Drone: the new superhero?
As long as there is evil, we will need a hero to save us. Superhero’s like Iron man, that combines human knowledge with advanced technology to make the world a better place isn’t fiction anymore: it’s today’s reality.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), also known as drones, are aircrafts either controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. They are mostly used for surveillance purposes or for bombing. The popularity of the drone has to do with the time an unmanned aircraft can stay aloft (the world record is currently held by ‘Zephyr’, for flying 82 hours nonstop), the significant lower costs than military aircrafts and the reduced danger to flight crew.
In the flooded areas of the state Colorado, a drone mapped the damage because of the inability of helicopters and airplanes to safely take off during heavy storms. You would expect people treating the drone as a hero, but instead the drone got removed from the air by the Federal Bureau. The drone is considered illegal in the area, and to prevent arrest the owner of the drones keeps them safely to the ground.In addition to that Colorado got flooded again, only this time with applications for drone-hunting permits. Next month it will be decided if hunting licenses to shoot down drones will be issued. Will Rogers once said: “Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on earth”. Apparently he is right. Way to thank your hero!
In my opinion the drone is a superstar, ready to stick around for a while longer. The scientific department of the American ministry of Defense (DARPA) developed the ARGUS-IS-camera, which with its 1,8 gigapixel camera has the highest resolution in the world. Combine this with a Boeing A160 Hummingbird-drone and you can monitor an area with the size of Manhattan at once. This while being up 4.5 kilometer in the air, and still having enough resolution to see people wave. The possibilities with the drone are endless in terms of monitoring and defense.
Maybe people now are not ready yet to let go of a flesh and blood superhero, but one day we will have to believe in technology saving the day. I already do.