UAVs / Satellites / Blimps

  • "Swarm" UAV reconnaissance demonstrated

    Boeing successfully demonstrated autonomous communications and operation of dissimilar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in flight tests over the rugged terrain of eastern Oregon; swarm technology is similar to how insects communicate and perform tasks as an intelligent group; the UAVs worked together to search the test area through self-generating waypoints and terrain mapping, while simultaneously sending information to teams on the ground

  • Lockheed Martin shows tiny surveillance UAV

    The Samarai UAV is sixteen inches long and weighs less than half a pound; while flying, it can stream live video from a camera that rotated around its center providing a 360 degree view without a gimbal; it can be carried in a backpack and launchedt from the ground or like a boomerang

  • Beachball-like observation UAV developed

    A beach ball-size drone can fly down narrow alleys, hover on the spot, take off vertically, bounce along the ground like a soccer ball — all the time transmitting live images from a video camera; it can travel above traffic or spy on a target through a window — and can also be used in search and rescue in disaster zones, where it could fly through buildings and even up and down stairways

  • Filipino man guilty of selling UAV on eBay

    Last week a Filipino man pleaded guilty to violating arms export and smuggling laws by selling parts from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on eBay; in February, DHS officials arrested Henson Chua of Manila, Philippines after he shipped undercover agents a three-foot long, hand-launched, computer-controlled RQ-11A/B Raven surveillance drone

  • Tiny flying machines revolutionize surveillance work

    Tiny aerial vehicles are being developed with innovative flapping wings based on those of real-life insects; incorporating micro-cameras, these revolutionary insect-size vehicles will be suitable for many different purposes ranging from helping in emergency situations considered too dangerous for people to enter, to covert military surveillance missions

  • Micro-robots emulate water-striding insects

    Researchers are working on building nimble micro-robots that are able to skim across the surface of water; the prototype devices emulate water-striding insects such as mosquitoes and water spiders, and could be used for military spy missions, water-pollution monitoring, and other applications

  • The world’s first "printed" aircraft flies

    Engineers have designed and flown the world’s first “printed” aircraft, which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design; the plane is a UAV whose entire structure has been printed, including wings, integral control surfaces, and access hatches; it was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which fabricates plastic or metal objects, building up the item layer by layer

  • Texas A&M launches a blimp program

    Texas A&M is launching a new airship program to develop lighter-than-air (LTA) blimps; LTA systems generate lift force by using sufficient volume of a lighter-than-air gas, such as helium; heavier-than-air (HTA) systems, on the other hand, generate lift by a relative motion between the wings or rotor blades and ambient air; airships can contribute to a number of missions including disaster response, homeland security, and communications relay

  • Expanding Yuma flight testing schedule for Argus UAV

    The World Surveillance Group (WSGI) revealed its plans of extending the flight testing schedule for its strange-looking Argus One UAV at the Yuma facilities at the U.S Army grounds in Arizona

  • Texas gets second UAV

    Border agents in south Texas will be getting additional help thanks to the deployment of a second unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the area; currently there are four UAVs deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border and three of them are based in Arizona; the second drone is expected to arrive later this year or in the early part of next year.

  • Satellites could predict next cholera outbreak

    With cholera making an unlikely resurgence, catching countries like Haiti and Pakistan by surprise, public health officials are exploring the potential for new technology to help stem the spread of future outbreaks; each year the disease affects three to five million people and claims more than 100,000 lives; researchers believe that satellite images of oceans could help forecast when a cholera outbreak is likely to strike

  • Pentagon: Global Hawk Drone “not operationally effective”

    The Pentagon has declared the latest Northrop Grumman Global Hawk drone “not operationally effective”; according to a report by the Pentagon’s weapon testers, the RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 could only provide 40 percent of the coverage requested; “Mission-critical components fail at high rates, resulting in poor takeoff reliability, high air abort rates, low mission capable rates, an excessive demand for critical spare parts and a high demand for maintenance support”; Pentagon officials declined to discuss the drone in too much detail but did say that they were working with Northrop Grumman to make improvements to the drone; defense officials have scheduled a production meeting for this month to discuss the program

  • Future UAVs will emulate birds

    Engineers at UC San Diego are mimicking the movement of bird wings to help improve the maneuverability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); this is important, because UAVs are quickly becoming popular tools for the armed forces, and there are also a myriad of civilian applications which are rapidly developing, such as border control, wildfire monitoring, search and rescue, and traffic observation

  • DARPA crowd-source next-gen UAV design

    DARPA has announced its UAVForge competition for the design of a user-intuitive, backpack-portable UAV which is also quiet, can stay aloft for at least three hours, and can fly in harsh condition; in addition to the $100,000 prize, the winning team will have the opportunity to showcase its design in an overseas military exercise

  • Arlington, Texas hopes to keep aerial drone

    The police department of Arlington, Texas is examining ways to fund an unmanned surveillance drone; the drone was originally purchased with grant money from DHS to assist local police officers with security during Super Bowl XLV held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington last February; the drone is still technically owned its unidentified manufacturer and the City Council is debating how to pay for the drone’s operation and maintenance