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NASA Exploring $1.5 Million Unmanned Aircraft Competition 38

coondoggie writes "NASA today said it wants to gauge industry interest in the agency holding one of its patented Centennial Challenges to build the next cool unmanned aircraft. NASA said it is planning this Challenge in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force Research Lab, with NASA providing the prize purse of up to $1.5 million."
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NASA Exploring $1.5 Million Unmanned Aircraft Competition

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  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @04:53AM (#41690503)

    Actually I expect you to be fooled again. Its probably a recurring thing in your life.

    Clue: NASA doesn't do the war fighting stuff. They do the civilian aviation stuff. Aviation and safety research, keeping track of accidents and incidents, etc. See: []

    Clue: That in no way means any tech innovations won't be immediately adapted/adopted by the military for their use. Or by DHS for domestic civilian population monitoring/control and suppression of dissenters, for that matter. New tech/discoveries/etc have always been shared both ways between NASA and the military throughout NASA's history.

    You can rest assured anything NASA and/or groups working with NASA develop that the military/DHS/TLAs think might be useful they'll use.

    Besides, the government isn't the only one that can build drones. If it came down to it, drones could be built in a garage that could intercept/down things like the Predator-class drones.

    Take a look at this. []

    It was laser-clocked at 586KPH/366MPH.

    That's not even the largest engine the maker, JetCat, produces. They've got one that's rated for 52 lbs thrust. []

    Have it power a drone carrying a pound or two of HE, and a simple guidance system tuned to the opposing drone's uplink frequency. Launch it straight up to ~60K ft altitude so it's above the opposing drone (to be in the satellite uplink signal path from the other drone) and have the guidance system kick in when it acquires the signal and guide it straight to the other drone.

    No more Predator-class drone.

    Of course, bringing down an autonomous drone would be more difficult and require a different type of interceptor-drone, possibly one with remote-video and a remote pilot.


Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!