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to use a drone to find missing climbers, with

a mobile phone app meaning members of the

public can take part in the search operation.

The pilot-less technology, which is usually a feature of war zones, will be

trialled to save lives on the Lake District fells. The ‘Aerosee’ drone relays

back 100 images a second, allowing people who have downloaded the app

to click on any area of the image where they think they have spotted an

injured person on the mountainside.

These images are then relayed to the rescue team.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, who are trialling the drone next week,

said the technology could help searches by bringing in a potential army

of volunteers. Team leader Mike Blakey said: "Mountain rescue is changing

as new technology is available. Drones may be really useful in some

scenarios and the idea of getting people to help with the rescue wherever

they are in the world is really interesting. It taps into all the social media

ways that people are using digital technology."

The technology has been developed by scientists from the University of

Central Lancashire, and will be tested on July 25. Paul Egglestone, director

of the aerospace and media innovation studio at the university, said -

"Drones get lots of bad press as they're usually associated with the military.

The unique thing about our approach is that we're inviting civic-minded

people to give up 20 minutes of their time to help save a life on the

mountainside. It turns the whole drone debate on its head."

Unmanned aircraft have been used to target terrorists in Afghanistan and

Pakistan, but now the technology is being utilised to rescue lost walkers in

the countryside. Drones have also been deployed  to track suspected 

rhino poachers in South Africa. What began as pilotless, robot aircraft for

the military has graduated to a program designed to explore the feasibility

of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) sharing airspace with piloted civilian

planes and Britain’s skies could soon be buzzing with pilotless drones

fighting fires, assessing storm damage and delivering transplant organs

as companies seek to persuade regulators to lift controls on their use.

To take part online, follow the instructions at

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Comment by Michael Grove on November 1, 2018 at 10:40

     With the commercial drone market now seemingly exploding around the

    world, an ever-more bewildering number of missions, roles and applications,

    one final challenge still looms – regular ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight

    (BVLOS) operations.

     TIM ROBINSON takes a look at some of the highlights from a recent RAeS UAV Conference,

     'BVLOS Operations in the UK' held on 19-20 September.

Comment by Michael Grove on December 2, 2018 at 15:55

The Operation Zenith demonstration was presented by an aviation industry collaboration led by NATS, global unmanned traffic management (UTM) aviation technology company Altitude Angel and Manchester Airport, the third-busiest airport in the UK.

Live-streamed to an invited audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, Operation Zenith is the UK’s first contribution to the recently-launched European Commission’s U-Space Demonstrator Network.

Employing air traffic management systems and technology interfaces that are compliant with U-Space programme requirements, the success of Operation Zenith provides a realistic view of a future in which UAVs can be flown safely within visual line of sight and beyond (VLOS/BVLOS) in integrated airspace.

Alastair Muir, NATS safety director,said: “Operation Zenith has been an outstanding success in bringing together the manned and unmanned aviation industry to shine a light on our vision for the future of aviation. NATS is committed to working towards creating a foundation service to ensure the safe and efficient use of airspace. With more than 25 key players from across the aviation industry cooperating on this project, it has been possible for us to create a safe environment in which drones and commercial aircraft are able to co-exist safely in controlled airspace.

“From distributing medicines to delivering parcels, investigating crash sites to inspecting industrial installations, drones have a great deal to offer and we believe that carving up the skies to offer commercial drones a slice of segregated airspace is not the answer. From our perspective, allowing visible UAVs safe access into controlled, integrated airspace is the best way forward, both for the drone industry itself and for aviation as a whole.

“With the number of drone-related airspace incidents on the rise, it’s essential that we take steps now in order to create a safe environment for UAVs to be integrated with manned aircraft and factor their presence into redesigned airspace that’s able to cope with the increasing demands of modern aviation in our busy skies.”


Comment by Michael Grove on December 20, 2018 at 23:00

In a statement released Jan. 31, the Dutch National Police Corps announced a new initiative using birds of prey to intercept unwanted drones. The program was developed and tested in partnership with Guard from Above (GFA), a Dutch company located in the Hague that specializes in training large, predatory birds to "hunt" and subdue robotic prey.

Comment by Michael Grove on February 12, 2019 at 14:44

'Drone swarms' led by F-35 jets will overwhelm Britain's enemies, Defence Secretary announces

Britain’s new F-35 jets will be able to deploy "drone swarms" to “confuse and overwhelm" enemy forces by the end of the year, Gavin Williamson has said.

The Defence Secretary has announced groups of unmanned aircraft will seek to penetrate enemy air defences, all controlled by a pilot in one of the RAF’s new F-35 stealth jets.

Air defence radars and surface to air missile sites will be the most likely targets, as the drones seek either to spot the enemy positions using cameras or force adversaries to ‘light up’ their equipment by switching on their radars to attack the drones.

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