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Author Topic: Lookin' like CAP should begin a rapid transition aircraft to Drones  (Read 5048 times)
Live2Learn
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« on: September 29, 2016, 11:15:54 AM »

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/09/us-army-racing-catch-russia-battle-drones/131936/?oref=defenseone_today_nl

Little drones, big drones... tethered and fully autonomous (AI).  It looks like that's the future of air power (and a lot of other aviation activities) is being written in the sky over war zones and in international military competitions.  Isn't that what happened in the last big bump in aerospace capability and hardware?  Piloting aircraft appears to be headed to for same fate as wagon wrights and wheel wrights...  historically important, but of little use in contemporary (or future) technology.

Maybe that's a direction CAP should embrace.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 11:23:13 AM »

Piloting aircraft appears to be headed to for same fate as wagon wrights and wheel wrights...  historically important, but of little use in contemporary (or future) technology.

Agree 100%

Maybe that's a direction CAP should embrace.

It will - figure 5-10 years and CAP will be right in the THICK OF IT!

In all seriousness, my guess is that within 5 years, but no more then 10, autonomous UAVs will be approved, if not for general use,
then for government and law enforcement, at which point CAP's broad AP, DF, and similar aviation programs come to an abrupt and
unfortunate ending absent much fanfare.

The tech exists today within the reach of the average consumer, on a 5-10 year timeline the only impediment will be social.

There will be no justification for a $350k aircraft plus the risk to the aircrew when a $10 FPV system gives you better then
the Mark I eyeball and no human factors.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 11:28:31 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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THRAWN
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 11:28:41 AM »

Yep, yep, yep. This is perhaps the biggest thing to happen to aviation since the jet engine. Getting a part 107 cert is not that difficult.
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Strup
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grunt82abn
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 03:34:52 PM »

Sign me up!!!
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Sean Riley, TSGT
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PHall
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 08:55:34 PM »

Kinda hard to give Cadet O-Flights in a Drone....    And O-Flights are a required part of the Cadet Program.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 09:49:12 PM »

Maybe he was thinking of using big drones with hooks, asking cadets to don some sort of web harness, and hooking cadets to drones...?

 :-\
 
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PHall
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 12:00:33 AM »

Maybe he was thinking of using big drones with hooks, asking cadets to don some sort of web harness, and hooking cadets to drones...?

 :-\

You can be the first Luis. Somebody has to see if it's safe. I nominate you! >:D
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SarDragon
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 02:56:12 AM »

Maybe they will update this.
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Dave Bowles
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 05:08:41 AM »

He should be the first one, not me! He is the one proposing the drones, not me.

 >:D


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AirAux
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 07:35:34 AM »

If the O flight requirement remained, they could be accomplished at encampments, such as glider encampment.  The number of fixed wing aircraft could be radically reduced and Wings would support each other at the encampments or they could be National encampments..
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FW
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2016, 08:15:10 AM »

I definitely could see the use of sUAVs to augment ground searches, as part 107 only allows for the "crew" to be in actual visual contact with the device.  "Remote Pilot/crew member" could be a new ground team specialty...
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THRAWN
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2016, 08:58:52 AM »

Kinda hard to give Cadet O-Flights in a Drone....    And O-Flights are a required part of the Cadet Program.

Well, since no one is suggesting that CAP do away with manned aircraft, your argument has no basis. You seem to be of the battleship mindset when it comes to this topic, so let me try and help you out a bit. Aerospace education is also part of the Cadet Program. Can you think of any way that sUAS can be used to meet that requirement? How about Cadets who, for one reason or another, are unable to meet the medical requirements to become an aviator under part 61? I know 2 off the top of my head who had issues that precluded them from being pilots. both are now flying under part 107. This new field opens up aviation to people that were previously barred from the experience. It allows for exploration and innovation and inclusion on a scale unseen since the Commerce Department started regulating civil aviation. As an aviator, as an aviation regulator and as someone who is passionate about the whole aerospace world, I'm glad that the technology exists and it should be a part of the CAP experience. Not to the exclusion of everything else, but on equal footing with manned aircraft, model rocketry, etc. Or you could just keep thinking inside that little box....
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Strup
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Vegas1972
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2016, 09:14:12 AM »

I definitely could see the use of sUAVs to augment ground searches, as part 107 only allows for the "crew" to be in actual visual contact with the device.  "Remote Pilot/crew member" could be a new ground team specialty...

There might even be a UAV or two in the fleet already...
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stillamarine
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2016, 09:59:20 AM »

Maybe he was thinking of using big drones with hooks, asking cadets to don some sort of web harness, and hooking cadets to drones...?

 :-\

Sounds like the Fulton recovery...........it sucks.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2016, 10:37:09 AM »

So if CAP still had a VCR repair NCSA, typewriter maintenance badge, or the CP required an apprenticeship as a telephone operator
would there be discussions about "How CAP would maintain it's capabilities in the face of the changes?".

If the vector continues, there will be physically less aircraft in the fleet, less pilots, and whether or not there >is< a CP
in its present form would have to be on the table (this is a 10 year timeline). Many, many of the leadership and real-wrench turning
staff are involved in aviation, if that dissolves or shrinks, they won't be around, and when you consider that in most wings the
lion's share of the actual work is done by about 1/3rd of the membership, many of them tolerating the administrative
time wasting for the access to the aircraft, things can spiral quickly.

The "strategic plan" is to evolve the CP into a similar situation as the RCAC - focusing on career exploration in STEM with flight training as a
core.  The RCAC accomplishes this with about 100 aircraft, a significant number of which are gliders.  Powered flight training is done at private
schools.  That is a completely different paradigm then CAP.

Workable?  Clearly.  Sustainable with the existing senior membership?  Doubtful.
I know a lot of members not involved in CAP aviation that would leave if GSAR or other non-aircrew based
roles went away, and those people are many of the staff holding the doors open for the pilots and aircrews.

Can CAP evolve?  Maybe 10 years ago, but the question would need to be "should they?"  If less pilots are needed,
why would the US fund a program to increase the number of pilots?

Look at the disruption of the retail environment, that took about a decade to collapse once people started getting
the idea they didn't need to hassle with a guy at CompUSA when Jeff Bezos would drop off what they needed
and it actually cost less.  The collapse is still happening, some businesses are denying the obvious or have the
capital to be the "last buggy whip manufacturer" (*cough* Best Buy *cough*), that doesn't change the vector.

We currently have two companies killing the taxi market who are testing autonomous cars, two major technology
companies racing to win the self-drive market, and one major manufacturer already selling a car to the general public
that self-drives.  How much longer do you think there will be commercial driving schools?

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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2016, 04:13:58 PM »

Thrawn, I quote from Live2Learn:

Quote

Piloting aircraft appears to be headed to for same fate as wagon wrights and wheel wrights...


Tell me how does this does not mean that "no one is suggesting CAP get away..."

Live2 did! Otherwise, do you see "wagon wrights" around? I do not...

And Eclipse said "in 5-10 years..."

 ???
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THRAWN
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2016, 04:41:31 PM »

Thrawn, I quote from Live2Learn:

Quote

Piloting aircraft appears to be headed to for same fate as wagon wrights and wheel wrights...


Tell me how does this does not mean that "no one is suggesting CAP get away..."

Live2 did! Otherwise, do you see "wagon wrights" around? I do not...

And Eclipse said "in 5-10 years..."

 ???

And it may happen...right around the time I get my Jetson's car.

It would have been more correct to say "no one is suggesting that CAP do away with manned aircraft ANY TIME SOON"....
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Strup
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Spam
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2016, 07:14:05 PM »

I will offer a counterpoint to the breathless enthusiasm here, from the perspective of a guy who has spent decades working in fifth gen fighters and UAS development (my MS thesis was on UAS GCIs for example, and I'm currently working on projects for DoD involving imagery and EW threat  interpolation).


Folks, first some framing of the organizational background:  don't forget that the cited references are from the service that brought you (aka DIDN'T bring you) such weapons systems as the cancelled Sergeant York ADA (which couldn't shoot down a hovering helo), the cancelled Crusader SP arty,  the flawed Bradley vehicle family, the questionable Stryker vehicle/system, and the RAH-66 Comanche (which I worked on for a time, and which, after 20 years, had produced exactly 2 prototypes, then was cancelled). The RIF experiments cited are just that: experiments. From their own announcements (which we read, from FBO, in my organization) they are looking at decades before fielding, not months or years. The "iron man" suit referenced (the TALOS program) is an effort which my SOCOM customers are deeply involved in (and which we've supported) and, like similar Air Warrior and PEO Soldier efforts for 21st century smart soldier efforts, is at this date more of an S&T program than an achievable program of record type effort. So: keep the hype in perspective. The quoted sources are looking at technologies which sound great, but require significant integration and test, from a service which (to be charitable) has a track record of needing decades, not months, to bring revolutionary tech to the battlefield. My SOCOM customers frankly laugh at the marketing hype presented here (and these are guys who are front line shooters who get the stuff that works). If you're expecting DoD to field cutting edge UAS products within the next couple of years, and then CAP to transition to UAV-based SAR within anything shorter than a 20 year baseline, I'm afraid you'll be sadly trounced by history.


Next, what CAN we do (legitimately, within modest cost and operational constraints)?  Well, some positive glass-half-full:  we've seen the advent of crowd-sourced intel to volunteer SAR (cf. the Steve Fossett search, with mixed results), and the days when airborne imagery was an expensive DoD product only are starting to be well behind us. Even if the magical SAR UAV isn't present, could CAP work towards an imagery dissemination and interpretation paradigm in which we are manned/unmanned platform agnostic, and where image tracks are downloaded and remotely interpreted?  If so, then the question becomes, is it equally (or more) effective to have human observers scanning the visual track records, OR, to have an automated visual SAR model scan the imagery, looking for patterns?  We have automation models (e.g. the GT Vision model) which equal or exceed human visual scanning performance, and do not tire or need 8 hour flight days, etc. I view it as entirely possible that we could use CAP aircrews flying EO/IR imaging packages ("just fly the pattern"), down linking to either banks of volunteer human scanners, OR an automated visual scanning tool, to return real time alerts on potential finds for further investigation.


Check out:

http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/the-search-for-steve-fossett-24479611/?no-ist

http://internetsar.org/about.html

V/r
Spam

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etodd
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2016, 11:32:02 PM »

Sure drones will be a great tool to use for SAR and other uses. But when you need to search 100 square miles ... there just will not be enough drones and/or batteries.

Now if you are talking about CAP getting some Reapers ... that might be another story.  But little toy DJI Phantoms will not totally replace manned craft anytime soon.  Maybe for a child lost in a park, small area. That would work.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2016, 09:40:20 AM »

So you missed the "5-10 year timeline" part of this, right?

"Soon" is relative.

The tech already exists, is all just refinement and enhancement, and overcoming social barriers.

55 years ago no one had orbited the earth, these days orbiting space is so routine that the general public doesn't even notice,
and it's that mundanity that probably robbed us of exploring other planets sooner.

20 years ago the average person used a land line in their home, fax machines were "technology", and "email"
were letters filed between "d" and "f".  The only person with a phone on their watch was Dick Tracey.

Etc., etc., with the exception that computer testing and design is geometrically shrinking time to market for new tech.

In  CAP context the conversation might be about "SAR", but it's part of the larger conversation in which CAP's very existence
is dependent on a vibrant GA community (which in turn is dependent on the need for pilots in both GA and commercially).

GA continues to shrink, including the number of places you can land a plane every year, and commercial is struggling at best,
for both pilot stock and basic business viability.
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Spam
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2016, 11:38:20 AM »

Eclipse, I was intrigued to see the underlined emphasis in your underlined assertion, "the tech already exists", hoping that you'd provided a link to evidence of same.


Sadly, so far I'm seeing that's just all you have: an assertion, a wish, and STEM-education style marketing, which is useful as an approach to motivate cadets to study hard and go into engineering, but which dodges real engineering questions.  Can you give us model/part numbers, and provide more than the hype, and quantify what your "refinement and enhancement" plan might be?


I appreciate enthusiasm. I am so happy to see good Americans take interest in their defense and ask hard questions and propose ideas. Yet, wishing doesn't make engineering "so". I get all the marketing and BD hype I need at work, from vendors and DoD program managers who mask their failures to address complex system integration challenges with fairy dust and angel farts and lingo like "breakthrough technology", "paradigm shifting tech", and excuses for their systems failures by shifting the blame to the "system of systems". At some point, I need to see actual hard tech that performs at a high TRL (for the application discussed, say, a TRL 6 or above off the shelf answer, given that CAP has few of us who develop systems like this or have worked as test pilots or FTEs, and we're not organized or chartered to develop or test it ourselves).


I'm not seeing it. You are. Please cite - convert me!


Thanks
Spam


PS: On the topic of not accepting marketing vice performance, I have to share a funny interplay from this summer between a field grade program manager and his customer chief pilot, on the probability of failure of a flight critical (manned) system; MAJ Joe X: "The probability is one times ten to the minus ten thousand... that's pretty small, right?". Pilot Y: "Yeah, but bein' dead is pretty big".


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Eclipse
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« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2016, 01:56:16 PM »

Eclipse, I was intrigued to see the underlined emphasis in your underlined assertion, "the tech already exists", hoping that you'd provided a link to evidence of same.".

Self-driving cars, self-flying aircraft?  You really need a cite for that?

Google is your friend.
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Spam
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2016, 02:11:45 PM »

Not buying that - apples to oranges comparison for one, for another those so called self driving cars are killing people.

Show me an off the shelf, TRL 9 UAS SAR system that's ready for CAP to take over and fly as volunteers.
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LSThiker
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2016, 04:42:51 PM »

those so called self driving cars are killing people.

Not commenting about the other stuff, but there has only been 1 death associated with the "self-driving"/"autopilot" Tesla car.  Even then, evidence seems to point that the semi-truck was mostly at fault for turning in front of the Tesla. 
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etodd
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2016, 04:59:19 PM »


GA continues to shrink.....

Yep.  One of the reasons I'm in CAP, EAA and more, is to get more kids interested in aviation.  We've got to get these Cadets flying more ....
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Eclipse
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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2016, 05:13:44 PM »

Not buying that - apples to oranges comparison for one, for another those so called self driving cars are killing people.

That's what's great about facts, they don't need anyone to "buy them" they just are - and it's you that keeps bringing in inappropriate comparisons.

As far as people dying with autonomous vehicles, as mentioned, so far it's 1 person.  There will be plenty more, that's simply a fact of
automobiles, not specific to autonomous ones.  More people were killed last week by distracted drivers.

How many were killed developing manned flight to start with? Automobiles?  Space travel?  Citing one person who likely
abused the tech in it's infant state as some sort of reasoning that it will never happen is Huffington Post-level logic.

As it stands today we have production vehicles that will self-brake, self-park, self-lane correct, and even "autopilot", production vehicles.
Not prototypes or 1-off garage projects, production cars in mainstream consumer use.

Show me an off the shelf, TRL 9 UAS SAR system that's ready for CAP to take over and fly as volunteers.

I don't need to, as I didn't say anything about today

My main point was that the last fighter pilot had been born, and I believe I indicated that puts manned flight on a 50-year clock.
50 years, not today.  Combat systems will likely be the last to be replaced, as much because of social issues as technological ones.
50 years ago we hadn't yet stepped foot on the moon, 50 years from now we'll have private colonies on mars, or at least significant
exploration because the ability has left the hands of governments and is in the hands of private enterprise.  There are now literally hundreds
of companies racing for space in the same way NASA did in the 60's.  Hundreds.  Many feeding off of each other and collaborating
in real-time, and design computers can iterate in weeks what used to take years with slide rulers.

Couple that with VR, which is just dipping its toe in the world, finally, in a meaningful way.  Sure Candy Crush in 360 surround is what most
consumers will use it for, but the real "magic" is industrial design, where today you can walk into virtual spaces you designed and see flaws
immediately.  Soon you'll be able to feel those objects and flaws, too.

VR coupled with autonomous craft will allow people to "travel" via ground and air vehicle in ways that require physical presence today.
Yeah, latency, blah, blah. It's an issue today if you want to send a UAV to another continent and have it make life or death decisions.
Far less so for teams of SAR people working in the AOR with small FPV drones.  Instead of thinking Predator, think the spiders in Minority Report.

One person cold cover acres at a time from his car, which drives itself down a road adjacent to a search area (etc., etc.)

ELT?  With the money and the autoiztion I could build a drone that could home on an ELT today. Me.  And I still usually leave globs
of solder on the bench when I fix a broken wire.  All of the parts already exist today. 

CAP's issues, on the other hand, are a lot more immediate, thus my 10 year assertion, primarily because it's already in trouble membership and viability-wise,
and doesn't have the flexibility to start losing what members and mission it has to autonomous anything.

And again, the technology already exists today. Autonomous software in cars will feed autonomous software in everything else, including aircraft
(not to mention toasters, pencils, and alarm clocks.

Cars are physically capable of driving themselves. Aircraft are physically capable of flying themselves (including commercially),
the rest is just details, will , and money.
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« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2016, 05:31:04 PM »

those so called self driving cars are killing people.

Not commenting about the other stuff, but there has only been 1 death associated with the "self-driving"/"autopilot" Tesla car.  Even then, evidence seems to point that the semi-truck was mostly at fault for turning in front of the Tesla.

Sure!  Where a well engineered, ready for real life system would have sensed intrusions into the projected drive path envelope and would have applied steering/braking/acceleration to avoid and/or to reduce computed vehicle impact magnitudes to save a life. That's what human drivers do (you and I do it every day, when someone pulls into their blind spots without checking).

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Eclipse
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« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2016, 05:36:01 PM »

That's what human drivers do (you and I do it every day, when someone pulls into their blind spots without checking).

Not everyone does it as well, which is the point.

How many people were killed today because they glanced at their car's radio, didn't notice the light changed
red, or worse, perceived an issue and failed to act?

Why do you think car manufacturer's gave up on hoping the average person would avoid an accident and
moved towards survivability of the occupants with crush zones and air bags?  Because humans, as a whole,
make horrible sensor systems.

FUD, FUD, FUD.
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« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2016, 05:46:51 PM »

Exactly so. So, unless the automation offers an improvement in performance and reduction of risk *which is as yet unproven, so why rush to trust it? Because the tech fanboys are selling and being sold on the marketing hype, which sets the stage for a big let down later, to say nothing of the liability.

Recall how excited CAP was about Hyperspectral Imaging, and our wonderful new Gippsland aircraft? Yeah... lets do that again.

For SAR/DR missions, we've not done the systems engineering front end analysis, nor the functional allocations and information analysis, let alone the FMECA, and you're claiming "the tech already exists", and we should start investing in it. Were we to submit a POM through CAP-USAF for such a pipe dream, we'd be laughed at.



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Eclipse
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« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2016, 06:52:21 PM »

Recall how excited CAP was about Hyperspectral Imaging, and our wonderful new Gippsland aircraft? Yeah... lets do that again.

Not even a remotely apt comparison - ARCHER was literally experimental even after adoption, questionable as to
whether even a fully-functional system was appropriate for CAP SAR, and then CAP did everything it could to insure it failed
because of an overly complex system of training and approval needed to even get near the thing, let alone actually use it.

I'm sure they exist, but I'm not personally aware of a single actual "find" with it, and many times that wasn't because of the tech,
but because getting it to a mission made self-dentistry look like a good idea.

For SAR/DR missions, we've not done the systems engineering front end analysis, nor the functional allocations and information analysis, let alone the FMECA, and you're claiming "the tech already exists", and we should start investing in it. Were we to submit a POM through CAP-USAF for such a pipe dream, we'd be laughed at.

And that's the problem - while one end of the spectrum sits on its hands concerned with engineering studies and failure analysis (as they should),
a whole 'nother group is just going out and "doing", because the first group is used to owning the question and working on their own timeline, except that's
not how the world works anymore.

There are starting to be anecdotal stories of drone use in SAR popping up after various natural disasters - most of the time off-the-shelf stuff that that was
already in hand or someone grabbed from the local big-box. I could go right now, stand on the edge of a flooded residential area, and scan it quickly with an FPV
drone and never get my feet wet. Today, with something that coast a couple hundred bucks.

There are systems today where you could program a GPS route up and down a geographic area and the drone will bring back nice, clear HD video of
the whole thing.  "Set it and forget it" like a Ronco Rotisserie.

I think you misunderstand what "the tech exists" means.  It doesn't mean a GSA skew exists, it means the "thing" is physically possible,
so discussions that it isn't are moot.  The conversations moves from "Can you?" to "Should you?" and "Will you?"

Until it was proven otherwise, the earth was flat, the sound barrier could not be broken, and manned flight was impossible.
The new "hard edge" is light speed and time.  It can't be broken, and it can't be traveled, respectively.  We'll see.
Every year it's looking more and more like scientists don't even understand the question.

If you want to focus on SAR UAV, the primary limitation today on what can be done with a UAV is battery life and social pressure (plus the ever-present safety wonks).
Battery life is being iterated steadily by cell phone manufacturers and companies like Tesla.  Much of the issue comes down to cost
vs. existence.  Gas-powered UAVs negate the battery life issue, the social nonsense will be the harder row primarily, again, because of FUD.

Can I "rescue" someone with a quad today?  No, though there are several manned units in prototype.  I touched one at CES this year - likely an Asian country will
be the first to roll those out, but could I photo-mosaic an area normally covered by a CAP mission?  Yep.  In fact most of the CAP "SAR" missions could,
potentially, be completed with toys we could buy, or fairly easily develop internally.

But in the airline and GA sector? This is not going to slow or stop.  Not in the current deregulated climate.  The airlines will jump on limiting or eliminating
crews as fast as they can.  Yes, there will be incidents and accidents, there are now, but less so, and in a climate of increased flights.  Yes, lots of hardening
of vulnerable systems needs to happen, lots of software iteration, and lots of lots.  People are working that as we speak.

Think of this?  How do you hijack a plane that has no driver or cockpit?  Yeah, I know, "hack the entertainment system and you can steer the plane".  More FUD.
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Spam
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« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2016, 09:13:14 PM »

Cadets out there reading all this:  if you're interested in going into a career in aerospace engineering, this isn't how its done.  Keep doing your homework, and work hard to get into a good engineering program.


My takeaway: its pointless to pursue a Quixotic argument about engineering realities with a powerful ego who seems unassailably convinced that engineering is easy, all the answers are cheap and already solved and risk free, and who thinks that our obvious failure with a developmental and unproven system is not applicable to his belief that CAP can field an as-yet undeveloped UAV SAR system within a handful of years. Unproven, not developed UAV SAR systems, for which "Google it" is the reference. Yeah.


"FUD, FUD, FUD"... a method to shout down your opponent by a not so subtle ad hominem attack, claiming the nay sayers are afraid, timid, and idiots.


Well, I'm done with your ego for the night,
Spam


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Eclipse
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« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2016, 09:21:38 PM »

My takeaway: its pointless to pursue a Quixotic argument about engineering realities with a powerful ego who seems unassailably convinced that engineering is easy, all the answers are cheap and already solved and risk free, and who thinks that our obvious failure with a developmental and unproven system is not applicable to his belief that CAP can field an as-yet undeveloped UAV SAR system within a handful of years. Unproven, not developed UAV SAR systems, for which "Google it" is the reference. Yeah.
I literally didn't say anything of the kind.  If you choose to continue to mischaracterize the situation and the discussion just to try and make your point,
or add personal attacks because you don't like reality, well then I guess this is over.

My suggestion for you is to actually read the message and not just assume you "got the jist", because that is clearly what you are doing.
And if you think 10-50 years is a "handful" in the current environment of geometric technological progression, then you're probably
using GOPHER for search and reading this on Lynx.
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etodd
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« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2016, 10:17:34 PM »

Yes ... in that 10-15 year or so timeline ... Drones will be so auto - pilot, programming easy that FEMA and other agencies will have their own. State agencies will have their own and will not need to call AFRCC anymore.

Instead of arguing whether CAP will have drones ... we should be making long range plans for new Mission ideas to keep CAP viable.

At this point the AF is still buying us brand new Cessnas off the assembly line. A new order recently. When the AF decides to start retiring planes and not replacing them, then I'll know the writing is on the wall.
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Fubar
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« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2016, 11:56:34 PM »

When the AF decides to start retiring planes and not replacing them, then I'll know the writing is on the wall.

When Congress stops giving the Air Force money to buy us planes, it will be too late to be coming up with plan B.
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RogueLeader
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2016, 12:45:08 AM »

When the AF decides to start retiring planes and not replacing them, then I'll know the writing is on the wall.

When Congress stops giving the Air Force money to buy us planes, it will be too late to be coming up with plan B.

Really?   Considering how old some of the planes in the fleet are, I'd say we'd last quite a while after that.
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Fubar
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2016, 01:31:18 AM »

Really?   Considering how old some of the planes in the fleet are, I'd say we'd last quite a while after that.

Fair point, but if they're not buying planes, I doubt they're buying fuel either. That's not to say we won't or can't self-fund, but that seems unlikely.
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etodd
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2016, 12:00:46 PM »

When the AF decides to start retiring planes and not replacing them, then I'll know the writing is on the wall.

When Congress stops giving the Air Force money to buy us planes, it will be too late to be coming up with plan B.

You missed the second line of my post above where I mentioned plans.

When drones are so easy to use and cheap that every agency has them and we are no longer called for SAR and Aerial Photography ... what will CAP become

The Cadet program can still be very valuable.  They already have started teaching drone technology as part of Aerospace Education. So instead of showing Cadets in airplanes in our marketing materials, we can swap those photos for ones of drone operators. It will not have the same pull as an airplane since many of these kids will already have their own personal drones at home. But we can teach them how to use drones for various technical uses so they might could use that knowledge in a future career, etc. The ROTC'ish side of CAP for Cadets will still be great for those kids looking to join the AF one day.

Any ideas for Senior only Squadrons in 20 years, 50? What for them once the planes are gone? And the aging pilot population dwindles?
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2016, 12:28:24 PM »

Any ideas for Senior only Squadrons in 20 years, 50? What for them once the planes are gone? And the aging pilot population dwindles?

Bingo.  You captured the essence of why I posted the initiating link. 

A close relative who is an attorney (I am not) have debated the rate that AI will penetrate the 'white collar' world.  He forwarded me this announcement a month or so ago that announced the first AI attorney http://futurism.com/artificially-intelligent-lawyer-ross-hired-first-official-law-firm/.  The world shaking developments from AI, automation in general, and skill/knowledge shifts will, IMHO, likely produce much larger shock waves than just this microcosm we call CAP.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2016, 12:50:59 PM »

^ This, is actually probably more an earth-shattering issue then most, because
an AI attorney will be able to parse complex agreements quickly without missing
things buried in verbiage.

An entire legal discipline, namely "litigation through obfuscation" will disappear over night (and none too soon).
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Vigenere
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« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2016, 01:55:22 PM »

When drones are so easy to use and cheap that every agency has them and we are no longer called for SAR and Aerial Photography ... what will CAP become

While this day may come, I wouldn't worry about it much in the near term.  Even when drones are cheap (which they kind of are now), doing efficient SAR through a wooded area, etc, will not be something Joe Average can do out of the box.  Your value wouldn't be "we have a drone", it's "we can efficiently scan an area for people/debris/etc without crashing into a tree, losing drones, etc".  It's a given that lots of people/agencies will want to have some, the best way to do it would be to have one group who is really great at it and encourage everyone to call them.  Why not us?

Any ideas for Senior only Squadrons in 20 years, 50? What for them once the planes are gone? And the aging pilot population dwindles?

I haven't touched a CAP plane yet.  My focus has been more on "What is it useful for cadets to learn?"  If we run out of things that are useful for cadets to learn, then I'll have nothing to do and I'll leave CAP to do something else.  Right now, there's still AE (body in the plane or not, knowing how it flies is still useful), cybersecurity, STEM, etc.
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USACAP
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« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2016, 07:53:25 PM »

You are correct.
If anything, you are understating where it's going.

My main point was that the last fighter pilot had been born, and I believe I indicated that puts manned flight on a 50-year clock.
50 years, not today.  Combat systems will likely be the last to be replaced, as much because of social issues as technological ones.
50 years ago we hadn't yet stepped foot on the moon, 50 years from now we'll have private colonies on mars, or at least significant
exploration because the ability has left the hands of governments and is in the hands of private enterprise.  There are now literally hundreds
of companies racing for space in the same way NASA did in the 60's.  Hundreds.  Many feeding off of each other and collaborating
in real-time, and design computers can iterate in weeks what used to take years with slide rulers.

Couple that with VR, which is just dipping its toe in the world, finally, in a meaningful way.  Sure Candy Crush in 360 surround is what most
consumers will use it for, but the real "magic" is industrial design, where today you can walk into virtual spaces you designed and see flaws
immediately.  Soon you'll be able to feel those objects and flaws, too.

VR coupled with autonomous craft will allow people to "travel" via ground and air vehicle in ways that require physical presence today.
Yeah, latency, blah, blah. It's an issue today if you want to send a UAV to another continent and have it make life or death decisions.
Far less so for teams of SAR people working in the AOR with small FPV drones.  Instead of thinking Predator, think the spiders in Minority Report.

One person cold cover acres at a time from his car, which drives itself down a road adjacent to a search area (etc., etc.)

ELT?  With the money and the autoiztion I could build a drone that could home on an ELT today. Me.  And I still usually leave globs
of solder on the bench when I fix a broken wire.  All of the parts already exist today. 

CAP's issues, on the other hand, are a lot more immediate, thus my 10 year assertion, primarily because it's already in trouble membership and viability-wise,
and doesn't have the flexibility to start losing what members and mission it has to autonomous anything.

And again, the technology already exists today. Autonomous software in cars will feed autonomous software in everything else, including aircraft
(not to mention toasters, pencils, and alarm clocks.

Cars are physically capable of driving themselves. Aircraft are physically capable of flying themselves (including commercially),
the rest is just details, will , and money.
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 438

« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2016, 01:21:14 PM »

Recall how excited CAP was about Hyperspectral Imaging, and our wonderful new Gippsland aircraft? Yeah... lets do that again.

Not even a remotely apt comparison - ARCHER was literally experimental even after adoption, questionable as to
whether even a fully-functional system was appropriate for CAP SAR, and then CAP did everything it could to insure it failed
because of an overly complex system of training and approval needed to even get near the thing, let alone actually use it.

I'm sure they exist, but I'm not personally aware of a single actual "find" with it, and many times that wasn't because of the tech,
but because getting it to a mission made self-dentistry look like a good idea.


There are starting to be anecdotal stories of drone use in SAR popping up after various natural disasters - most of the time off-the-shelf stuff that that was  already in hand or someone grabbed from the local big-box. I could go right now, stand on the edge of a flooded residential area, and scan it quickly with an FPV drone and never get my feet wet. Today, with something that coast a couple hundred bucks.

FWIW drones have been reconning wild fires during high fire danger periods for about a decade.  I saw some video footage from Matthew (Hurricane, that is!) where an off the shelf drone was used to recon flooded areas.  The AI is still primitive, however it's coming along nicely.  VERY soon there won't be any reason to remember the 238 distinct buttons to push in sequence to do all of the nav and aviation SA functions in our (ha! ha!) "technically advanced" aircraft. 

Nice analogy, by the way.  "Self dentistry", indeed!
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RiverAux
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« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2016, 06:56:54 PM »

FYI, national directive just came out in the Aux to discontinue any use of drones that anyone has been doing and to not start anything else.  However, they did ask for Auxies knowledgeable about drones to join a working group to look at the issue. 
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etodd
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« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2016, 08:46:24 PM »

FYI, national directive just came out in the Aux to discontinue any use of drones that anyone has been doing and to not start anything else.  However, they did ask for Auxies knowledgeable about drones to join a working group to look at the issue.

IOW ... how can the brass take the credit if they are left out of the loop ...  and rogue, inventive and enterprising individuals, show success at the grass roots level?

By the time headquarters finalizes a report and approves certain uses of drone model 3 .... drone model 12 will be out and the manufacturer will not support 3.   >:D
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Eclipse
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« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2016, 08:59:57 PM »

"Inventive" doesn't scale.  It's easy to sit and talk about making pictures "snap" and doing all sorts of
NEAT! NEW! stuff on your own time, but when a national, government connected organization with
an actual mission mandate needs to do something, it has to be scalable, affordable, and hardened.
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2016, 01:06:50 PM »

"Inventive" doesn't scale.  It's easy to sit and talk about making pictures "snap" and doing all sorts of
NEAT! NEW! stuff on your own time, but when a national, government connected organization with
an actual mission mandate needs to do something, it has to be scalable, affordable, and hardened.
 

All of that and... skills must be readily available to operate the nifty tech to produce consistent results to a known standard.
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etodd
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« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2016, 05:00:07 PM »

"Inventive" doesn't scale.  It's easy to sit and talk about making pictures "snap" and doing all sorts of
NEAT! NEW! stuff on your own time, but when a national, government connected organization with
an actual mission mandate needs to do something, it has to be scalable, affordable, and hardened.
 

All of that and... skills must be readily available to operate the nifty tech to produce consistent results to a known standard.

Agree with all of that. But keeping in mind the pace that this technology is changing .... CAP hdqs will have to find a new way of implementing, maintaining and keeping it very fluid. As I said above, whatever they start studying today will be out of date in 3-6 months. CAP going to drones will require speed and folks at the top that can change things up monthly , or less possibly, sending out new information to operators. And a given that drones will not have the life of a C-172. Many drones will be crashed. (Maintenance department at hdqs?) A stockpile of replacements will be needed. Camera and servo replacements. And at least every 3-4 years at the outset, new systems for everyone.

IOW .... when and if CAP goes drones .... the drone department at hdqs will be a full time job for several folks possibly. (If its done properly.)
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etodd
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« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2016, 05:03:17 PM »

BTW ... seems this thread should have been under "Tools of the Trade" (?)
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2016, 12:31:21 PM »

Perhaps "tools of the trade" might be apropos, as etodd suggested.  Too late now.  Run with it...

Here's an interesting discussion from DefenseOne about AI flown 'wingmen', or as our new gender language would put it 'Wingers'.  :)

Interesting article titled "... How to Test Its Future Robotic Wingmen".    http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/10/military-unsure-how-test-future-autonomous-drones/132525/?oref=defenseone_today_nl

Maybe 5-10 years is pessimistic.  Maybe this is just smoke.  Can't tell.  Regardless, we can bet our likely primary adversaries (aka 'competitors') are working at least as hard as we are... without the constant public pronouncements.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2016, 11:17:33 AM »

The clock is ticking...

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/ubers-self-driving-truck-makes-first-delivery-50000-beers/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/technology/self-driving-trucks-first-mission-a-beer-run.html?_r=0

https://www.ottomotors.com/

Now, as someone who is hitting Uber hard this week on the left coast, I will say that the human proclivity to
ignore programming does cause services like Uber issues that need to be addressed.  The LA downtown area
is a nightmare of construction right now, and I cay that being from the Chicago area.  Combine that with all the
one-way streets and I've had several impromptu tours of the area thanks to Waze sending the drivers in circles,
plus the system thinks my hotel's entrance is actually in the tunnel underneath it.

But with those issues acknowledged, they are being worked out on a massive scale each day as the problems
are found, and that massively-multiplayer iteration just accelerates the development and progression of all things
autonomous.

If this were a question of "public good", spearheaded by government agencies, it might never happen and would
probably never work right, but this is an effort of "business plan", "reduced overhead" (i.e. people and salaries),
and ultimately "profit", which is why quite literally every major technology company in the world is working the problem,
and insures it will happen and ultimately be something that works and is scalable on both the ground and in the air.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2016, 03:39:33 PM »

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/air-force-offers-bonuses-up-to-175-000-for-drone-pilots

"Some airmen who fly remotely piloted aircraft can now receive an expanded retention bonus worth up to $175,000.

The critical skills retention bonus provides some RPA pilots $35,000 per year -- for a total of $175,000 -- if they agree to a five-year active-duty service commitment, or $35,000 for an additional year of commitment if they're already receiving a similar CSRB or aviation retention pay bonus.


Enlisted to get the same as officers:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/09/21/enlisted-drone-pilots-to-get-same-bonus-pay-as-officers-cody.html
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NIN
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« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2016, 04:47:11 PM »

Don't worry,  DoD won't come looking for that bonus later.... oh, wait

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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Live2Learn
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« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2016, 05:07:21 PM »

Don't worry,  DoD won't come looking for that bonus later.... oh, wait

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Is it DOD, or the fine print in some law passed by Congress and signed into law by the POTUS?  A lot of unnecessary invective is heaped on DOD, contracting, purchasing agents, and every other bureaucrat because people forget who MAKES the law, who APPROVES the law, and who IMPLEMENTS the law as written, passed, signed, and interpreted (by the courts).
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Eclipse
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« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2016, 05:11:04 PM »

In the case of the California Guard bonus situation, it appears to be mismanagement and outright fraud on
the part of recruiters trying to make targets.
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PHall
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« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2016, 08:18:17 PM »

In the case of the California Guard bonus situation, it appears to be mismanagement and outright fraud on
the part of a few recruiters trying to make targets.

FTFY - Please don't slime everyone with your overly broad statements. >:(
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2016, 02:45:32 AM »

In the case of the California Guard bonus situation, it appears to be mismanagement and outright fraud on
the part of a few recruiters trying to make targets.

FTFY - Please don't slime everyone with your overly broad statements. >:(

It's very sad that a whole lot of good people are tainted when a few worms get into the apple barrel.  One might argue (Caution- Thread drift!) that there is very strong culpability at the top of the recruiting food chain in much the same why it existed (and appears to have escaped accountability) at the venerable financial institution called "Wells Fargo".  The operative words Eclipse's post were, as highlighted "a few", but also "trying to make [perhaps impossible] targets.".

Returning to the OP thread - there's an interesting article about a startup, Comm.ai, here:  http://www.kxly.com/news/money/selfdriving-car-startup-kills-its-product-rather-than-deal-with-lawyers/42283694.  According to the report, they've come up with a gadget to use blue tooth and other inherent connectivity already within an auto to metamorphose it into an autonomous, self driving car.  Oops.  The govmt regulations require expensive testing etc. etc. etc., lawyers (sorry to the practitioners on forum), and lotsa paperwork.  In a hissy fit they're taking their innovation and moving to....  >:D



Shenzhen, China.  Not very patriotic, IMHO.   :o  But it's maybe the smartest strategy if they want to get it rolling (bad intentional pun) with minimum delay.   ::)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 02:49:58 AM by Live2Learn » Logged
Live2Learn
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« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2016, 12:36:42 AM »

Could it be that the essence of our debate is captured in this cartoon?

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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aerospace Education  |  Topic: Lookin' like CAP should begin a rapid transition aircraft to Drones
 


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