Lebanon Reporter

Features

September 16, 2012

Drones are being used to track wildlife and storms

(Continued)

One company seeking such opportunities is AAI, a Hunt Valley, Md., firm that builds long-duration military surveillance drones as well as a scientific UAV called the Aerosonde.

"It can go anywhere where it's dirty, foul and dangerous," said Mark Hender, general manager of AAI's Aerosonde unit.

The Aerosonde's specialty is long-duration flying on just a little gas — up to 26 hours with a small payload. Aerosonde flew into the eye of Hurricane Noel in 2007 on a NASA-sponsored mission. It's headed to Antarctica this fall with a team from the University of Colorado to help researchers understand how carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is being absorbed into the Southern Ocean.

---

For Aurora's Langford, the next step is figuring out how to get drones and planes to recognize each other, something called sense-and-avoid capability. Right now, each airplane carries a transponder that identifies its position in relation to all the others around it. Air traffic controllers manage the flow of these planes.

In fact, when he was testing the Centaur earlier this summer, Langford had to turn the controls back over to the human pilot in order to steer clear of another plane that was crossing their path. The Centaur received a transponder signal from the other airplane, warning of its speed and flight path, but under current rules, unmanned aerial vehicles are not allowed to maneuver autonomously to avoid other air traffic.

Researchers from NASA and the Swiss military are working on ways that drones can interact with planes in the sky and controllers on the ground.

In Afghanistan, remotely piloted U.S. drone helicopters have shuttled food and other cargo to front-line troops, but it may be a long time before drones take human passengers into the sky.

Text Only
Features

Featured items
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide