Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Transportation Science

Robotic Glider Set To Break Autonomous Flight Records 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the leaf-on-the-wind dept.
SoaringIsAwesome writes "Dan Edwards, a student at NC State University, is attempting to break two records by creating an autonomous glider. The project goal is a 142-mile cross country flight and a 25-mile flight (with return) without human intervention. The glider finds thermal updrafts and automatically circles them to gain altitude, much like birds and insects do. Recently, the glider flew in the desert for 4.5 hours, covering 70.5 miles by itself using only air currents to stay aloft. Since the NC State demonstration vehicle does not have a motor, this shows real promise for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that actually have a motor, with possibilities of extending flight duration considerably. Combine daytime soaring with a solar energy system to charge batteries for the night, such as the 84-hour flight by QinetiQ's Zephyr, and you might just get an answer to flying for months on end. With this kind of endurance, the eye in the sky that the city of Lancaster is considering might be even more practical."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Robotic Glider Set To Break Autonomous Flight Records

Comments Filter:
  • Surveillance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @12:56PM (#28668145)

    With this kind of endurance, the eye in the sky that the city of Lancaster is considering might be even more practical.

    Are we happy about that? Stazi managed to keep a hundred thousand people under surveillance with just manpower. The inevitability of a technological solution to their inability to perform 24/7 surveillance of 100% of their citizens makes me shudder. As staggering as this is, I am fairly sure that only overwhelming cost is preventing many governments (including UK, AU and US in that order), from implementing such measures, since it's becoming clear that the citizens are willing to give up any privacy and liberty they have left, in order to feel safer, and (at best) reduce their absolute risks by minute amounts.

  • Re:Surveillance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @03:42PM (#28669189)

    I disagree. I would argue that privacy is absolutely required for liberty in the real world. The two are inextricably linked, because the only rights you have, are ones you can defend. Defending your rights in the face of a segment of society that knows everything about you, while you know nothing about them, is a rather doomed endeavor.

    So while people keep talking about their freedoms, they are being deprived of their weapons, and their privacy. And in the absence of either, there can be no liberty.

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

Working...