•   
  •   
  •   

TechnologyYour internet may be delivered by a drone someday soon

09:20  19 may  2019
09:20  19 may  2019 Source:   sfgate.com

Skies Aren’t Clogged With Drones Yet, but Don’t Rule Them Out

Skies Aren’t Clogged With Drones Yet, but Don’t Rule Them Out If you’ve been worrying that drones would be filling the skies over your head, dropping packages off day after day at your neighbor’s house, leaving food on doorsteps or photographing your every move, you can relax a little. At least for now. The hype over commercial drones is, so far, largely just that. One of the people who contributed to that hype was Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder. In a “60 Minutes” interview in December 2013, he predicted that deliveries by drones could become commonplace within five years. The fifth anniversary of Mr. Bezos’s prediction has come and gone, but widespread deliveries by drone are not yet a reality, neither by Amazon nor by any other company.

Updated 6:21 pm PDT, Saturday, May 18, 2019. A rendering shows the Hawk30, a drone developed by a joint venture of AeroVironment and SoftBank. Last year, after Facebook ended its efforts to create an internet -beaming drone — the company declined to say how much it spent on the project

Facebook Inc.'s Aquila drone —powered by the sun and wider than a Boeing 737 jetliner—struggled to adjust. Just before landing, part of the right wing broke off. That inaugural 2016 flight proved an inauspicious beginning for Facebook's foray into internet -beaming drones , but perhaps a fitting one.

As the pilotless flying wing came in for a landing, winds suddenly picked up. Facebook’s Aquila drone — powered by the sun and wider than a Boeing 737 jetliner — struggled to adjust. Just before landing, part of the right wing broke off.

Dina Lohan's internet boyfriend dumps her after big fight

Dina Lohan's internet boyfriend dumps her after big fight Jesse Nadler claims he was set to propose to Lindsay Lohan's mom -- whom he's never met in person though has dated long-distance for five years.

drone from Matternet that could, someday soon , deliver test results for newborn babies in their Drones are the sexy, mysterious tech craze that The FAA believes commercial drone delivery may be possible by this summer. The internet giant envisions a drone delivery system that can pick up

As the pilotless flying wing came in for a landing, winds suddenly picked up. Facebook Inc.’s Aquila drone — powered by the sun and wider than a A rendering of the Hawk30 solar-powered drone developed by a joint venture of SoftBank Corp. and AeroVironment Inc. to beam broadband internet

That inaugural 2016 flight proved an inauspicious beginning for Facebook’s foray into internet-beaming drones, but perhaps a fitting one. Two years later, the company pulled the plug on developing its own aircraft.

Since then, companies such as Amazon.com and SpaceX have made big investments in providing internet service around the world with thousands of small satellites. SpaceX had planned to send 60 internet-beaming satellites into orbit last week, but called off the launch to retool the software. Elon Musk’s rocket company said the launch will probably take place this week.

Google Spinoff’s Drone Delivery Business First to Get FAA Approval

Google Spinoff’s Drone Delivery Business First to Get FAA Approval An offshoot of Alphabet Inc.’s Google has become the first drone operator to receive government approval as an airline, an important step that gives it the legal authority to begin dropping products to actual customers. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The subsidiary, Wing, now has the same certifications that smaller airlines receive from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation.

Your internet may be come by a drone someday soon The Gazette. As the pilotless flying wing came in for a landing, winds suddenly picked up. Facebook Inc.’s Aquila drone — powered by the sun and wider than a Boeing 737 … >> Osmo Pocket vs. Osmo Mobile 2: Which One Should You Buy?

Drones could also be used in emergency situations in which cell towers have been destroyed or taken offline. “If you could broadcast internet to Last year, after Facebook nixed its own internet -beaming drone design — a spokesperson declined to say how much the company spent on the initiative — it

And don’t count out solar-powered, high-altitude drones — or giant balloons.

Advances in solar-cell and battery technology have made those technologies more feasible. Last month, Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank said it would team up with California drone maker AeroVironment to build a drone capable of flying to the stratosphere, hovering around an area for months and serving as a floating cell tower to beam internet to users on Earth. Airbus and Boeing are also working on their own versions of high-flying, solar-powered drones.

Driving these and other projects is the promise of 5G connectivity. That fifth-generation cellular technology, which is just rolling out, will increase download speeds dramatically. And proponents say its reliability should enable services such as self-driving cars and remote medicine.

Connecting remote users would enhance the market potential even more, said John Robbins, an associate professor of aeronautical science and coordinator of the unmanned aerial systems program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Iran Shoots Down a U.S. Drone, Escalating Tensions

Iran Shoots Down a U.S. Drone, Escalating Tensions Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial issue of whether the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, in the latest escalation in tensions that have raised fears of war between the two countries. Iranian officials said that the drone was over Iran, which the American military denied — an important distinction in determining who was at fault — and each side accused the other of being the aggressor. Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter Both said the downing occurred at 4:05 a.m. Iranian time on Thursday, or 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday in Washington.

Image caption Drone deliveries make sense for remote areas, but might cause problems in cities. In China, e-commerce giant JD.com has been sending packages by drone in certain rural areas since last year. So if you're expecting a drone to deliver your pizza any time soon , you're likely to go hungry.

Still, drone delivery is far off from widespread use, and these tests won’t have drones landing in customers’ backyards. Restaurants will load meals into drones and Uber will alert an Uber Eats delivery person to meet the drone at a designated dropoff location.

“Increasing that footprint where people are able to access that information is extremely important,” he said. “This is one way to do it.”

The attraction of drones and balloons is they could cost much less than building cell towers in remote areas. And their location, closer to Earth than satellites, could offer faster response times, said Tim Farrar, president of TMF Associates, a telecommunications consulting and research firm in Menlo Park.

Industry experts estimate that only 10% to 20% of the Earth’s land area is covered by terrestrial cell towers. Mobile operators are interested in providing continuous service across the globe, particularly in light of the coverage needed for advanced, 5G applications. Drones could also be used in emergency situations in which cell towers have been destroyed or taken offline.

“If you could broadcast internet to remote areas for extended periods of time, that would be a very desirable capability to have,” said Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York. “You could connect a lot of users, bolster your bottom line pretty significantly. The problem is that it is a phenomenally complex technical challenge.”

Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); As late as 7 p.m.

Over the years, several companies have wrestled with that challenge of keeping a pilotless plane aloft for long periods.

In the 1990s, NASA formed an alliance with firms such as AeroVironment, Aurora Flight Sciences (which was acquired by Boeing in 2017), Scaled Composites (bought by Northrop Grumman Corp. in 2007) and San Diego’s General Atomics to develop technology that could be used in drones that carried out science and environmental missions at high altitudes.

The result was several solar/electric-powered prototypes, including a modification to a drone AeroVironment had initially built for a classified program that became the Pathfinder Plus. On a test flight, that plane reached an altitude of 80,201 feet. The company developed other high-flying drone prototypes, such as the Helios, which reached 96,863 feet during a 2001 test.

At the time, however, the limitations of solar-cell efficiency and cost and efficiency of battery storage made those planes less than commercially viable, said Wahid Nawabi, CEO of AeroVironment.

More recently, high-profile drone efforts by tech giants Menlo Park’s Facebook and Mountain View’s Alphabet fizzled out for similar reasons.

Last year, after Facebook ended its efforts to create an internet-beaming drone — the company declined to say how much it spent on the project — it choose to work with Airbus and other partners.

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’ President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would likely die in the attack. ....On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019 ....

After Alphabet shut down its solar broadband-drone project, it switched its focus to balloons. Its Loon subsidiary uses massive balloons floating 65,000 feet up to beam internet signals. Alphabet told Bloomberg that the “economics and technical feasibility” of Loon is a “much more promising way to connect rural and remote parts of the world.”

Loon’s tennis court-sized balloons have already flown more than 18 million miles, and were used in Puerto Rico for six months after Hurricane Maria in 2017. The typical balloon stays up for about 150 days, though the goal is to reach an average lifespan of 300 days, a Loon official said during a joint news conference with SoftBank last month.

Last month, the SoftBank and AeroVironment joint venture HAPSMobile said it would form a “strategic relationship” with Loon that came with a $125-million investment from HAPSMobile.

Drones could be easier to control and direct than balloons, analysts said.

Improvements in energy-carrying capacity and costs of solar cells and batteries can be seen in AeroVironment’s latest drone, the Hawk30. Rolled out a month ago, the Hawk30 has a wingspan of 256 feet and 10 propellers along the edge. It is capable of providing coverage for a radius of about 124 miles while staying aloft continuously for six months, SoftBank said. The longest solar-powered flight with a previous-generation AeroVironment HAPS drone was for 18 hours in 2001.

The Hawk30 will collect power from the sun during the day and draw off its batteries at night, a SoftBank executive said in a translated presentation late last month.

AeroVironment declined to say whether the Hawk30 drone has made a first flight, or what its timeline is for making such a flight, citing competitive reasons.

But the fundamental challenge in making those systems work is to balance aircraft weight, endurance and power consumption. “I think there’s a lot of promise for those aircraft,” Robbins said. “It’s just something that’s dependent on the state of technology today.”

Holland Michel was more cautious. SoftBank, after all, has also invested in OneWeb, which is developing a broadband satellite constellation.

“It really is anyone’s guess whether this is the time that they’ll actually crack the code,” he said.

Samantha Masunaga is a Los Angeles Times writer.

Read More

This isn’t the first time U.S.-Iran feuds have involved a drone.
In 2011, a U.S. drone went down over Iran.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!