Sep 2013 | No Comment

Apple banned from taking aerial photography of Oslo

Norway’s government is refusing to let Apple take aerial photography of the capital city Oslo to create 3D images for its Maps app, BBC News reported. There are security concerns about access to detailed views of government buildings. Anyone wishing to fly over Oslo to take pictures requires a license from the authorities, which has been declined according to official documents. However satellite imagery, as used by other map brands, is not protected.

New Remote-Sensing Development could aid disaster relief

Thomas Oommen, assistant professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, is using remote sensing in a new way, to assess the damage quickly and more accurately. His tool: crowdsourcing, or what he calls the “power of the volunteer crowd.”

“The use of crowdsourcing to analyze earthquake-induced damages in remotely sensed imagery is a relatively new damage assessment approach,” Oommen says. “It was developed in the wake of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and formalized during the 2010 Haiti and 2011 New Zealand earthquakes.”

GPS-guided quadcopter for the masses

3D Robotics quadcopter is billed as a ready-to-fly, fully-autonomous, userfriendly UAV, the Iris supports simple GPS controls through any computer, tablet, or smartphone. The drone itself is fairly average in size, with a length of 55 cm (21.7 in) diagonally and a height of 10 cm (3.9 in). According to the developers, the main body is designed to be aerodynamic, durable, and lightweight, while still providing enough lift to carry a payload. The arms and feet are made from Zytel Nylon and are built to withstand impacts, but they can be cheaply replaced if needed. The motors and electronics are powered by an 11.1V 3.5Ah LiPo battery, which brings the quadcopter’s total weight to 1282 grams (45.2 oz) when connected.

Turkey’s satellite images to open to public

The satellite images received by Turkey’s RASAT satellite will be open to the public through an online portal, the state scientific research institute TÜBITAK has said in a statement. TÜBITAK’s Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBITAK UZAY) started a geoportal project with support from the Development Ministry and it is expected to be opened this year.

Croatia joins European Union Satellite Centre

The cabinet of Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic decided on Croatia’s membership of the European Union Satellite Centre (EU SatCen), the mission of which is to support the decision-making of the European Union by providing analysis of satellite imagery and collateral data. The centre, an EU agency located in Torrejon de Ardoz, in the vicinity of Madrid, Spain, is one of the key institutions for European Union’s Security and Defence policy, and the only one in the field of space.

LIDAR-based tool forecasts clear-air turbulence

An instrument based on the Light Detection and Ranging technology to help pilots detect dangerous turbulence has been developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

The device that can be mounted on aircraft emits short-wave ultraviolet laser pulses along the direction of the flight.
Being reflected by the air molecules, the signal’s back-scatter shows fluctuations in the density of the atmosphere. The pilots can thus see in real time whether there is any clear-air turbulence (CAT) in the region they are about to enter. The system is currently being tested on-board a specially modified Cessna Citation aircraft. The plane will be taking measurements travelling from Amsterdam to various European destinations until the end of August.

ISRO’s geoportal Bhuvan goes mobile

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched a mobile version of its geoportal Bhuvan. ISRO has also taken the crowdsourced approach to generate data for its maps by including ‘Add Content’ option that allows users to add Points of Interest (POI) data under various categories. The app provides a satellite map on the screen. One can search for any location from the search bar on the top of the app or allow the app to track device location through phone’s GPS. One can also add layers such as place names. It is accessible from bhuvan3.

Giant leap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued restricted category type certificates to a pair of UAS, a milestone that will lead to the first approved commercial UAS operations later this summer. The newly certified UAS—Insitu’s Scan Eagle X200 and AeroVironment’s PUMA—are “small” UAS weighing less than 55 pounds. Each is about 4 ½ feet long, with wingspans of ten and nine feet, respectively. The major advantage of having type-certificated UAS models available is that they can be used commercially.

Worlds Smallest Commercial Unmanned Aerial LiDAR

Phoenix Aerial Systems has successfully developed and demonstrated the world’s smallest and lightest UAV LiDAR platform available. Weighing less than 10kg, the new LiDAR platform called the “Phoenix AL-2” combines the latest UAV, LiDAR and GNSS technology into a cost effective, accurate and safe micromapping solution.

Trimble adds DG satellite imagery to Mobile Apps and Printed Maps

Trimble has entered into an agreement with DigitalGlobe Inc. to license its satellite imagery for offline use in Trimble Outdoors mobile apps, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to
view and store imagery on their smartphones and tablets.

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