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Small, Quick Quadrotors Next Step in Spy Tech?

Written by on Monday, February 6th, 2012

You’re walking through a mall and pass a toy store. A salesperson is standing at the store entrance, piloting a remote-controlled helicopter toy to try to entice kids into entering. Does that scene sound familiar? It’s a fairly common sight, because remote-controlled technology is nothing new. While that kind of technology is ubiquitous, it doesn’t have much application outside of the realm of games and toys — not yet, anyway. Would it be possible to transform something as harmless as a child’s toy into a valuable tool for the Air Force?

While that may have seemed like a ludicrous idea decades ago, the advancements made in UAV technology and their staggering successes recently have proven that UAVs are here to stay. In order to fully utilize the maneuverability and speed of a remote-controlled hand-held flying device, you can’t just attach a camera to toy. Battlefield conditions require a device that can meet the demands of urban warfare.

GRASP Laboratory at Pennsylvania University is making advancements with quadrotors, which are small, toy-sized devices that use four synchronized rotors that enable it to be quick and maneuverable. These quadrotors are much more than childish playthings. They utilize advanced technology that could potentially make them quite useful for urban UAV scenarios. As you might buy cialis online 5mg expect, one of the most important requirements for a UAV drone is for it to be reliable and always capable of flight, even when conditions are suboptimal. These quadrotors can become airborne even if they are thrown, dropped, or turned upside down.

Perhaps the most striking thing about these quadrotors is their impressive maneuverability. With hovering capabilities and extremely precise flying, these quadrotors could easily navigate through open windows and doors. With the battlefield shifting more towards urban environments, surveillance technology necessarily needs to be able to overcome the obstacles common in buildings. Other surveillance drones, such as the urban hopper, depend on enhanced maneuverability. These videos prove that these quadrotors should eventually be able to be programmed by a computer to automatically pass through small portals without collisions.

These quadrotors represent an advance in urban surveillance UAV technology. While they may not be the stealthiest drones with their constant buzz, these quadrotors can access urban environments that would be completely closed off to virtually every other drone in existence. While it may be some time before the U.S. military is able to create and employ a cheap and reliable hand-held UAV for spying on buildings, quadrotor technology may very well be the next biggest thing in surveillance.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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