Sramana Majumdar

"Violence, Identity and Self-determination: Narratives of conflict from the Kashmir Valley" 4:15 PM, Monday 18 Nov Room 239, BYC Bryn Mawr College

Exposure Index

Tired of paper and pencil questionnaires about integration and intergroup contact? Try the new and improved EXPOSURE INDEX (click tab above on this page).

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’

That this story appeared in the Guardian (UK) and alJazeera (Qatar) but not U.S. news organizations underscores the uniqueness of the U.S. majority support for drone strikes in a world that generally disapproves of them.

Military Lags in Push for Robotic Ground Vehicles

The article predicts that the army will wait until civilian unmanned vehicles have been proven before deploying any themselves, and further that this is a “radical turnaround” of the normal process.  However, we at the Asch Center consider this civilian-applications-first development cycle to be standard for logistics technology, as seen with the automobile and airplane.

Air Force wants technology that will let drones sense and avoid other aircraft

Collision avoidance might seem an obvious area of interest for UAVs, but the Air Force has often seemed to be dragging its feet when it comes to increasing the deployment of drones.

Drone and Taliban Attacks Hit Civilians, Afghans Say

The drone strike killed four suspected militants – and a dozen civilian passengers in the truck.  Whether intentional or not, such strikes imply a lack of concern for bystanders that explains the heavily negative perception of drones in the region.

U.S. documents detail al-Qaeda’s efforts to fight back against drones

Notable is that some of the proposed responses include al-Qaeda building their own drones.  While most drones today are dependent on major power’s global communications reach and strong technological/industrial base, UAVs are remarkably simple for today’s technology and small, cheap versions can be obtained or built by anyone.  Terrorist and insurgent groups of all kinds […]

This Hybrid Quadcopter Drone Can Take Off and Land Vertically

Vertical Takeoff and Landing systems have long been a goal of military aircraft manufacturers.  Some (the Harrier jet) usually require at least some runway, others (the Osprey) have been plagued by safety problems.  UAVs are cheaper, don’t risk pilots, and are smaller, all of which make the desired flexibility more practical to achieve.

Launch This New 9-Hour Solar-Powered Drone from Your Shoulder

This device is not only dependent on the usual unmanned technology, but on thin, extra-light solar panels.  Once again, the usefulness of unmanned vehicles is in their synthesis of disparate fields.  While a price is not given, the special solar panels are probably pricey – but well worth it as most UAVs of this size […]

State of drones in Pa.’s air fleet: Electronic eye in the sky

This article includes the apparently obligatory reference to military drones (in this case, a $15 million national guard program), but underscores the geological possibilities of UAVs.  In this case, the proposed use is taking pictures of sinkholes and comparing the new photographs to earlier data to look for dangerous changes.

Florida Keys turns to drones in battle against mosquitos

Florida, like many potential buyers of UAVs, is interested in the ability to monitor large areas regularly and cheaply – important as the Florida keys cover a large area and the mosquito life-cycle is not long.  The article notes some fears as to the possibility that UAVs will displace human jobs.

Almost orbital, solar-powered drone offered as “atmospheric satellite”

Anyone who uses GPS devices or online mapping tools is dependent on satellites.  Unfortunately, satellites move in mostly predictable orbits, can be destroyed by several large powers, and are expensive to place and use.  High altitude UAVs have promised to provide the communication, navigation, and photographic services of satellites at a fraction of the cost.  […]