Tuesday, February 5, 2013

26. A Nuclear Power/Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Analogy

After finishing up my evening run today, I came across an article about Universities preparing students to work within the coming domestic drone/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/remotely-piloted aircraft industry. I don't anticipate this posting to be especially profound, but simply a slightly intriguing analogy.

Here is a link to the article.

So, if you've read many of my postings here, you're probably asking, "What in the world does this have to do with peaceful nuclear power?" Well, I am about to tell you.
This image of a UAV was posted on Dan Yurman's now-retired blog Idaho Samizdat 

The main comparison that jumped out at me between the impending useful, economical, and peaceful uses of drones domestically and useful, economical, peaceful, atomic energy is that they have had and will continue to have perception problems to overcome. In general terms, these perception issues both stem from the same roots - that unmanned aerial vehicles and harnessing the power of the atom both made immense development strides solely due to military uses. Numerous other technologies that are now in use in everyday life share a comparable origin in terms of their militarily-derived developmental paths, but they have managed to not carry a stigma.

I anticipate that the term drone will carry more of a negative stigma than the acronym UAV and that UAV will carry more of a negative stigma than "remotely-piloted aircraft", despite them all being the same thing. For branding purposes, many domestic drone operations will probably jettison the term drone as quickly as possible. I don't have an immediate recommendation for a more publicly-accepted name for nuclear power, but going back to Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace program I like to emphasize here that nuclear power is a peaceful use of atomic energy.

Slight Aside: Consider this sentence my acknowledgement that there are definite privacy concerns to be hashed out relating to UAVs, but my purpose here is not to discuss those aspects.

I am not about to say that UAVs are going to come anywhere close to being as important to the global economies future as I believe nuclear power is and will be, but they will provide a lot of economical utility for legitimate, peaceful, and non-invasive purposes. Hopefully the stigma for both technologies can be lessened for the usages that deserve no stigma.

As I said, nothing profound, just an interesting analogy that I noted.

1 comment: