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NASA launches new weapon against forest fires, Calling ATS' MOST Intelligent!

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posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 02:58 PM
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NASA launches new weapon against forest fires, Calling ATS' MOST Intelligent!


content.techrepublic.com.com

In a high-tech version of turning swords into plowshares, NASA has retrofitted a Predator B unmanned military aircraft into the Ikhaha, a twenty-first-century sentry against forest fires. The Ikhaha's thermal imaging systems crosslink with NASA satellite data to give real-time, three-dimensional heat maps of forest fires.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 02:58 PM
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What do you think of this unmanned aircraft? Will it really be any better? Is it just a waste of tax dollars? Can it possibly be as good as a manned aircraft? View each of the available images and let us know what you think. If anyone has any other sources of info on this project, we would be happy to hear them.

content.techrepublic.com.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:19 PM
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You have doubts that it will be as good as a manned surveillance aircraft? It will be superior because it has a greater flight time. It would be really cool if they manage to retrofit fire fighting helicopters or make one from scratch just for fighting fires. A person sitting at a computer out of harms way could potentially control a whole squadron of surveillance drones and fire fighting drones. This is what I call a force multiplier in the fight against forrest fires. Another force multiplier is prevention by doing controlled burns, but this doesn't work everywhere unfortunately. I have very high expectations for this program and hope it makes it's way up here.

[edit on 14-9-2007 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:24 PM
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You mention that it has greater flight time, and that pilots would be out of harm's way. I'm all for that. But what about accuracy? We all know about computer glitches and failures.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:31 PM
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We are completely reliant on computers so it's a bit too late to bring up that objection
How often do you hear of an Air Traffic Control computer going offline and causing a crash? How often do you hear of Human Error? If any thing is gonna mess it, it's most likely going to be either mechanical or human error, espcially in a critical system like that and with mechanical failures you can at least keep that in check by having fully qualified mechanics and repair personell on staff. And since no one is in harms way and each drone is cheaper then a fully manned and outfitted aircraft, the potential for problems is dwarfed by the increased effectiveness.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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Can it be as good as a manned a/c?

For what it is designed to do the simple answer is yes.

It can stay on station for a long time, does not get tired 9and thus incurr all those problems having a tired pilot at the controlls) and is more costeffective in the long run. A big chunk of any avionics package is keeping the pilot alive esp those at high altitudes. The weight required for environmental systems, extra fuel etc etc.

The predator does not have to deal with any of that.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:44 PM
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This is exactly why I called for ATS' MOST intelligent in my thread title. I wanted the very best opinions. And I see that I am getting some very wise ones. But to maintain somewhat of a defense, we do hear of a lot of air traffic control foul-ups. That may be somewhat different than what NASA has going, but the human element is still involved.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:52 PM
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Just to give an idea about the general altitude these UAV's and UCAV's are flying at



[edit on 9/14/07 by FredT]



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Does anyone know how much actual testing that's been done on this project, to see if it will be accurate, and stand up to the job when the time comes?



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:00 PM
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Not sure what you are refering to


Is the Predator up to this task? Ill bet it is. Are the issues regarding airspace issues and sharing that with manned aircraft resolved? Im not sure. However, the Aviation Forum FSME, Intelgurl, is our foremost expert un UAV's/UCAVS so she may be better able to shed some light on it.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 




[edit on 9/14/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


How do we get Intelgurl involved in the discussion? It would be very good to have an expert opinion.



posted on Oct, 28 2007 @ 05:23 AM
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Of course once it becomes common practice to use unmanned drones to fight large-scale forest fires, then its only natural to apply the program to other facets of life. I'd imagine that you could probably keep tabs on riots, house fires, demonstrations and anything else of that nature from these unmanned drones. I do not disagree that it is much more effective and many can be controlled by one central enemy.

But once they put out fires, monitor riots and other stuff, how far a stretch is it until the common policeman is replaced by a floating drone equipped with tazers, tear gas and other weapons to take down criminals? To me that sounds a bit sinister.

Like anything else, it's a trade-off. Now we can put out forest fires and allow people to live more safely in their mansions on fault, hurricane and forest fire areas. But maybe soon, those drones will become a ubiquitous part of society. This may sound somewhat alarmist but I think that the conclusion can be reasonably drawn.



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