Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a very promising type of weapon, which is currently being actively developed in different countries. Enough of significant success in creating them managed to achieve the United States. The army of this country for a long time and successfully uses various unmanned aerial vehicles for its own purposes, including in real combat conditions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Currently, engineers are working, among other things, on reducing the size of such devices, which can give the UAV additional features and advantages.
Not so long ago, the creators of military UAVs from the United States captured the imagination of the public and journalists by demonstrating a new microdron project. Omnipresent, imperceptible and deadly externally, these devices will resemble beetles and birds, and their functions will be in many ways similar. They will crawl, fly, sit on power lines, hover in the air, penetrate the premises.
The American military introduced the project of his “microbird” to the journalist John Horgan, representing The National Geographic. According to Horgan, the boom in creating unmanned aerial vehicles began after the terrorists launched an attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Developments in this direction have advanced far enough; at the same time, it became clear to developers that the future UAVs should not stand out too much from the usual landscape outside our window. That is how the idea of creating unmanned aerial vehicles made in the form of birds and beetles and not exceeding them in size appeared. John Horgan called this American military project "September 11 brainchild."
According to the assurances of the military, they already have prototypes of such devices, which are currently being tested. At the same time, the journalist was not allowed to watch the training flights. Instead, the military limited itself to demonstrating a specially created animated video in which the creators tried to show exactly how it would be possible to use the created drones-beetles and Drones-birds. In this video, which has already leaked to the network and is available to everyone, you can see how drones in the form of birds and beetles behave quite naturally in an urban environment.
It is worth noting that the time frame when we will be able to see such developments live is unknown. At the same time, work on the project “MAV” (Micro Air Vehicle - literally micro-flying vehicle) has been going on for a long time and their goal is indeed to miniaturize the models of unmanned aircraft. At the same time, this program has ready-made, already-used copies that are rather small, but they cannot yet be considered micro-devices.
We are talking about an unmanned reconnaissance helicopter - «MAV». This unit was developed as part of the Future Combat Systems program (combat systems of the future). The development of a miniature helicopter company was engaged in Honeywell. The device created by the company is a miniature UAV, which, being packed in a special transport container, can be carried by one infantryman and managed by him. During a series of tests a small drone performed more than 200 independent flights. One of the most difficult problems faced by its creators was the adaptation of a small engine, which is designed for light fuel, to heavy grades of gasoline, which are used by the main types of American military equipment.
It is assumed that these devices can enter into service with conventional infantry platoons and will be used by them for conducting reconnaissance, communications, navigation, target designation. The miniature drone has a gasoline motor and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing. In addition to the military sphere, these devices can also be used in peaceful life - for conducting road patrols, preventing forest fires, protecting forest areas, as well as for the needs of police units.
Currently, this unit is mass-produced by Honeywell. The MAV kit includes the 2 miniature drone as well as a ground control station. At the beginning of 2008, these turbofan drones were sent to Iraq, where they were used in combat conditions. UAV MAV is a small all-weather aircraft with a vertical take-off and landing. It can be used for reconnaissance and reconnaissance, the device is able to transmit the received information to the ground operator in real time.
This drone is very easy to assemble, prepare for flight and in control. The preparation time for take-off is no more than 10 minutes. In this case, the flight of the apparatus can be carried out both in automatic mode and in manual control mode. In automatic mode, the flight is carried out on a previously specified route, while the flight can be performed both during the day and at night.
The lead screw of the MAV drone has a channel design. The UAV is quite unpretentious in operation, it can solve its problems when exposed to dust, sand, rain and snow. At the same time, the entire drone kit is conveniently placed in one easily transportable container, the weight of which does not exceed 20 kilograms. The UAV is equipped with a special payload, which is mounted on a gimbal and provides a very good target capture and includes: an electro-optical camera that is able to transmit a color image and an infrared (IR) high-resolution camera.
The mass of the aircraft itself is 7,2 kg., The diameter is just 35, see. The UAV can fly horizontally at speeds up to 80 km / h, its climb rate is 4 m / s. The drone is able to fly at altitudes up to 150 meters, the maximum flight duration is 46 minutes. A miniature unmanned aerial vehicle MAV is able to take to the air at wind speeds up to 27 km / h.