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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > February 2019 > MARCH OF THE DRONES

MARCH OF THE DRONES

A LOOK AT OUR INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS ELECTRONIC MINIONS

One of the problems of keeping pace with the development of drones—or, more formally speaking, “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs)—is that it is extraordinarily difficult to keep pace with new advances and uses. In fact, the ink will hardly be dry on this article before some new revolutionary development takes place in this remarkable field.

MULTITUDES OF USES

According to New Scientist magazine, the U.S. Army is looking to solve one of the biggest problems regarding drones: flight time. Drones of all shapes and sizes have different flight times. Some can only remain aloft for minutes, while others can loiter for weeks. The Pentagon is now looking to power its drones with lasers in a bid to keep them flying indefinitely. This is not as simple as it sounds. The magazine disclosed that one solution would be to place a photovoltaic cell at the bottom of the UAV, and ground units would use lasers aimed at the drone to charge its batteries. Initial reports mention drones operating a third of a mile above the ground.

Bottom line: Get that right, and we could have drones hovering indefinitely over our heads just about everywhere. Another progression involves their underwater use, exemplified by the recovery of the body of a drowned man from a depth of more than 1,000 feet in Lake Tahoe in September 2018. This unprecedented task was handled by the Douglas County (Nevada) Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit while searching for a missing person who reportedly drowned the previous week.

While we have all been made aware that drones are best known for military applications, along with taking impressive aerial videos and inspecting buildings, infrastructure and crops, they also promise to improve mobile and Internet connectivity for emergency services and remote consumers.

As a BBC report on the subject has indicated, drones now save lives. Poor mobile signal availability in rural areas is frustrating, but it can also be life-threatening in emergency situations. Slow emergency response times mean higher mortality rates. Because mobile signals are usually sent via base stations attached to buildings or special masts (which are tough to put up in a hurry), why not attach a base station to a drone?

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American Survival Guide February 2019, How -to : Master the Market, Drone Dilemma Panacea or Plague ?, Choice Choppers, And More........