Sunday, April 6, 2008

more of DARPA's toys

Looks like DARPA is at it again. Most of you know what I do for a living, so forgive this semi-work-related posting, but conceptually I think this is pretty cool.

The aforementioned research arm of the U.S. military is pursuing the development of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has its stamina measured in months and years, rather than hours (our current UAVs stay up for 24-48 hours before having to return home).

Why bother with something like this? Because satellites take forever to maneuver into position and existing UAVs require in-theater bases to supply and refuel. This new UAV will provide retaskable, pseudo-satellite capabilities in an unmanned aircraft package. This article has many more geek-chic details for those of you interested. Additionally, the article also mentions the development of a suborbital, rocket delivered UAV that can provide intelligence support anywhere in the world within 1-2 hours. Also very cool. By the way, both of these images are conceptual, not actual.


Brook said...

Months and years!, wow. Those are really amazing. Is there any other country that is doing this kind of stuff. I mean should we just asume that everybody is trying to develope this kind of technology?

Randy said...

A select few of our allies share our current UAV capabilities. Others are trying to develop their own UAV programs. The same ratio can probably be assumed for our potential enemies. I wouldn't assume that many more than 2 or 3 countries (ally or not) even have the technology to attempt something this ambitious. Crazy cool stuff man.