Microsoft Tests Self-Flying Gliders in Rural Nevada

2017-08-22

Microsoft Tests Self-Flying Gliders in Rural Nevada
Microsoft is already thinking about self-flying airplanes. The tech giant tested such technology in Hawthorne, 130 miles south of Reno, last week with the help of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems.

“This is one of the most exciting developments I have seen over the past several years in Nevada and globally,” said Chris Walach, director of all testing sites in Nevada for unmanned aerial systems. The Federal Aviation Administration designated Nevada as one of seven UAS test sites in December 2013.

Microsoft created a system that can keep gliders in the air without using a motor, said Ashish Kapoor, a principal Microsoft researcher, in a statement.

Two gliders, one with a 16-foot wingspan and another with about a 6-foot wingspan, used artificial intelligence to find and catch rides on rising hot air, like how wild birds stay aloft, as Kapoor described in the statement.

Gliders, equipped with sensors built inside the aircraft, used computer algorithms to predict air patterns and to plan a route to seek out columns of rising hot air or thermals.

Once its flying, it senses flight changes in altitude or direction and then makes its own decision if it has to go left, right, up, or down based on where the thermals are going to take it, Walach said. Its really an innovative type of technology and this is the first time we actually tested this type of capability.

The technology that Microsoft developed can be installed to all different types of unmanned systems, be it ground, marine or aerial, Walach said.

Walach said Microsoft did some preliminary testing in Redmond, Washington, but Nevada provided more expansive testing space.

Based on the expansive land and air space that we have, we can really do the testing and developing and operational missions that allows companies, and giants like Microsoft, to really push the limits of what they can do in the national airspace, Walach said.



Region:  USA and Canada
Contry:  USA
Category:  UAV


RADA Gets $8M US Military Counter-UAS Contract

2017-08-22
RADA Gets $8M US Military Counter-UAS Contract
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US Navy Wants Drones and AI to Repair Airfields Fast

2017-08-14
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Raytheon Further Develops Multi-Mission Coyote UAS

2017-06-21
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Ship Agency to use Drones for Ship Deliveries

2017-05-26
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US Air Force Research Lab to Extend Aircraft ISR Range

2017-05-23
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2017-05-15
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AeroVironment Unveils Snipe  New, Stealthy Nano Quadrotor UAS

2017-05-11
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NASA Selects Black Swift for Volcano Ash Monitoring

2017-05-11
NASA Selects Black Swift for Volcano Ash Monitoring
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FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

2017-05-02
FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its partners are conducting detection research on unmanned aircraft (UAS) – popularly called drones at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.The DFW evaluation is the latest in a series of detection system evaluations that began in February 2016. Previous evaluations took place at Atlantic City International Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; Eglin Air Force Base; Helsinki, Finland Airport; and Denver International Airport.

US Army to Hold Flight Demo to Develop Next-Gen UAS

2017-05-02
US Army to Hold Flight Demo to Develop Next-Gen UAS
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