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Developing Smart Munitions that Transform Mid-Flight into UAVs
Added Mar 26, 2013 | Rate View top rated
West Virginia University researchers are partnering with the U.S. military to produce a new line of smart munitions that would be ballistically fired like mortars or grenades but would transform into an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of surveillance or payload delivery. The devices resemble 40- and 60-millimeter shells. They are easily transportable and their adaptability makes them capable of being launched and operated autonomously or with a guidance system, depending on the task. The shells’ fold-in wings deploy once airborne, and, although light and compact, they carry complex electronics such as cameras and GPS, as well as actuators and weapons. "They can provide you with unprecedented, beyond the line of sight situational awareness on the battlefield," says principal investigator Mridul Gautam.
TxTom | commented on April 26, 2013
I have to confess to not really getting the point. Where are we seeing the advantage here over a small, hand launched UAV equipped with similar sensors, and without the need for it to survive the high-G launch?
cvanmilligen | commented on April 26, 2013
While the overall concept is good and could be very beneficial to the troops, it seems that using rocket technology would be more practical than using mortar technology.
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