• Helping UAVs to land safely in an emergency

    One obstacle to the wider use of UAVs in domestic missions such as law enforcement is the fact that UAV flight plans are set pre-flight, and if something goes wrong and they need to land they have no way to determining where the safest landing spot is; in most cases they just drop; engineers are developing a system which will allow UAVs sense and avoid other traffic and determine appropriate landing spots should the need arise

  • CBP receives its ninth UAV

    CBP announced it has received its fourth Predator-B UAV to be used for patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border; CBP can now deploy its unmanned aircraft from the eastern tip of California across the common Mexican land borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

  • U.S. Army to deploy VTOL UAV

    The U.S. Army is developing a helicopter-like, VTOL (vertical-take-off-and-landing) UAS (unmanned aircraft system) with a DARPA-sponsored ARGUS wide-area surveillance sensor suite designed to beam back information and images of the surrounding terrain

  • A UAV that uses wind power as a bird does

    An engineering Ph.D. students wins prizes for the design of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) — dubbed Green Falcon II — which would be powered by the sun and wind; “While all airplanes mimic the shape of birds, the Green Falcon II will literally use the wind to power its movement, just as a bird would,” the young inventor says

  • Iran claims it is nearly finished extracting data from captured drone

    On Monday Iran claimed that it had nearly finished recovering data from a captured U.S. surveillance drone; The unmanned aerial vehicle has been identified as the RQ-170 Sentinel, nicknamed “The Beast of Kandahar,” a stealth drone designed by Lockheed Martin covertly to gather intelligence

  • Model airplane hits federal building

    Last week a three-foot model airplane crashed into a federal building in Waltham, Massachusetts; federal investigators from DHS and the FBI promptly began investigating the incident, but so far no evidence exists to suggest any foul play; earlier this year a 26-year old man from Massachusetts was arrested for plotting to attack the Pentagon with a remote-controlled plane packed with explosives

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  • Push for greater use of drones in U.S.

    Several federal agencies want to see more drones deployed in the United States. DHS is the main federal agency to push for using UAVs in domestic missions. The Department of Justice, too, is working with aviation manufacturers and local law enforcement agencies to introduce drones to police and sheriffs departments. The Pentagon also wants to open more U.S. airspace for drone testing and deployment, as U.S. military and National Guard bases are hosting DHS drones.

  • Underwater drones help police keep harbors safe

    Growing attention to underwater security along U.S. coasts has resulted in an increasing reliance on a relatively new tactical weapon for the police: an unmanned submersible drone, often referred to as a remote-operated vehicle, or ROV. The NYPD has six of these underwater drones, similar to those in use by the United States military and by oil companies with offshore operations.

  • DARPA seeks mobile apps to fly drones

    DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, is seeking a mobile app to improve sensors for drones and other military surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence vehicles. The agency is seeking smartphone app developers for its Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT) program. The program uses a commercial development model to facilitate rapid delivery and configuration of sensor systems, which typically take three to eight years to develop, the agency said.

  • Autonomous deployment vehicles in flight tests

    The Autonomous Deployment Demonstration (ADD) program has successfully completed flight tests; the ADD concept is to enable small unmanned air vehicles (UAV) equipped with sensor payloads to be launched from aircraft (manned or unmanned), balloons, or precision guided munitions, and dispersed in selectable patterns around designated areas

  • Persistent undersea surveillance by autonomous robots

    The U.S. military plans to deploy squadrons of air, surface, and undersea robotic vehicles later this decade, and wants to make these vehicles more autonomous; researchers develop an algorithm that helps sea gliders decide when to spend more time looking at regions that have changes in activity or environmental factors; without the control algorithm, gliders paid equal attention to all areas and acquired less information

  • Increased use of UAVs leads to new job opportunities

    The growing importance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is producing new job opportunities across the United States, with more likely to come as drones enter the civilian realm; the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that 23,000 jobs could be added over the next fifteen years if drones are allowed in U.S. skies

  • Drones set to become ubiquitous in U.S. airspace

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could soon become commonplace in U.S. civilian airspace with farmers using them to spray crops, police deploying drones to gather intelligence ,and utility companies using them to monitor oil, gas, and water pipelines; next January the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to release new regulations on the use of small drones in the United States

  • Irish police consider deploying drones

    Police in northern Ireland are considering deploying small surveillance drones to help combat crime and the dissident republican threat as an alternative to helicopters; with police suffering budget shortages, many agencies cannot afford the roughly £7 million, or $11 million, a year it takes to maintain a helicopter

  • Surveillance plane to circle Lancaster ten hours a day

    Beginning in May, a Cessna 172 airplane will hover over the Lancaster, California for ten hours a day collecting intelligence and keeping an eye on residents; the surveillance program was recently approved by city leaders in an effort to fight crime, but the prospect of aerial surveillance has critics concerned about privacy violations