05 


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