Drones

Dronelining

Photo / Doug Sherring, via NZ Herald

Photo / Doug Sherring, via NZ Herald

A Kiwi invention that uses a drone to take much of the hassle out of fishing is gaining global attention.

From his garage in Auckland, electrical engineer and project manager Kyle Parshotam has been designing and building high-tech “fishing drones” that can haul line hundreds of metres out to sea and drop the bait right in front of fish – upping the odds of landing a big one.

The carbon-fibre aircraft – dubbed the AeroKontiki – can hover for up to 12 minutes and has been built to fly up to 500m with the maximum height locked at 60m.

It also has two GPS systems that allow it to return to shore on autopilot.

“It’s fast – you can deploy the line very quickly with the whole mission just taking a few minutes,” Parshotam said.

“And you can also use it in some pretty harsh environments where you’ve got rocks and big surf which traditional kontikis can’t go through. You can be quite precise with where you drop your bait.”

I guess it’s the next step in the progression using tech, but I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy the idea of a bunch of those buzzing away in popular fishing spots. ¬†¬† Read more »

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You may still be dreaming of a hoverboard, but drones are now a retail item

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It is estimated that more than 30,000 drones will have been bought by British consumers by the end of the year ‚ÄĒ a high proportion of them as Christmas presents. The electronics chain Maplin says that sales within its stores are up 300 per cent on 2013.

But as drones move from the battlefield into our back gardens and parks, serious questions are increasingly being asked about their safety.

This week, it emerged that a passenger jet was involved in a near miss with a drone near Heathrow airport in July. The pilot was flying at an altitude of 700ft when he saw the unauthorised machine, which was invisible to radar, flying near his plane.

There was a similar incident at Southend Airport two months earlier ‚ÄĒ and more recently a Virgin Atlantic pilot reported seeing a drone as he came in to land at New York‚Äôs JFK airport.

Frightening stuff, given that if a drone were sucked into a jet plane’s engine, it could have the same effect as a bird strike, which might prove catastrophic on take-off or landing.

Drones have been put to other dangerous uses, too. In October, a European Championship football match between Serbia and Albania descended into a riot after a drone was deliberately flown inside the stadium in Belgrade trailing an Albanian flag, much to the fury of the Serbs.

And sometimes they simply end up causing accidents. In New York this week, a TGI Friday’s restaurant used a hovering drone dangling a piece of mistletoe to encourage dining couples to kiss each other. Unfortunately, after colliding with one woman’s hand, it took a lump out of her nose.

I can see licensing not being too far away in the future. ¬†¬† Read more »

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Cyber terrorism will replace bombers and decapitators

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If it can carry a camera, why not carry high explosives and take it to the airport?

Cyber attacks and commercial drones pose a growing risk of commercial aeroplane crashes, a major insurer has said.

Technical advances in aircraft design and navigation systems have reduced the chance of dying in a plane crash, but the reliance on computers poses new types of risks. Read more »

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Dodgy socialist Argies using drones to catch out rich tax dodgers

The Argie government is using drones to catch out dodgy rich pricks who are rorting taxpayers on their tax returns.

The Argentine government has used drones to catch out wealthy tax evaders who had not declared mansions and swimming pools.

Unmanned aircraft were dispatched over an upper class area of Buenos Aires and discovered 200 homes and 100 pools that had not been detailed on returns.

Tax officials said the drones took pictures of luxury houses standing on lots registered as empty.

The evasions found by the drones amounted to missing tax payments of more than $2 million and owners of the properties have been warned they now face large fines. ¬†¬† Read more »

Will Winston make these a deal breaker in negotitions?

These would appear  to be very handy for sorting out the Chinese.

I’ll bet when Winton reads this he will make them a bottom-line for his coalition negotiations.

Zach Rosenberg at Killer Apps explains about some cool new toys.

In the past few weeks, the Pentagon and its major contractors have been trotting out their designs for the aircraft of the future — from a stealthy, hypersonic¬†spy plane¬†to a combat,¬†carrier-hopping drone¬†to a¬†futuristic bomber. But ironically, none of these planes will likely define the U.S. armed forces of, say, 2030. It’s the wild weapons they’ll carry that could be military game-changers.

The crown jewel is the¬†Long Range Strike-Bomber¬†(LRS-B), being designed under tight secrecy. LRS-B is supposed to replace either¬†the B-52¬†or¬†B-1¬†or some combination thereof (nobody’s quite sure yet). Designed for penetrating strike and nuclear weapons, it is this bomber that is meant to lead any bombing campaign, slipping into enemy airspace undetected and dropping bombs on the most heavily-defended targets. Northrop Grumman (which designed the B-2) and a Boeing-Lockheed team are both designing competitors, but details are scarce — nearly everything about the program is classified.

The hypersonic missiles are cool too.

[M]issiles are going to be smarter and capable of new things, not just blowing things up. Rather than risk people and valuable airplanes, why not just let the missile do the work? It’s getting easier to pack missiles full of fuel and electronics, making them more like miniature drones than the old dumb-bombs. Some missiles, like Raytheon’s new¬†MALD-J, contain small radar jammers and can be fired almost 600 miles from the target.

Future versions could have electronic surveillance equipment, sending data back home, or even the means to inject viruses into computer networks. Also look forward to things like the Israeli IAI Harop, a hybrid missile/UAV that can circle overhead for long periods of time, waiting for a whiff of electronic scent and guiding itself in.

One promising development is the¬†High-Speed Strike Weapon, a hypersonic ground attack missile, capable of launching from thousands of miles away and streaking towards the target too fast for anyone to hit. At least, that’s the idea. At that speed it might not even need a warhead, destroying targets with sheer kinetic energy. The program is in its infancy, and sustained hypersonic flight is very tough — but we’ll see. Come 2030 there could be B-52s — among the oldest aircraft in the inventory — launching hypersonic cruise missiles by the dozen.

I think we should be looking at drones…and I’m not talking about officers straight out of Basic Training either.

And what of the drones used so widely today? After Afghanistan winds down there will certainly not be a need for as many as we now have. But a potential¬†Predator¬†replacement, the MQ-X, is dead in the water, and while the USAF is closely watching the Navy’s experiments with the X-47B carrier-hopping drone, there are no concrete plans to buy anything at the moment. But it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t put those new capabilities onto UAVs, and indeed there are persistent rumors of secret bomb-carrying UAVs flying in the desert, but nothing concrete and verifiable has yet emerged.

If I was advising Winston then I’d say make the drone ¬†bottom line and the give-way can be the hyperspnic missiles…you can still fire older style missile from the drones and their bang is much better for the buck.

Stupid hippies get their drone shot down

Can’t wait for some stupid hippies to try this here.

If I was duck shooting or pigeon shooting legally and some stupid hippies put a drone into range of my shotgun it would be coming down hard, especially if I was on private land and it was over it.

Performing private drone warfare against people with guns is plain stupid.

Read more »

What a stupid statement

Jonathan Coleman has said that any drone technology used or developed for the NZ Defence forces won’t be used to kill people.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman is downplaying suggestions the military could use so-called “drone” technology to attack and kill opponents in any future conflict.

The Defence Force has earmarked $600 million over the next 20 years to fund a “network-enabled army” that would include unmanned aircraft, robots and sensors to enable troop movements and health to be monitored.

Coleman said no papers had gone to Cabinet yet, but there was money in the long-term capital plan and initial advice was expected this year.

“Rather than have people with paper maps you’ve got to bring them into the digital age otherwise our troops will be disadvantaged in the field.” He said it was not about using drones as the United States had in Iraq and Afghanistan to attack specific targets.

What a stupid statement…the Defence Forces are there to kill enemies…what this fool has just done is tell our enemies that we won’t use any means at our disposal to kill them or their equipment. Before any of you pantywaists start asking who our enemies are…I class anyone who wants to rape and pillage our Exclusive Economic Zone as an enemy…sink a few fishing boats with a missile or two and they will stop trying to over fish.¬† Read more »

Russia’s stealth drone…The Skat

Only Russia could name a stealth drone “Skat”….apparently it is the russian word for stingray.

skat

Pictures showing mock-ups of the stealthy-looking unmanned jet have been circulating for years. (We’ve got to say, it’s pretty ugly compared to its¬†American,¬†French,¬†British, and even¬†Chinese¬†counterparts.)

After years of showing off the mock-up, MiG signed a contract with Russia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry on May 15 to develop an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle based on the Skat design — that’s a fancy way of saying a stealthy killer drone.¬† Read more »

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The Dehogaflier – Hunting pigs. At night. With drones.

Drone hunting is here…pig hunting with the Dehogaflier.

Wild hogs have become a huge problem in places like Louisiana, rooting up fields in their quest for food and generally being extraordinary 200 pound pests. Given their size, smarts, and tenacity, feral hogs can be hard to kill‚ÄĒand that’s when you can even find them amid all the vegetation. So how do you deal with the problem? If you’re like electrical engineers Cy Brown and James Palmer, you strap a $5,000 thermal imaging camera to a remote-controlled airplane, then fly the thing around farmers’ fields on weekend evenings until you spot a hog. Then you shoot it from the ground with a night vision-equipped rifle.¬† Read more »

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Trev can only dream about having a million tweets sent about something he has said or done

More than a million tweets were sent about Rand Paul’s remarkable filibuster the other day. You see when you actually stand for something and don;t just post photos of cats on Facebook and inane jokes people take you seriously.

Twitter reported Thursday afternoon on its blog that more than a million tweets were sent during Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s near-13 hour filibuster on the Senate floor Wednesday, placing the conversation almost on par with the 1.36 million tweets sent about President Barack Obama’s most recent State of the Union address.

Paul took to the Senate floor at approximately 11:47 a.m. EST to¬†filibuster¬†the Senate‚Äôs confirmation vote of White House¬†adviser¬†John Brennan as the new head of the CIA, pending an explanation from the White House as to whether it believes President Barack Obama could¬†justifiably¬†use domestic drone strikes to execute American citizens without due process.¬† Read more »