Friday, July 25, 2014

The Army’s Newest Drone Can Stay Airborne Forever .... provided there’s power down below. What other applications, especially civilian, might this have?

"Most military drones fall into two categories. There are long-range Air Force drones designed to orbit at medium to high altitudes for hours and hours. Global Hawk, Reaper and Predator fall into this category.
Small Army and Marine units out in the field have drones, too. But these Scan Eagles, Ravens and Shadows can only stay airborne for a few hours at most, depending on the particular machine.
PARC is something of a hybrid. That gives small infantry teams a cheap vehicle for long-term surveillance. The only downside is that the quadrotor isn’t maneuverable.
But the point is to send the automatan into the skies—roughly 1,000 feet up—and let it sit there scanning all day long with its electro-optical and infrared sensors. If someone cuts the microfilament, or it loses ground power, then the PARC’s battery kicks in and the drone lands automatically.
The lack of maneuverability might also not be a downside, given its role. An infantry unit doesn’t need to train how to fly the thing.
All they need to do is man the ground station, watching out for enemies."
How might weather forecasters use this? How might police in urban areas, on highways and elsewhere use it? What of scientist in wilderness areas? What of Park Rangers? The possibilities seem many and only limited by our inventiveness and ingenuity.
For the full article see: