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Idea for a show (Real-world RC applications)

#1
Hello everyone!

Before I get into my idea, I'd just like to give a little background information, so you all understand where I'm getting my ideas from. I'm currently enlisted in the United States Army. I've been serving for 7 years, and I am a combat veteran with about 2 3/4 years experience serving in Iraq. Additionally, I'm in my junior year at the American Military University where I am pursuing a degree in National Security, specifically Intelligence Analysis.

So, with that out of the way, here is my suggestion for a show;


Real-world R/C applications;

What sort of real world scenarios could RC craft be used for? The modern battlefield is becoming increasingly complex. Unmanned vehicles have assumed many roles on the battlefield, from detonating bombs, to aerial reconnaissance and strikes, to ground based weapons systems. Additionally, stateside, drones have been used to patrol large areas of land that would otherwise require large, costly, maned operations.

Such technology is, at best, extremely expensive. But what if you, in this case the Flite-test crew, were tasked to design a drone. What application (rescue, attack, patrol, supply drops etc) would you design your craft for? Would it be rotary or fixed wing? How big or small would it be?

I have my own personal ideas that I will be working on over the winter, but I'm curious to see what the community, and Flitetest could come up with. I know the CarbonFlite guys are working on a search and rescue assistance craft, and I applaud them for that! (Really, you guys are doing great work!)

So, what do you guys think?
 

Carbon

Elemental Madness
#2
Sadly it's just me at this point working on my project, other guys bailed out.
I think I speak for all of us model flyers when I say we like to keep a clear distinction between our models and "drones". Most of of fly for the joy of flying but some of us take it further. Flitetest is all about the joy of just flying to fly. I hate that when you tell someone "I'm making a UAV" they immediately think it has weapons on it or cameras that will find them and stuff. When you say "real world" do you mean the real world we experience every day, or on the battle field? There is a huge distinction. For example, I think some real world applications that I personally could do would be SAR, law enforcement, agricultural management, surveying, aerial photography, food delivery, traffic mapping, news aircraft, ect. For the battle field, I don't think we have much to offer, foam planes and model aircraft in general don't have the control range and don't offer anything but cameras that could really help.
Fixed wing and multirotor for homeland stuff, multirotor would be the most practical for battlefield applications.
 
#3
One of the bad habits I have to get over is how I speak to people who have no military experience. 'Real world" usually just means everyday experiences. But it can have applications on the battlefield (i.e. an EOD robot)



So like..if you wanted to design an RC craft to retrieve your beer.....or clean windows on a tall building etc etc doesn't necessarily mean on a battlefield.


"Fixed wing and multirotor for homeland stuff, multirotor would be the most practical for battlefield applications."

That really depends on the battlefield situation. What the objectives are, the terrain, the timetable you have, etc. For example, Global Hawk can sit and loiter for a very long time. In that time, it can relay data to HQ who could dispatch another drone to take out a target or a unit to go secure an objective. I'm not too knowledgable in terms of hands on experience when it comes to drones. Most of my military experience has to deal with delivering a ridiculously large amount of explosive firepower, to a relatively tiny area (rocket artillery).
 
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#4
Also; I'm still down for helping you out. I've been incredibly tied up with college the last week or so, but I'll hit you up tonight or tomorrow!
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#5
Carbon's project of search and rescue is the first to pop into mind. But, here are a few others that come to mind. I wouldn't necessarily WANT to see some of them implemented:

Monitoring of urban, high crime areas. - multirotors

Monitoring of traffic in congested areas - fixed wing

Use in searching for suspects who are being pursued by police, particularly on foot - multirotor carried in cruiser, can be controlled by a person on site or from a central location

Banks - when a robbery occurs a multirotor could be triggered to fly up to the exits and video the area, hopefully getting the suspects' vehicle on video. This feed could be relayed to police real-time.

Tourist areas - mulitrotors or fixed wing flying over popular destinations for marketing. People could go on a website and watch real-time or recently recorded arial videos.

Just a few. I'm sending you a PM of an idea that just came to me. I think it definitely has legs!
 
#6
A possible application that I would like to get involved in is the use of RC in spotting forest fires.
Maybe using infrared imaging so that sources of extreme heat can be seen quickly.
 

Carbon

Elemental Madness
#7
Also; I'm still down for helping you out. I've been incredibly tied up with college the last week or so, but I'll hit you up tonight or tomorrow!
no worries, I just meant my original partners bailed on me, better stuff to do I guess. I've been busy with college too but have found some time to work on the new plane.
 
#8
A possible application that I would like to get involved in is the use of RC in spotting forest fires.
Maybe using infrared imaging so that sources of extreme heat can be seen quickly.
That's a thought; sort of like a scout craft for forest fire response teams. Could be used at a localized level to help plan their fire fighting and pre-determine where trenches should be dug and so on.
 
#9
no worries, I just meant my original partners bailed on me, better stuff to do I guess. I've been busy with college too but have found some time to work on the new plane.
I feel ya, I'm just about done with some papers I have to turn in tonight. I'm going to send you that stuff I was able to pull up after I finish, because I forgot to. In any case, I have some more ideas that I'd like to discuss that I think you might like.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#10
I can tell you some of the existing applications. Hollywood obviously uses tons of rc stuff from scale applications to aerial photography. Engineers are using rc craft for structural inspection on things like bridges. Then do general scans and look for things that they need to send men in to get a closer look. A buddy of mine has been making some extra coin by photographing property lines for people.

Here's a couple others I could see. Cattle ranchers could use an FPV drone to search property lines for missing cattle instead of spending all day riding. Farmers could do overflights to see how crops are looking, maybe even chase crows lol. There's much less worry about collision out on a farm or large acreage. Border partrol could make good use of a bixler sized plane to take with them on patrol and periodically get an aerial view if they feel a need. Rely less on satellites. I think if local police had quick access to a fairly high speed drone it might increase their options without having to bring out a helicopter. You'll never replace a good heli chase pilot but it could help.
I don't see multirotors making a huge impact on commercial FPV due to the complexity and limited range. Yes I know that you can fly a long ways with a multirotor but considering the power consumption compared to a fixed wing plane I just don't see someone sending out a multirotor to scan 50 miles of fenceline which would be quite easy with a fixed wing. Not to mention that there's a whole lot less equipment involved in making a RELIABLE, durable, marketable commercial FPV setup. It would be cheaper to make and sell and therefore much more likely to make a successful run.

Plus.......commercial applications would have to be able to fly in less than ideal conditions. Work doesn't happen on just the nice days. A fixed wing would be easier to control for the average end user.
 
#12
How about this for real world.........

A dog exerciser?

Currently the dogs chase my little HobbyZone Champ. Its too light for windy days and not hardy enough to survive a excited puppys dog bit.

I have teeth marks on each wing tip, one on the center of the body (luna jumped up and grabbed it out of the air) and the tail got bit off twice.

The ability to pull a streamer a few feet off the ground would be a plus. A combat flyer with the ability to fly slow.....