My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: ASTRAEA Consortium makes first Inaugural flight of an Autonomous Passenger Aircraft in April 2013 - Greek Goddeses Daughter of Zeus are now The Kings of Summer

Thursday, May 23, 2013

ASTRAEA Consortium makes first Inaugural flight of an Autonomous Passenger Aircraft in April 2013 - Greek Goddeses Daughter of Zeus are now The Kings of Summer

“The flights were part of a series of tests helping flight regulators and Nats to understand how these flights work, and what they need to do were they to go ahead and put a regulatory framework in place for the unmanned flights in manned airspace”

Representative of BAE Systems, one of the companies to have invested in Astraea (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment)

Europeans, it seems, have something over their American Silicon Valley counterparts when it comes to developing practical Technology that POC (Proof of Concept). Despite Google developing cars that can drive themselves, it’s the European Car maker Volvo involved in a Group project called SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) that’s developing practical Autonomous Motor Vehicles as stated in my blog article entitled “Volvo Testing Autonomous Motor Vehicles in Spain in Live Traffic - EU Project SARTRE adds self-driving AI with smartphone Control”.

Now the Europeans are at it again. ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment), also the name of Zeus daughter in Greek Mythology is a consortium of companies that has pioneered the first inaugural flight of an unmanned 19-seat JetStream Commercial Passenger Plane in Shared Commercial Airspace in April 2013 as reported in the article “Pilotless flight trialled in UK shared airspace”, published 13 May 2013 Last updated at 12:15 GMT, BBC News.

According to the article “The future of air travel doesn’t need pilots”, published May 14, 2013 By Graeme McMillan, DigitalTrends, the ASTRAEA consortium is composed of the following companies:

1.      BAE Systems
2.      AOS
3.      Cassidian
4.      Rolls-Royce

Like SARTRE for Cars, the ASTRAEA Consortium has the support from CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and the UK Government, who’ve contributed some 26 Million Pounds to the project thus far.
The Plane took off from Warton, near Preston in Lancashire and landed in Inverness, Scotland, a flight of some 800 kilometer (approximately 500 miles) completely under the control of a Pilot on the ground.  This first Aircraft, basically a Guinea Pig to test out the idea, was flown remotely by a pilot trained by the NATS (National Air Traffic Services). In this inaugural flight, no passengers were on board, and a test pilot was on board to make sure the airplane performed as expected.

Otherwise, it was completely controlled from the ground, a lot like a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or Drone as described in my blog article entitled “GOJ can develope UAV's as a means of giving the Police eyes in the sky - Inspiration for Aviators in Jamaica via G.I. Joe Retaliation”.

The advantages of Autonomous Aircraft are the same as Autonomous Airplanes:

1.      Reduce Human Pilot error by removing the pilot
2.      Faster flights
3.      Cheaper airline flights and Air Freight

Thus the future of Travel it seems is via the air, the last uncluttered airspace. Plans are also afoot for the development of Flying Cars, specifically the Terrafugia TF-X as described in my blog article entitled “Terrafugia’s Flying Hybrid 2013 Terrafugia TF-X to debut in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 - Shara Tibkin's Sweet Dreams of The Jetsons wants Christina Aguilera's Your Body”. The Terrafugia TF-X is basically flown by the Car using a preset flight path; the Driver is not involved in flying the Car.
The next step in the development of Autonomous Airplanes is to eliminate the need for even someone on the ground to pilot the Aircraft and instead use an onboard Artificial Intelligence program to make the Aircraft fly itself. The Ground Pilot would only be needed to pilot the Aircraft in case the plane got out of control. If ASTRAEA gets this technology right, they’ll be The Kings of Summer (2013).

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