Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vulture UAV

Vulture UAV by Jim Wilson/Lockheed Martin

Class: High-Altitude

Habitat: A belt of relatively calm air around 55,000 feet

Behavior: Lockheed Martin’s design for Darpa’s Vulture program can stay aloft for five years, turning lazy circles above any patch of ground that needs continuous monitoring. A suite of day-and-night cameras can scan a 600-mile swath, sending data back to handlers on the ground. The craft will have to beat out species from a Boeing-led consortium and Virginia-based Aurora Flight Sciences for a second round of funding.

Notable Feature: The craft’s semiflexible structure bends instead of breaking when winds cause the long span to oscillate violently

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