UAVs / Satellites / Blimps

  • Seattle police takes steps to quell drone concerns

    The Seattle Police Department recently acquired a small camera-equipped drone, but it remains unused while city policymakers work to calm privacy concerns

  • U.S. military seeking non-lethal UAVs

    The U.S. Army is seeking non-lethal warheads to be deployed on tiny UAVs; the U.S. Army describes the possible uses of the non-lethal UAV: “Potential commercial applications might include, but are not limited to: crowd control for local law enforcement; border protection for Homeland Security; or temporary incapacitation of non violent criminals for local SWAT teams and/or law enforcement”

  • First U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in a month kills four terrorists

    Yesterday, Sunday, missiles launched from a CIA drone missiles hit military targets in Pakistan for the first time in a month. The attack killed four al Qaeda members, but further heightening tensions between the United States and Pakistan. Back in November 2011, U.S. airstrikes, called in by Pakistani commanders n the ground, killed twenty-four Pakistani soldiers. In response, Pakistan said that unless the United States apologized for the incident, no more U.S. drone attack would be allowed against terror targets inside Pakistan. The United States expressed regrets over the death of the soldiers, but refused to apologize, saying the accident was the result of mistakes and miscommunication on both sides. Since November, the United States has reduced considerably the number of drone attacks inside Pakistan, but has refused to end such attacks altogether. The U.S. refusal has led to Pakistani parliament, on three different occasions, to pass resolutions calling upon the United States to cease and desist.

  • New micro helicopters for search and rescue missions

    New micro helicopters have a diameter of about fifty centimeters, weigh only 1,500 grams; they do not rquire GPS or remote control to navigate; they are designed to maneuver in tight or even enclosed spaces, and to detect and fly around any obstacle; possible uses could include protection or rescue missions, and they are ideal for flying over disaster areas and giving a picture of the situation from the air or locating victims

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  • Worldwide UAV market to reach more than $94 billion in ten years

    UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $5.9 billion annually to $11.3 billion, totaling just over $94 billion in the next ten years; the UAV payload market, worth $2.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2011, is forecast to increase to $5.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2020

  • DHS brings military technology to border surveillance

    The long list of products and equipment developed for the military but which were adapted to and adopted by civilian and law enforcement agencies has a new entry. Add to the list the Kestrel: a L-3 Wescam MX 360-degree camera mounted to a Raven Aerostar aerostat

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  • Small UAV wins Border Security Product Challenge award

    A small surveillance UAV catches the eye of law enforcement and the military; it is an electric-powered, lightweight, portable system that fits in a small rucksack. Its modular design enables assembly and launch in less than two minutes

  • Surveillance technology along the border

    A South Dakota blimp maker has one of its airships take part in a border security technology demonstration; the demonstration was put together to allow the CBP to evaluate a new surveillance system for use on the border

  • State Department expands use of drones in Iraq

    With the U.S. military out of Iraq, the State Department has taken to operating a small fleet of unarmed surveillance drones to protect American personnel, which has resulted in sharp criticism from the Iraqi government who say the unmanned craft are an insult to Iraqi sovereignty

  • 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