Saturday, January 24, 2009

Drones! The UNMANNED fighter planes

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an unpiloted aircraft . UAVs can be remote controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed fligh... thumbnail 1 summary
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an unpiloted aircraft. UAVs can be remote controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. UAVs are currently used in a number of m ilitary roles, including reconnaissance and attack. They are also used in a small but growing number of civil applications
such as firefighting when a human observer would be at risk, police observation of civil disturbances and crime scenes, and reconnaissance support in natural disasters. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty, or dangerous" for manned aircraft.

UAVs typically fall into one of six functional categories (although multi-role airframe platforms are becoming more prevalent):

  • Target and decoy - providing ground and aerial gunnery a target that simulates an enemy aircraft or missile
  • Reconnaissance - providing battlefield intelligence
  • Combat - providing attack capability for high-risk missions (see Unmanned combat air vehicle)
  • Logistics - UAVs specifically designed for cargo and logistics operation
  • Research and development - used to further develop UAV technologies to be integrated into field deployed UAV aircraft
  • Civil and Commercial UAVs - UAVs specifically designed for civil and commercial applications

They can also be categorised in terms of range/altitude and the following has been advanced as relevant at such industry events as ParcAberporth Unmanned Systems forum:

  • Handheld 2,000 ft (600 m) altitude, about 2 km range
  • Close 5,000 ft (1,500 m) altitude, up to 10 km range
  • NATO type 10,000 ft (3,000 m) altitude, up to 50 km range
  • Tactical 18,000 ft (5,500 m) altitude, about 160 km range
  • MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) up to 30,000 ft (9,000 m) and range over 200 km
  • HALE (high altitude, long endurance) over 30,000 ft and indefinite range
  • HYPERSONIC high-speed, supersonic (Mach 1-5) or hypersonic (Mach 5+) 50,000 ft (15,200 m) or suborbital altitude, range over 200km
  • ORBITAL low earth orbit (Mach 25+)
  • CIS Lunar Earth-Moon transfer

Additional category can be applied in pattern of function: fixed routes vs. dynamically variable routes:

The U.S. military employs a tier system for categorizing its UAVs.

The Best time of is of

QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric 82 hours 37 minutes 28-31 July 2008

(Thanks to wikipedia)

New Year, New You
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