Congress ok’s bill that opens skies in U.S. to unmanned drones

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Unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground will fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.

A final congressional bill was approved Monday to speed the nation’s switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, and to open U.S. skies to unmanned drone flights within four years.

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Toxic Fumes On Planes Linked To Brain Damage In Pilots

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Scientists say they have found a link between toxic fumes on planes and brain damage in pilots

Poisons in the air pumped into plane cabins and cockpits have been linked to brain damage.  Cabin crew and pilots have long blamed exposure to jet engine fumes for memory loss, tremors, lethargy and other symptoms of so-called aerotoxic syndrome.

 

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Robotic Weather Planes Could Improve Weather Forecasts

Robotic Weather Planes Could Improve Weather Forecasts 

 Small, unmanned aerial vehicles, such as this 18-kilogram Boeing ScanEagle, could provide more precise data about weather systems.

Weather forecasters may not have the best reputation for accuracy, but with today’s computational modeling, it’s possible to make pretty reliable weather predictions up to 48 hours in advance. Researchers at MIT, however, believe that autonomous aircraft running smart storm-chasing algorithms could get that figure up to four days. Better weather forecasting could help farmers and transportation authorities with planning and even save lives by providing earlier warnings about storms and severe weather, says Jonathan How, principal investigator at MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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China Planning Massive Weather Modification For Olympics

China Planning Massive Weather Modification For Olympics

To prevent rain over the roofless 91,000-seat Olympic stadium that Beijing natives have nicknamed the Bird’s Nest, the city’s branch of the national Weather Modification Office–itself a department of the larger China Meteorological Administration–has prepared a three-stage program for the 2008 Olympics this August.
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