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  • Move over Mini and Micro, Nano Air Vehicle's Coming
    Posted by Graham Warwick 2:32 PM on May 28, 2008

    Policemen are getting younger and UAVs are getting smaller, it seems. Aerovironment is to build a prototype flapping-wing Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) for Darpa. The NAV will weigh no more than 10 grams, including its 2 gram payload (that's 0.07 ounces to you Americans, or 1/8th of a cup to you cooks, and not a lot to the rest of us).

    blog post photo
    Photo: Aerovironment

    Aerovironment's six-month, $636,000 Phase 2 contact will culminate in the demonstration of a rudimentary, 3-inch flapping wing air vehicle, after which Darpa has the option to extend the program for another 18 months to include prototype flight demonstrations.

    The NAV is intended to fly indoors and outdoors, exploiting biologically inspired low Reynolds-number aerodynamics to hover and fly and with the ability to navigate autonomously, avoiding collisions, where GPS is not available.

     Aerovironment is the king of smallish UAVs, building the 12lb Puma, 4.2lb Raven and 0.95lb Wasp (that's a weighty 430 grams to you Europeans).

    Tags: ar99, Darpa, Aerovironment

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