Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Wing-Morphing Micro Air Vehicles

Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are being equipped with shape-changing wings to allow them to perform remarkable bird-like manuevers. Prototypes have been created by a research team lead by Rick Lind, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida.


(From Wing Morphing MAV (video))

University of Florida engineers have built prototypes with wingspans as small as six inches. These MAVs are able to fly effectively in challenging environments like cities - just like their natural counterparts.

"If you fly in the urban canyon, through alleys, around parking garages and between buildings, you need to do sharp turns, spins and dives," said Lind. "That means you need to change the shape of the aircraft during flight."

Large drones like the Predator fly high above cities in Iraq, providing surveillance (and some offensive) capabilities. Micro air vehicles would be used to provide surveillance up close, sticking tight to their targets.


(From Wing Morphing MAV (video))

Impressed by seagullsí ability to hover, dive and climb rapidly, doctoral student Mujahid Abdulrahim photographed the gulls close-up during flight. Gullsí wings flex at both their shoulder and elbow joints as they alter flight patterns.


(From Seagull Wing Movement [earlier paper])

With the wings imitating the gullsí elbow in the down position, the plane loses stability but becomes highly maneuverable. With the wings in the elbow straight position, it becomes a good glider. Elbows up, itís highly controllable and easy to land.

Motors can transform the wings from the down to the up position in flight in 12 seconds, "fast enough to use in a city landscape," Abdelrahim said.

The bird-like prototypes are described as being "strikingly maneuverable," capable of completing three, 360-degree rolls in one second. (An F-16 fighter jet can manage at least one roll per second, but three rolls would produce excessive gravity force, killing the pilot). The UF micro air vehicles are so agile they appear out of control at times, and require considerable talent by the remote control pilot.

In his 1964 novel The Star King, Jack Vance wrote about tiny devices called stick-tights:

Suthiro knit his furry brown eyebrows in puzzlement, glanced for the most fleeting instant upward.

Gersen continued, "There is a stick-tight watching us, although I have not yet located it. Its microphone probably registers our conversation...
(Read more about Vance's stick-tights)

In the novel, stick-tights come in a variety of models, from the servo-optical (a spy cell supported by rotary wings, remotely guided by an operator) to the Culp spy master - a semi-intelligent bird-like creature trained to follow subjects of interest.

Take a look at two other tiny flying machines - the uFR-II Micro Flying Robot and Robotic Bird. Read more about Airborne drones, mimicking gulls, alter wing shape for agility.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/24/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Amazon One Is Frank Herbert's Palm Lock
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Who Needs Dogs? Trained Bees Detect Explosives
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...' - Philip K Dick, 1955.

Government In-Home Surveillance - Yes! Say Third Of Under-30 Adults
'The TV screen flicked to show a kitchen.' - Pournelle and Niven, 1981.

New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
A whole new world awaits you, John Anderton!

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Russians Think US Is Weaponizing Asteroids
'BY PUSHING AGAINST THE LITTLE MARTIAN MOON WITH OUR ROCKET SHIP, WE HAD LESSENED THE CENTRIFUGAL SPEED THAT HELD IT BALANCED IN THE SKY.'

The Warp And Fabric Of Spacetime
'Jenkins had evidently fallen into a warp in space.'

'Birds Aren't Real' An NPR Gen-Z Conspiracy
Keep your eyes on the skies!

Wearable Energy Harvester
'... he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing.'

Drones Participate In Buddhist Rites
'...a prayer wheel swung into view and began spinning at a furious pace.'

Anna Indiana AI Singer-Songwriter
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents'

Video Manicuring ala Schismatrix
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time'

'Feel the AGI' OpenAI Leader Now OpenWorship
'And are all the people willing to be governed by a machine?'

NASA Tests Prototype Europa Lander
Why have legs if they don't walk around?

Tailsitter Drone Aircraft For SAR
'...it was so easy for me to remain motionless in midair.'

Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'

Mika The Robot-Boss
'the robot-boss was busy at the lip of the new lode instructing and egging the men on to greater speed...'

Yamaha Motoroid 2 No Handlebars Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He rode the bike with an intense lack of physical grace...'

San Francisco Autobus
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street...'

Should Your Car Decide If You Can Drive?
'Okay. Maybe the car was right...'

Lucid Dreams On Demand From Prophetic and Card79
'the peeper did not operate by virtue of its machinery alone, but by the reaction of the brain and the body of its user...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.