Jim Williams, manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, at the Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo in San Francisco.


The head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s unmanned aircraft office has disclosed that an American Airlines regional jet was nearly struck by a small unmanned aircraft in March near Tallahassee Regional Airport. The aircraft was flying at approximately 2,300 feet, well above the ceiling allowed for hobbyist aircraft.
“The airline pilot said that he thought it was so close to his jet that he was sure he had collided with it,” said Jim Williams, manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office during a speech at the Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo in San Francisco yesterday.
In the speech, which has been posted to YouTube, Williams said that the aircraft was a small, fixed-wing airplane with “a camouflage paint job

View original article at Ars Technica

Video, Cover Image: © 2011 MBARI / NOAA, used with permissionWhat lives on a shipping container under the sea? Tubeworms, scallops, snails, and tunicates!Shipping containers are the red blood cells of the world economy—shuffling 90 percent of nonbulk goods from where they’re made to where they’re consumed. There are 5 to 6 million—maybe more—shipping containers riding across the world’s oceans at the very moment you’re reading this. And at an estimated average of once an hour, one of those shipping containers falls into the ocean and is never seen again.Sometimes this is big news—like when 520 fell off the Svendborg Maersk in February, or in 1990 when four shipping containers fell off a ship and released 61,280 Nike sneakers to the ocean currents, coughing them up hundreds of miles away in the North American Pacific Northwest. But most of the time it’s written off as the cost of doing business

View original article at Motherboard

Image: Drone AdventuresThese drone images are far more than your vanity-shot dronie: They’re maps of the Philippines post-Typhoon Haiyan, and they’re helping to deliver crucial aid to communities devastated by the disaster.Drones might not have been employed in the initial search-and-rescue operations when Haiyan hit, but it looks like they’ve now found a place to help out in the aftermath.Switzerland-based Drone Adventures, which has in the past undertaken drone photography missions in Haiti and Fukushima, took the images to help out humanitarian organisation Medair, who were struggling to provide the most efficient aid to affected regions because they lacked what most of us take for granted in the age of Google Maps: a detailed plan of the area.Image: Drone Adventures“In a lot of places they work the satellite imagery may be 10 years old and completely out-of-date, low resolution, and you can’t really pull much information out of that,” said Adam Klaptocz, co-founder of Drone Adventures. Other communities simply use hand-drawn maps

View original article at Motherboard

No matter how fast you’re driving, no matter the weather conditions, if someone fires a Brimstone missile from a MQ-9 Reaper drone and you’re the target, you’re dead. This slow-motion test compilation shows its terrifying precision and the destruction that follows. Just look at that shockwave moving.Read more.

View original article at Gizmodo

Not too many words can accurately describe how awesome this footage of a dune buggy team shredding Dubai’s desert is, but “badass” comes pretty close. There are few things that can put one of those ridiculous, cheek-hurting smiles on your face no matter what kind of mood you’re in, and dune buggying around the desert is, without a doubt, one of them. I learned that last summer in Huacachina, Peru, where I putt-putted around in your standard, run-of-the-mill dune buggy. I’ve got to imagine that racing in a tricked-out, 800-horsepower behemoth surpasses that, but this drone footage, shot by Team Blacksheep (led by Raphael Pirker, who we’ve written about quite a bit lately) is the closest I’m getting any time soon. Seriously, check out those sand blasts around the minute and a half mark and tell me you don’t want to go for a spin yourself

View original article at Motherboard