Wednesday, August 30, 2006

UK examines civilian use of UAVs

UK examines civilian use of UAVs: Covers plans in the United Kingdom (UK) to deploy Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) for broad surveillance purposes in Great Britain. There are a range of positive uses envisioned, like helping firefighters track forest fires, or crowd control during public events.

Like in the U.S. the machines aren't currently allowed to fly in UK airspace. As it says in the article, every rule of flight has assumed a human would be in the cockpit and able to decide how to avoid obstacles or other aircraft. To resolve that issue the Astrea Project is studying UAV designs that allow them to operate in the airspace, cohabitating well with other (human occupied) aircraft.

Guardian coverage: On the horizon ... pilotless planes as fishermen's and firefighters' friends

Earlier coverage:

High Altitude Surveillance Aircraft

High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) - 'Eternal Planes' to watch over us

Electric airplane (UAV) stays aloft for 48 hours

Web sites: Unmanned Air Vehicles