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Spy planes to recharge by clinging to power lines

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posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 01:53 AM
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The next time you see something flapping in the breeze on an overhead power line, squint a little harder. It may not be a plastic bag or the remnants of a party balloon, but a tiny spy plane stealing power from the line to recharge its batteries.
The idea comes from the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio, US, which wants to operate extended surveillance missions using remote-controlled planes with a wingspan of about a metre, but has been struggling to find a way to refuel to extend the plane's limited flight duration.
So the AFRL is developing an electric motor-powered micro air vehicle (MAV) that can "harvest" energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line. It could even temporarily change its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable.




technology.newscientist.com...




posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 01:55 AM
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Interesting that they are planning test flights of these in 2008, despite advice that that it's a rather a risky idea.



posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 02:00 AM
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This will be interesting.

wouldnt 50,000 volts destroy it???
or would there be limitations on which lower voltage power lines
to be used.
wouldnt the power companies would want money for the
consumtion of power or theft of power

cant wait for 1st test flight video to appear on youtube.



posted on Dec, 24 2007 @ 06:10 AM
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Allright just a little creepy here with this one. Incredible tech yes. Also gonna be a bit Orwellian to look up one day and see some dark mechanical CIA vulture sucking power like some nightmarish creature. "Nothing to see here folks" Bzzzzzzt *pop* flap-flap kill.

Makes me think of a cybernetic version of "Mothman" for some reason. I wonder what urban legends will be put forth by the PTB to scare folks away from this one.....



posted on Dec, 24 2007 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by timb3r

the AFRL is developing an electric motor-powered micro air vehicle (MAV) that can "harvest" energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line. It could even temporarily change its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable.


technology.newscientist.com...



Can I now assume that power plants will not now be on the airforce's hit list then?


So all those mobile phone (cell phones to you lot) towers will be allowed to continue transmitting... thus their secondary use as a part of a multi-static radar system would continue unabated.


I think someone hasn't thought this fully through.

[edit on 24/12/07 by kilcoo316]



posted on Dec, 25 2007 @ 05:16 AM
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Couldn't they just make it so it could tune into a specific wavelength of EM radiation to recharge itself without coming into contact with anything?



posted on Dec, 25 2007 @ 05:19 AM
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this sounds like a sure fire hazard. hope Arnold, our governor won't let this occur.



posted on Dec, 25 2007 @ 05:39 AM
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reply to post by kilcoo316
 


just purely conjecture on my part but perhaps they're not going to deploy these micro air vehicles in a hostile country.

i wonder if those MAVs might look like this.



or this



C0bzz,
here's a link to NASA's first successful laser-powered aircraft



[edit on 12.25.07 by toreishi]




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