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Old Jan 5, 2014, 10:31 PM   #26
hulugu
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Originally Posted by lostngone View Post
...Depends on the drone, some are almost silent.
As far as I know all drones make noise—the Predator is known as El Mosquito for the soft buzz that can be heard in open quiet desert of Sonora—but the noise profile can be mitigated by attitude.

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...
Granted these are not drones as far as I know but all you need to turn one into a drone is an off the shelf Autopilot and some type of IMU and sensors.
I agree. Many of the arguments about drones are predicated on the idea that they're some new kind of aircraft. The biggest technological difference between a drone of the Vietnam-era and today is the ability to stream live video via a satellite uplink. The drones of Vietnam had to be captured and their film reviewed, but today we can see what the drone sees.

Really anything that can fly can become a drone with the right parts.
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Old Jan 5, 2014, 10:46 PM   #27
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Give me a helium, a balloon, some remote controlled rotors and digital camera and I can make a drone.

Though given the whole hobbyist remote aerial vehicle industry that has been around probably since the 60's, why the fuss now?
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Old Jan 5, 2014, 10:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
Give me a helium, a balloon, some remote controlled rotors and digital camera and I can make a drone.

Though given the whole hobbyist remote aerial vehicle industry that has been around probably since the 60's, why the fuss now?
Live video feeds used on platforms like the Predator.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 01:15 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
As far as I know all drones make noise—the Predator is known as El Mosquito for the soft buzz that can be heard in open quiet desert of Sonora—but the noise profile can be mitigated by attitude.



I agree. Many of the arguments about drones are predicated on the idea that they're some new kind of aircraft. The biggest technological difference between a drone of the Vietnam-era and today is the ability to stream live video via a satellite uplink. The drones of Vietnam had to be captured and their film reviewed, but today we can see what the drone sees.

Really anything that can fly can become a drone with the right parts.

They are currently selling a blimp drone kit. It doesn't have a large carry playload but I see it as proof of concert. With light or no wind you are only here the motor if it needs to relocated.

http://makezine.com/2009/05/19/in-the-maker-shed-pre-order-the-bli/
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 03:00 AM   #30
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The biggest technological difference between a drone of the Vietnam-era and today is the ability to stream live video via a satellite uplink.
The current state of military and civilian (shall we say "consumer") UAV development is the result of advances in several different technologies.

Military drones are possible, as you say, because of advanced communications technology: GPS guidance systems and satellite up- and downlink capabilities. Couple that with stealth-enabled composite airframes (a "non-stealthy" drone buzzing around a few thousand feet over a hostile battlefield would be easy prey for enemy anti-aircraft systems) and an AI on-board flight system to handle the bulk of the "stick and rudder" work - and you've got the makings of a workable weapons platform.

Civilian, or "consumer", drones are the result of advances in a whole other realm of technologies. Modern lithium-ion batteries (that allow sufficient amp-hours to be packed into a small enough package to power a micro rotorcraft) simply didn't exist ten years ago. Angular position sensors, GPS chips, and digital camera systems, each costing a few cents, only came about because the smartphone created a market for hundreds of millions of them. And lastly the smartphone itself, which acts as both a control interface and flight management system, further reduces the costs of producing a remotely operated micro-aircraft to the point that fairly capable system can be bought for a few hundred dollars.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 07:52 PM   #31
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Personal drones have been around for decades... they were called RC airplanes and helicopters. I guess once you take one of those devices and strap a camera or other gadget on it, it becomes some new, fancy, futuristic technology.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 08:11 PM   #32
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Personal drones have been around for decades... they were called RC airplanes and helicopters. I guess once you take one of those devices and strap a camera or other gadget on it, it becomes some new, fancy, futuristic technology.
RC airplanes != drone.

In the past RC aircraft could not fly by themselves or fly a pre-approved flight plan.
The multi-rotar drones can even take off and land without user intervention.
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