Drones shrunk to the size of birds at Wright Patterson AFB
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7:42:59 AM
Military researchers at Wright Patterson AFB
are working to shrink drones, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are remotely piloted to battle Al Qaeda by transmitting live video from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to American forces, the New York Times reports.
The Pentagon already has more than 7,000 drones, but is now researching ways to make the aircrafts smaller, the size of birds or insects, the news source reports. In the "mircoaviary," the flight lab at Wright Patterson AFB, the drones are being designed to replicate the ways moths, hawks and other airborne animals fly.
The Pentagon is asking Congress for $5 billion for this research and development in 2012.
The Dayton Business Journal reported that these funds would would boost the Dayton area economy and bring more than 200 jobs.
By the year 2030, the Pentagon envisions even more "stuff of science fiction," including drones the size of flies with sensors that would be able to detect enemies, nuclear weapons, or victims buried in rubble, the Times reported. The Air Force is training more remote pilots, who control UAVs, than fighter and bomber pilots combined.
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