That's the upshot of a test that Boeing has completed with an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, called the , a 33-pound drone that over several years has already seen lots of action with the U.S. Marines in Iraq. In a recent exercise at a Boeing test facility in Oregon, target-tracking software called Stalker allowed the UAV to fly by its own wits. The ScanEagle automatically followed and monitored a truck (playing the role of a terrorist's vehicle) as it made evasive maneuvers such as starts and stops and abrupt turns; the Stalker software adjusted the ScanEagle's flight path to maintain a low profile but also optimal positioning to transmit video of the truck, Boeing said.
The ScanEagle soared as fast as 70 knots and ranged up to 1,500 feet during the 45-minute test flight. The UAV is capable of flying above 16,000 feet, according to Boeing.
July 2, 2007 11:51 AM PDT
Photo by: Boeing
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