Planting A Billion Trees A Year With Drones

An American company has earnestly begun planning to replant deforested areas using drones. The company plans to plant a billion trees per year remotely.

In their effort to remedy the ill-effects of massive levels of deforestation, U.S-based organization, BioCarbon Engineering has decided it will begin planting a billion saplings using remotely-operated drones. Led by ex-NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, the team was devastated at how rapidly the trees are being cut down and realized right away that people just couldn’t replant the forest at an equal pace, commented Fletcher,

“Why not use technology to combat technology? We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation.”

The current rate of reforestation is less than half that of mechanized deforestation. At such a dismal pace, the earth will eventually be devoid of trees. The world’s jungles, bush-lands and forests are being rapidly destroyed within weeks, continued Fletcher.

“Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale deforestation is best combated using the latest automation technologies.”

What he meant was hand-planting is not going to cut it. BioCarbon Engineering’s team plans to fly drones over potential planting areas and drop biodegradable plastic pods filled with pre-germinated seeds and highly nutritious soil down into the ground. Not all pods will successfully land, but those that do will be regularly and remotely watered and monitored, once again by the drones. These drones will also report back to the base about their saplings, their health and growth patterns year-round.
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TU Delft – Ambulance Drone
The data acquired remotely through these drones should prove useful to improve the success rate of planting more plants in the future and ensure their survival. What the team didn’t add, but could be an added advantage of using the drones is remote surveillance on illegal logging and other deforestation tactics employed by illegal timber-traders.

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The Technology Has Already Been Perfected And Will Be Implemented Soon

The team has worked out the economics and feasibility of the ambitious and eco-friendly project. As opposed to a few dozen hand-planted trees, drones can plant about 36,000 trees per day at a cost of just 15 percent of that spent on traditional reforestation techniques.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2062400/planting-a-billion-trees-a-year-with-drones-led-by-ex-nasa-engineer-american-company-to-remotely-reforest-the-world/#Vg7o307XgbOi0DrI.99

Posted in drone journalism, Drone Privacy, Drones And The Law, Planting A Billion Trees A Year With Drones | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

21 TRAITS OF AN AWAKENING SOUL

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You can say it’s because of a global shift in consciousness, a destiny we have arrived at due to spiritual evolution, or the outcome of strange times, but, many people all across the globe are going through intense personal changes and sensing an expansion of consciousness. Personal changes of this magnitude can be difficult to recognize and to understand, but here are 21 traits that might suggest you are going through a big shift within yourself.

 

1.  Being in public places is sometimes overwhelming. Since our walls between self and other are dissolving, we haven’t really learned to distinguish between someone else’s energy and our own. If the general mood of the crowd is herd-like or negative, we can feel this acutely, and may feel like retreating into our own private space. When we have recharged our batteries with meditation, spending time in nature, far away from other people, or just sitting in quiet contemplation, we are ready to be with the masses again. In personal relationships, we often will feel someone else’s emotions as our own. It is important to have this higher sense of empathy, but we must learn to allow another person’s emotions while observing them and keeping our empathy, but, realizing that not all emotions belong to us. Social influence can dampen our own innate wisdom.

2.  We know things without having to intellectually figure them out. Often called intuitive awareness, we have ‘a-ha’ moments and insights that can explain some of the most complex theories or phenomenon in the world. Some of the most brilliant minds of our time just ‘know.’ Adepts and sages often were given downloads of information from higher states of consciousness after meditating or being in the presence of a more conscious individual; this is happening for more people with more frequency. As we trust our intuition more often, it grows stronger.  This is a time of ‘thinking’ with our hearts more than our heads. Our guts will no longer be ignored. Our dreams are becoming pre-cognitive and eventually our conscious thoughts will be as well.

3.  Watching television or most of main stream media, including newspapers and many Hollywood movies is very distasteful to us. The mindset that creates much, but not all, of the programming on television and in cinema is abhorrent. It makes people into commodities and promotes violence. It reduces our intelligence and numbs our natural empathetic response to someone in pain.

4.  Lying to us is nearly impossible. We may not know exactly what truth you are withholding, but we can also tell (with our developing intuition and ESP skills) that something isn’t right. We also know when you have other emotions, pain, love, etc. that you aren’t expressing. You’re an open book to us. We aren’t trained in counter-intelligence, we are just observant and knowing. While we may pick up on physical cues, we can look into your eyes and know what you are feeling.

5.  We may pick up symptoms of your cold, just like men who get morning sickness when their wives are pregnant. Sympathy pains, whether emotional or physical, are something we experience often. We tend to absorb emotion through the solar plexus, considered the place we ‘stomach emotion’ so as we learn to strengthen this chakra center, we may sometimes develop digestive issues. Grounding to the earth can help to re-establish our emotional center. Walking barefoot is a great way to re-ground.

6.  We tend to root for the underdog, those without voices, those who have been beaten down by the matrix, etc. We are very compassionate people, and these marginalized individuals often need more love. People can sense our loving hearts, so complete strangers will often tell us their life stories or approach us with their problems. While we don’t want to be a dumping ground for everyone’s issues, we are also a good ear for those working through their stuff.

7.  If we don’t learn how to set proper boundaries, we can get tired easily from taking on other people’s emotions. Energy Vampires are drawn to us like flies to paper, so we need to be extra vigilant in protecting ourselves at times.

8.  Unfortunately, sensitives or empaths often turn to drug abuse or alcohol to block some of their emotions and to ‘protect’ themselves from feeling the pain of others.

9.  We are all becoming people who assist others. We naturally gravitate toward healing fields, acupuncture, reiki, Qi-Gong, yoga, massage, midwivery, etc. are fields we often find ourselves in. We know that the collective needs assistance and so we try our best to offer it in whatever form we are most drawn to. We also turn away from the ‘traditional’ forms of healing ourselves. Preferring natural foods, herbs, and holistic medicine as ways to cure every ailment.

10.  We see the possibilities before others do. Just like when the church told Copernicus he was wrong, and he stood by his heliocentric theory, we know what the masses refuse to believe. Our minds are light-years ahead.

11.  We are creative. We sing, dance, paint, invent, or write. We have amazing imaginations.

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12.  We require more solitude than the average person.

13.  We might get bored easily, but we are really good at entertaining ourselves.

14.  We have a difficult time doing things we don’t want to do or don’t really enjoy. We really do believe life was meant to be an expression of joy. Why waste it doing something you hate? We aren’t lazy, we are discerning.

15.  We are obsessed with bringing the truth to light. Like little children who say, “that’s not fair” we want to “right” the “wrongs” of the world, and we believe it often just takes education. We endeavor to explain the unexplainable and find answers to the deep questions of life. We are seekers, in the Campbellian paradigm. ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces.”

16.  We can’t keep track of time. Our imaginations often get away with us and a day can feel like a minute, a week, a day.

17.  We abhor routine.

18.  We often disagree with authority, especially when it doesn’t make sense. (for obvious reasons).

19. We will often be kind, but if you are egotistical or rude, we won’t spend much time with you or find an excuse to not hang out with people who are obsessed with themselves. We don’t ‘get’ people who are insensitive to other people’s feelings or points of view.

20. We may be vegan or vegetarian because we can sense a certain energy of the food we eat, like if an animal was slaughtered inhumanely. We don’t want to consume negative energy.

21.  We wear our own emotions on our sleeves and have a hard time ‘pretending’ to be happy if we aren’t. We avoid confrontation, But will quietly go about changing the world in ways you can’t even see.

These 21 traits of an awakening soul are a reminder of how important it is to maintain awareness, clarity and strength in these interesting times. If you are experiencing something that is not on this list, please add it to the comments section below.

By Christina Sarich

Featured On Collective Evolution 

– See more at: http://www.the-open-mind.com/21-traits-of-an-awakening-soul-2/#sthash.dBvOaaW8.dpuf

 

 

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FloNew Lets Drones Automatically Fly To iBeacons

Here is a fun drone hack from our Disrupt NY Hackathon. FloNew brings togetherGimbal beacons, Esri mapping, Nexmo‘s communications platform and Parrot’s RollingSpider MiniDrones. Using FloNew’s mobile app, you can automatically send your drone to any of your nearby beacons.

During our hackathon, Andre Smith and Gabriel Velez built the mobile app to deploy the drone and hacked into the MiniDrone to be able to control it (Parrot doesn’t make that especially easy). Sadly, the onstage demo failed because the drone didn’t have a line of sight to the gimbal beacon, but the team had set up four beacons and the idea was to have the drone move between them with a push of a button.

Clearly, the practical applications for delivering goods with ParrotMini drones is limited. But hey — it’s a hackathon project, not a competitor to Amazon’s PrimeAir project.The whole system uses Bluetooth LE, so the range is pretty limited anyway.

You can find the code the team developed for this project on GitHub. What’s cool here is that Smith and Velez used Node.js to build this project, so if you ever wanted to use JavaScript to control a drone, this is your chance.

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Hubble Space Telescope Marking 25th Anniversary in Orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — One of NASA’s crowning glories, the Hubble Space Telescope, marks its 25th anniversary this week.

With 1 million-plus observations, including those of some of the farthest and oldest galaxies ever beheld by humanity, no man-made satellite has touched as many minds or hearts as Hubble.

NASA is celebrating Friday’s anniversary with ceremonies this week at the Smithsonian Institution andNewseum in Washington.

“Hubble has become part of our culture — very much,” said NASA’s science mission chief, John Grunsfeld, a former astronaut who flew on the final three Hubble repair missions.

A look at Hubble’s quarter-century in orbit about 350 miles above Earth:

A BLURRY START

A full decade in the making, Hubble rocketed into orbit on April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle Discovery.

NASA wanted an observatory free of the atmosphere’s distortion and, in some cases, absorption of light. Stars, for example, do not appear to twinkle when seen from space. The telescope was named for American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who in the 1920s determined that the universe is expanding.

Sky-high excitement turned into bottomless agony when it quickly became apparent that the telescope’s primary mirror had been botched during manufacturing, resulting in blurry eyesight. Three years later, with NASA’s reputation and entire future on the line, a team of astronauts managed to restore Hubble’s promised vision with replacement parts.

OVERHAULS AND TUNEUPS

Shuttle astronauts visited Hubble five times, from 1993 to 2009, to make improvements and repairs to the 43-foot-long observatory, about the size of a school bus. That last mission almost didn’t happen: NASA canceled it for safety reasons in the wake of the 2003 shuttle Columbia disaster. But public uproar and changing NASA administration, along with detailed crew-rescue plans just in case, led to the flight’s reinstatement. By the time Atlantis blasted off on the last servicing mission, NASA put the investment in Hubble at $10 billion.

Three-time Hubble mechanic Grunsfeld was the last person to lay hands on the orbiting observatory. He recalls giving Hubble “a little pat and a salute,” and telling it, “Good travels, Hubble.”

IMPRESSIVE STATS

Hubble has traveled 3.4 billion miles, circling Earth nearly 137,000 times and making more than 1.2million observations of more than 38,000 celestial objects, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. The most distant objects spotted by Hubble — primitive galaxies — are some 13 billion light-years away and date to within 400 million or so years of the universe’s origin, known as the Big Bang.

Hubble provides an average of 829 gigabytes of archival data every month, according to the institute. Altogether, Hubble has produced more than 100 terabytes of data.

DISCOVERIES

Early on, Hubble proved the existence of super-massive black holes — and found they’re located at the center of most galaxies. It also helped to pinpoint the age of the universe at 13.8 billion years old, by determining the current rate of expansion of the universe with an uncertainty of just 3 percent, according to the Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the space telescope institute.

Thanks to Hubble, he noted this week, astronomers now know that cosmic expansion is accelerating because of mysterious dark energy.

The space telescope has shown that the birth rate of stars hit a peak in the universe about 10 billion years ago and has been declining ever since, Livio said.

Astronomers have published 12,800 scientific papers based on data from Hubble. Some of the research on supernovas, or exploding stars, contributed to a Nobel Prize in physics in 2011.

FUTURE

NASA’s Grunsfeld said “there’s pretty high probability” that Hubble will keep working until at least 2020. Gravity is slowly lowering the telescope’s approximately 350-mile-high orbit, but the good news is that low solar activity is keeping the atmosphere thinner, which in turn should keep Hubble up until the 2030s.

On the last Hubble mission in 2009, Grunsfeld installed a docking adaptor on the bottom of the telescope. The plan was — and still is — to one day launch an unmanned rocket to Hubble so a motor can be installed to guide the telescope toward a Pacific re-entry.

The 8-foot primary mirror is the main concern: It’s expected to survive the atmospheric plunge. That’s why NASA does not want Hubble coming down, uncontrolled, over populated areas.

SUCCESSOR

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is due to be launched in 2018 to a vantage point 1 million miles away.

The Webb will specialize in the infrared wavelength, allowing it to peer into some of the faintest, most distant recesses of the universe. This should enable the telescope — named after the late NASA administrator who guided the Mercury and Gemini programs, and set the stage for the Apollo moon landings — to look back even farther in time than Hubble and detect galaxies formed a mere 200 million years following the Big Bang.

By 2019, Webb should be up and running with the Hubble still in action and powerful, new ground telescopes pointing skyward.

“It will just be absolutely the most capability we will have ever had to look at the cosmos and try and understand it,” Grunsfeld said. “I’m convinced there are going to be some big discoveries.”

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U.S. Will Allow Export of Armed Drones

Export requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis

The State Department announced new policies Tuesday stipulating that U.S. drones can only be exported through government programs and that the receiving country needs to agree to certain conditions about what the drone will be used for.

Under the new rules, exports of armed military drones must be made through government entities and the nations receiving the devices must agree to “end-use assurances,” according to the State Department.

“The new U.S. UAS [unmanned aerial systems] export policy provides a disciplined and rigorous framework within which the United States will exercise restraint in sales and transfers and advance its national security and foreign policy interests,” says a State Department fact sheet.

These new proposals come amid increasing controversy anduncertainty over the use of drones, after one crashed onto the White House lawn last month.

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UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE IN MB

By Dorothy Dobbie (photo by MicroPilot)

Driving out in the country these days is a bit like driving into the future, at least here in Manitoba. It seems that every second field has a small plane buzzing just above the treetops like a lot of oversized insects.
These busy machines are drones, or what the techies prefer to call UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
Right now, these airborne machines are basically surveillance craft, taking pictures and collecting data to tell farmers how their crops or livestock are doing. At the border, they are patrolling for illegal crossings from Canada to the U.S.
Over the last few years, the interest in drones and the savings that can accrue to the farmers who buy one has burgeoned. A small surveillance plane, equipped with still and/or video cameras, can retail for about $7,000 or even less.
In Manitoba, two companies offering unique systems have been developed. One is the CropCam system built in Stony Mountain. MicroPilot, owned by Howard Loewen (the son of Bill Loewen who created Comcheq and Telpay), is now one of the world leaders in the development of lightweight autopilots as well as a number of spinoff systems that can be customized to meet client needs, and an autopilot for helicopters.
Howard Loewen started his company back in the nineties as a natural progression from his hobby building and flying model airplanes. The company now has sales in 70 countries around the world.
The other Manitoba company is Challis Heliplane, operating in the RM of Cartier, Elie. Challis aims to produce the fastest rotocraft in the world, with speeds exceeding 300 mph. Owned and developed by certified commercial helicopter pilot, Doug Challis, the company offers a number of different models ranging from 540 pounds to 1,200 pounds. The smaller heliplanes have a lower altitude range and can carry cameras for HD videos for both day and night filming.
There are many uses for the unmanned vehicles. The United States used small drones in its war in Iraq and other countries. Newer technologies are improving the ability to achieve a more targeted warfare and avoid civilian collateral damage in highly populated areas.

A U.S. squad leader launches an unmanned aerial vehicle during training (photo by The U.S. Army)

A U.S. squad leader launches an unmanned aerial vehicle during training (photo by The U.S. Army).

Military uses are one thing. The big future is in commercial UAVs.
Commercial use
Currently, barriers to more widespread use of small, hand-launched UAVs include power limitations which reduce the range for vehicles with larger payloads. But many other obstacles are being dealt with through regulation (Canada is ahead of the U.S. here and Europe is ahead of us both). These issues include a crowded airspace and low-altitude competition with recreational craft; the competency, training and licensed operation of these vehicles which can now be managed through a cellphone; and a host of privacy and other concerns.
These other concerns may be prompted by stories that retailers such as Walmart are already building sensors into all their products which could conceivably be linked to small UAVs to deliver and track goods. Google wants drones to deliver products to homes and has been testing mechanisms to do this in Australia since 2012. Creative thinkers are even suggesting that sensors could be installed in humans so drones could keep track of us.
On the plus side, this exciting technology opens up a lot of doors. There will potentially be jobs in engineering as new machines capable of new applications come on line. There are thousands of jobs for operators who will soon require licences to control a UAV – and with good reason. There have been incidents recently where unskilled operators have crashed into people and property, and even put commercial aircraft at risk.
One of the new applications that will probably soon make an appearance here is crop dusting. UAVs are not currently being used in this way in Canada, at least not officially, due to concerns about pesticide drift, payload capacities and battery life of the flying systems. But the answers to those concerns are not far away. Crop dusting is happening in countries such as Japan and China. Some people see “bot swarms” in the future taking over the job not just of spraying crops, but also seeding and harvesting. (Some farmers in Manitoba are apparently already using UAVs to do their seeding.)
While UAVs are used for everything from military purposes to firefighting, law enforcement (the Winnipeg police force has been using them for two years), weather observation, search and rescue, pipeline monitoring, forest and wildlife management and even filmmaking, it is predicted that about 80 per cent of the activity will be for agricultural purposes. UAVs can send back critical information about the condition of a food crop in just a few hours where obtaining such information would have required days or even weeks and much manpower previously.
Moreover, a farmer can target pesticides to specific areas of concern, wiping out problems before they get away and reducing the overall amount of chemical being laid down. There is excitement, too, about the potential for managing livestock using these systems.
Our Manitoba location has a lot to recommend it for companies producing such systems. Factors generally considered as negative – high wind speeds and sub-zero temperatures – make great testing and proving grounds for new air-bound technologies. Stay tuned. There will be a lot more to say on this subject.

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FAA streamlines rules to speed up permits to fly drones

By Joan Lowy | AP March 24
WASHINGTON — Federal aviation officials, battered by complaints that bureaucratic hurdles are preventing industry from realizing the economic benefits of drones, announced Tuesday they are streamlining rules to expedite permits to fly small, commercial unmanned aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration made the announcement an hour before a congressional hearing at which an Amazon.com executive complained that the agency took too long to approve a request to flight test a delivery drone. The model of drone was already obsolete when the request was finally granted last week.

Drone industry officials have complained that FAA’s restrictions on testing are forcing U.S. companies to do their testing overseas and giving foreign competitors a leg up.

“We don’t test it anymore. We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy at a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology’s aviation subcommittee.

Amazon submitted a new request to the FAA last Friday — the day after the previous request was granted — for permission to test fly a more advanced drone, Misener said. “We are hopeful that this permission will be granted quickly,” he said.

The company is also asking FAA for permission “to rapidly modify our test vehicles without administrative delays associated with every change,” Misener said.

By contrast, European regulators are “enthusiastically pursuing” an approach that is “eminently reasonable” and “mindful of the tremendous opportunities for innovation and economic benefits” that drones present, he said.

8d974572ddea4056aaff17c289f9121e-4dd27ee29a6244f5bca0e9ff2243211b-0 have been cautious about granting permission both to companies who want to test drones for future operations like Amazon and to companies that want to use drones now. Agency officials have said their tight restrictions are necessary to prevent collisions between drones and manned aircraft, especially since drones don’t show up on radar and drone operators have limited ability to “see and avoid” other aircraft.
Last year, the FAA began granting permits on a case-by-case basis to companies that want to use drones for aerial photography, to monitor crops and pipelines, and to inspect bridges, cell phone towers, oil platforms and other tall structures, among other uses. But the agency has a backlog of nearly 700 permit applications, and the list is growing.

Under the streamlined rules, the FAA will grant blanket flying permission to applicants whose drones weigh less than 55 pounds and who agree to keep flights under 200 feet, to fly only in the daytime, and to keep away from airports.

The permits FAA has granted thus far also require operators to keep drones within line of sight of operators. That severely limits the distance drones can fly and would prevent the kind of deliveries Amazon envisions.

Amazon wants to use drones weighing less than 50 pounds to deliver small packages to customers within 30 minutes or less. That would entail flying “distances of 10 miles or more, well beyond visual line of sight,” Misener said.

____

Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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