Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Google Glass: No advertising allowed, developers told
Developers working on apps for Google’s smart glasses have been told they will not be allowed to place advertising within the device’s display.
The newly-published terms and conditions for developers working on Glass also prohibit companies charging for apps.
The glasses, which have a five megapixel camera and voice-activated controls, have started to be shipped.
The first devices will go to developers and “Glass Explorers”.
Google held a competition earlier this year inviting potential users to come up with ways to use the device, while developers have been eager to be among the first to try out the technology.
As part of the announcement, Google also gave the first official details of the device’s specifications.
The bone conduction transducer allows the wearer to hear audio without the need for in-ear headphones – sound waves are instead delivered through the user’s cheekbones and into the inner ear.
The company promises a battery lasting for “one full day of typical use”.
Its display is the equivalent, the company says, of looking at a 25in (63cm) high-definition screen from eight feet away. The device is able to record video at a resolution of 720p.
It has 16GB on-board storage, and connects with other mobile devices via Bluetooth and wi-fi.
To date, it is privacy groups that have offered the strongest dissenting view against Google’s plans with Glass.
One campaigner from a group called Stop The Cyborgs, wrote “We want people to actively set social and physical bounds around the use of technologies and not just fatalistically accept the direction technology is heading in.”
He predicted that the focus of coverage about the device would shift from talking about the “amazing new gadget that will improve the world” to “the most controversial device in history”.
For developers, that controversy could begin with wondering how exactly they will be able to make money from the device.
Also keeping an eye on the excitement generated by Google will be Japanese firm Telepathy Inc.
Their device, the Telepathy One, has been touted as a possible competitor to Google Glass.
Chinese search giant Baidu has also confirmed it is working on a Glass-like project – but details are so far scant.
Stop the Cyborg.
‘Stop The Cyborgs’ was founded in response to the Google Glass project and other technology trends. The aim of the movement is to stop a future in which privacy is impossible and central control total.
If the government installed CCTV cameras and microphones everywhere, all feeding information to a central control room you would probably characterize it as a privacy risk. Is it any better if its run by a corporation and the devices are attached to people’s heads. Or if it uses human spy drones, which are socially incentivized to share information rather than automatic drones?
Google Glasses are a glasses like wearable computer which can act as a video camera so using these or similar devices someone might be filming you and uploading it to the internet without you knowing. (While there is a red indicator light its pretty subtle) The glasses have access to information on the internet so a stranger could look at you and might (depending on features) know all about you without you being aware. The Glasses can be fed contextual information by ‘Google Now‘ this gives Google’s algorithms real power to influence real world choices and perceptions. We don’t want a total ban but do we want people to limit it’s use.
She may be an unwitting corporate high-tech spy, but she definitely is no Borg.
Iran’s technological prowess has reached an all-time high. First it claims to have solved the metaphysical conundrums associated with time travel. Next up: an Islamic version of Google Earth, one free of the pernicious influence of “the U.S., England and the Zionists.”
Ali Razeghi has not created a flux capacitor, and probably doesn’t own a DeLorean. But the managing director at the delightfully-named Centre for Strategic Inventions claims to have put together a device that fits into a “personal computer case” whose algorithms can discern key details about the next five to eight years of a user’s life based merely on a fingertip impression.
“It will not take you into the future,” Razeghi told the state-run Fars news agency, according to the Daily Telegraph, “it will bring the future to you.” With that, Razeghi becomes the most significant scientist since Albert Einstein.
Taking Razeghi at his word, today marks the day that Iran becomes a global economic and military superpower. It no longer matters how many aircraft carriers or afloat staging bases packed with laser cannons the U.S. idles near Iranian shores. The commandos who operate in secret across the Persian/Arabian Gulf are now irrelevant. Iranian air defenses will now know precisely where and when Israeli jets seeking to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities will enter their airspace.
Iran’s woes at constructing an intercontinental ballistic missile now appear trivial. Nothing matters more than accurate, predictive intelligence for discerning an adversary’s move before he makes it. An Iranian chrononautical effort gives the Islamic Republic a near omniscience: the ability to access, process and utilize data before it even enters existence. It is entirely possible that the implications of Iranian trans-chronal access are already rippling backward in time across the multiverse, transforming reality in ways that are difficult to comprehend.
There are limited countermeasures Iranian adversaries can design or field. One option would be to design son-of-Stuxnet malware to attack the device itself. But there is great likelihood Razeghi’s machine will have already warned the Iranian security apparatus of a forthcoming cyberattack. A more fruitful option might be to out-invent Iran, and create a better forecasting device than the Iranians possess. Such a move carries heavy implications for the fabric of reality, but Razeghi has already crossed a Rubicon, and U.S. policymakers must now ask themselves how long they are prepared to tolerate an Iranian monopoly on time travel.
If that wasn’t enough, Iran is about to displace one of Google’s most significant products. “Basir” will be a 3-D mapping tool for the entire globe, competing with Google Earth, and due for a rollout within a mere four months. While the product suffers from an unclear explanation, one of its architects, Information Minister Mohammed Hassan Nami, says it will “take people of the world to reality” — that is, an Islamic reality, perhaps overlaid as data upon the map.
“Our values in Iran are the values of God,” Nami told the Guardian, “and this would be the difference between Basir and the Google Earth, which belongs to the ominous triangle of the US, England and the Zionists.”
The Guardian expresses skepticism that Iran can build a sophisticated mapping tool on a compressed timetable. But it has clearly not taken into account that Nami has foreseen the success of Basir through Razeghi’s chronological breakthrough. We may already live in the world Iran has created.
Dream on Iran.
Hydroelectric power stations are typically located near water sources, or on the source itself, such as dams on rivers. But Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station is located more than 80 kilometers from the nearest water source – the Mississippi river. Built on top of the mountainous St. Francois region of the Missouri Ozarks, approximately 140 km south of St. Louis near Lesterville, Missouri, the Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station is a pure pumped-storage hydroelectric plant, designed to help meet peak power demands during the day. During periods of high electrical demand, water stored in a kidney-shaped reservoir on top of Proffit Mountain is released through turbines into a lower reservoir, two kilometers away, on the East Fork of the Black River. At night, when electrical demand is low, the excess electricity available on the power grid is used to pump water back to the mountaintop. In essence, the power plant functions like a huge battery, storing excess power until it is needed.
Although pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations are found all over the world, the Taum Sauk plant is notable in that it is a pure pump-back operation – there is no natural primary flow available for generation, unlike most other pumped storage sites. It was among the largest such projects when it was built.
Construction of the Taum Sauk plant began in 1960 and operation began in 1963. The two original reversible pump-turbine units were each capable of generating 175 megawatts of power. They were upgraded in 1999 to units capable of 225 megawatts each. In 2005, the plant had to shut down when the upper reservoir suffered a catastrophic failure releasing 4 million cubic-meters of water in twelve minutes and sending a 20 foot crest of water down the Black River. The torrent of water roared into the Taum Sauk State park sweeping away the park superintendent’s home and critically injuring his three small children.
The plant returned to service after a gap of four years. The rebuilt upper reservoir is now considered an engineering milestone, being the largest roller-compacted concrete dam in North America. To prevent another catastrophe, five back-up systems are now in place and nine cameras dot the reservoir’s perimeter giving 24-hour surveillance to crews manning the facility around the clock.
Before the failure of the upper Reservoir visitors could usually drive to the top of Proffit Mountain and walk a ramp to an observation deck at the top of the reservoir. At the entrance gate there was also a museum highlighting the natural history of Missouri. The power plant was frequently visited by geology students because of a striking example of Precambrian/Cambrian unconformity in the rock layers exposed by the plant’s construction.
The mobile phone turns 40 years old
This week in 1973, the most important phone call in technology history was made.
Using a prototype Motorola DynaTac, inventor Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone.
Forty years later, it’s considered a brick compared with the diminutive devices we carry around.
The historic call took place in New York City. Cooper’s inspiration? Captain Kirk’s famous flip-top communicator from the Star Trek TV series.
The original DynaTac was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today’s standards. For comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between four and six ounces.
Cellphones are everywhere in 2013. According to the U.N., the world has 6 billion cellphone subscribers, and more of them are moving into the realm of smartphones. Last fall, the tech research firm Strategic Analytics claims the global smartphone population topped 1 billion.
Today, Cooper helps run the tech incubator Dyna LLC. He also works as an adviser for companies and the government on telecommunications issues.
My first mobile phone was the Nokia 6110, purchased in the late ’90s. Although not as massive as the DynaTac, it felt like a brick in your pocket. It also hosted one of the best mobile games ever: Snake. It required players to guide a snake around the screen, picking up pellets of food. If the snake ever hit a wall or touched any part of its body, it was game over.
The two giant ships, a NASA-like mission control and a launch pad floating on the ocean, form part of an audacious, outrageously expensive, multi-national venture for blasting commercial satellites into space. Sea Launch was established in 1995 as a consortium of four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States, managed by Boeing with participation from the other shareholders. Operated by the Russians, this commercial spacecraft launch service uses a mobile sea platform for equatorial launches of payloads on specialized Zenit 3SL rockets. Since the first rocket flight on March 1999, it has assembled and launched thirty-one rockets, with three failures and one partial failure.
But why launch from the sea when there are land based launching sites, you may ask? Launching from a vessel allows engineers to move the launch pad closer to the equator of the earth, and take advantage of the greater rotational speed of the Earth to provide an extra boost to the launch. Earth’s rotation speed at the equator is 1,674 km/hr. In contrast, the rotational speed of the Earth at Kennedy Space Center, for example, which is located at 28.59° North latitude, is 1,470.23 km per hour. Rockets launched from near the equator thus gains an additional 200 km/hr boost, compared to those launched from Kennedy Space Center.
Launching satellites into geosynchronous orbit (allowing the satellite to keep pace with the earth’s rotation) from the equator has another advantage: there is no need to change plane, as the satellites are launched from the same plane as that of the geostationary orbit. This provides another boost as no energy is spent orienting the vehicle. This allows 17.5%-25% more mass to be launched to geostationary orbit than the same rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center.
The ship and launch platform operate from the home port in Long Beach, California., where the customer satellite is encapsulated in a Boeing-built fairing/adapter. The satellite is moved to the ship, where it is mated to the three-stage rocket, which then is moved to the launch platform for transportation to the launch site, where it is moved into upright position. The rocket is automatically fueled and launched as engineers and customers control events from the nearby command ship.
Sea Launch rockets are assembled in Long Beach, California. The typical assembly is done on board the Assembly and Command Ship (the payload is first tested, fueled and encapsulated in the nearby Payload Processing Facility). The rocket is then transferred to a horizontal hangar on the self-propelled launch platform.
Following rocket tests, both ships then sail about 4,828 km to the equator at 154° West Longitude,
With the platform ballasted to its launch depth of 22 m, the hangar is opened, the rocket is mechanically moved to a vertical position, and the launch platform crew evacuates to the command ship which moves about five kilometers away. Then, with the launch platform unmanned, the rocket is fueled and launched. The final ten seconds before launch are called out simultaneously in English and Russian.
|2||1999-10-09||DIRECTV 1-R||3.5 t||success|
|3||2000-03-12||ICO F-1||2.7 t||failure|
|6||2001-03-18||XM-2 ROCK||4.7 t||success|
|7||2001-05-08||XM-1 ROLL||4.7 t||success|
|9||2002-06-15||Galaxy IIIC||4.9 t||success|
|10||2003-08-07||EchoStar IX/Telstar 13||4.7 t||success|
|11||2003-09-30||Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1||4.1 t||success|
|12||2004-01-10||Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1||4.7 t||success|
|14||2004-06-28||Telstar-18||4.8 t||launch anomaly|
|17||2005-06-23||Intelsat IA-8||5.5 t||success|
|18||2005-11-08||Inmarsat 4-F2||6.0 t||success|
|19||2006-02-15||EchoStar X||4.3 t||success|
|21||2006-06-18||Galaxy 16||5.1 t||success|
|22||2006-08-22||Koreasat 5||4.9 t||success|
|27||2008-05-21||Galaxy 18||4.6 t||success|
|28||2008-07-16||EchoStar XI||5.5 t||success|
|29||2008-09-24||Galaxy 19||4.7 t||success|
|30||2009-04-20||SICRAL 1B||3.0 t||success|
|31||2011-09-24||Atlantic Bird 7||4.6 t||success|
|32||2012-05-31||Intelsat 19||5.6 t||success|
|33||2012-08-19||Intelsat 21||6.0 t||success|
|34||2012-12-03||Eutelsat 70B||5.2 t||success|
|35||2013-02-01||Intelsat 27||6.2 t||failure|
Scientists Build Lasers Out of Sound, Call Them Phasers
A false-color scanning electron microscope image of the etched circuit that produces the sound laser. Courtesy Imran Mahboob
Using a nanoscale drum, scientists have built a laser that uses sound waves instead of light like a conventional laser.
Because laser is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” these new contraptions – which exploit particles of sound called phonons – should properly be called phasers. Such devices could one day be used in ultrasound medical imaging, computer parts, high-precision measurements, and many other places.
A laser is created when a bunch of light particles, known as photons, are emitted at a specific and very narrow wavelength. The photons all travel in the same direction at the same time, allowing them to efficiently carry energy from one place to another. Since their invention more than 50 years ago, almost all lasers have used light waves. Early on, scientists speculated that sound waves be used instead, but this has proved tricky to actually achieve.
It wasn’t until 2010 that researchers built the very first sound lasers, coaxing a collection of phonons to travel together. But those first devices were hybrid models that used the light from a traditional laser to create a coherent sound emission.
“In our work, we got rid of this optical part,” said engineer Imran Mahboob of NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Japan, co-author of a paper describing the new sound lasers that appears Mar. 18 in Physical Review Letters. Because they need one less part, these new phasers “are much easier to integrate into other applications and devices.”
United Federation Scientists would be proud.
In traditional lasers, a bunch of electrons in a gas or crystal are excited all at the same time. When they relax back to their lower energy state, they release a specific wavelength of light, which is then directed with mirrors to produce a beam.
Sound lasers work on a similar principle. For Mahboob and his team’s phaser, a mechanical oscillator jiggles and excites a bunch of phonons, which relax and release their energy back into the device. The confined energy causes the phaser to vibrate at its fundamental frequency but with at a very narrow wavelength. The sound laser produces phonons at 170 kilohertz, far above human hearing range, which peters out around 20 kilohertz. The entire device is etched onto an integrated circuit that’s about 1 cm by 0.5 cm.
Don’t expect to set your phasers to stun just yet. Light has the advantage of being able to travel through a vacuum, so a laser beam can easily go from its origin point anywhere else, even through space. Phonons require a medium to travel through, which means the phaser waves are confined to their device for the time being.
“We would lose the lasing if we get it out,” said Mahboob. “So we will need to figure out how to build structures onto the resonator that would allow us to transmit the vibrations out as energy.” Currently, he doesn’t have a good idea of how to do that, though other researchers will likely expand on the work and offer suggestions.
While this means you can’t make the cat chase after a tiny dot of sound, there are still a lot of potential uses for these phasers. A tiny part of the device translates the mechanical vibration into an oscillating electrical signal, which could serve as a tiny clock. Most modern day electronics use a quartz crystal to keep time but these crystals tend to be relatively bulky objects that consume a lot of energy. A miniscule sound laser could provide the same effect and replace quartz crystals, said Mahboob.
Other potential applications, once the technology matures further, would be to use the ultrasound frequencies to scan objects or people for safety or medical purposes. Alternatively, the extremely narrow sound wavelengths could be used for high-precision measurement, suggested electrical engineer Jacob Khurgin of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Khurgin praised the research. “It’s still in its infancy, but they showed it can be done, and more people will get involved,” he said.
Optical lasers have found hundreds of uses in modern life, in computer electronics, science, medicine, and the military. But their power wasn’t immediately apparent when they appeared a half-century ago. The first paper on a laser using visible wavelengths was rejected from a journal whose editors thought it a waste of time.
When it was finally published in Nature, the research “generated a new field of optics and communications,” said Mahboob. “Maybe we’ve started something new, too.”
The Troll A platform is an offshore natural gas platform in the Troll gas field off the west coast of Norway. At 1.2 million ton ballasted under tow, 472 meters high, with underwater concrete structure at 369 meters, and dry weight of 656,000 tons, the Troll A platform is a majestic piece of design and construction. Not only is Troll A among the largest and most complex engineering projects in history, it is the largest object ever to be moved by man across the surface of the Earth. The platform was a televised sensation when it was towed into the North Sea in 1996, where it is now operated by Statoil.
Normally a platform’s legs are transported on their side and then – supported by flotation devices – are dropped into place. In the case of Troll A, however, the whole platform was assembled in one location, and then floated out to sea. The Troll platform was towed over 200 kilometers from Vats, in the northern part of Rogaland, to the Troll field, 80 kilometers north-west of Bergen. The tow took seven days.
The platform stands on the sea floor 303 meters below the surface of the sea and one of the concrete cylindrical legs has an elevator that takes over nine minutes to travel from the platform above the waves to the sea floor. The walls of Troll A’s legs are over 1 meter thick made of steel reinforced concrete formed in one continuous pour. The four legs are joined by a “Chord shortener”, a reinforced concrete box interconnecting the legs, but which has the designed function of damping out unwanted potentially destructive wave-leg resonances. Each leg is also sub-divided along its length into compartments a third of the way from each end which act as independent water-tight compartments. The legs use groups of six 40 meters tallvacuum-anchors holding it fixed in the mud of the sea floor.
In 1996 the platform set the Guinness World Record for ‘largest offshore gas platform’. The title now belongs to the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico which stands 2,000 feet (610 m) above the ocean floor.
NEAR SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE — A massive new telescope that will unveil the faintest, most distant objects in our universe is officially inaugurated today, with great fanfare and anticipation from the world’s astronomical community. Scientists gathered in the desolate Chilean Andes this week say the new Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array could revolutionize cosmology. It it is the largest, most complex and most ambitious telescope project in history.
ALMA, whose acronym means “soul” in Spanish, will uncover some of the most mysterious and yet most common phenomena in the cosmos. From its perch on the 16,400-foot Chajnantor Plateau, it will see the birth pangs of stars, the collision of cosmic crumbs that turn into planets, and possibly even the formation of moons around faraway worlds.
“This is much more than an astronomers’ observatory. ALMA will allow us to get deeper into this universe, but also to get deeper into our own nature, and our own lives,” said the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera. “The native Chilean people that lived here since 10,000 years ago knew this from the beginning. In their native language, Chajnantor means ‘point of observation.’ … We know that Chile is a very small country, but with your help, in astronomy, we want to become a real giant.”
Pinera led a delegation of luminaries who drove on winding unpaved roads, past grazing llamas and looming cactus, before traipsing through the soft gray dirt at ALMA’s Operations Support Facility.
A week prior to the ceremony, a shaman and other indigenous Andeans traveled to the array and blessed the telescope’s antennas. Even the astronauts orbiting Earth on the International Space Station joined in the celebration with a surprise message Wednesday. Along with future observatories, including the James Webb Space Telescope, ALMA “will enable the exploration of the universe with unprecedented power,” said Chris Hadfield, who recently turned over the commander’s seat. “We congratulate the scientific communities of North America, and Europe and east Asia. …”Enjoy your new discoveries.”
The ceremonies Wednesday capped 30 years of planning and a decade of construction. The U.S. spent $500 million on the ALMA project, making it the largest investment ever by the National Science Foundation in any facility in the world, according to Subra Suresh, the outgoing director of NSF. Along with its potential for groundbreaking new science, the technology behind ALMA will translate to countless new innovations we might not even imagine now, he said–just as the Apollo moon program set off new products that had nothing to do with the moon.
“We put man on the moon before we put wheels on a suitcase, but wheels on a suitcase is also an important innovation,” he said. “ALMA will not only lead to innovations [in astronomy], it will lead to many, many seemingly small innovations that will improve humanity.”
The technology that makes ALMA possible only came into existence in the past few years, astronomers said. Throughout its expected 30-year lifetime, it can also be upgraded with even more powerful receivers that could probe even deeper.
“There’s no way this could have happened any sooner, because the technology is state-of-the-art,” said Alison Peck, former head of ALMA commissioning and now an associate scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, an ALMA partner.
What is ALMA?
Half of all light in the universe is in millimeter-wavelength light between the far infrared and radio waves. ALMA can detect this light, which is emitted by cool objects and distant objects. It’s possible thanks to the telescope’s location at 16,400 feet in the driest desert on Earth, and because of the incredible precision of its 66 antennas.
All telescopes are limited in their angular resolution by the ratio of their aperture to the wavelength they observe, explained Michael Thornburn, head of the ALMA department of engineering. ALMA is an aperture synthesis telescope.
“We cannot make a single aperture 15 kilometers across, so we do it in pieces,” he said. “The signals from individual dishes are combined to build up the image from a single large aperture.”
Radio signals from distant cosmic sources arrive at each dish at ever-so-slightly different times, and these are combined with the signals from every other antenna. This technique, interferometry, allows ALMA to operate like a single huge dish with an adaptable radius.
In a carefully choreographed ballet, each dish moves in unison with the others to change the telescope’s observing area. Along with moving in place, giant transporter trucks, specially designed for the dishes, can pick them up and cart them across the Chajnantor Plateau to one of 192 concrete pads. At their greatest distance apart–16 kilometers–ALMA’s angular resolution will be equivalent to the Hubble Space Telescope, Peck said.
ALMA is observing sources that are 10 times weaker than those observed with other arrays, explained Pierre Cox, ALMA’s incoming director. This is key to ALMA’s capability for observing phenomena like star formation, he said.
“Future observations should allow us to detect dark matter substructure and shed light on its nature,” he added.
There’s much more to learn about how ALMA works, and why astronomers are so excited about it–stay tuned for more dispatches from the Atacama.
Advances in drone technology has led to a proliferation of advanced, very small drones that practically anybody can acquire. Private individuals can now purchase small drones that can hover above a selected target and take real-time video. Nude sunbathing in the backyard, look up to make sure there is nobody watching you.
Besides spying on the neighbours, there are many applications for this airborne robot. Commercial applications for inspecting infrastructure like pipelines and railroad tracks etc. Police forces are starting to use drones on a regular basis. There will be many eyes in the sky in the near future.
The Aeryon Scout is a small, quiet, and easy to operate aerial vehicle that can capture and transmit high quality images and video – a flying camera. The small unmanned aerial vehicle (or sUAV) was designed by Aeryon Labs, located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The vehicle was developed from 2007 to 2009, with beta trials conducted late in 2009. The craft is a vertical take-off and landing VTOL quadrotor requiring no launch equipment and can hover in a fixed position for precise observation. The Scout, weighing less than 3lb is powered by four brushless DC motors and has nearly silent operation. The vehicle can be operated beyond the line of sight up to 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the user, with a designed operational altitude above ground level of 300 to 500 feet at flying speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour). Unlike many other UAVs in this class, the Scout’s ruggedized and wind sealed design allows it to operate reliably in adverse weather conditions. The system has sustained wind speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) and temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C.
The Scout is unique in that it is controlled with a Tablet PC-based interface. This system differs from the customary method of joystick control allowing users to operate the vehicle with minimal training. The Scout is piloted by simply pointing to an area on the map that the user wishes to fly to. Height control is similar – users use a scroll on the touch screen interface to monitor altitude. The system operates using custom or commercially available map data, in several formats including MrSID. In addition, real-time maps can be used during flight. It can be flown real-time by the operator or pre-programmed to fly a series of GPS waypoints. To ensure safe operation of the vehicle, the Scout has built in safety features. The system constantly monitors external conditions of wind speeds as well as internal functions such as battery level. With the ability to constantly monitor conditions, the Scout is able to make an automated decision on a course of action to take. The built in intelligence allows the Scout to either;
- return home
- land immediately
- hover and wait
All communications with the vehicle are digital and encrypted. This prevents hijacking and video interception as happened with the US Predator in Iraq.
In addition to the tablet ground station, a STANAG 4856 compliant interface is available as well as STANAG 4609-compliant video. This allows control of the unit using a standard ground station, and integration with other vehicles. The video from the mission is both stored on board the vehicle and transmitted down to the control station. The video format is standard MPEG-4 and images are geo-tagged JPEG.
- Crew: none
- Length: 80 cm (28.8 in)
- Rotor diameter: 80 cm (28.8 in)
- Height: 30cm (1 ft)
- Loaded weight: 1.4 kg (3.1 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1.7 kg (3.74 lb)
- Powerplant: 4 × Electric motor, Intelligent LiPo battery () each
- Propeller diameter: 30 cm (12 inch)
- Maximum speed: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Cruise speed: 40 km/h
- Range: 3 km (2 mi)
- Service ceiling: 1,000ft/333 m AGL (15,000 ft/5,000 m ASL)
- Rate of climb: 2 m/s (6 ft/s)