All posts by Jeff Salmon

Venus UAS deployment Black Swift

Drones over Venus

While attending the AUVSI XPONENTIAL conference last May, I spoke with the team at Black Swift Technologies, a Boulder, Colorado-based UAS engineering firm specializing in scientific platforms, and I asked them to keep me updated with their progress. I recently received the news that it has been awarded a NASA contract to develop a UAS...

Pangaea

Find Your Home – on Pangaea

First, a bit of “geosplaining.” When we started this newsletter we looked for a name that had a “geo” feel without having geo in the name. For those who don’t follow geology, Pangaea was the most recent supercontinent which was formed roughly 200 to 250 million years ago, according to the plate tectonics theory. Flash...

Drone Fireworks Show

Will Drones Replace Fireworks?

Here’s a slice of life from the western edge of the Eastern Plains of Colorado. As I write this, the Fourth of July is tomorrow, and I’m shopping for our holiday “staycation.” BBQ pulled pork, buns, baked beans, corn on the cob, and “tater salad.” Check. Should I pick up some fireworks? The informational sign...

An illustration of Nasa's GL-10 VTOL.

NASA’s Awesome Long-endurance VTOL UAS

The wizards at NASA’s Langley Research Center took a look at the current state of UAS and found two big problems: The flight time and range of electric multicopters is too short, and many fixed-wing UAS require extensive ground support for launch and recovery. With these challenges in mind, the team came up with two...

Parrot Bee-Bop Thermal

Low-cost Tech for Aerial Archeology, Part Two

To round up this short series on low-cost approaches to aerial archeology surveying, we’ll look at an even lower-cost sensor technology that can be used in certain types of archeological projects. In the first part of this series we talked about how new, affordable multispectral sensors are being used with (relatively) inexpensive UAS to find...

AUVSI

Swords into Plowshares: AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018

The last time I visited the AUVSI conference was about 10 years ago. I remember walking into the show and thinking, “Did I just accidentally walk onto a military base?” The exhibits were populated with Predators, Reapers, and at least one Global Hawk. Every other attendee was dressed in their best camo BDUs. Not judging,...