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Cicada UAV Dropped In Swarms

The Cicada (Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft) is a tiny UAV designed to be dropped in large numbers; it falls to earth within a few feet of a designated location.


(Cicada (Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft))

The prototype cost just a thousand dollars, and the cost could come down to as little as $250 apiece, said Kahn, a flight controls engineer at the naval lab.

With no motor and only about 10 parts, the Cicada resembles a paper airplane with a circuit board.

It is designed to glide to programmed GPS coordinates after being dropped from an aircraft, a balloon or a larger drone, researchers said.

In a test about three years ago in Yuma, Arizona, Cicada drones were released from 57,600 feet (17,500 meters). The little drone flew — or fell — 11 miles, landing within 15 feet of its target.

This use of small, almost disposable UAV's to precise locations, reminded me of the small recording eyes in Robert Silverberg's 1969 novel The Man in the Maze:

Muller saw a cloud-wrapped planet... it could have been Venus... The recording eye pierced the cloud layer and revealed an unfamiliar, not very Earthlike planet.

Boardman said, "That was taken less than a month ago. We parked a drone ship fifty thousand kilometers up and dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.

Via Defense News.

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