On Episode 466 of the Waves of Tech, we are back on schedule after a power outage delayed last week’s episode. This week we dive into Air Force’s super secretive plane that was testing autonomous and unmanned space travel as well as testing a broad range of technologies. A recreational drone grounded firefighting helicopters in California causing deserved discussion on the need for more education and punishment for illegal drone use. Black Friday is already here and has quickly become a month long event for consumers and retailers.
Air Force’s Secret Orbital Plane
In a secret 780-day mission, the United States Air Force sent an Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) into low orbit space to test unmanned space travel and autonomous launching and landing. The mission (OTV-5) was additionally testing navigation and control, thermal protection, advanced propulsion, and lightweight electromechanical flight systems. Fancy stuff, right?
- This notes the 5th time an OTV was circulated in low orbit flight for testing
- A major effort is to create a very reliable, reusable, unmanned space program
- Focused attention is being given to high temperature effects on structures and seals
- Speculation around spying on Chinese satellites were the true reason for OTV-5
Recreational Drone User Shuts Down Firefighting
California is continually plagued with wildfires around the state and an important factor in emergency response is controlling the fire as soon as possible. The efforts in a recent Santa Paula based fire was complicated when an idiot drone user decided to fly into the response zone and shut down fire response for nearly two hours during a peak response need!
- It is well documented that small drones can take down a plane or a helicopter easily
- Recreational drone users continue to be the reason response efforts are grounded
- Interrupted service compromises lives, property, animals, and mother nature
- The fact commercial drone users are more heavily regulated is a major talking point
Black Friday is All of November
Do you remember when Black Friday used to be on the Friday after Thanksgiving? Yeah, hard to imagine that was once a thing. As consumer spending habits begin to shift and retailers are looking to grab holiday shoppers sooner and sooner, Black Friday is quickly evolving into an entire month spanning the 30 days of November.
- Online tech companies have found a sweet spot in order to grab shoppers attention
- Brick-and-mortars are grasping for shoppers by offering online pickups and deals
- Be sure to check Black Friday deals throughout the month, don’t buy to early
Resources & Links