Science & Technology
The Pentagon is working on 'vanishing drones'
October 13, 2015 | 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
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