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Science & Technology

The Pentagon is working on 'vanishing drones'

By T.K. Randall
October 13, 2015 · Comment icon 5 comments

DARPA is working to build drones that can self-destruct after use. Image Credit: US Air Force
A new type of military drone could disappear entirely in to thin air after completing its objectives.
Drones have proven to be an invaluable asset over the last few years, especially during operations in the Middle-East where they have been credited with delivering critical medical supplies to refugees fleeing war-torn regions controlled by extremist forces.

There is however one major weakness in the use of these vehicles - they can often make for easy targets meaning that too many of them are ultimately ending up in enemy hands.

To solve this problem the Pentagon is developing a new type of drone that will be designed to essentially self-destruct after completing its mission to prevent anyone getting their hands on it.
Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems (ICARUS) shares its name with the boy of Greek mythology whose wings melted when he flew too close to the sun.

One of the biggest hurdles in creating the new drones however will be in finding a way to implement an effective self-destruct mechanism without compromising the flight capabilities of the vehicle.

The drone they hope to end up with will measure no more than three meters across, will be able to travel up to 150 kilometers and can drop a payload of three pounds within ten meters of the target.

The development program will span 26 months with an estimated budget of $8 million.

Source: The Fiscal Times | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
Delivery of medical supplies .... why not turn this over to Amazon? They already have a light delivery project under way and, I suspect, could do it for a fraction of the development cost while not subjugating it to the delivery of weapons.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Infernal Gnu 9 years ago
This is such a deceptive title for this article! I thought that scientists were working on drones that had cloaking technology.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Finding Lance 9 years ago
Of course they are.
Comment icon #4 Posted by regeneratia 9 years ago
DEFUND THE PENTAGON!! It has gotten way, way off base, pardon the pun! What needs to happen in today's world, if we cannot stop the drones, is to use some of our own. Photographers as well. If they can violate our US Constitutional rights and spy on us, we should be able to violate their state rights and heartily spy on the people who think they are running the show. Obviously everyone has dirty little secrets. Let's institute a hard copy and soft copy magazine solely on the information gathered on the people who spy on us, including lawless subcontractors. Lets publicize THEIR dirt. Let's pub... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by regeneratia 9 years ago
"Pentagon calls for design that drops payloads at night, before vanishing without a trace" What is the payload? Dropped to where, to whom, for what reason? Lethal microbes that were stored in that unsecured closet between the FDA and the CDC, or those at the NIH? To drop on whom? http://www.usatoday....afety/12531081/ Obviously what they tell us and what really happens will be totally different things.

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