Influencing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs

The military and aerospace (mil/aero) market is currently a hotbed of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) activity. UAV platforms, technologies, challenges, and even mishaps are making news headlines and drawing a great deal of attention of late. Whereas the UAV is likely the hottest topic in mil/aero today, a much smaller industry segment know well the UAV’s rich and interesting history.

The geek wants to remedy that in this blog, however. It is, after all, not only fascinating, but a bit surprising. For example, were you aware that many call famed scientist and visionary Nikola Tesla the “father of unmanned vehicle technology”?

The forward-thinking Tesla is perhaps best known as the father of alternating current (AC)—despite Thomas Edison’s best efforts to thwart him and to curtail the adoption and acceptance of AC through various means, including the use of scare tactics, in favor of and in the promotion of his own “baby,” direct current (DC).

Tesla is also credited with innovations in fluorescent lighting, AC motors, x-ray technology, wireless power transmission, hydroelectric power, and even what is today known as the directed-energy weapon. Regarding UAVs, however, it has been reported that one of his life’s goals was to produce a “flying machine” equipped with an electric motor powered by grounded base stations. His theorized invention, taking the shape of a cigar or a saucer, might also be powered electro-mechanically.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

This geek has been fascinated with Tesla, but wasn’t aware of his influence on the modern-day wonder that is the unmanned aerial vehicle. How about you? Stay tuned for many, many more interesting UAV factoids.

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Posted June 25th, 2012, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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2 comments on this post | ↓ Add Your Own

Commented on June 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm
By ขายนาฬิกา

Very interesting, thanks

Commented on January 22, 2016 at 2:35 am
By CES 2016 Updates: There aren’t Just Toy Drones | AumCore Blog

[…] (and perhaps the most important for drones) began with Nicola Tesla, who introduced the first remote control vehicle 1898 (a boat to be more specific), far beyond the technology of its time. A change the way we saw the […]

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