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article imageUnmanned aerial vehicles the size of a cigarette

By MadMoneyWannabe     Jan 26, 2008 in Technology
As reported in the Daily O'Collegian, Oklahoma State University researchers have been working with DARPA in creating a sophisticated, unmanned aircraft small enough to fit in a soldier's pocket.
According to Crave, a propulsion system has been developed using plasma thrusters without moving parts that could provide power to micro and nano unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. These airplanes could measure anywhere from a foot to less than 6 inches long.
According to Jamey Jacob, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Oklahoma State University, said What we want the infantrymen to be able to do is pull a pack of six or so out of their pocket and have them ready for use.
These new lines of aircrafts could take some of the duties being performed by today's UAV fleet. These tasks include mainly surveillance of hostile areas, and this could improve other UAV equipment used by soldiers today. Students at OSU are currently working on another DARPA project, an aircraft that could stay aloft for five years at a stretch.
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