Inside Unmanned Systems

FEB-MAR 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. 25 February/March 2018 unmanned systems inside this summer, "where the mountains can get incredibly rugged," Elston said. "The shear winds that you get off volcano and mountain ridges can create dangerously unpredictable turbulence. One way to handle that is to f ly a small scout aircraft that can gather informa- tion on atmospheric conditions before you run the mission." The drone's main scientific deployment is scheduled for 2019. Data from the S2 could lead to better three-dimensional models of vol- canic plumes. This could in turn help airlines, traffic controllers and aviation authorities ac- curately establish f light advisories after volca- nic eruptions. For instance, when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, the resulting ash plume caused more than 95,000 f light cancellations, leading to an estimated $1.7 billion in losses. "Better models of ash dispersal from vol- canoes can help predict what kind of area a plume might cover, so that aviation authorities can tell planes to specifically stay out of cer- tain areas instead of, say, shut- ting down the entire European airspace," Elston said. Aside from helping research- ers and authorities model and monitor volcanoes, Elston noted this work could also have a vari- ety of other applications. For ex- ample, this drone could also help investigate smog, wildfire smoke, chemical fires and smokestack ex- haust. "We're very focused on all the scientific applications drones might have, and on simplifying their operation to encourage more routine use," Elston said. " THE SHEAR WINDS THAT YOU GET OFF VOLCANO AND MOUNTAIN RIDGES CAN CREATE DANGEROUSLY UNPREDICTABLE TURBULENCE. ONE WAY TO HANDLE THAT IS TO FLY A SMALL SCOUT AIRCRAFT THAT CAN GATHER INFORMATION ON ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU RUN THE MISSION." Jack Elston, co-founder, president and CEO, Black Swift Technologies

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