|Quoting Pihero (Reply 36):|
1/- Why all these vision spectra ? They are studied for the human pilot… so much that they already allow CatIII manual approaches and landings for a –still very few- airlines concerned with their economics… HUDs are now standard in this generation of airliners and I foresee a generalization of manual landings down to Cat III minima..
When that happens, the redundancy needed for full autoland will be un-necessary, hence further savings.
Why so many, its easy with UAVs.
Seriously, applications have been found where instruments were on a UAV for another purpose (e.g., spying) and that if that information had been available to the computers, safety of flight would be dramatically improved. The cost is about to drop significantly. The harder part is the human interface where the data is cut down to what we can process. Computers handle 4 spectra+ data easy.
I wish I could talk about the aspects, but an NDA keeps me from giving details how how much better the cameras have become in the last few years. What I'm talking about couldn't be done prior to 2008. Its like the invention of the jet engine, a simple technology change will alter everything. Mostly thanks to the HUGE demand for cell phone cameras...
Seriously, smart phone adoption has changed the economics of too many things to ignore...
Some crashes between military aircraft and civilian have been avoided thanks to the military aircraft having UV
/IR or superior radar. In specific, I'm talking about commercial aircraft cutting through military airspace (short cut to LAX
cutting through the Point Magu test ranges. Pilots think that since there opened for busy periods they should always be open... nope.) Its possible to see other aircraft *far* further away and a computer can easily track hundreds of other aircraft. Then again, my best example was when a civilian plane was given access to a military test range and we learned about a new targeting mode that was active in our software that shouldn't have been... oops. Good in that it worked as designed (but should have been disabled). Bad that it targeted the civilian aircraft.
But we passed this information on to other pilots who were linked into an appropriate network so they could avoid the civilian. (And then flamed the idiot who granted access to any aircraft onto a live weapons test range... but that is another story.) There would have been no Embraer crash into a 737 if both pilots had multi-sprum heads up displays.
With those cameras, we can see for tens of miles clearly (lower resolution with IR
, naturally), than with current commercial HUDs. It becomes too much information for a human.
|Quoting Pihero (Reply 36):|
I won’t be there to be one of those slaves, so callously I just say “Après moi, le deluge !”
Too dramatic. Its to free time. I would love to be able to kick back on my drive. If there was convenient (add say only 20 minutes each way) mass transit, I would do so. Automated cars will allow me to read a book, text, or do other things that I wish to do. Having the copilot autonomous will be a cost saving feature. It will start as an insurance measure and end up being defacto a la trains.
Part of the reason I believe this is certain cameras are believed to be made commercially available soon thanks to civilian UAVs driving up non-DOD demand.
|Quoting Pihero (Reply 36):|
As for UAVs as the precursors to what’s going to happen in airline flying, the least I can say is that I’m certainly not impressed.
Then you haven't looked at the latest UAVs. I bet you're picking the cheap ones that were sloppily done. Everything before block 20 Global Hawks is
. The science has improved dramatically since 2008 (the various customers needed new functionality and the changes are night and day)! UCAS alone moved the whole experience forward a decade and that program is in its infancy. UCLASS not only brings UAVs to a new level, it has a 15 year 'crawl, walk, run' methodology that will see UAVs improve more in the next 15 years than computers did 1980 to 1995.
Let's put it another way, would you use a computer from the 1980s even the late 1980s? Right now the 777 flies on that 1989 era CPU. Right now all the commercial autonomy is based off leasons learned from the 777. Its a great airplane, but seriously, software was held for hardware until a few years ago which allowed the explosion of military UAV technology thanks to the PPC 7410 processor (which are de-clocked due to their heat). Today one wouldn't bother certifying a chip that slow. Commercial UAVs will all use cell phone derived chips which are far faster. The new 2.3 Ghz chips in smart phones would be the minimum with quad and octo cores instead of single cores.
Try to even web browse a.net on a 486... you couldn't do it. That is what commercial aircraft fly on today. But new kit is in the labs and even flying (if you know where to look).
I have no doubt a pilot's job is a skilled job. But remember it wasn't the mob who were the Luddites, it was the skilled professionals who were replaced by process and mechanization that created that famous rebellion. Instead of debating, celibrate the safety.
Planemaker and I are agreeing on this... That should tell you something. Hint, we normally have pretty entertaining debates on how to best implement technology!
Then again, normally either Planemaker or I is either more enthusiastic about a technology and in general the optimist is right between the two of us and Planemaker is a hair more optimistic on autonomy than I am. Then again, I worked test for UAVs.
Seriously, UAVs are the "high tech" of aerospace. Its the only area of aersospace where what wasn't possible two years ago is now a given... The deployed UAVs are *nothing* compared to what is in the labs. Its done as little 'upgrades to Block XX software' is reality stripping out all the computers and software and moving forward. That R&D will flow down into commercial aircraft.
The only debate is the time frame. Oh, we'll still have a pilot on larger aircraft. But one with autonomous backup.
|Quoting leonardoq (Reply 37):|
I hope I am not alive to see this happening.
Working with aviation is not only a privilege but (being a pilot) is of the best professions out there... no matter what happens, sitting in a flight deck is just the most amazing and rewarding experience...
No debate it is a fun and desirable profession, but its also an expensive profession. But I've watched two jobs I loved be automated out of existence. So was my brother's last job. Its why he switched to robots. Think about today's kids and what they'll do. With my daughters, I've made sure to expose them to robots so they will work on the right side of automation. The Metropolis fear has been over-played for too long. Humans will still make the decisions.
Take eye surgery. My Uncle is a great and skilled eye surgeon. His son, with a robot, will perform 4X the surgeries per day with 1/8th the risk thanks to modern tools. Heck, when his son went off to India to perform 2,500 surgeries (required to get US malpractice insurance at reasonable rates) in India, his father thought it was a multi-year assignment. Not something to be completed in less than a year! Do you want to be denied eye surgery because it costs $80k more to be done by hand rather than with automated assistance with the added risk the doctor is having a bad day?
People who want to be hand flown will pay for it. Everyone else will get on the web and pick the cheapest Y fare... No one is ready to completely do away with the pilot. But computers interacting with each other is so much simpler than today's ATC. I've seen what GPS
based ATC can do. Just wait... re-routing is so much simpler.
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