• Drones & disastersAmateur Drone to Aid in Natural Disaster Damage Assessment

    It wasn’t long after Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast Thursday that people began flying drones to record the damage and posting videos on social media. Those videos are a precious resource, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who are working on ways to use them for rapid damage assessment.

  • DronesIt’s a Bird... It’s a Plane... It’s Superman? No: It’s a Flapping-Wing Drone

    A drone prototype that mimics the aerobatic maneuvers of one of the world’s fastest birds, the swift, is being developed by an international team of aerospace engineers in the latest example of biologically inspired flight. The 26 gram ornithopter (flapping wing aircraft) which can hover, dart, glide, brake and dive just like a swift, making them more versatile, safer and quieter than the existing quadcopter drones.

  • SurveillanceHow to Hide from a Drone – the Subtle Art of “Ghosting” in the Age of Surveillance

    By Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

    Drones of all sizes are being used by environmental advocates to monitor deforestation, by conservationists to track poachers, and by journalists and activists to document large protests. But when the Department of Homeland Security redirects large, fixed-wing drones from the U.S.-Mexico border to monitor protests, and when towns experiment with using drones to test people for fevers, it’s time to think about how many eyes are in the sky and how to avoid unwanted aerial surveillance. One way that’s within reach of nearly everyone is learning how to simply disappear from view.

  • DronesAccurately Pinpointing Malicious Drone Operators

    Researchers have determined how to pinpoint the location of a drone operator who may be operating maliciously or harmfully near airports or protected airspace by analyzing the flight path of the drone.

  • DronesUsing Innovation, Technology for Drone Ideation Projectd

    Last fall, students in UAB professor Ramaraju Rudraraju’s software engineering class were tasked with a project to take part in ideation for practical uses of drones in farming environments. Through the project, they created a program to map out a farm and various flight patterns and controls for a drone. 

  • Pandemic drones“Pandemic Drones”: Useful for Enforcing Social Distancing, or for Creating a Police State?

    By Michael Richardson

    As COVID-19 restrictions tighten around the world, governments are harnessing the potential of drones. From delivering medical supplies, to helping keep people indoors – drones can do a lot in a pandemic. But these measures may be difficult to rollback once the pandemic passes. And safeguards will be needed to prevent unwanted surveillance in the future.

  • DronesIdentify, Track, Capture: Addressing UAS Threats

    Sandia National Laboratories robotics experts are working on a way to intercept enemy unmanned aircraft systems midflight. They successfully tested their concept indoors with a swarm of four unmanned aircraft systems that flew in unison, each carrying one corner of a net. Acting as a team, they intercepted the flying target, trapped it in air like an insect caught in a web and safely lowered it to the ground.

  • Drone defenseLaser Defense System against Next Gen Autonomous Attack Drones

    attack drones are becoming increasingly common threats, and future attack drones will be completely autonomous, navigating via onboard sensors and cameras and eschewing any sort of exploitable communication link. In order to neutralize them before they reach their target, a “hard kill” option is needed to physically target and shoot down the drone. A Ben Gurion University (BGU) laser expert has developed a laser-based defense system, dubbed Light Blade (Lahav-Or in Hebrew), that will be able to down the next generation of attack drones.

  • China syndromeGOP Senators: Chinese Drones Pose National Security Threat

    A group of GOP senators called on the administration to restrict the use of Chinese drones by U.S. government agencies. “American taxpayer dollars should not fund state-controlled or state-owned firms that seek to undermine American national security and economic competitiveness,” they write.

  • PerspectiveWhat Can Drones Do to Protect Civilians in Armed Conflict?

    Drones are usually in the news for bad reasons, like controversial killings of suspected terrorists in the Middle East, bombings of Saudi oil facilities or an assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Michael Yekple writes that what many people may not know is that United Nations peacekeepers use drones to protect civilians from violence. These drones are different: They don’t carry weapons.

  • DronesShould Santa Use a Drone to Deliver Gifts to Well-Behaved Children?

    Santa has always run a one-sleigh operation, but a new analysis could help him speed deliveries and save energy, if he ever decided to add a drone to his route. The new routing algorithm anticipates the day trucks and drones cooperate to drop packages at your doorstep quickly and efficiently.

  • DronesAerial Threat: Why Drone Hacking Could Be Bad News for the Military

    By Mohiuddin Ahmed and Paul Haskell-Dowland

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called drones, are now a fundamental part of defense force capability, from intelligence gathering to unmanned engagement in military operations. But what happens if our own technology is turned against us? As with all IT technology, manufacturers and users may leave the digital doors unlocked. This potentially leaves opportunities for cyber-criminals and perhaps even cyber-warfare.

  • DronesAssessing the Danger of Drone Strike

    The rapid rise in the number of drones worldwide has been accompanied by increasing reports of near misses with commercial aircraft. Bird-strike tests for aircraft are mandatory, but to date, however, there is no equivalent standard test procedure for collisions with drones.

  • WildfiresDrones help in early detection of forest fires

    Researchers have developed a drone-based system for early detection and prevention of forest fires through drone technology. Sensors can detect fire from 15 kilometers away, and autonomously send drones to investigate, even in conditions of limited visibility, and gathers optic and thermal images of the fire, which the drone sends back in real time.

  • DronesHawk’s pursuit technique can help counter-drone defenses

    Hawks steer their pursuit of evasive prey using a feedback system that differs fundamentally from the missile-like interception system of falcons.