An article posted last week on i-programmer suggests that the flight simulator Flight Gear, hosted here at ibiblio, could be used to test drone flights aimed at spotting ocean debris. If deemed successful, the drones could be used to search for floating detritus and direct clean-up ships to the appropriate areas.
Flotsam and jetsam is no joke, as evidenced by news of the first appearances of 1.5 million tons Japanese Tsunami debris that could wash ashore along the Canadian and American coastlines in the coming year. You can see the projected spread of the debris from an article from Our Amazing Planet.com [Linked content no longer available]. Unfortunately, it’s arriving sooner than expected.
From the Flight Gear Blog:
The quality of FlightGear ocean scenes can now (in many cases) make them almost indistinguishable from real camera imagery.
On Slashdot.org, the idea of using flight gear to test drone flights was received with a varied mix of skepticism, enthusiasm, and the token host of suggestions about how to pull such a simulation off, and ways to make it better.
Well what do you think? the latest versions of flight gear are now available on our awesome new bitTorrent platform terasaur. Take an aircraft for a spin and see if you can spot any of the ocean junk headed our way.