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Plans underway for Pilotless pax A/C

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Plans underway for Pilotless pax A/C

Old 20th Jul 2004, 19:18
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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thegoaf,

Your wrong about making it so that it can't be jammed. Anything can be jammed. If man can make it, man can break it.

The US military GPS was supposed to be unjammable, but it is easily done because the people that designed it were to arrogant to know any better.

Even if the jammer is frequency chasing to catch up to the aircraft system it only has to dissrupt so many data packets to corrupt the commands enough that the plane won't know what to do.
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Old 20th Jul 2004, 20:25
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Yes for example

I was flying one day a couple of years ago and NOTAMS warned of GPS NAV-STAR AND GLONASS jamming by the UK Ministry of Defence along my route. I thought 'OH yer! they'll have fun trying to manage that! so I turned on the GPS and guess what?....Not a sausage, totally useless. So Much for Pseudo Random Noise codes being unjammable. But what got me is they did it without jamming civil freq. which worked fine!
Also thatís not to mention the fact that the American Defence Dept. can invoke SA at any time without telling anybody!
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Old 20th Jul 2004, 22:56
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Signal Jamming or loss for any other reason can be overcome.

The aircraft would continue flying on it's own for a short time, observing it's route plan/TCAS/WX etc. If after this time, say for the sake of arguement 5 minutes the data link is still down/jammed the the on-board computer changes squark code to reflect lack of comms and lands at the nearest suitable ILS airfield.

The ground control unit will already know which one it's going to land at because they will have programmed the suitable airfields into the UAV and phoned ahead at let ATC know whats happening.

Thegoaf: the technology already exists like you said, and I think within the next 10yrs we'll see the odd light payload cargo UAV making it's first trip. All that needs to happen is the available technology be fitted into a small space and certified by the CAA (or whichever country it will fly in).

PAX aircraft? narrhhhh, 40-50yrs maybe.

Last point: CAP722 published by the CAA details their position on UAV's
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 00:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA

The point I'm trying to make is in EM energy Jamming you Jam everything! within a range equal to about 3 X the square of the power output on each Freq. band. I Was talking to my Uncle (who was at the RAE as well as an RAF radar Chef-tech) about this some months ago and he said that means;

No coms, No ILS, No MLS, No GPS or DGPS, No TCAS II, No GPWS, No VOR, No DME or PDME, No TV, No Classic FM and ya ADF will just point at the Jammed.

Remember also the Jammer's technology is always newer than the technology of the encoder.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 03:06
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Exclamation

The reliabilty is a big factor. I do not doubt that it'll be possible to design an aircraft that can fly half-way around the globe without aircrew however; I don't have much faith in computers. It must be that I posses the magic finger that makes them crash, whether it is Win98, 2000 or even the FS Emb 145 sim crashes once in a while. The V-22 crashed due to a software error.

But how long will this plane last? The older electronics get the more problems there'll be. Looking back at my flight school days, there was not one week where we did not have an inoperable King transponder. If a transponder is not even built to last a week within its five to seven year lifespan, what about more complex avionics? The Citation V Ultra I flew for a short while liked to be flown to the Citation Service Center.

Finally, take a look at all the ADs issued for transport category airplanes: Within the first few years a ton of bugs have to be sorted out. With the new generation glass cockpits, I highly doubt that there'll be an error-free operation. The main job of the aircrew in the future will be to perform airborne warm and cold resets ...

7 7 7 7
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 07:30
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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The technical investment to produce a fully automatic air transport system - not just the aircraft but all the operational stuff that surrounds it - would be considerable. If done from scratch but adapting as much as possible from existing airframes electronics, procedures, etc, the level of develpment effort might be somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 man years ..maybe 8 to 15 billion dollars in current money. That's a lot to swallow.... especially for a very slow payback..if any.

The maintenance and support costs associated with qualifying and operating robotic aircraft are not so clearly better. Lots of technicians needed in the loop. Not cheap. And harder to manage. Much less disciplined than aircrew meeting contemporary standards.

Chances are, pilots will be more economical than the whole robotics bit for a long time to come. Liability is part of it... customer perception.. economics. None of these are screaming for full automation.

Likelier is some gradual evolution from more 'handling' to less, and gradually increasing the population of crews and planes ok for cat3 type operations. Automation that reduces tech stops and increases successful arrivals in dicey weather will pay for itself much sooner than the full automation deal.

Good pilots are a bargain. Always have been.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 08:50
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Duck-U-Suckerz

No coms, No ILS, No MLS, No GPS or DGPS, No TCAS II, No GPWS, No VOR, No DME or PDME, No TV, No Classic FM and ya ADF will just point at the Jammed.
If what you say is correct (I don't doubt you) then any airliner, piloted or un piloted could not land, so whats your point?
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 09:32
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Just another point:
Autoland these days referred as the safest method of landing. Landing is one of the most critical phase of the flight and we all trust autoland, aren't we? How many accidents were related to autoland error/failure? Not many at all.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 09:53
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA,

I think the point D-U-S is trying to make is that with all those failures 2 pilots on board would have to navigate visually, keep a damn good lookout, follow comms failure procedures and look out for light signals from atc. or at least something along those lines - certainly leaves a reasonable chance of getting out alive.

no pilots on board, they'd all crash.

i know which one i'd prefer!
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 11:59
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA,

Rod Eddington is correct, thatís my point, if such a dreadful event were to happen over Londonís crowded sky now, aircraft would stop taking off at that point and all those wishing to land would do so using procedure. I'm not saying that it would be without mishap if the weather were very bad but London would not be covered in flaming wrecks! You are correct in thinking that Man can build such systems i.e. UAV Transports, but the real point is SHOULD HE? Just because we can do it, should we do it? Leaving humans increasingly out of the loop.

The problems I have pointed out are not machine problems, they are very human! and that must include the makers and users of such things who put human error in from the first rivet! I have seen films of Global Hawk spinning in to the ground, Why?, human error? well in a way yes! we made it that crap!

CargoOne Many others here including myself also make the financial point that research and reliability costs £££ before you even build one unit. The first Cat 3 was I believe the BEA Tri-star fleet here in the UK and for that they (UK CAA) had to prove system reliability of ten to the minus nine (one chance in hell of going wrong) for UAVs they'd want even greater success rates as human intervention would be much more remote. And remember when Cat 3 goes wrong, as it is, just press GO/TO now how many times has that happened? The Point here is Auto land is only so great (if a little heavy on the spin) because it is the perfect combination of man and 'Fail Operational' machine and even if an approach looks even just a bit doubtful, you chuck it away.... no accident statistics blaming anything but no pat on the back either as you have just done your job!

Last edited by Duck-U-Suckerz; 21st Jul 2004 at 13:00.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 12:33
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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D-U-S and Rod E I see exactly what your saying, and agree with you 99%, I'm just purely ensuring that both the for and against argument are put forward on this topic.

Consider the scenario again of all signals over London being jammed. All the aircraft in the sky at that point would struggle like hell to get their planes down and I doubt it would happen without a serious accident.

A passenger carrying UAV would certainly crash, no doubt. That is why we'll never see a PAX UAV in our lifetimes.

Now imagine a CARGO carrying UAV in the same situation over London. It's loss-of-comms software would turn the aircraft towards the sea, fly as far away from land as possible and ditch. Loss of life zero (unless there was a ship in the way!). Loss of cargo and hull - insured.

I'm going to maintain there's a real market for cargo carrying UAV's - I don't mean 747 sized but one's capable of carrying 100kg 1,000 miles across the UK, Europe or the States.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 15:39
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA,

Any half way smart person can get the plans off the internet and go to Radio Shack and for measly money make a unit that will make it very hard for any airport to accept traffic. The only reason it is not done is that you paint a target on yourself by sending out so much signal. If them dumbass terrorists ever figure it out, baghdad airport will be a only operate during the day and your flying manual. You also won't be talking to the tower either.


A cargo UAV? All alone out over the ocean? Golly, sounds like you will generate a whole new bread of pirates that will hyjack the signal and direct the UAV to land at some remote island where it's cargo is offloaded and then send it back on its merry way. That sounds really brilliant.

If man can make it, man can break it. That is gospel in the electronics industry.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 15:50
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Loss of cargo and hull - insured
Yes they would be insured however this goes back to liability. The insurance companies would try to blame the manufacturer for not having a system in place for this event, and as we know you can't plan for every eventuality. The manufacturer would have no one else to blame (i.e. pilots) and would have to take the rap (Imagine that!!!). Also adapting to the unknown is something humans do well at. One unfortunate thing we are seeing in modern automation is humans being taken out of the loop, this is something that I feel should be addressed.

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Old 21st Jul 2004, 15:57
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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747Focal - If man can make it man can break it - very very true.

Seriously though, with all the authentication protocols available today hijacking the control signal between a UAV and it's ground control would be very very difficult, if not dare I say this to Mr. Focal impossible? Frequency hopping, 128bit data encryption, message authentication etc etc.

What is perfectly possible is to block the signal, but if the aircraft is at cruising alt and speed you'd have to be following it in another aircraft to jam the signal for any meaningful amount of time. If that did happen then yes, software in the UAV would have to find some water and ditch in it. Then the Cessna float plane that was following it would land beside it, break into it and steal the knitting needles, parrot, used panties that it was transporting (refer to the strangest freight thread in Cargo).
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 16:17
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA

Ahh! But what if young FOCAL hides his transmitter into a package full of panties which is then put in the cargo hold of that very UAV then he could have all the knickers he ever wanted! LOL

But with Freq. encoding alternation you have a message with a 'bit' telling the receiver what Freq. your going to next. If F.O.Focal can get his hands on another receiver chip he has the code! Or there are other ways, basically it's another case like the Nazi 'Enigma' machine; they thought the Brits could not break the code, but they didn't know the Brits had just pinched a whole Enigma machine! Or take PRN code used on GPS they said it could not be interfered with but not only can the UK government do it but it just needs a couple of TV transmitters and bad atmospherics to mess it up completely.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 16:41
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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FLR-PSA,

I would challenge you to look at the TV satellite industry. All over the world their signal is hyjacked and they have put billions into deriving an inpenatrible system. Everytime they think they have it licked, the hackers get back in. No matter where you are, for a couple hundred bucks and some reading you can gert free TV anywhere in the world and there is nothing they can do to stop you. Those UAV would constantly be going through costly hardware upgrades to combat takeover by a flying pirate(thats what I meant in my previous post).

2WingsOnMyWagon,

It would only be a matter of time before insurance companies would no longer insure UAVs if they were constantly getting hyjacked
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 17:21
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Focal: It's one thing cobbling something together so you can watch free porn on sat TV but being able to hijack the channel and broadcast your own TV programmes is some very different. So yes hackers could get hold of information about where a UAV is and what instructions are being sent to it (which could be used criminally) but actually taking control by sending your own instructions would be a hell of a lot harder. neverless I'm sure someone here will say it's possible.

The insurance question is a difficult one. The CAA's publication tells the world that a UAV must be controlled at all times by a PIC and that the operating company must be correctly licensed to operated commercially. Therefore the liability in the event of a crash rests with them as in the rest of the industry. Of course if it can be proved that the UAV equipment was at fault the insurer could counter claim against the manufacturer, who would then counter claim against equipment supplier etc etc. the counter claim chain could go on forever.
One thing is for sure, if these to ever get airbourne the insurance premium will be high, maybe creating another barrier for operators/developers.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 19:16
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Danger

So were agreed then, UAV's are a long, long way off if ever! Phew...

Capt. Blackbeard.... I mean 2Wings
out.

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Old 21st Jul 2004, 20:14
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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I would not say breaking a billion dollar encryption code that changes every eight seconds cobbled together. I only used that as an example of what learned individuals can do if they really want to. Be it for profit or be it for extremist means, if they want it bad enough they will figure out a way to do it.



Here is just another example. You can jam the spectrum if you want regardless of the encryption.


The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), announced today that it will move forward with a plan to jam radio signals entering Canada from commercial radio stations originating inside the United States.

The $125 million project is expected to take 3 years to complete.

The Commission has contracted a Cuban technology company to provide and install 38 radio frequency jamming stations in every province.

At this time, the CRTC is focused on blocking signals from American AM broadcasters, due to the long range transmission ability of stations utilizing the AM band.


"Listening to US broadcasters will be illegal, subject to penalties outlined in the criminal code of Canada," said commission chair Charles Dalfen.

The CRTC came under heavy criticism for a recent decision that made receiving satellite signals from US providers illegal. The CRTC says it has no plans to jam satellite signals from US providers, at this time, due to the high cost involved, however, Mr. Dalfen indicated the relatively low cost of protecting Canadians from \'propaganda\' originating from the US on the AM band is "feasible and needed".

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one official from the CRTC told the Globe and Mail that blocking satellite signals from US providers may become a reality in the future.

The Globe and Mail quoted their source as saying, "If the federal government of Canada enters into an agreement with the US on the North American Missile Defense System, (commonly referred to as star wars), the CRTC will push to have these defense satellites piggy-back a device that can block commercial US TV satellite signals from entering Canada."

In related news, the CRTC refused to renew the broadcasting licence of CHOI-FM, a French-language commercial radio station in Quebec. The commission based their decision on offensive comments made by the hosts over the stationís airwaves.

The CRTC also granted permission for Canadian cable and satellite TV providers to broadcast Al Jazeera, an Arabic-language news and public affairs service.

"We have a duty to protect Canadians from broadcasters who promote hate, and provide offensive content. Our recent decision to deny a licence to a Quebec radio station, to block US AM radio broadcasters, and to allow the broadcast of the Arabic-language news service Al Jazeera, demonstrates our commitment to properly regulate the information Canadians are exposed to, said Charles Dalfen in a statement.
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Old 21st Jul 2004, 21:31
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Passengers won't go for it - Thank goodness !

Automation might be able to replace pilots today ....

BUT - Automation can go wrong. A train can come to a sstop on the tracks - an aircraft can't.

So the pax will wan't to see someone up front.

In the next 20 years perhaps we might see SINGLE crew .... The poor soul only gets to fly the a/c if the automatics pack up. Then his/her mission is to land asap. Will he/she be in "practice" never having flown anything since his/her last check ?.

Mind you, if all the automatics pack up , how flyable will the next generation of a/c be ?. Triple redundancy sounds good - but perhaps the rats who chew the wires don't know this .....

D 129
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