Air


Google X's online course teaches you to build flying cars

Daily Mail

'Our students will develop the software skills and conceptual understanding necessary to build a flight system for an autonomous flight vehicle that can reliably complete complex missions in urban environments,' the firm said. 'Our students will develop the software skills and conceptual understanding necessary to build a flight system for an autonomous flight vehicle that can reliably complete complex missions in urban environments,' the firm wrote. Thrun, who used to work at Google before leaving to set up his flying-vehicle firm, Kitty Hawk, said he envisions a world where he can fly the 34-mile (55 km) journey from Palo Alto to San Francisco in just ten minutes. Thrun, who used to work at Google before leaving to set up his flying-vehicle firm, Kitty Hawk, said he envisions a world where he can fly the 34-mile (55 km) journey from Palo Alto to San Francisco in just ten minutes.


Google X's Sebastian Thrun: Flying car ready in February

Daily Mail

In April, Kitty Hawk revealed a prototype of its flying vehicle – an electrical aircraft that resembles a flying jet ski. According to Sebastian Thrun, a working version of Kitty Hawk's flying car will be ready by February 2018 And according to Thrun, a working version of the product will be ready by February 2018. Steve Jurvetson, one of the original investors in SpaceX, is also optimistic about flying cars, adding: 'They're kind of like autonomous cars, you get a peek of the future. And Steve Jurvetson, one of the original investors in SpaceX, is also optimistic about flying cars, adding: 'They're kind of like autonomous cars, you get a peek of the future.


Airbus' Vahana Flying Car Uses Laser Sensors to Pick out Landing Spots

WIRED

Airbus calls its self-flying flying car Vahana, and is working on it at its Silicon Valley outpost A 3 (pronounced "a cubed"). If all goes according to plan, Vahana will use a Near Earth Autonomy technology called Peregrin. Singh has spent 25 years working on sensors for autonomous cars and aircraft, and spun off Near Earth Autonomy from Carnegie Melon University five years ago. That said, a lot of work remains to be done, and Neva Aerospace, a European consortium driving the development of key technologies for flying cars, believes fully autonomous flights remain a long ways off.


Teaching Drones How To Crash Safely

MIT Technology Review

The system stores a database of potential ditch sites for safe emergency landings, and is able to choose the ideal site based on range, size, type of terrain, reliability, and time or day constraints. It's a much more advanced system than what is currently used in most commercial UAVs, which require a designated "home" point, to which the vehicle will attempt to return in the case of a hardware malfunction or drained battery. Current models are unable to safely ditch if, for example, the remaining battery charge is unable to return the drone to its home point, or if that home point is out of date. Once these remaining technological challenges are solved, Roy believes that Safe2Ditch, or similar systems, could become an FAA-mandated safety standard in UAV manufacturing.


The Blackbird set for a hypersonic overhaul

Daily Mail

Lockheed Martin has revealed its secretive Skunk Works unit is beginning to build the first flight demonstrator of a radical hypersonic update of the long-retired Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Lockheed Martin posted an artist's impression of the craft to its website, with the caption'The Skunk Works hypersonic design – an aircraft developed to execute Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and strike missions at speeds up to Mach 6.' The plane will also have a'warm structure' that will heat up during flight Lockheed Martin posted an artist's impression of the craft to its website, with the caption'The Skunk Works hypersonic design – an aircraft developed to execute Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and strike missions at speeds up to Mach 6.' NASA is backing plans to return to supersonic flight, with its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator aims to produce a much lower'boom' than other supersonic aircraft, and NASA is hoping to see the first flight tests take place in 2021 The XS-1 program envisions a fully reusable unmanned vehicle, roughly the size of a business jet, which would take off vertically like a rocket and fly to hypersonic speeds.


AI Just "Landed" a Boeing 737 for the First Time By Itself

#artificialintelligence

It's going to take us a healthy dollop of faith in technology to accept autonomous vehicles at some point on our roadways. The U.S. military believe automated aircraft may improve mission safety and success rates, and their Defense Advanced Research Agency, or DARPA, has just announced the successful simulated flight and landing of a Boeing 737 by an AI-driven robot co-pilot named ALIAS. "ALIAS" is an acronym for "Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System." DARPA hopes ALIAS can eventually be trusted with the "execution of an entire mission from takeoff to landing, even in the face of contingency events such as aircraft system failures."


Self-Flying Taxis To Debut In Dubai Later This Year

International Business Times

Dubai, also called the Future City, will start testing aerial taxi transportation later this year. The agency revealed plans Monday to start trials of its Autonomous Aerial Taxis during this year's fourth quarter. When the project was first announced, the agency was working with drone company EHang for single-passenger autonomous flying vehicles. Transportation officials are working with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to develop laws, operational guidelines and to define specifications and standards applicable to operators before the "commercial and official operation of the autonomous air vehicles," Tayer said.


NASA's Safe2Ditch Lets Damaged Drones Land Safely

WIRED

That's why researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia have developed a system that can help with one slice of drone troubleshooting: enabling small UAVs to determine on their own when they're not working properly, and then find a safe place to land. Safe2Ditch, invented by Langley's Trish and Lou Glaab, is designed for fully autonomous aircraft without human pilots at the controls. It uses software algorithms to detect battery or motor problems, control-surface or structural failures, or even shifting cargo that can disrupt the aircraft's balance. America's Plan to Somehow Make Drones Not Ruin the Skies The system can, for instance, detect anomalies in performance through a vehicle health monitor the Glaabs developed that can infer the source of the problem--a structural failure might cause one side of the aircraft to start to dip in flight, for instance, or a battery problem might produce inconsistent power readings.


Engineers design drones that can stay aloft for five days

Robohub

Hansman and Hoburg are co-instructors for MIT's Beaver Works project, a student research collaboration between MIT and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Hansman and Hoburg worked with MIT students to design a long-duration UAV as part of a Beaver Works capstone project -- typically a two- or three-semester course that allows MIT students to design a vehicle that meets certain mission specifications, and to build and test their design. The researchers came to their conclusions after modeling the problem using GPkit, a software tool developed by Hoburg that allows engineers to determine the optimal design decisions or dimensions for a vehicle, given certain constraints or mission requirements. In the fall of 2016, the team built a prototype UAV, following the dimensions determined by students using Hoburg's software tool.


Engineers design drones that can stay aloft for five days

MIT News

Hansman and Hoburg are co-instructors for MIT's Beaver Works project, a student research collaboration between MIT and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Hansman and Hoburg worked with MIT students to design a long-duration UAV as part of a Beaver Works capstone project -- typically a two- or three-semester course that allows MIT students to design a vehicle that meets certain mission specifications, and to build and test their design. The researchers came to their conclusions after modeling the problem using GPkit, a software tool developed by Hoburg that allows engineers to determine the optimal design decisions or dimensions for a vehicle, given certain constraints or mission requirements. In the fall of 2016, the team built a prototype UAV, following the dimensions determined by students using Hoburg's software tool.