In Brief

Crash Avoidance Tips From NASA

The GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS) is used to evaluate sensing devices in airborne testing. (Image credit: Georgia Tech |)

From watching whales to flying through volcanoes, remote-controlled aircraft are becoming a popular research tool. Now NASA has some lessons to share with researchers, pilots and hobbyists who launch unmanned vehicles into the sky.

"Crash Course," a new ebook, details remotely piloted research vehicle and unmanned aircraft system mishaps and their causes, consequences, resultant corrective actions, and lessons learned, according to a NASA statement. Unsurprisingly, most of these "undesired outcomes" come from a long chain of equipment malfunctions and/or human errors, rather than a single spectacular failure.

More at NASA e-Books

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.