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Jan 16, 2012, 07:31 PM
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Smartphone collision avoidance unit.

Nasa put the whole earth map in a Droid X, and flew it on a 9' wingspan

hobby plane that is not far from an amateur UAV. It saved it from flying
into a cliff, and other attempted accidents. Perhaps could be slaved into
the airtraffic control system! It also flew on an F-16.

A lightweight automatic ground collision avoidance system (Auto GCAS) which depends on a terrain database of the entire world housed in a smart phone is being flight tested by NASA.

The flights follow initial development of the Auto GCAS for U.S. Air Force F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighters, and are aimed at extending use of the safety system to a much broader range of applications from unmanned air vehicles to general aviation aircraft. The system uses precise navigation, performance and digital terrain data to constantly monitor the aircraft’s position relative to known obstacles. Auto-GCAS is designed to intervene as a last resort, automatically recovering an aircraft when it senses that a ground collision is imminent and the pilot is not taking action.
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Jan 20, 2012, 08:24 AM
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I don't see how it can fit a whole map of the earth in a phone memory.

Probably just calls up Google maps as it travels around.

Also in the news:

Lockheed Martin Acquires Procerus Technologies

Lockheed Martin has announced the acquisition of Procerus Technologies, a company specializing in autopilot and other avionics for micro unmanned aerial systems. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but are not material to Lockheed Martin's results.

"This acquisition is consistent with our focus on acquiring capabilities that enhance our product portfolio and align with our customers' strategic priorities," said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO.

"Small unmanned aerial vehicles are low-cost, highly effective tools for our military, and the expertise Procerus brings will enhance the value we offer to our customers."

Founded in 2004 and based in Orem, Utah, Procerus is a privately held company that provides autopilot, targeting and payload technologies for micro UAS to domestic and international governments, as well as industry and academic institutions.

Among its key technologies is the Kestrel autopilot system, the smallest and lightest full-featured micro autopilot system on the market - ideal for surveillance and reconnaissance applications.

Maybe the Atto is next.
Jan 20, 2012, 10:40 PM
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system does keep everything in memory

From the cited blog post:
Pushed by the unique needs of the F-22’s avionics architecture to develop data compression techniques for the fighter’s terrain database, the team were able to springboard off this and squeeze a digital version of the entire surface of the planet into an Android. “We were able to go to 2,000:1 compression ratio,” says Skoog who adds that by converting the earth’s surface into a tile-based elevation database more than 300 gigabytes were compressed to 145 megabytes. “This is the first time we’re flying real time de-compression, long before the F-22. They’re very interested in our flight test results.”

145 megabytes! You can compress any map as much as you want if you sacrifice enough detail. They claimed they still had detail, though, which suggests they had a great new algorithm.
Jan 21, 2012, 08:50 AM
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The problem is that the planet surface is not 2D, but 3D. You have to consider bridges,

antennas, buildings, telephone poles, power lines, and other junk that mankind has constructed and is constantly

It would take Terabytes to properly encode it.

Their system could be just another "major malfunction" waiting to happen.

I think the real value of it is to prevent midair collisions. Dump the terrain sensing!
Jan 21, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jglenn

It would take Terabytes to properly encode it.

Their system could be just another "major malfunction" waiting to happen.
You sound just like the mainframe guys that used to tell me I was an idiot to jump the fence and start programming the upstart personal computers (PC's) in the 80's.

Makes me laugh to look back at learning an Osborne operating system and "upgrading" to DOS 1.0!




" WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?!?! Get in here, load that mag tape and get that backup started!"
Jan 21, 2012, 06:40 PM
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I am a mainframe guy, my pals and I are using the latest tech to encode

the whole universe in a core memory (radiation does not affect). It might
be too heavy for your planes, though.

Seriously, one day the gov will put something like this phone in a 1" cube,
and force all hobby aircraft and rockets to have one. They already want
to tap all the comm in the world.

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