A Flock of Drones

Just a few of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in civilian use today: The U.S. Geological Survey uses the (1) AeroVironment RQ-11A Raven for land management tasks, including monitoring controlled burns from above. (2) Aurora Flight Science’s Skate can easily fit in a backpack so an operator can carry it on the road and quickly assemble it when needed. At the Alpine Ski World Cup in Switzerland in January 2012, the (3) Dedicam octocopter provided high-definition live coverage of the downhill races. Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers asked passersby to test the ease of their iPhone application to pilot (4) MIT’S quadcopter through an obstacle course. Colorado’s Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is one of a growing number of law enforcement agencies with drone licenses. Their (5) Falcon fixed-wing drone lets them cover more territory when searching for lost hikers. In a demonstration for the USDA Forest Service, American Aerospace Advisors, Inc. shows how its (6) Arcturus T-16 can be used for real-time fire monitoring. Editing: Roger Mola; Music: Kevin MacLeod/Incompetech.com (2:04)

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