UND UAS program soars to new heights

UND UAS interest web

It’s becoming a common reaction around the University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences lately. That mildly surprised expression on the face of newcomers as they gaze for the first time upon the network of interconnected multi-storied futuristic buildings that form the main aerospace school complex. It’s a look that says ― “It’s more than we expected.”

And that’s not even the half of it, as they soon find out. [Read more…]

Drones gaining acceptance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Drones — Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) — are getting greater acceptance worldwide, leading all in aviation to take a new and detailed look into how they will fit into the airspace and how they will affect the safety of all flight operations.

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FAA slowing drone use to fight wildfires

Fire fighters hoping to use drones to “map a fire’s size and speed, and identify hot spots,” are running up against FAA regulation. A New York Times story notes a drone is precluded, “from operating out of sight of a ground-based pilot. If distance or the smoke of a wildfire obscures a drone from observers on the ground, a piloted aircraft must be sent aloft to keep an eye on it.” Fire fighting is but one of many facets of drone use the FAA, federal government and U.S. citizens are debating.

North Dakota eyed for UAS ‘mall’

Global Hawk arrives at Grand Forks Air Force Base, June 2011. Photo by Ben Trapnell, University of North Dakota

By JUAN MIGUEL PEDRAZA

In a visit to Grand Forks, N.D, just ahead of election day, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) got a good look at a spot for a mall — an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) mall.

A key spot on the tour was the University of North Dakota’s UAS facilities. UND would be a key tenant of the mall.

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Driving drones can be a drag

Study shows distractions may alleviate boredom and improve drone operators’ performance.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On its surface, operating a drone looks a lot like playing a video game: Operators sit at workstations, manipulating joysticks to remotely adjust a drone’s pitch and elevation, while grainy images from the vehicle’s camera project onto a computer screen. An operator can issue a command to fire if an image reveals a hostile target, but such adrenaline-charged moments are few and far between.

[Read more…]