[extropy-chat] Worldwide SOS system

David Lubkin extropy at unreasonable.com
Thu Oct 6 10:53:10 PDT 2005

Kevin Freels wrote:

>This is a nice, productive thread, but one thing in missing -

When my father was building mini-RPVs in our living room in the
1970's for the Israelis, he was also figuring out how to use them.
Low-cost was inherent in his concept. He could turn a profit selling
them for a few thousand each. They were essentially light-weight
wooden planes powered by lawn mower engines, and could heft a 75 kg payload.

As the ideas morphed into Pentagon procurement, the vehicle
requirements became gold-plated, and the price tag went up 200x or
more. I haven't looked at the specifics of the current generation of
drones to see how useful the add-on requirements are, but there's
clearly great value in having many thousands of throw-away drones.

The simplest warfare use is to carry 75 kg of explosives, fly around
until you spot something more valuable, and then crash into it. The
sticky point for your enemy is that a SAM or AAM to shoot it down
could itself cost more than the drone.

There are also civilian uses that fold into our thread. There are
many search and rescue scenarios where it is too dangerous to send a
flight crew out, where one could instead load a drone with 75 kg of
emergency supplies.

Perhaps we could take the comm ideas and add an assistance component,
a la a network of long-duration blimps that serve as airborne hangers
for a drone fleet.

Just add uniforms, jerky movement, and Lady Penelope, and we have an
international rescue operation.

-- David Lubkin.

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