Air Vehicles, august 31th 2005
Researchers at the Universtiy of Florida have looked to nature to
answer some complex questions concerning the flight of their prototype
The aviation engineers want the craft to be able to change shape mid
flight to increase its manouverability and reduce the risk of being
detected. To do this they observed Seagulls wheeling around buildings,
and darting down city streets all the while recording the various
positions and shapes of the wings during flight.
It is hoped the Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) will be capable of automatically
finding their way around narrow city streets to monitor locations,
and covertly fire surveillance gear into properties under suspicion.
The craft could also be used to fly into hazardous conditions where
biological or chemical agents are present and relay data to a remote
location. Realisticaly it will be 3 or 4 years before the first fully
autonomous micro drones can be operated with reliability in this capacity.