Big win for Dean! Purdue has been getting great press for its AttoPilot-powered UAV. Excerpt from Network World: (Slashdot coverage here:
"Researchers at Purdue will soon experiment with an unmanned aircraft that pretty much flies itself with little human intervention.
The aircraft will use a combination of global-positioning system technology and a guidance system called AttoPilot that uses GPS signals and an on-board flight-stabilization system to guide the aerial vehicle to predetermined points. Researchers can be stationed off-site to monitor the aircraft and control its movements remotely. AttoPilot was installed in the aircraft early this year, and testing will begin in the spring, researchers said.
According to Purdue, researchers have been using a small, lightweight unmanned aircraft - essentially a model airplane equipped with electronics - to collect agricultural data for Calmar Labs in Remington, Ind. The vehicle is equipped with infrared and digital cameras to take photos to assess the effects of shadowing on corn growth or to monitor the effects of drought or floods on crops. Until now, the aircraft has been controlled by a conventional radio receiver, which required human intervention to begin and end the missions, Purdue stated."