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Sanctions Or Not, Iranian Competition Yields Successful UAVs 147

Posted by timothy
from the force-breeds-resistance dept.
garymortimer writes with word of the result from a high-tech student competition that doesn't come with sponsorship from DARPA or Mobil — far from it. Instead, the sponsors include "military and non-military organizations" within Iran. "In this competition, participants must provide a UAV equipped with a camera to search a 10 square kilometer area for at least 40 minutes to find 3 square meter marks on the ground with different English letters on them. Finding ground targets and reporting the geo location are criterion for choosing the contest winner." (This article updates another from last year, which gives some more details about the competition.)
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Sanctions Or Not, Iranian Competition Yields Successful UAVs

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Drone Wars.

    • Surely you mean Episode 1: The Phantom Menace? Which is exactly what Iran is.

      • Iran is a "phantom" only to those who didn't bother to read about the country. E.g. Wikipedia has pretty good coverage.

        Iran is a "menace" only to the two groups of people: people who read too much into the public speeches of their president (who can't even mobilize the army; so much for a president) and politicians who want to prevent Iran from becoming a superpower in the region (and potentially in the world).

        OK. I confess. The bashing of Iran become much less interesting to me, once I took time to

  • you'd have time to hack together UAV's from cellphones too.

    (I wonder, does Iran have any motorsports?)

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:07PM (#38954831)

      From everything I've heard, Iran is a modern, very prosperous country. It's hard to cut through all the bullshit and propaganda on both sides anytime you're dealing with a country that's at odds with the U.S., but I've known two people who went there who said they were welcomed very warmly as Americans and that quality of life there was pretty much the same as any European country.

      • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:09PM (#38954851) Journal
        Yup, it's a modern, prosperous country that spouts bullshit and propaganda about its enemies. It does have a dubious government which oppresses the rights of the people as well. Oh, and so does Iran.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ArcherB (796902)

          Yup, it's a modern, prosperous country that spouts bullshit and propaganda about its enemies. It does have a dubious government which oppresses the rights of the people as well. Oh, and so does Iran.

          While what you say is more or less true, comparing the "oppression" from the US government to the oppression from the Iranian leadership is not really accurate. For example, I don't see a whole lot of homosexuals being hung from cranes in the US.

          • While what you say is more or less true, comparing the "oppression" from the US government to the oppression from the Iranian leadership is not really accurate. For example, I don't see a whole lot of homosexuals being hung from cranes in the US.

            The Iranian government opresses its own people, which is definitely bad.

            The U.S. government also oppresses its own people, albeit far more covertly than Iran, as well as oppressing the entire fucking world.

            So, you're right, it is far from an accurate comparison - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a pacifist compared to the masters of our great empire, er, "nation."

          • Oh, and the US is so ahead of everyone with "don't ask, don't tell" repealed not two years ago, herds of religious fanatics bursting with hate toward ways unfamiliar or unknown, wonderful justice system and oh so impeccable record in wrongful [wikipedia.org] executions [wikipedia.org] and where every newborn gets $50k debt as a welcome gift.
          • Correct- just Catholic Bishops being told "pay for our abortions or we'll throw you in jail."

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              Correct- just Catholic Bishops being told "pay for our abortions or we'll throw you in jail."

              Boohoo. The law applies equally. What a travesty.

              BTW, birth control =/= abortion. Nice try there with that pre (first) millenial thinking.

              • It's actually late 19th/early 20th century thinking, for those who actually have a half a clue and have read their Chesterton.

                The argument goes something like this: A society that separates sex from procreation, gets used to having enjoyment and fun on credit, without paying for it. That society will soon encourage abortions because of the failure rate of the contraception, but that's not the least of the worries. That society will also start demanding goods on credit, trade on credit, life itself on cre

          • by MidGe (69308)

            "For example, I don't see a whole lot of homosexuals being hung from cranes in the US."

            That is, probably only because the US has more than twice the incarceration rate of Iran.

          • by gmhowell (26755)

            For example, I don't see a whole lot of homosexuals being hung from cranes in the US.

            I'm pretty sure support of this is in Rick Santorum's campaign.

          • For example, I don't see a whole lot of homosexuals being hung from cranes in the US.

            You're right. The US murders innocent civilians abroad instead.

            It's just a different brand of evil.

        • by tmarsh86 (896458)
          Do you actually enjoy spouting such BS? Do you wait with bated breath for the moments that you get to throw these rocks of ridiculousness? You have no idea what oppression is, but you are welcome to travel to Iran and experience on a level that is worthy of you.
        • by Lumpy (12016)

          "Yup, it's a modern, prosperous country that spouts bullshit and propaganda about its enemies."

          This fit's every single government on the planet except for Sweden and Greenland. Swedes are cool, Greenland is cold.

      • by jopsen (885607)

        but I've known two people who went there who said they were welcomed very warmly as Americans and that quality of life there was pretty much the same as any European country.

        I'm pretty sure things have changed in Europe since your ancestors emigrated 200 years ago :)

        </flamebait> if by "any European country" you mean the only poor former east block countries, then maybe you're right... Assuming you don't care about human rights.

  • I can lay down some letters for the iranian drones - "f"..."u"..."c"...
    • by Bovius (1243040)

      ...fuchsia? fucoids? I can't tell what you're spelling out.

    • by JustNilt (984644)

      I can lay down some letters for the iranian drones - "f"..."u"..."c"...

      More like "f"..."u"..."D", I suspect.

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:06PM (#38954813)

    I bet America's RQ-170 entry won.

  • Comment Subject: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:11PM (#38954871)

    This is one of the things the Middle East is very good at. The Portuguese have a word for it: Desenrascanco [cracked.com], which basically means the quick and dirty solution that's thrown together at the last minute and/or from what's on hand.

    We saw this innovation in Libya, including some humorous military innovations such as the Bread Helmet [perspy.com] and some far less humorous things like technicals, anti-air turrets, etc. Iran saw how effective the US's drones were and they want some of their own. They saw how effective stuff like DARPA is, so they do the same thing. Of course, Iran has the advantage of coming late to market so they can get all of the component parts much, much easier.

    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:43PM (#38955333)

      "Of course, Iran has the advantage of coming late to market so they can get all of the component parts much, much easier."

      Especially when your enemy lands them in your back yard.

    • This is one of the things the Middle East is very good at. The Portuguese have a word for it: Desenrascanco [cracked.com], which basically means the quick and dirty solution that's thrown together at the last minute and/or from what's on hand.

      And exactly who do think invented Duck Tape?

      USA! USA! USA!

    • this is not just a trait of those in one region of the world, though living in constant threat of your life from your government and those around you does tend to spur innovation. Even Slashdot has been replete with stories of people creating their own drones, shooting off rockets, and the like.

      The difference comes down to scale and integration. Anyone can put up a model plane and find things they are supposed to find. Now, having the ability to do so in varied weather conditions, varied terrains, and coord

      • It's a feature of life in less affluent societies. People learn to make do with what's on hand, and not rely on ready made(expensive) tools and equipment.

  • X-Prize (Score:5, Informative)

    by aero2600-5 (797736) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:12PM (#38954895)

    Nice, the Iranian version of the Ansari X-Prize.

    What people don't realize is that even with all the sanctions, hostility, and generally crazy behavior, Iran IS NOT Iraq or Afghanistan. Right now, American casualties are seen as unacceptable, which is leading our drive towards more drones. If we pick a fight with the Iranians, or let them pick a fight with the US, there will be American casualties. They have the ability to sink U.S. war ships. That have the support of Russia and China. Granted, they probably didn't ground that RQ-170, but that doesn't mean it isn't feasible in the near future.

    We all know that quite a large chunk of the young adults in Iran don't like the current regime, but do you know what they like even less? The United States. Whether we start the fight or they do, it will cause Iran to solidify behind that common dislike of the U.S., and we will have a real fight on our hands.

    • by js3 (319268)

      I really could give a shit about who likes what. If someone is a threat, they are gonna have to answer to the rest of us.

      • Re:X-Prize (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @12:22PM (#38955029) Homepage Journal

        I really could give a shit about who likes what. If someone is a threat, they are gonna have to answer to the rest of us.

        Typical government lapdog mentality: If we rattle a saber at someone and they don't flinch, they are a threat and must be cowed.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Gee, yes, promoting/funding terrorism (the kind that kills people on a daily basis), and producing materials needed to build terrible weapons, while producing deeply antisemitic rhetoric. Sounds JUST like lacking a flinch reflex. Or... [warning, Godwin ahead]

      • by X.25 (255792)

        I really could give a shit about who likes what. If someone is a threat, they are gonna have to answer to the rest of us.

        So, when will USA answer to the rest of us, eh?

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          I really could give a shit about who likes what. If someone is a threat, they are gonna have to answer to the rest of us.

          So, when will USA answer to the rest of us, eh?

          As soon as the rest of the world nuts up and makes us. I suggest you figure out a way to get China to quit selling us cheap plastic crap in exchange for our Weimar-esque currency.

    • but the Ansari family is Iranian.
      • I'm pretty sure Anousheh even migrated from Iran.

        Plus, the X-Prize program isn't just funded by her money - there have been lots of other X-Prizes that got funding from other sources.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My personal opinion is that wars involving world economic powers are going to become less and less likely over the next 50-100 years. There is too much at stake at home, and I don't just mean troops' lives. The global economy is a reality, and we're quite entangled with the economies of pretty much any other country of economic significance - by that I don't just mean the G8, but well beyond that. With the other large economies, we have a lot to lose on exports/imports of finished goods if we go to war,

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        My personal opinion is that wars involving world economic powers are going to become less and less likely over the next 50-100 years. There is too much at stake at home, and I don't just mean troops' lives. The global economy is a reality, and we're quite entangled with the economies of pretty much any other country of economic significance - by that I don't just mean the G8, but well beyond that. With the other large economies, we have a lot to lose on exports/imports of finished goods if we go to war, bu

        • Alfred Nobel saw dynamite as having a sort of mutually-assured-destruction effect (in addition to the civil engineering uses). Right idea, but a few decades too early.

          More recently, this economic argument was part of Tom Friedman's _The World Is Flat_.

    • Iran IS NOT Iraq or Afghanistan. Right now, American casualties are seen as unacceptable, which is leading our drive towards more drones. If we pick a fight with the Iranians, or let them pick a fight with the US, there will be American casualties. They have the ability to sink U.S. war ships. Granted, they probably didn't ground that RQ-170, but that doesn't mean it isn't feasible in the near future.

      Whether we start the fight or they do, it will cause Iran to solidify behind that common dislike of the U.S., and we will have a real fight on our hands.

      Iran isn't Iraq. But where exactly are you getting this idea that their armed forces are so much better? Their equipment is equivalent to what the Iraqis had for their time, and they both fought each other to a standstill. Furthermore, the Iraqis had the ability to strike US warships and they did. The Iranians ability to sink warships is irrelevant. During a conflict, US warships aren't going to be in range until most of those threats are neutralized by long range strikes. The only risk is a surprise attack

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did the English have an alphabet of its own before the Romans introduced the Latin one?

  • Despite sanctions? (Score:2, Informative)

    by HeckRuler (1369601)
    Despite sanctions? Dude, all the parts come from China. And China isn't part of the embargo. 10^2 km is a little wide for the smaller RC fliers out there, but for the larger ones that have a gas engine, it's completely do-able. That's retail store level technology. That hard part is flying it out of sight. Sensors, cameras, communications, all these little modules are made in china and are hobbyist stuff.

    Long story short, it's impossible to embargo technology any more. It used to be that areospace techno
  • I saw this a few weeks ago on an episode of Rocket City Rednecks. Not that I have anything against Iranians, but building a RC plane and fitting it with a camera and transmitter is something not challenging for a teenager, not to mention you can buy them on the internet (unencumbered by any military hardware restrictions) if you aren't even a hobbyist. What is the real story here? That those darn Iranians are "at it again"?

  • Please explain what are english letters, as far as I can remember it is the greco-roman alphabet
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      Greco? The greeks never used it for greek, though the Latin alphabet did evolve from one particular greek one, the Cumaean.
  • I looked at the pictures, those are not UAVs but air models. We used to make and pilot such toys in grade 6. They are radio-controlled and require a clear line of sight and proximity for decent maneuvering. In any case, they are pretty expensive even for an amateur.
    • by wmac1 (2478314)
      In 6th grade you used to build models which tracked a 10 square kilometers to find an alphabet and send back the photo?

      You are a shameless lair Mr.

      It does not matter how small is the plane, the communication and navigation makes it valuable.
  • While people are joking and laughing at the Iranians for making their little toy models of the crashed drone, they are rapidly catching up in the UAS department. A UAV competition means they have realized that the amateurs and students are where the real innovation lies.
    • by wmac1 (2478314)
      Iran sent its 3rd satellite to the orbit this week and will send the 4th satellite next week. I'd prefer everyone to make jokes and laugh at them but let them do their job.

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