Michael Nap stood on the porch and watched a video screen on the remote control on Monday, displaying images of a pig about 200 yards away and a beef cattle about a third mile away.
Sometimes I could hear the drone faintly from the blue sky.
Knapp uses this technology frequently to check livestock, so you don’t have to walk or drive near the barn.
“Now I wish the drone could water them and feed them,” Nap said with a laugh. They follow me. We are grazing intensively.
“I specialize in really good quality meat, so I grow cows and pigs very naturally, without the use of artificial steroids or hormones.”
Knapp not only uses drones at the 232-acre Knapp Time Farm in Shade Township, but also teaches classes for people who want to learn for fun or business reasons, such as real estate sales, agriculture, and marketing.
Drones have become popular in recent years, but Nap has been using them for 30 years since he served in the Army.
“The drone revolutionized military technology because it used to be a place where you could take pictures using satellite orbits. Now the drone can stay on top and fly for long periods of time, which is very high. You can get quality full-motion video, “Nap said. “Drones have more features than you can imagine. As drones evolve, I think we’ll see many new careers in the drone industry.”
Working with drones is part of his long-achieved career in technology.
A 1980 West Point graduate who graduated from South California University and Penn State University from 1994 to 1999, Nap collaborated with NASA through the Army Astronaut Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Then, before he retired in 2001, he worked for the Army Space Program Office.
“I thought’there’s never been such a great job,'” Nap said of his time at NASA. “I have secured Russian training. I had a lot of science and experimentation on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle. But when I went to the intelligence side, the unmanned side of the universe, NASA There was a technology I saw that I wouldn’t see for 20 or 30 years. I dealt with a lot of satellites, reconnaissance planes, and drones. That was my first exposure to drones. “
He includes Nobel Prize-winning Samuel Chao Chung Ting, moon-walking astronauts John Young and Eugene Cernan, and Franklin R. Chang-Dias, who shares most orbital launch records from Earth. , Became working with aerospace leaders. ..
“I’m part of many good teams and I feel like I’ve been able to contribute,” Nap said. “Some of these were so complex that they had never been done before. It takes a good team to come up with a way to accomplish something that has never been done before.”
The ideas he contributed are still used in space exploration today.
“Currently, some of my products on the (International) Space Station are microgravity science glove boxes. I was in charge of the astronaut’s office and helped develop it. It’s an alpha magnetic spectrometer.” Says Mr. Nap.
“It’s on the International Space Station. And there are many others. I was able to continue many times.”
Nap flew the OH-58 and Cobra attack helicopters and trained them in the Space Shuttle Simulator for over 500 hours.
He commanded an aerial cavalry pilot who patrols the Iron Curtain near Czechoslovakia, East Germany, West Germany and Austria during the “uncertain” times of the Cold War.
Nap later became an instructor.
“It was really fun,” Nap said.
“When the engine is throttled and the aircraft is screaming from the sky, those students are very motivated to learn as they are actually making corrections and returning to the cockpit to save the aircraft and themselves. It is high. .”
After a quarter of a century in the army, Nap returned to the area to work for a local defense industry contractor, Concurrent Technologies Corp., where he “using supercomputers and all the crazy technologies, many of these distant things. Now do it here. In Johnstown. “
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.