Good 30-min program with a set of interviews with people doing everything from bird monitoring to search and rescue in Colorado. Aircraft range from a 4ft Cessna model to a Draganflier. Includes some interesting observations on crazy regulatory barriers (calling a control tower many miles away to say that you'll be operating a model heli at 10ft in the woods) and privacy laws (they need a search warrant to fly over someone's back yard).

Here's the description:

"There’s a lot of technology we depend on that came from the military. The Internet’s probably the best known. GPS, too. And satellites. The next big technology transfer could be unmanned aircraft. Planes with no pilots inside. The military flies a lot of these so-called drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in the United States, civilians aren’t really allowed to fly unmanned planes. There are a few exceptions, two of them here in Colorado. In Mesa County, a helicopter the size of a microwave does detective work. And the San Luis Valley, a small plane counts wildlife. More on that shortly. First, a chat with CPR’s Zachary Barr. He just got back from the first conference of Coloradans who build and design unmanned vehicles for air, certainly, but land and sea, too. Zac reports that people in this industry believe it has a bright future, but it would be even more promising if government regulators would loosen regulations."

Views: 890

Comment by Luke Olson on November 14, 2011 at 3:06am

The bit about IED detection was very interesting to me. Thanks for sharing the link!

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