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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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Author Topic: Lookin' like CAP should begin a rapid transition aircraft to Drones  (Read 3112 times)
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 824
Unit: GA-001/CV

« 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
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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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.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 05:34:21 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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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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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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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.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 07:04:13 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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


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