Unmanned / Robotic

NASA changes asteroid orbit

The U.S. National Aeronautics & Space Administration says it did succeed in changing a 160-metre asteroid’s orbit around a larger body by ramming a spacecraft into it in late September. “NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us,” the agency’s administrator said October 11. [node:read-more:link]

Who’s in control of your vehicle?

A new Deloitte Canada report raises concerns about the potential of hacking control systems on the latest generation of increasingly connected vehicles. The report examines the implementation of cybersecurity measures and cites, among other things, last year’s hacking of a transport company's 25 automated vehicles. [node:read-more:link]

Volatus to provide RPAS training to Moose Cree First Nation

Volatus Aerospace signed an agreement on 27 June 2022 to provide ongoing Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) technical skills training to Moose Cree First Nation members. The training activity will take place in the Moose Cree community and Volatus will mentor to develop critical skills and infrastructure for a robust RPAS business servicing the community. [node:read-more:link]

France bans police drones

The Council of State, France’s supreme court of administrative justice, has banned “without delay” police use of drones for surveillance of public protests in Paris. The council, which also is a legal advisor to the national government, issued the directive as parliament debates a contentious security bill which would permit the surveillance in support of law and order. [node:read-more:link]

New drone for Transport Canada

Israel-based Elbit Systems has been awarded a $36.16-million contract to supply a Hermes 900 StarLiner remotely-piloted aircraft system to be added to Transport Canada’s national surveillance program. Delivery is expected by December 2022. [node:read-more:link]

New commsats destroyed

Dozens of SpaceX communications satellites were knocked out of orbit by a solar geomagnetic storm a day after being launched Feb. 3. The company said “each satellite achieved controlled flight” before the storm hit at least 40 of them. [node:read-more:link]

Canada to benefit from Webb telescope

The largest astronomical mirror in space, the $10-billion James Webb telescope, was unfolded on the weekend, two weeks after it was launched toward a distant orbit, the latest stage in a 30-year joint effort by U.S., European and Canadian space agencies. In return for access to data, the Canadian Space Agency has contributed a near-infrared imager/spectrograph and a fine guidance sensor. [node:read-more:link]

Trying to avoid “Deep Impact”

Evocative of a number of Hollywood asteroid strike movies over the years, including 1998’s Deep Impact, the U.S. National Aeronautics & Space Administration has launched a mission to test technology designed to deflect an asteroid which is not on a collision course with Earth. Launched from California today on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the $325-million Dart mission is expected to intercept an asteroid next September. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. agencies buying Chinese drones

The Secret Service is the latest U.S. agency to have bought drones from a Chinese company the Defense Department considers a potential national security. Manufactured by Shenzhen-based DJI, they have become a global stable for recreational and other applications. It’s reported that efforts to block other U.S. law enforcement agencies and the military from similar procurements have become stuck in bureaucratic red tape. [node:read-more:link]

Drone operators get new App

NAV CANADA has launched an app designed to enhance the safety of drone operations in controlled airspace. help drone pilots and operators safely and legally fly their remotely piloted aircraft systems. The air navigation service provider said it received nearly 16,000 flight authorization requests in the second half of last year, a 54 per cent jump from the same period in 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Canadarm survives space junk strike

The Canadarm2 on the International Space Station suffered “limited” damage from debris last month. However, the Canadian Space Agency says “results of the ongoing analysis indicate that the arm's performance remains [node:read-more:link]

Iranian spy charges “incomprehensible”

France says an espionage charge brought against one of its citizens in Iran, a tourist arrested last year for flying a drone near the Turkmenistan border a year ago, are “incomprehensible.” A foreign ministry spokesman said France “knew of nothing that could back up” the capital offence charge which was laid May 30. [node:read-more:link]

Robocop COVID patrol

Police in Tunis are using at least one home-grown robot to ensure that residents of the Tunisian capital are complying with a COVID-19 lockdown. Developed by Enova Robotics and using thermal imaging and radar, the four-wheeled unit enables monitoring personnel to ask pedestrians to present ID and other documents to justify their presence outdoors. [node:read-more:link]

Intelsat platform revived in orbit

The first docking of two orbiting unmanned commercial spacecraft is being reported by Virginia-based Intelsat Corp. It said 17 April that the mission has demonstrated a satellite life-extension capability of interest also to the military. Its Intelsat 901 communications platform was nearing the end of its operational life and its renewal was made possible by SpaceLogistics, a Northrop Grumman subsidiary. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian drones do COVID-19 surveillance

Unmanned aerial vehicles designed by Draganfly Inc. of Saskatoon have been deployed near New York City in a pilot project to detect the spread of COVID-19. Draganfly has been working with the University of Southern Australia to equip its drones with sensors that can measure from nearly 60 metres not only social distancing compliance, but also body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, and whether people are sneezing and coughing in crowds. [node:read-more:link]


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