Tired of driving around, laptop open on the passenger seat, searching for a wi-fi hotspot? The WASP, a flying wi-fi sniffer, can make the task easier.
It's an Arduino-powered aerial drone modeled, perhaps appropriately, after a Russian Cold War MiG jet. WASP stands for "Wi-fi Aerial Surveillance Platform." The folks at Rabbit Hole have detailed instructions on their Web site.
Further validating the increasing role that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) play in 21st-century defense, the United States Air Force announced yesterday that it will institutionalize the remotely piloted aircraft pilot service field, establishing undergraduate RPA training that will make UAV pilot less a specialization and more a full-fledged operational career.
Drones powered by solar energy offer the promise of staying in the air for years on end, but DARPA scientists also want an option for the nighttime. Now the Pentagon agency has awarded a contract to Aurora Flight Sciences to build a micro air vehicle that can harvest both sunlight and thermal energy, Ares Defense Blog reports.
Fleets of unmanned drones have become a common weapon in the U.S. military's arsenal, but clunky controls and interfaces that distract human operators can lead to costly mistakes and crashes. Such problems prompted a former U.S. Navy pilot to develop an iPhone app that allows any smartphone user to learn how to fly an unmanned aerial system in just three minutes.
Drones can do just about everything autonomously these days, but most systems still require human assistance to land, refuel and take off again. Now, an aerospace startup, Aerovel, hopes to change that with its hover-capable Flexrotor drone that will come with its own automated docking station. No human ground support needed, The Register reports.
Finding and capturing insurgents behind deadly roadside bomb attacks has proven tricky, but an ex-U.S. Air Force officer says that airships could have deployed as early as 2006 to provide steady surveillance that can track bombers back to their lairs. Now he has gone public with his criticism of how the Air Force shunted aside airships in favor of preserving the roles of aircraft and satellites -- an action that he says cost the lives of warfighters.