3D drone printers, continuously airborne UAVs, hacking drones, flying UAS over airports and sports events, a petition to the FAA, and mapping mud a landslide with a hexacopter.
BAE Systems Unveils Concepts of On-Board Aircraft 3D Printers Able to Print Incredible UAVs During a Mission
The BAE Systems 25-year outlook includes technology for “on demand” UAV production, from inside an aircraft! In a possible scenario, the larger aircraft approaches an unknown situation, like a military conflict or a SAR event. It then manufactures a cloud of surveillance drones that go out, gather data, and return to the mother ship. Then, using the collected data, mission-specific UAV’s are manufactured to respond to the situation. (In the case of SAR, maybe a vehicle that could retrieve a person.) Another idea is a “transformer” made of multiple UAVs that could group and ungroup as needed.
A collaboration between Packet Digital LLC, the U.S. Department of Defense, and others hopes to create very long endurance UAV’s. First, to double the current flight time, but eventually unlimited endurance. By developing a “solar soaring power management system,” continuously airborne drones could be created with applications for the military, agriculture, search-and-rescue, and first responders. Flight testing will take place at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks.
GPS navigation is a key UAS technology, and we’ve seen examples that suggest that GPS has vulnerabilities. In 2012, the FAA initiated a study by the GNSS Intentional Interference and Spoofing Study Team (GIISST) to look at vulnerabilities in GPS navigation.
The report has not been released publicly, but FAA has given an overview at a conference, saying, “Inexpensive, and readily available, GNSS repeaters and GNSS simulation tools can transmit hazardously misleading information ‘spoofing’ GNSS use.”
In September 2013, the FAA released a Navigation Programs Update [PDF] that gives some information about the GNSS Intentional Interference and Spoofing Study Team.
A pilot flew his DJI Phantom on a video mission thousands of feet above the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama. This triggered an automated warning from the FAA about unauthorized drones near a homing beacon.
A DJI soccer/football video contest is underway to showcase the spirit of football. Submit your YouTube or Vimeo videos in aerial and non-aerial categories through August 20th.
Edward Lyons, the CEO of FPV America, says the FAA ban on UAS has “shut down his business before it was really able to take off.” So he’s started a petition at change.org asking the FAA to “Rescind Your Latest Ruling On Model FPV Flying And The Personal & Commercial Use Of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
From the petition: “We The People have a right to OUR airspace to practice and engage in our hobby. We have a right to commercial purposeful use of this airspace as well.”
Czech unmanned aerial vehicle and mapping company Upvision used a hexacopter to perform an aerial mapping of a landslide at a road construction project. The mapping and resulting geological survey will help engineers decide how to remove the debris from the landslide, which occurred at a road construction project.
A hexacopter was used to collect the data to create: an orthophoto map, a digital surface model using point clouds, and a 3D model for visualizing the entire area. All this from one aerial flight over the course of one hour.
Video of the Week
Many listeners sent the link to this rather impressive video. We understand the Phantom survived, but also that the FAA is Investigating Drone Flights Into Fireworks.
Jon observed the shadow of a quadcopter in the video Road Test: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S, confirming how the video was made.