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Tempest Uav Launch

DailyTech – The Navy Unveils “Cicada”: Now Even the Drones Have Drones.

The U.S. Navy Research Lab’s Tempest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) may not be the mother of all drones, but it is the mother of two drones, at least. A Hoisted up to 53,000 feet onto a high-flying trajectory via releasable balloon, the Tempest UAV “gives birth” in flight, launching a pair of mini “Cicada” drones.

The tiny Cicadas are an exercise in efficiency, with their logic boards doubling as wings. The Cicada UAVs are gliders, complete with smartphone-like two-axis gyroscopes and GPS circuits for navigation.

Several variants have been produced. The Cicada Mark I can be launched by firing it from a gun into the air. The Cicada Mark III is designed with special wings for improved range and stability, and is the model used by Tempest “mothership”. Cicada stands for Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft.

Pt 353

See our predictions for 2012, reporters will have drones too.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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