Sunday, January 14, 2007

Scan Eagle joins the ranks



A robotic airplane called ScanEagle has done more than 1,000 hours of intelligence and reconnaissance work for the Marines in Iraq, its developers said.

It travels above insurgent positions and sends real-time video images to Marines on the ground. The unmanned device can relay facial expressions on enemy soldiers, and can transmit in such detail that it shows steam rising from their coffee.

This detailed resolution could do some interesting civilian work.  I could imagine these planes being assigned to track endangered animals for example.  Communication lines in remote areas could be checked.  Small packages could be delivered by air drop with minimal cost.  The bottom line is that UAV's will come home from the war someday to do jobs we haven't thought of yet.

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