Reusable Booster System
Boeing is developing a reusable booster system demonstration vehicle called the RBS Pathfinder. So far, the experimental vehicle is only a concept, as depicted in this artist’s rendering. Plans call for the RBS Pathfinder to be able to autonomously return after upper-stage separation and land on a runway near the launch site using a technique called “rocket back,” which manages the booster’s energy and flight path.
It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane
What could possibly be smaller than the Micro Air Vehicle? This little drone, a Nano Air Vehicle (NAV), is an extremely small, ultra lightweight flying machine that can be used for both indoor and outdoor military missions. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is exploring flapping wing and other configurations that are maneuverable, but surreptitious. Design features include high lift-to-drag airfoils and efficient propulsion and power systems.
Hover And Stare
The easy-to-assemble Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is a modular system that can be set up and airborne within 10 minutes. Pictured here is the T-Hawk, manufactured by Honeywell, designed for use in support of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and with real-time video capture for “hover and stare” situations.
Armed And Autonomous
Aurora Flight Science’s Excalibur is intended to fill a gap between piloted fighter jets and armed drones that require remote piloting. An advanced flight control system operates the Excalibur with a high degree of autonomy, so ground-based operators can focus on finding targets instead of flying. The aircraft is designed to carry Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and other weapons. Its design allows for vertical takeoffs and landings.
See more amazing drone technology at InformationWeek.com …
h/t: Mark Juelich
Drone technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. So much so, civilian-made drones are becoming quite sophisticated themselves, as this video entitled “Trolling French Cops with a Drone” demonstrates: