Thu, Nov 15, 2007
Cheaper Costs Leading To More Applications Of Technology
Here's a story about just how
quickly prices for unmanned aircraft are coming down. A scientist
at South Dakota State University has won a federal grant to
continue his studies of unmanned helicopters for safety inspections
of dirt roads.
Until recently, UAVs and their tiny cameras cost so much that
only the military could afford them... but those prices are
dropping, as the unmanned vehicles gain in popularity in a growing
number of applications.
Dave Huft, research manager at the South Dakota Department of
Transportation, tells the Argus Leader they have become much
cheaper and faster than sending out guys with hard hats and tape
measures to find roads that are too narrow, banked in such a way to
make curves unsafe, or otherwise substandard.
"It's making such a difference in the speed of the measurement
that it's going from something that was not practical, or
impossible, to something that is practical," Huft said.
Even a low-resolution image captured by a UAV could be used by a
computer "trained" to recognize road damage, according to a team
led by Chunsun Zhang, a remote sensing scientist at SDSU.
There are, of course, downsides to using UAVs to patrol
Pilots of manned aircraft are obviously concerned, of course...
but this could also be a real threat to those guys in hard hats.
After all... unmanned helicopters don't require anyone to lean on a
Vicious Campaign Against Skydiving Operation By Small, But Vocal, Group Loses Court Case News/Analysis by ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell Those of us who work and play in the>[...]
Also: Air Power Museum, ANN Could Use A Little Help From Its Friends, GE Honda, Mexican-Registry TBM 900, Legacy 500, BBJ Winglets, Wheels Up Order The new Falcon 5X is getting clo>[...]
Progress Continues To Be Made To Return Humanity To The Moon XPRIZE and Google have officially confirmed a further extension of the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. XPRIZE notes th>[...]
“It is the Sikorsky Innovations charter to identify the toughest challenges in vertical flight, and to demonstrate solutions to them. Getting an all-new aircraft into flight,>[...]
CoAxial Helo Heralds Development Of Exciting New Rotorcraft We knew it was close... and now it's real. Sikorsky has confirmed the successful first flight of the S-97 RAIDER helicop>[...]