NASA Increases Happy Landings for Drones [Portfolio]

TORONTO – Statistically, flying is the safest way to travel. We don’t worry about airplanes dropping from the sky. But drones are another thing altogether.
If a drone runs into mechanical problems, there’s no Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land it on the Hudson River. To keep unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from landing on our heads, NASA is trying to make them smarter.

Dubbed Safe2Ditch, the technology is aimed at allowing drones to continuously run self-diagnostics during flight to anticipate problems. If something goes wrong, the system could make changes to how the drone is flying and estimate how much longer it could stay in the air.

Since a drone with mechanical problems would need to set down quickly, Safe2Ditch would immediately begin to search its database for safe landing locations and autonomously land at the closest spot. Safe landing options would include fields, parking lots or parks, said Lou Glaab, assistant branch head for the Aeronautics Systems Engineering Branch at the NASA Langley Research Center. Worst case scenario, a drone might have to land in a dense forest to avoid people, but the goal is to keep avoid damaging the drone in an emergency landing.

Read my full article for EE Times.

IT departments must prepare for the impact of commercial drone deployment [Portfolio]

A great deal of the discussion of drones has revolved around the privacy, safety and security of the general public, but as new applications surface for their use, the talk is shifting to how their deployment affects IT departments.

According to recent research released by Tractica, companies, universities, and government agencies are all actively assessing the opportunity for drones to disrupt some industries and create innovative business models in others. The two primary application markets in the commercial drone sector are aerial im13984618709_a1946019c7_baging and data analysis.  [Read the full story on IT World Canada]