How U.S. Army’s Billion-Dollar Gamble On Drone Defense Could Go Wrong

The U.S. Army has just put more than a billion dollars into a new air defense system called IM-SHORAD to protect soldiers from drone attacks. It is a vital mission – but the last time the Army tried to develop something like this the project failed horribly. And even if the new system works as intended, serious questions remain.

The U.S. has enjoyed air superiority, if not air supremacy, in every conflict for decades. American planes have swept the enemy aircraft from the sky or destroyed them on the ground. The last time an American soldier was killed by enemy air attack was during the Korean War. As a result, while the Russians and others have continued to develop generations of armored vehicles carrying surface-to-air missiles

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Army partners with University of Illinois on autonomous drone swarm technology

Army researchers are working with the University of Illinois Chicago on unmanned technology for recharging drone swarms.

The university has been awarded a four-year, $8 million cooperative agreement “to develop foundational science in two critical propulsion and power technology areas for powering future families of unmanned aircraft systems,” according to a statement released by the Army Research Laboratory.

“This collaborative program will help small battery-powered drones autonomously return from military missions to unmanned ground vehicles for recharging,” the Army added. “The university is developing algorithms to enable route planning for multiple teams of small unmanned air and ground vehicles.”

ARMY DEVELOPING DRONES THAT CAN CHANGE SHAPE MID-FLIGHT

The military is looking to make the process of recharging vast drone swarms as efficiently as possible by using fast, recharging batteries and wireless power transfer technologies. This, researchers say, will let multiple drones to hover over an unmanned ground vehicle and recharge

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Canadian block on drone parts shows Turkey’s defense industry still not independent

ANKARA — The Canadian government’s decision to suspend export of key drone parts to Turkey has once again thrown a spotlight on Turkey’s ongoing efforts to develop a self-sufficient defense industry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often boasts at party rallies that his governance since 2002 has reduced Turkey’s dependency on foreign weapons systems from 80 percent to 30 percent. There is truth in that, although the actual percentages remain a mystery, mainly due to the difficulty of defining what is truly a local or national system.

Most Turkish “national” systems depend on various degrees of foreign input, often including critical parts only available abroad. The T129, an “indigenous” attack helicopter, is a Turkish variant of the Italian-British AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta chopper. Turkey’s local industry has no engine technology.

The “national” new generation tank Altay is facing major delays, due to the lack of a foreign engine and transmission system.

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Agbioscience startup using multisensor drone technology sees growth

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IMAGE: Despite changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Purdue University-affiliated agbioscience startup focused on research-grade sensing data for agriculture is growing as it takes multisensor drone data collection technology to…
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Credit: Chris Adam/Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Despite changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Purdue University-affiliated agbioscience startup focused on research-grade sensing data for agriculture is growing as it takes multisensor drone data collection technology to market.

GRYFN, which offers precise geomatics solutions for coaligned and repeatable multisensor drone data collection, is adding members to its team, growing its space, and looking to empower the future of agriculture research.

The startup partnered with Purdue and received a $2.25 million sub-award grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. Eight Purdue professors founded GRYFN with backgrounds in aeronautic technology, biology, plant sciences, agricultural and biological engineering, civil engineering,

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Top Early GoPro Action Camera & DJI Drone & Gimbal Deals Compared by Consumer Walk

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Amazon holds their Prime Day sale every year. The popular shopping and entertainment event offers numerous deals for

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Drone truck startup Einride unveils new driverless vehicles for autonomous freight hauling

Einride, the Swedish autonomous trucking startup, unveiled a new vehicle type that the company hopes to have on the road delivering freight starting in 2021. The vehicles, dubbed Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), came in four different variations. And much like Einride’s previous prototypes, they come without steering wheels, pedals, windshields, and, in general, no cab at all.

Einride has been in the business of releasing interesting, eye-catching prototype vehicles since it was founded in 2016. There was the cab-less T-Pod, released in 2017, four of which are operating on public roads hauling freight for Oatly, the Swedish food producer. A year later, the company unveiled the T-Log, built to be more powerful than its predecessor for the job of (you guessed it) hauling tons of giant tree logs. Now it has a next-generation vehicle that it hopes it can put into production.

Einride’s also been engaged with the less glamorous

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The US Army wants to build an autonomous drone charging system

The US Army is looking to build an autonomous charging system that can support hundreds of drones. It has funded a four-year research project with the ultimate aim of kitting out ground-based vehicles with charging stations that swarms of drones can fly to by themselves. 



a close up of a bicycle: A quadcopter drone


A quadcopter drone

The University of Illinois Chicago landed an $8 million contract from the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. Researchers will work on a system that will enable small drones to determine the location of the closest charging station, travel there and juice up before returning to their mission. The university is working on algorithms to help the drones determine the best route to a charging port. 

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“Imagine in the future, the Army deploying a swarm of hundreds or thousands of unmanned aerial systems,” Dr. Mike Kweon, program manager for the Army Research Laboratory’s Versatile Tactical Power and Propulsion Essential

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Before and after CZU Lightning Complex fire drone images

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Newly released maps comprised of 360-degree visualizations and before-and-after comparison photos captured by drones survey a little more than a quarter of the area scorched by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in August.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office worked with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and Stockton Police to deploy 15 drone teams that made over 315 flights to collect the photos, panoramas and videos.

Using the CAL FIRE damage assessment map for reference, the teams collected imagery over 23,000 acres — or 35 square miles — of the 86,509 acres burned over 37 days in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. The 650 images focus on most of the damaged areas of Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon and Davenport, the communities hardest-hit by the blaze.

The teams that captured the images went out September 24

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Failure: Why Russia Is Not Happy With Its New Okhotnik Drone

Key point: The Russians want to have the same advanced technology as America. The Okhotnik was an attempt to do just that.

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, Yury Slyusar said that UAC will begin deliveries of the Okhotnik unmanned aerial vehicle to the Russian armed forces as early as 2024.

In keeping the Russia’s top-down approach to management, UAC’s President, Mr. Slyusar, stated that Russia’s Ministry of Defense “instructed us to speed up the design and test works, to move it ‘to the left’ as much as possible so that deliveries begin as early as 2024.” In keeping with those instructions, UAC is now “actively working on this issue with our colleagues.” Though the drone seems to be promising, this deadline might not be possible.

This first appeared ealier and is being reposted due to reader interest.

The Drone

The

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Is Amazon’s new flying drone camera private? What we know about Ring Always Home Cam

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The Ring Always Home Cam is a security drone that flies around the inside of your house.


Amazon

What if your security camera wasn’t fixed to a wall, but free to move around your house and check from room to room while you’re away from home? Does that sound wonderful, creepy or something in between? However you feel about it, it’s the premise of Amazon’s new Ring Always Home Cam, a security camera that’s — get this — also a drone that flies around the inside of your house shooting video it then can stream or upload to the cloud.

Wait, what?

You read that right. Amazon announced its new flying security camera alongside updated Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers and a mailbox sensor, but this out-of-the-box approach

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