Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spy In The Sky

A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International (HON.N), capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades. If use of the drone wins Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14-pound (6.3 kg) drone over urban areas with an eye toward full-fledged employment in crime fighting.

According to Vaughn Fulton, Honeywell's program manager for unmanned aerial systems, the MAV is designed to fly between ground level and 500 feet, but it could go up to 10,500 feet. It is a scout and reconnaissance type of vehicle. It allows people to see over a hill or around a building. Vaughn explains the MAV's ducted-fan method of propulsion this way, "The fan is not propelling it through the air, but sucking it."

The MAV weights 7.3kg when empty(dry) and 8.4kg when fully loaded with fuel(wet). It is 35cm in diameter and 56cm from the base to the top. Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use this cutting-edge, spy in the sky technology.

Source : Honeywell

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