A quadcopter that is also a plane, chasing storms (and other things) with disposable UAV’s, using UAV’s in place of satellites, and a tiny town that wants to pay you to shoot down drones.
For take-offs, landings and hovering, the Latitude Engineering HQ utilizes four horizontally-mounted propellers – just like a regular quadcopter. These are each driven by an individual electric motor, all four of which receive their power from two 5-cell 11,000 milliamp-hour lithium-polymer battery packs.
Some environments are simply hazardous for flying: wildfires and volcanic eruptions are examples. These are perfect opportunities for drones to provide the kind of observation you’d like to avoid with a manned aircraft.
The DataHawk from the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles at the University of Colorado Boulder is to be used to measure Arctic Ocean ice melt. This will actually be flown to a spot on the ocean, then float like a buoy and drop sensors into the water to make measurements.
The University of Queensland in Australia designed a $50 plane made from biodegradable paper. The electronics are printed directly onto the body of the plane, which has small voice-coil actuators for steering.
The Samara prototype, also from the University of Queensland, falls slowly and transmits data by radio, and works like a Maple seed.
The Titan Aerospace has designed the Solara UAV to stay aloft for 5 years at 65,000 feet as an “atmospheric satellite.” These have solar cell covered wings over 160 feet across.
Deer Trail, Colorado, population 559, want you to shoot down drones and the License is only $25.00. Shoot down a drone and you’ would earn a $100 bounty. Not all residents agree, and citizens get to vote on the proposal in October. The Federal Aviation Administration regulates the U.S. airspace and has issued a statement warning people that shooting drones could result in fines and prosecutions.