All posts by Jeff Salmon

drone defender

Anti-Anti-Drone Technology

Why we need it and what form it might take. I was walking down the UAS-tech-laden hall of the 2018 Commercial UAV Expo when I spied two booths touting anti-drone technology. I thought to myself, “My issue is the opposite—keeping my UAS in the air. I don’t need any help crashing it.” Yet, looking back,...

Elios

UAS for Confined-space Inspections: the DARPA Connection

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...

2018 Commercial UAV Expo Roundup

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: attending the Commercial UAV Expo is the closest you’ll get to drinking out of a fire hose, data-stream-wise, without incurring physical damage. I’m talking metric tons of new and cool UAS stuff. This year I had the honor to be included as a judge in the...

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura

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...

Rocket Drone

Revolution #3: Drone-launched Rockets

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...

Heddy Lamarr

Got GPS? Thank Hedy Lamarr

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Hedy Lamarr, the gorgeous and glamorous Hollywood star of the ‘30s and ‘40s, had nothing to do with the invention of GPS. She did, however, invent a technology that underpins almost all modern communications. Lamarr and avant-garde composer George Antheil invented and patented a technology that Bluetooth,...