Pangaea Archives

UAS for Confined-space Inspections: the DARPA Connection

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This entry is part of 54 in the series Pangaea

Dangerous, difficult, and dirty: these are missions that drones are often tasked for. Let’s look at one of the most dangerous tasks out there: inspection of confined spaces. Boilers, tunnels, storage tanks, underground storage areas, and vaults are a few good examples. How dangerous are these places? Here’s what the National Institute for Occupational Safety […]

Atlas Obscura

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This entry is part 1 of 54 in the series Pangaea

Fall is a great time for travel: the weather’s cooled off, the youngsters are back in school (and not clogging up the national and state parks), and, as a bonus, there’s the fall foliage to enjoy. Back in the day (you know, before the advent of smartphones and digital maps), I used to rely on […]

Revolution #3: Drone-launched Rockets

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This entry is part 2 of 54 in the series Pangaea

Think of it as a revolution inside a revolution tucked inside yet another revolution. Revolution #1: ground-based reusable rockets as exemplified by rocket billionaires Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The reuse of launch vehicles is lowering barriers to space flight. Great stuff! Revolution #2: air-launched rockets. A shining example is Paul Allen […]

Will Drones Replace Fireworks?

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This entry is part 3 of 54 in the series Pangaea

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 […]

NASA’s Awesome Long-endurance VTOL UAS

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This entry is part 4 of 54 in the series Pangaea

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 […]

A Student SLAMs Stuttgart

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This entry is part 5 of 54 in the series Pangaea

As part of a bachelor’s thesis project, a university student successfully scanned more than 21,000 sq ft of complex office space in just 40 minutes with a mobile 3D laser scanner (the GeoSLAM ZEB-REVO), despite having never previously used the device. The point cloud created from the first-time scanning work was sufficient to generate an […]