Imagine a rocket plane that can sail for dozens of miles over the Martian terrain, set itself down, send out a robotic explorer for a month or so, then take off for the next destination. It may sound like pure science fiction
UA’s MAV Team Wins Top Honors in Fly-Off University of Arizona
UA’s Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) team took top honors earlier this month during the 4th International Micro Aerial Vehicle Meeting in Toulouse, France. The event included more than a dozen teams from France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, and the United States. The UA plane, a flying wing with a 6-inch wingspan, was easily the smallest surveillance plane at the competition. The radio-controlled MAV flew a triangular course that was 100 meters on a side. It also used an onboard video camera to photograph and return an image of a target placed along the course. 100 meters is about the length of a football field, including the end zones.
Future Robots May “Hop” Across Mars Universe Today
NASA’s Spirit Rover has just completed a long hard slog across difficult Martian terrain to reach the Columbia hills. The short journey of just a couple of kilometres has taken Spirit months. Imagine if it could thoroughly analyze an area and then just pick up and fly somewhere new? NASA is considering a proposal from Pioneer Astronautics, which envisions a vehicle that could land on Mars, refuel with local materials, and then fly hundreds of kilometres to explore; repeating this process over and over again – the Martian Gashopper Aircraft.
Multiple Mars UAV Proposals Likely In Next Scout Competition Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Several competing unmanned aerial vehicle missions are likely to be proposed for flight on Mars in NASA’s next Scout competition, according to Andy Gonzales, program manager for NASA Ames Research Center’s MATADOR project. Set to begin in roughly a year, the next Mars Scout competition will select one or more missions for launch to Mars in 2011. If upcoming flight-tests of MATADOR (Mars Advanced Technology Airplane for Deployment, Operations, and Recovery) are successful, the team may propose a mission, according to Gonzales. “We’re hopeful that the [Mars] airplane’s time has finally come.”
Whirl-A-Drone Begins To Spin defensetech
“Right now, it looks a lot like a Frisbee with four wings,” the Wall Street Journal says. But, one day, this early prototype could become “an unmanned aircraft capable of hovering in the same spot for days at a time.” The craft, known as the Whirl, is being designed at the “Bike Shop” — a small, secretive development shop tucked away in a corner of Raytheon, the giant defense contractor.
Flying robot may help in security, disaster relief [and space exploration] The Globe and Mail
Seiko Epson Corp. is developing a flying robot that looks like a miniature helicopter, and which its makers hope will be used for security, disaster rescue and space exploration. Dubbed the Micro Flying Robot, the 12.3-gram, 85-millimetre machine, shown to reporters on Wednesday, follows a flight-route program sent from a computer using Bluetooth wireless technology
Raytheon demonstrated its SilentEyes Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by ejecting it from an MQ-9 Predator pylon-mounted canister during tests at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Proxity Digital Networks, through Cyber Aerospace Corp, an operating subsidiary of Proxity’s On Alert Systems, announces their first generation Individual Unmanned Air Scout (IUAS), known as Cyber Scout, is in test flight mode. Weighing only 10 lbs., the UAV is designed to operate innovative clandestine reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and could be hand-carried into battle to perform hunter-killer missions.
SciScoop covered this story over a year ago, but it’s worth taking a look at again now because of new May 2004 cover stories in Popular Mechanics and Physics Today. Apparently there are classified efforts underway to modify an existing Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a quantum nucleonic reactor (QNR) to power its jet engine, allowing virtually unlimited time aloft.
Atomic Wings Popular Mechanics
After more than six decades of research, the first atom-powered airplane is cleared for takeoff. Although details of the project remain classified, a description of this remarkable aircraft has begun to emerge from technical conferences and declassified engineering studies. The plane will be both familiar and unique. Familiar in that it will resemble a Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, the bulbous-nosed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that the U.S. Air Force has used to track enemy movements in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unique because its nuclear reactor is unlike any other. Rather than split heavy elements or fuse light atoms–as in fission and fusion reactors–it will use what is known as a triggered isomer reaction. If this new powerplant, called a quantum nucleonic reactor, performs as scientists expect, its effect on the aircraft industry may prove as revolutionary as the introduction of the jet engine.