Australian scientists and US aviation giant Boeing is set to test unmanned aircrafts. These aircrafts would share airspace with piloted passenger planes without causing any collision. The mission is progressing in a non-descript shed in suburban South Park in Seattle.
A team of young Boeing engineers are overseeing an experiment that provides a startling glimpse into the future. Their 30-metre by 15 metre by five-metre-high unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "swarming" laboratory looks like a small indoor cricket shed. A model of rotor aircraft is parked on the concrete floor.
Suddenly the UAVs are airborne and swarming around the shed, their pre-determined tracks, altitudes and collision avoidance mechanisms already programmed in using advanced algorithms that could ultimately spell the end of piloted aircraft. The aim of this cutting edge science is to build the mathematical models that will allow uninhabited aircraft to fly safely in controlled airspace. The algorithms developed in the swarm lab will soon be put to the test in the skies above Kingaroy in southern Queensland in the world’s first ever trial of unmanned aircraft inside controlled airspace.
Airspace authorities in both the US and Australia are highly wary of having pilotless drones in potential conflict with airliners carrying hundreds of passengers. It will require 100 per cent guarantees before they will allow the two to mix. Senior Boeing engineer John Vian said the major challenge for unmanned aircraft operating in controlled air space is safety.
|Suddenly the UAVs are airborne and swarming around the shed.|
Ratan Tata launched the Nano in March, predicting the no-frills vehicle would revolutionise travel for millions of Indians. Tata Nano got the growing middle-class, urban population off motorcycles and into safer, affordable cars. Tata Motors' Pantnagar factory in Uttarakhand can produce up to 50,000 Nanos every year. By the end of March, 2010, about 100,000 Nano cars would be delivered to customers
Reviewers have compared Nano to the European Smart car and the classic Volkswagen Beetle. Three versions of the sporty, jellybean-shaped Nano went on sale in April: the basic model and more expensive CX and LX versions, which have extra features like air-conditioning, automatic windows and central locking. The standard model sells for 140,000 rupees including tax in the showroom. The deluxe models cost up to 185,000 rupees.