Archive for March, 2008

Interview Tips for the Google

Friday, March 21st, 2008

“Get that job at Google.”

You: Should I work at Google? Is it all they say it is, and more? Will I be serenely happy there? Should I apply immediately?

Me: Yes.

You: To which ques… wait, what do you mean by “Yes?” I didn’t even say who I am!

Me: Dude, the answer is Yes. (You may be a woman, but I’m still calling you Dude.)

And so forth…..

CONOPS and Autonomy Recommendations for VTOL MAVs Based on Observations of Hurricane Katrina UAV Operations

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Preprint of my Autonomous Robots journal article based on our UAV work following Hurricane Katrina.

Title: CONOPS and Autonomy Recommendations for VTOL MAVs Based on Observations of Hurricane Katrina UAV Operations

PDF: UAVs at Hurricane Katrina journal preprint


This field study examines VTOL UAV operations conducted as part of an 8 day structural inspection task following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. From the observations of the 32 lights spread over 12 missions, four key findings are identified for CONOPS and the next level of artificial intelligence for rotary-wing UAVs operating in cluttered urban environments. These findings are 1) the minimum useful standoff distance from inspected structures is 2-5m, 2) omni-directional sensor capabilities are needed for obstacle avoidance, 3) GPS waypoint navigation is unnecessary, and 4) that these operations require three operators for one MAV. Based on the findings and other observations, a crewing organization and flight operations protocol for UAVs are proposed. Needed directions in research and development are also discussed. These recommendations are expected to contribute to the design of platforms, sensors, and artificial intelligence as well as facilitate the acceptance of UAVs into the workplace.

I’ll add this in once it gets published. It should be in Autonomous Robots eventually.

LaTeX and \flushleft

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I’m assembling a big report for MSHA in LaTeX and using the book document class, which normally justifies just splendidly. So when it stopped justifying paragraphs correctly and was giving ragged right edges, that was a problem.

Long story short: I copied some different environments (description, etc) from the web and brought in a \flushleft, which I thought would just apply to that element. Wrong. It changed the setting from then on. Removed all the \flushlefts, and it sets the paragraphs correctly.

And hurray for science and methodical debugging…..”Well the first section is right, and the beginning of section two, and then it goes to shit after this list here. Hey, what’s this \flushleft doing here?”