Scientific Frontline® On-Site Search Engine by Google Co-op

Current UTC Time
 
News Home, where you will find the "Current Top Stories"The Communication Center contains current news briefs from major Universities, NASA, ESA, and the top three Aviation Mfg.Science section contains all the latest knowledge in Medical Research, Archeology, Biology, and other General Science NewsCurrent Earth Science and Environmental discoveries.The E.A.R., Environmental Awareness Report. E.A.R. will keep you advised of Environmental Alerts, Government, University, and public projects. All the current space discoveries from Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra X-Ray, ESO, Gemini, Subaru, ESA, NASA, and many more. The latest in space theories from leading astronomers and scientist from around the world.The Space Weather Forecast Center by Scientific Frontline, Current up-to-date space weather, forecasts, alerts and warnings. Images from SOHO, GOES, and STEREO. Plus solar observations from Erika RixCurrent space missions newsThe Cassini Main Page. Containing all the latest news from the Cassini Spacecraft around Saturn. Leading into Cassini status reports, The Cassini Gallery of all the latest images from Cassini. Seeing Saturn and all her moons like never before.Daily Sky maps, Celestial Events Calendar.Observatories Gallery, Images from the Great Observatories on Earth and Above. The Stellar Nights  Gallery, An amateur astronomical collection from John Crilly, Richard Handy, Erika Rix, and Paul RixCloudy Nights Telescope Reviews / An Atronomical Community.The latest in Computer, Nanotechnology, and General Technological advancements.The latest in Aviation achievements in civil, military, and space aviationGlobal News Videos, a different kind of news covarage that often overlooked.The news archive from Scientific Frontline's past articles. A world of knowledge at your fingertips.Abstracts, Journals, and Technical papers maintained by Scientific Frontline. The Gateway to all the galleries in the Scientific Frontline collectionSea Shepherd Org. Help save the whales!Research Department | Staff and Researchers OnlySite Related links from major universities, government and private research labs.Assorted Downloads related to space, science, aviation, including screensavers and ASTROMONY SOFTWARE, and other endorsed programs.Scientific Frontline Forum | HypercubeThe foundation of an online publication by SFL ORG. News Network called Scientific FrontlineContact page to Scientific Frontline / SFL ORG. News NetworkDisclaimer / Legal Notice for use of the SFL ORG. News Network's publication Scientific Frontline
an online publication of the SFL ORG. Educational News Network

The Scientific Frontline Communication Center | Aviation
News Brief Categories
Announcements | Aviation | Achievements & Awards | Boeing | ESA | Lockheed Martin | Medical | NASA | Northrop Grumman | Science | Space | Technology |
Univ. Announcements | Univ. Achievements & Awards | Univ. Grants & Funding | Univ. Medical | Univ. Science | Univ. Space | Univ. Technology | Womens Health

Engineering Team Developing Helicopter That Would Investigate Nuclear Disasters

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Students at Virginia Tech's Unmanned Systems Laboratory are perfecting an autonomous helicopter they hope will never be used for its intended purpose. Roughly six feet long and weighing 200 pounds, the re-engineered aircraft is designed to fly into American cities blasted by a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb.

The helicopter’s main mission would be to assist military investigators in the unthinkable: Enter an American city after a nuclear attack in order to detect radiation levels, map, and photograph damage.

It’s for a worst-case scenario,” said project leader Kevin Kochersberger, a research associate professor with the College of Engineering and director of the Virginia Tech Unmanned Systems Laboratory. His team consists of several graduate and undergraduate students from the mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering departments.

Kochersberger and his team re-engineered a remote-controlled Yamaha-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RMAX helicopter to fly in fully autonomous mode. They also created flight control software algorithms that will direct the helicopter to radioactive sources on its own accord. To carry out various missions, the researchers outfitted the helicopter with various “plug-and-play payloads” as the vehicle’s weight capacity is limited. The payloads are easily loadable and unloadable boxes that fit snugly under the helicopter’s main body, carrying devices that would detect radiation levels in the atmosphere and on the ground, and take video and still images of damage. Flight control software would allow the mission to be changed mid-flight.

One payload is unique: A miniature tray-like robot on treads that can be launched via a tether wire from the helicopter to collect evidence. The helicopter would hover over the robot, and pull it back via the wire. A student team is building this robot, which will boast not only “chunk” sampling capability, but also a miniature vacuum which could suck up dust and dirt.

The robot is expected to easily maneuver any terrain, including expected bomb craters, as part of its investigation, said Michael Rose, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, from Gilroy, Calif. The team plans to make the robot water proof, in the event that it comes across water – busted water mains, lakes, rain puddles, etc. “The electronics must be protected from the harmful elements,” Rose said.

The group also designed a downward-looking stereo camera system mounted to the helicopter, to image affected areas. The cameras would allow for computerized 3-D terrain mapping of affected areas, an absolute necessity to understand the characteristics of the blast. It is expected that the helicopter will have night vision capabilities, and enhanced imaging technologies that improve vision through smoke and fog as the project progresses, Kochersberger said.

The project, already funded at $735,000 with an additional $650,000 allocated for 2010, is overseen by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency and spearheaded by the Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory. Plans call for the helicopters to be mission-ready in three years. Department of Defense personnel already have visited Blacksburg to watch a demonstration as the craft zeroed in on a small, planted radioactive source at Kentland Farm, several miles from the Virginia Tech campus. More testing is underway, with another Department of Defense demonstration planned for 2010 in Savannah, Ga.

RSS FEEDS

Scientific Frontline®
The Comm Center
The E.A.R.®
Global Video News
Space Weather Center
Stellar Nights®
Cassini Gallery
Mars Gallery
Missions Gallery
Observatories Gallery
Exploration Gallery
Aviation Gallery
Nature Trail Gallery

Endorsed Sites

Carnegie Institution for Science

National Institutes of Health

HHMI

Geological Society of America

The National Center for Atmospheric Research

Royal Astronomical Society

The Earth Institute

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Australian Research Council

Max Planck Society

Sites / Blogs of Interest

Sun | Trek

Omni Brain

The Imagineer’s Chronicles

Urban Observatory

Sun in Motion

ASOD

The Belt of Venus

Scientific Frontline®
Is supported in part by “Readers Like You”
Image Caption: Kevin Kochersberger, a research associate professor with the Virginia tech College of Engineering and director of the Virginia Tech Unmanned Systems Laboratory, and the autonomous helicopter.
Image Credit: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Permalink: http://www.sflorg.com/comm_center/aviation/p998_05.html
Time Stamp: 3/10/2010 at 4:40:40 PM UTC
 

General Dynamics Completes Acquisition of Jet Aviation

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Transaction creates worldwide business-jet support network and expands General Dynamics’ Aerospace operations into global flight-support services

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) on Nov. 07, 2008 completed its acquisition of Zurich, Switzerland-based Jet Aviation for CHF 2.45 billion (approximately $2.18 billion) from Dreamliner Lux S.a.r.l., a company controlled by the Permira Funds. The companies announced the plans for the acquisition in August.

Jet Aviation was founded in Switzerland in 1967 and is one of the world's leading business-aviation services companies. Approximately 5,600 Jet Aviation employees cater to clients' needs from 25 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. Services provided include maintenance, repair and overhaul; completions and refurbishments; engineering; fixed base operations (FBO); aircraft management, flight support and global executive-jet charter services; and aircraft sales, acquisitions and personnel services. In the past three years, under the control of the Permira Funds, Jet Aviation has developed from a family owned business to a global leader in business aviation services.

Jet Aviation will continue serving the entire aircraft manufacturing community and its global client base as a new business unit within the General Dynamics Aerospace group operating under the Jet Aviation and Midcoast Aviation brands. Current management will remain in place.

“We are very pleased to add Jet Aviation to the industry leading portfolio of business-aviation products and services that currently are provided by the General Dynamics Aerospace group, and to partner with the current management team to continue its success. As a unit of General Dynamics, Jet Aviation positions us to capture additional growth opportunities in the business-aviation market,” said Nicholas D. Chabraja, General Dynamics chairman and chief executive officer.

Jet Aviation and its principal subsidiary companies, Midcoast Aviation (St. Louis, Mo.) and Savannah Air Center (Savannah, Ga.), operate in nine U.S. locations, including Bedford/Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Lambert, Mo.; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Teterboro, N.J. The company also operates facilities in Basel, Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland; Beijing and Hong Kong, China; Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hannover and Kassel, Germany; Dubai, UAE; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; London Biggin Hill, U.K.; Moscow Vnukovo, Russia; and Singapore. More information about the company is available online at http://www.jetaviation.com.

The General Dynamics Aerospace group designs, develops, manufacturers and services a comprehensive offering of advanced business-jet aircraft, and has a strong reputation for superior aircraft design, safety, quality and reliability; technologically advanced onboard systems; and award-winning product support.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 91,200 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.

Source: General Dynamics
Permalink: http://www.sflorg.com/comm_center/aviation/p696_04.html
Time Stamp: 11/8/2008 at 3:22:53 PM UTC
 

General Dynamics to Acquire Jet Aviation for $2.25 Billion

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Transaction will create a large, worldwide business-jet support network and expand General Dynamics’ Aerospace operations into global flight-support services; current Jet Aviation management to remain in place.

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Dreamliner Lux S.a.r.l., a company controlled by the Permira Funds, have entered into a definitive agreement for General Dynamics to acquire Zurich, Switzerland-based Jet Aviation for CHF 2.45 billion (approximately $2.25 billion) in cash.

The proposed acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, would be immediately accretive to General Dynamics’ earnings.  The transaction is subject to normal regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of 2008.

Jet Aviation, with its worldwide headquarters in Zurich, was founded in Switzerland in 1967 and is one of the world's leading business-aviation services companies. Close to 5,600 employees cater to clients' needs from 25 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. Services provided include maintenance, repair and overhaul; completions and refurbishments; engineering; fixed base operations (FBO); along with aircraft management, flight support and global executive-jet charter services; aircraft sales and acquisitions and personnel services.  In the past three years, under the control of the Permira Funds, Jet Aviation has developed from a family owned business to a global leader in business aviation services.

Following completion of the acquisition, Jet Aviation will continue serving the entire aircraft manufacturing community and its global client base as a new business unit within the General Dynamics Aerospace group operating under the Jet Aviation and Midcoast Aviation brands.

We are delighted to be acquiring Jet Aviation and partnering with the current management team to continue its success.  Under the Permira Funds’ ownership, Jet Aviation has become a global market leader in business-aviation services; as a unit of General Dynamics, Jet Aviation will support one of our core growth areas,” said Nicholas D. Chabraja, General Dynamics chairman and chief executive officer.

The Permira Funds backed a period of significant capital investment in this business that drove rapid organic growth, and Jet Aviation strengthened its franchise globally through a successful acquisition strategy.  As a result, the company is well-positioned to capture further growth opportunities in the business aviation market.  Through General Dynamics’ acquisition of this strong and rapidly growing organization, we will expand our participation in the business-aviation industry well beyond that of our current operations,” Chabraja said.

Jet Aviation and its principal subsidiary companies, Midcoast Aviation, St. Louis, Mo., and Savannah Air Center, Savannah, Ga., operate in nine U.S. locations, including Bedford/Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill., Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Lambert, Mo.; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Teterboro, N.J.  The company also operates international facilities in Basel, Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland; Beijing and Hong Kong, China; Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hannover and Kassel, Germany; Dubai, UAE; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; London Biggin Hill, U.K.; Moscow Vnukovo, Russia; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Singapore.

The General Dynamics Aerospace group designs, develops, manufacturers and services a comprehensive offering of advanced business-jet aircraft, and has a strong reputation for superior aircraft design, safety, quality and reliability; technologically advanced onboard systems; and award-winning product support.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 84,600 people worldwide and anticipates 2008 revenues of approximately $29.5 billion.  The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.

More information about the company Jet Aviation is available online at http://www.jetaviation.com.
Source: General Dynamics Areospace
Permalink: http://www.sflorg.com/comm_center/aviation/p497_03.html
Time Stamp: 8/19/2008 at 10:55:38 AM UTC
 

Unmanned Plane Tracks Marine Mammals From Air

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A remote-controlled plane will be tested for use in counting dugongs and whales in Moreton Bay next month.

Australian researchers are investigating whether Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are a better way to count marine mammals than traditional methods such as using boats or manned aircraft.

Migrating humpbacks and dugongs will be captured via a specialized video camera system attached to the three-meter long plane.

The plane costs about $100,000, has a wingspan of five meters, a maximum range of 1500 kilometers and a top speed of 200 kilometers an hour.

Marine mammal survey and tracking experts from UQ, James Cook University (JCU) and The University of Newcastle are working with Jimboomba UAV business, Aerocam Australia on the test flights.

The project's chief investigators are Dr Amanda Hodgson from UQ's Center for Marine Studies and Dr Mike Noad from UQ's School of Veterinary Science.

They want to find out if the drone can replace manned aircraft to reduce costs, human risk, and animal disturbance, and improve animal detection, location and species identification.

Ultimately they hope to improve knowledge of marine mammal abundance and distribution.

Aerocam Australia owner Greg Smith will fly the plane using a combination of automated and manual controls via a laptop computer.

Dr Hodgson said there had been only one documented trial of unmanned aerial counting of various wildlife in the United States including manatees.

Dugongs have been surveyed from the air in Queensland since the 1980s.

There have been no aerial survey deaths in Australia but at least three aircraft crashes, killing eight marine mammal researchers in other parts of the world during aerial surveys of marine mammals.

Dr Hodgson and Dr Noad hope UAVs will reduce costs of aerial surveys and having visual records of sightings increases the accuracy of identification.

Their project proposal says the conservation and management of many marine mammal species depends on monitoring population status by conducting aerial surveys from manned aircraft.

Dr Hodgson said UAV aerial surveys of humpbacks off North Stradbroke Island were due for July this year with dugong surveys in Moreton Bay and Hervey Bay due for October.

The $87,000 project was funded by a Federal Government's Australian Center for Applied Marine Mammal Science grant and in-kind support from JCU and the University of Newcastle.

Source: University of Queensland
Permalink: http://www.sflorg.com/comm_center/aviation/p279_02.html
Time Stamp: 2/24/2008 at 8:53:35 PM CST
 

Air-traffic expert: Major reforms needed to fix the industry

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Several recent reports of near misses by commercial airplanes have focused attention on the health of the country's air-traffic control system, but a Purdue University aviation expert says near misses are just one symptom of what's ailing an overburdened industry.

"Anytime you have humans involved in any process, there is a chance of error," said Michael Nolan, a professor of aviation technology and director of Purdue's air-traffic control program. "Ultimately, the real problem is not with the controllers but with the constant battle between capacity of the system and increased demand."

Nolan, a former air-traffic controller who wrote a book on the system's history, says that with the number of passengers growing at about 5 percent a year, near misses, delays and airport congestion will continue until the system is overhauled.

"Air travel in this country is extremely safe, and we haven't had a major fatal crash in several years," he says. "The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been told that safety is first priority, and it is doing its job. But in terms of making changes to the system, what incentive is there?"

Nolan says reform would take new, bold ideas and a monumental and costly effort.

"President Eisenhower was frustrated by the fact that driving across the U.S. was nearly impossible, so he initiated the idea for the interstate system in the 1950s," he says. "It's going to take a similar effort to truly change the problems we have in the airline industry."

Nolan says even in the busiest cities, there is still room in the sky for more airplanes, so reducing the space between planes could be safely done, although navigation and other systems would have to be modified. Current FAA guidelines state that airplanes should be 1,000 feet apart vertically and 3 miles apart horizontally.

"However, the major problem is not so much room in the skies, but crowded hubs," he says.

Nolan says no new airports have been constructed in the last two decades, and new proposals prompt concerns about noise and pollution, not to mention cost.

"Unfortunately, it may take an instigating event, such as a major accident, for someone to look at a permanent solution," Nolan says. "Americans love to fly, and they want to fly on big, commercial jets into major hubs. But we must keep in mind that as the number of flights increases, so does the amount of work for the air-traffic controllers, making accidents more likely. There are solutions, but there is no quick fix."

Source: Purdue University
Permalink: http://www.sflorg.com/comm_center/aviation/p231_01.html
Time Stamp: 2/5/2008 at 1:30:52 PM CST

Member of

Scientific Frontline®, Stellar Nights®, E.A.R.®, and Environmental Awareness Report®”
Are Registered Trademarks of the
Online Publication of the SFL ORG. Educational News Network
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
A Not-for-Profit Educational News Service
© 2005 - 2012 All Rights Reserved


Home | Comm. Center | Space Weather Center | Galleries | About Us | FAQ | Site Map | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service