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Micro-Aircraft Compete for Reconnaissance Roles

Photonics Spectra
May 1997
Prototypes of eight micro-aircraft equipped with small engines, cameras and sensing equipment took part in the first Micro Aerial Vehicle competition on April 5 near the University of Florida in Gainesville. These micro air vehicles, each weighing only ounces, attempted to fly the length of a 600-m-long course, seek out a hidden 1.5-m symbol and transmit the image back to the takeoff site via TV link. The smallest craft to successfully complete the course (see photo above) had a 24-in. wingspan and weighed only 10 oz. The Pentagon has been working to develop micro-aircraft equipped with biological and chemical sensors for battlefield applications.

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