Tag Archives: technology

Now hiring: Thousands of drone pilots to fly the skies of Europe

There could be as many as 150,000 drone jobs in Europe by the year 2050, says a report out today from the EU Committee of Britain’s House of Lords. Those jobs include piloting as well as manufacturing and other support work. In the US, the drone industry has claimed there’ll be a similar bonanza. But there are a couple of catches.

First, people need to know how to fly them. In the UK, commercial drone pilots need a form of aviation license, and regulations ban them from being flown over built-up areas or crowds, or out of sight of the pilot. But the aviation industry is still worried. It has said that “leisure” users might at some point cause “a catastrophic accident,” which could damage the growth of the industry, the report says.

Then, there’s the problem of public perception. Drones clearly make people nervous, even though there’s a world of difference between the small commercial devices and the massive military drones that patrol the skies over war zones. The unexplained sighting of drones above Paris last week had a city that had recently experienced a terrorist atrocity immediately on edge.

While small drones are already increasingly used for filming and photography by journalists and movie-makers as well as enthusiasts, they also have less visible uses: farmers surveying their fields to plan crop rotation, estate agents taking aerial shots of houses, and infrastructure companies checking on cables and or bridges. All of these make privacy a particularly fraught issue. To deal with that, the report calls for pilots to be made aware of rules that protect ordinary people from having their private lives inspected or their data collected.

Read More

Courtesy QZ.com

 

SCHIEBEL DEMONSTRATES THE CAMCOPTER® S-100 MARITIME CAPABILITIES FOR THE BRAZILIAN NAVY

Vienna, 5 June 2014 – Schiebel´s dedication to the maritime domain and its ability to respond to the evolving unmanned systems requirements lead to a series of trials for the Brazilian Navy from 2nd to 5th June near San Pedro, Brazil, from the Brazilian Amazonas Class Ship APA.

Schiebel’s unmanned helicopter CAMCOPTER® S-100 convinced representatives of the Brazilian Navy and Ministry of Defense of its outstanding capabilities as a VTOL UAS (Unmanned Air System), after series of sorties were flown from the sea near San Pedro,
Brazil (160 km east from Rio de Janeiro). In support, a number of presentations were given over four days to the attending officers, covering the unique maritime capabilities of the S-100.

S-100 CAMCOPTER fitted with SELES ES PicoSAR, L3 Wescam MX-10 and AIS Receiver
S-100 CAMCOPTER fitted with SELES ES PicoSAR, L3 Wescam MX-10 and AIS Receiver

The demonstration flights were conducted using scenarios agreed with the Brazilian Navy and designed to evaluate the capabilities of its payloads: L3 Wescam MX-10, Selex ES SAGE ESM, Selex PicoSAR Radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System), highlighting the extensive portfolio of available payloads for the CAMCOPTER® S-100.  All trials were carried out during both day and night at ranges out to 44 nautical miles with target detection out to 90 nautical miles.

The programme successfully demonstrated the CAMCOPTER® S-100 capability to meet the operational needs of Maritime Commanders in such complex, dynamic environments.

Source: Schiebel Press Release

About Schiebel:
Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). Schiebel has built an international reputation for producing quality defense and humanitarian products, which are backed by exceptional after-sales service and support.  Since 2010 Schiebel offers the new division composite and is able to supply high-tech customers with this high-quality carbon fiber technology. All products are quality-controlled to meet ISO 9001 standards. With headquarters in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria), and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington DC (USA), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

S-100 CAMCOPTER with SAGE ESM fitted
S-100 CAMCOPTER with SAGE ESM fitted

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via
a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft.  In its standard configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel.

SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER® S-100 – WINS CONTRACT WITH THE ITALIAN NAVY

Vienna, 11 February 2014 – The Italian Navy has selected the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS (Unmanned Air System) to provide support for its fleet, making it the first European Navy that has S-100 in operational use.

The CAMCOPTER® S-100 has already proven efficient to the Italian Navy as it was the first UAS ever to fly from an Italian ship, the ITS Bersagliere a Soldati Class frigate in April 2012. Being the UAS of choice, the unmanned helicopter will provide its increased operational ability to Italian Navy Commanders once again. The signed contract includes a system, training, integration and spare parts.

With minimal physical, logistics and manpower footprint, the S-100 is especially effective at sea. The system will provide unique degrees of flexibility, versatility and persistence on board of Italian Navy ships employed in anti-piracy missions.

CAMCOPTER_S-100

Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group of companies said, “The CAMCOPTER® S-100 continues to be a proven and highly sought after asset in maritime operations. Its ability to extend a ship commander’s visible and electronic horizon to
beyond what is conventionally possible is a powerful instrument that helps to counter possible threats, secure routes and control recourses at less operational cost. This quality has already garnered the interest of several global navies where the S-100’s
robust nature has proven effective, particularly in the unforgiving maritime environment.”

Mounted with a Wescam MX-10 and a Shine Micro AIS (Automatic Identification System), the CAMCOPTER® S-100 has the capability to collect time-critical data during uninterrupted periods of up to 6 hours, and can hover, which provides decision makers with a flexible unique means of collecting and disseminating information. Additionally, the S-100 will be mounted with a Schiebel-designed harpoon system, which supports takeoff and landing in conditions up to Sea State 5.

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via
a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. In its standard configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel.

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Blama
Tel: +43 (1) 546 26-44
Email: pr@schiebel.net
www.schiebel.net

or enquiries@unmannedsystemsaustralia.com.au

 

Using Drones in the Fight Against Apple Scab

By Rachel Rohr on October 28, 2013

Photography by Rachel Rohr

For apple growers in the eastern United States, the biggest problem – the most relentless, pervasive, unavoidable issue, which can ruin a whole crop if not managed aggressively – is apple scab. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are working on a new tool to combat the apple scourge: A drone.

 The fungal infection causes dark scabby lesions on the leaves and skin of the apple, which leaves the flavour unaffected, but does effectively make it unsaleable.

“It’s a huge issue,” says Peter Wagner, owner of Applecrest Farm Orchards, a 110-acre orchard in south east New Hampshire. “Thirty years ago, you were allowed to have a scab on your apple that was probably 10 millimetres, or half the size of a dime, without a problem at all. Now you can’t put any of that in the apple pack, so it renders the apple unmarketable.”

Apple scab is less of an issue in drier regions, such as Washington state. But in places like New York, New Hampshire, Vermont or Massachusetts, apple scab is the number one pathogen and apple farmers’ primary concern.

In recent decades, researchers have made strides in understanding the fungus’s life cycle, so farmers are spraying less than they used to, with better results. Some farmers even use predictive models, such as the Dutch program RIMpro to forecast the best spraying times. But apple scab is still a persistent battle, and it’s especially difficult – if not nearly impossible – for organic farmers to grow a scab-free crop.

So researchers at the University of New Hampshire are working on a new tool for fighting apple scab: Drones.

“When you think about apple production now, a grower needs to walk through his orchard every day to make sure he sees any new insect pests or any new disease pests that come into an orchard,” says plant pathologist Kirk D. Broders, an assistant professor at UNH. “But when you’re talking about a 10, 20, 100-acre orchard, your ability to do that on a daily basis is almost impossible.”

But it is possible with a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, carrying an infra-red camera that takes multi spectral images of the orchard. A computer program crunches the wavelengths in each pixel, making it possible to hone in on colours and temperatures – and locate apple scab.

“If you had a UAV that had the capacity to go up once a day, take a digital image or multiple digital images – both in infra-red and then in normal spectrum — you could actually monitor your orchard”

Broders says the ultimate goal is to develop an orchard-monitoring UAV system that could be sold to growers.

It’s not the first time that multi spectral imaging has been used in agriculture. Researchers have analysed plants using lab equipment, and large farming operations can hire air planes to fly over and take multi spectral images of large swaths of corn or soy beans to monitor crop health.

“What we are trying to do is develop a system that allows us to do things in-between – so not at the single-plant lab scale, and not at the air plane several-fields-at-a-time scale,” Broders said. “We’re trying to develop a low-cost system that could actually be used by either individual researchers or individual growers.”

At Applecrest Farm, Peter Wagner calls the prospect of an affordable infra-red imaging system that could be used daily, “pretty awesome.”

“I think that’s a great endeavour – no question – particularly the fact that most scab that we don’t eradicate usually occurs at the top of the tree,” Wagner said. “In the old days with big trees, you could climb up and look around – which is time consuming – but now with the new plantings, the trees are younger, smaller, and it’s harder to climb because the limbs aren’t as strong.”

Wallhead and Broders envision apple growers using the drone-camera system in conjunction with the predictive models for apple scab – the real-time data that tell farmers when to spray.

“The UAV is really only one tool we’re using to manage apple scab, because apple scab is so difficult to control,” Broders said. “We’re using our predictive model to improve application of organically-certified compounds. We’re using the UAV for early detection. And then whenever possible, we’re utilizing resistant varieties to also help us reduce fungicide inputs and provide better control.”

One scab-resistant variety growing in the experimental research orchard at UNH’s Woodman Farm is Crimson Crisp, the product of collaboration among Purdue University, Rutgers and University of Illinois.

While apple scab is the main concern in the eastern U.S., the multi spectral data can also be used to detect other problems – from insect damage to nitrogen deficiency. Pinpointed applications of fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides mean growers are using less, which is better for the environment and consumers – as well as the farmer’s bottom line.

The drones could even be used to monitor forest health, scanning for disease or invasive beetles.

“I think it has applications even beyond agriculture,” Broders said. “And I think there are a number of people that are just now beginning to understand what these unmanned aerial vehicles are capable of doing.”

Courtesy: Modern farmer.

SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER® S-100 – SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION WITH THE FLIR SYSTEMS POLYTEC AB CORONA 350 SENSOR

Schiebel and FLIR Systems Polytec AB are proud to announce the successful integration of the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) with the CORONA 350 Airborne Sensor. This successful integration marked the first time that this airborne sensor was flown on board a UAV.

The Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 has carried out a series of successful test flights in Grossmittel, Austria, to fully evaluate the combined capability of both systems. The Corona 350 is a four axis gyro-stabilized gimbal containing four different cameras including an ultraviolet camera for corona detection, a thermal imaging camera for detecting hot-spots in power lines, a visual light camera and a digital frame camera.

CAMCOPTER S-100_FLIR CORONA 350

What makes the Corona 350 unique is its ability to overlay its ultraviolet and color TV video data to create a combined image that allows operators to detect and identify coronal discharges – areas of ionized air – that are known to damage power line insulators and other electrical components.  The powerful combination of the Schiebel S-100 and the FLIR Corona 350 allows companies to carry out aerial inspections quickly and efficiently. Additionally it is the perfect method of reducing costs making it an ideal solution for utility companies to perform inspection and maintenance of transmission lines, distribution networks and substations.  This application typically requires repetitive surveying of power lines and is usually carried out by manned helicopters or ground patrols at significant risk to the pilot and crew. The advantage of using the unmanned CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS over manned helicopters are that the system is uniquely capable of operating with a much lower risk, can carry advanced sensors for increased stand-off distance, is significantly quieter than manned helicopters and can operate  for up to 10 hours per mission and in line of site ranges out to 200 kms.  The unmanned CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS is also significantly lower cost per hour to run compared to manned aviation systems due to the much higher insurance and safety margins required for manned aircraft to operate in this very dangerous environment.

About the FLIR Systems Polytec AB Corona 350

The Kelvin 350 and Corona 350 series are 35 cm (14”) gimbals housing the infrared core from the FLIR Systems 660 series of infrared cameras, a HD or SD daylight video camera, and a high resolution digital still frame camera. Gimbal weight varies between 24.5 to 27 kg (54 to 59.5 lbs) depending on payload selection.

FLIR systems Corona 350

 

  • 4 axis active stabilization
    The design is four axis active gyro-stabilized based upon very low drift fiber-optic gyroscopes and a digital servo motor control system and a patented two axis linear isolator. This unique design offers outstanding stability ensuring easy steering and accurate imaging independent of aircraft movements.
  • UV camera detects Corona in broad daylight
    The corona camera is capable of detecting and producing video images of the energy generated by the corona phenomena. Corona and arcing occur by stress of the electric field which is not current dependent and therefore can only be revealed by UV inspection. The camera is highly sensitive,  3 x 10-18 watt/cm2, and fully solar-blind meaning that Corona can be visualized in full daytime. The camera contains the UV detector to image the corona and a color Day TV to image the surrounding scene. The signals from the two sensors are blended together and presented to the operator. The three field of view lens (16º /  8º / 4º) permits long range detection and close up analysis of Corona.
  • Radiometric infrared camera
    The thermal imaging camera can easily identify objects from their thermal signature or power line problems where the fault is apparent as a change in temperature. The camera contains a high definition 640×480 pixel detector that allows temperature readings either in real time or from a stored image. It delivers exceptional sensitivity, resolution, and image quality for a wide variety of airborne imaging applications. Its 0.03°C sensitivity and ±1°C accuracy means precise temperature readings.
  • MegaPixel Digital Photo camera
    The MegaPixel camera captures high resolution still images that provide visual records of faults detected by the infrared camera.
  • GPS Tagging
    GPS data is stored as part of each captured image file name thus permitting geo-referencing of fault locations, areas where animals are roaming….
  • Advanced infrared software
    The interface can transfer 16-bit radiometric data directly into the onboard PC for post-flight analysis of captured infrared images. FLIR’s Reporter Professional software permits retrieval and analysis of IR images and temperature data. It includes temperature display and analysis functions such as isotherms, line profiles, area histograms, and much more.

So far for 2013, the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) has had a busy year: flying at IDEX in Abu Dhabi and again at the LIMA Exhibition in Malaysia.  The CAMCOPTER S100 System continues to gain maritime experience and flight hours about the French OPV La’Adroit, and has competed successful integration of the DeckFinder Local Positioning System for automatic GPS-Independent Operation at sea and land.  Other recent development include the integration of the RIEGL VQ-820-GU Hydrographic Airborne LIDAR,  Flight operation from an Italian Navy vessel, operations in the Arctic Circle with the Russian Coast Guard and the ongoing flight performance testing and use with the latest Heavy fuel engine specifically design for demanding Naval operations.  More developments and announcements highlighting the versatility and flexibility of the CAMCOPTER S100 will be announced shortly.

About Schiebel:

Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100Unmanned Air System (UAS). Schiebel has built an international reputation for producing quality defense and humanitarian products, which are backed by exceptional after-sales service and support. Since 2010 Schiebel offers the new division composite and is able to supply high-tech customers with this high-quality carbon fiber technology. All products are quality-controlled to meet ISO 9001 standards. With headquarters in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria), and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington DC (USA), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military andcivilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. In its standard configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel.

 

Two year Research Project Targets Agricultural Productivity

Project URSULA (UAS Remote Sensing for Use in Land Applications) was launched  by Welsh Assembly Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones. The 2 year research and development programme will explore the potential for advanced remote sensing, using small unmanned aircraft, for use in land applications, primarily high input arable farming. The project is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Gubua Group Flying Wing

URSULA will develop market-focussed data products based on imagery captured by a range of sensors mounted in small unmanned aircraft with a launch anywhere, anytime capability. Combining the innovative remote sensing platform with novel processing techniques, URSULA provides a disruptive technology which will open up new avenues for flexible, cost-effective, high resolution data provision. It is anticipated that this will accelerate the adoption of precision farming principles at a critical time for the industry.

There is a growing need for timely, accurate, detailed information on our land as we place greater pressure upon it. A rising population coupled with changes in demand and increasing scarcity of critical resources such as water and energy will place ever-increasing pressure on the land to perform multiple functions. Our food system needs to be sustainable – and economically viable – whilst adapting to climate change and contributing to climate change mitigation.

Project URSULA aims to satisfy some of these needs and provides an opportunity to develop and demonstrate a number of leading edge capabilities such as:

  • Technical agriculture
  • Environmental understanding
  • Increased flexibility in routine UAS operations
  • Advanced algorithm development and data interpretation

A key advantage of UAS remote sensing is the ability to obtain timely higher resolution data than can be currently be achieved, and to use this to drive improved performance, including:

  • Precision agriculture practices:
    • Managing fertilisers, nutrients
    • Variable seed rates
    • Soil moisture indicators
  • Yield assessment
  • Disease and stress detection:
    • Managing pesticides
    • invasive weed mapping
  • Sustainable land management

Our engagement with stakeholders and end users ensures agriculturally led data interpretation and individual farm-level knowledge makes the most of the remote sensing data.

Courtesy SUAS News

SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER® S-100 – COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT TESTS IN GPS DENIED ENVIRONMENT

Schiebel has successfully concluded a series of flight trials with EADS Astrium’s Pseudolite-based Local Positioning System “DeckFinder”, expanding its automated launch and recovery capability for operatiosn where access to GPS has been denied.

Schiebel integrated the DeckFinder Receiver Segment into a CAMCOPTER® S-100 and deployed the DeckFinder Ground Segment at the Schiebel Testing Grounds close to Vienna, Austria, earlier this year, enabling a joint team to conduct a week-long flight campaign with the goal of testing and evaluating the capabilities that DeckFinder adds in terms of highly accurate automated operations.

CAMCOPTER_S-100_125_GPS Denial
“By feeding the position data generated by the Astrium DeckFinder System directly into the avionics of our CAMCOPTER® S-100, we are now able to operate fully automatically, independent from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) during hovering, approach and landing, enabling us to launch and recover in environments that no-one has been able to perform before”, Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, explains.

DeckFinder is a Local Positioning System consisting of a ground segment of six Radio-Frequency-based Transmitters (Pseudolites) and a corresponding airborne receiver. Based on GPS-independent range measurements it provides the CAMCOPTER® avionics with highly accurate and relative 3D position information that allows the S-100 to
navigate with an accuracy better than 20 cm over the landing zone, placing Schiebel’s customers in a unique position to operate the CAMCOPTER® with high degrees of autonomy during periods of GPS denial from small vessel decks under demanding environmental conditions, a scenario that we see increasing in the future.

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and
civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting
launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a
beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed
GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via
a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the
control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer,
the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for
a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. In its standard
configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with
AVGas or heavy fuel.

See more at Schiebel

Unmanned-Systems-Australia-

 

 

 

Unmanned Systems Australia, is the authorised distributor and on-seller of the Schiebel S-100 CAMCOPTER UAS in Australia.  Unmanned Systems Australia provides Consulting and Training Services in the area of unmanned aerial systems as well as unattended and remotely monitored ground sensors, target acquisition systems and surveillance devices.  Based in Brisbane, Australia, Unmanned Systems Australia capitalizes on over 24 years experience in the employment of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) systems.

See more at www.unmannedsystemsaustralia.com.au