surveillance drones

Unmanned aircraft such as surveillance drones are really nothing compared to the stuff the Air Force is working on. Miniaturization marches onwards and gives rise to the sort of little devices you see in the picture.

“At the Micro-Aviary at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, researchers rig the walls with super-sensitive motion capture sensors that track a tiny plane or helicopter’s position ”within about a tenth of an inch,” according to researcher Greg Parker. Information from those sensors helps engineers develop “flapping-wing flight” drones — “very, very small flapping-wing vehicles,” in Parker’s phrase. And how. One of the vehicles on display in the video, released by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Pat, is a robot dragonfly. It doesn’t appear to be much more than a circuit board, a super-tiny motor and two insect-like wings”