sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sky Net

Are drones the engine of the next economic boom? 


The FAA projects some 7,500 commercial drones could be aloft within five years of getting widespread access to the skies above America.
(Fox News) Despite concern about government surveillance dominating the headlines this year, those behind the successful bids ended 2013 cheering over the possibility of a new commercial drone industry...
Whether or not you love the concept of unmanned aircraft, they are the future of military aviation because systems are simply too robust for a human to survive in them. It's nothing new. Military planners have seen it coming for the past forty years. The newer application of surveillance aircraft flown over the US for various reasons (monitoring the health of crops, to see whether or not you've cut your lawn, etc) disturbs many people. However the unmanned aerial vehicle business is projected by most business leaders and forecasters to be a $90 billion dollar a year industry.

There is a difference between unmanned aerial vehicles used for commercial applications and those used for government applications - but the difference is primarily in the owner, not in the technology. 

The Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap.

The Rise of the Drones - 53 minute video. If you're going to watch it, you might want to make some popcorn to munch on while you're viewing.



How the enemy identifies UAV's


However, it's not just large government aircraft - there is also the toy/hobby Unmanned Small Aerial Vehicle market, and that's growing. The difference between the toy helicopter you buy at the mall for $30 and much larger systems all operate on the same principle. It's a lot like the difference between your family passenger car and a military vehicle. 

And a word HERE on what may be missing from the list (large aircraft).


6 comments:

  1. I love the idea for military use, and support its growth and development. I also love the idea for the private sector - as you mentioned, I see an economic boom associated with it. Amazon.com is dreaming…but that is what it takes. All the future-movies show flying cars, etc., and I believe this is the right step. Problems - well, if you have 2 (or seven) kids in your house, have you ever tried to fly multiple remote controlled helicopters in close proximity. We have - sometimes the signals cross. For $30, I expect that. I was thinking (knowing nothing of the technology side of it) that most "routes" will be preprogramed and a signal need only be sent when the drone veers off course, or there is some other malfunction. That still could mean ALOT of signals out there. People freaked (although they DID nothing) when it was reported that cell phones give off a little RF in your brain. Wait until the first crash…or a neighborhood with cancer…

    I still se a lot of commerce in the near future in this area.

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    1. Short range controlling (0-400 meters) almost has to operate in the secure wi-fi range, which allows signal discretion based on the unique signature of the controller rather than controlling the frequency in an RF mode.

      The toy helicopters with spinning open blades are generally harmless because they're small and light. However the future of unmanned small aerial vehicles comes with very small and inexpensive electrically powered ducted turbofans (tiny jet engines). They offer more power to weight trade off, are not battery hogs, and the intakes and exhausts can be shrouded so that there are no spinning blades to hurt fingers. Flying saucers.

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  2. Our government has always been made up of drones.

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  3. My kids will be first in line to purchase new toys.

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