Wednesday, 05 Mar, 2008 Technology

Vulture - The Unmanned Aircraft Able to Stay in the Air for 5 Years


Officials from Flight Global stated that DARPA will probably sign a contract to create an unmanned aircraft that is able to stay in the air for about 5 years at a time. The representatives from DARPA characterize their project, entitled "Vulture," as a "persistent pseudo-satellite capability in an aircraft package." Generally speaking the aircraft is able to fly over a single area, communicating or performing analysis for years at a time.

Having such grand goals the company has to overcome some serious barriers. One of the major obstacles is linked with the fact that designers have to figure out the way to supply power to such an aircraft during the long missions. In addition it is worth mentioning that the aircraft will carry a 1000 pound (450 kg) payload in terrible winds at an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. In regard to the design of the aircraft, it will probably be the one seen in the picture, developed by NASA, however, there is no certain time table on when the craft will actually be ready.

US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency looks forward to push the limits of unmanned aviation to extremes. The latest UAV project of DARPA currently raises eyebrows.

"We want to completely change the paradigm of how we think of aircraft," stated Daniel Newman, who holds the post of Vulture project manager. "Aviation has a perfect record - we've never left one up there. We will attempt to break that record," he added.

"The ability to "close the business case" on an aircraft that could be launched and then not maintained or brought home for five years would be a "paradigm shift. We would no longer define an aircraft by the launch - recover - maintain - launch cycle," outlined Newman.

Besides problems with providing power to the craft, engineers are working on maximizing aero-structural efficiency and avoiding the deterioration of materials during their long-time exposure to stratospheric flight.

Basically the aircraft operates like a satellite, which is, however, not regulated by orbital mechanics. "It could be positioned over the battle, at 65,000ft versus 260 miles," outlined DARPA's Wade Pulliam. According to Pulliam, the Vulture is a pseudo-satellite, the operation of which in the stratosphere and not in the low Earth orbit would give a 65 dB upgrading in communications capability and considerably increase onboard sensor resolution.

Technology has come a long way in the past few decades and the advances don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.  From laptops and cellphones to the advent of Internet communications, we are moving toward a brave new world of possibilities.  Even buying a new computer is tricky, since it'll probably be outdated by the time you open the box!

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51 votes

//39 Dec 18, 2010 03:11 AM | posted by: duhhhh
get to the choppa!!!
54 votes

//38 May 16, 2010 11:28 PM | posted by: Nikhil
Do you think the enemies are fool to let it fly in a direction for 5 years ????
53 votes

//37 Mar 12, 2010 09:42 AM | posted by: akku
its a wonderful thought...a great invention......numeros of advantages.....
like....detection of UFO's(undefined flying objects) frequency can b easily measured 4 our benifit....
45 votes

//36 Mar 06, 2010 01:26 AM | posted by: my name is XD
OMG. like this invention thingy is awesomeeeee. it is soo cool
44 votes

//35 Sep 15, 2009 09:36 AM | posted by: Kamal
Way to go. All the best.
52 votes

//34 Jun 30, 2009 10:56 AM | posted by: lio
53 votes

//33 Jun 30, 2009 10:41 AM | posted by: Russian
It will be good if it will be truth. But it can be used over the countries without any antiaircraft protection. With battle start this UAV doesn't leave 5 years,m.b. 5 minutes(or less). This is big expensive toy for militaries and good device to suck moneys from government's pocket. I remember good the "Star wars" programm and remember its failing. But this programm let to US to force the USSR spent money on fool competition and bury the Soviet economy.
52 votes

//32 Jun 20, 2009 09:12 AM | posted by: Unknown
//22,though its impossible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
best of luck..............................................................
48 votes

//31 May 25, 2009 01:27 AM | posted by: kudude63 [InfoBIG]
That's soooooooo cool!!! :P :) :P :) :D :D
54 votes

//30 Apr 09, 2009 05:33 PM | posted by:
want to link with your organigation
51 votes

//29 Mar 15, 2009 11:31 AM | posted by: liezel
that is very important hehehe
49 votes

//28 Jan 15, 2009 12:47 AM | posted by: kyle agovino
hi. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahaha
54 votes

//27 Nov 05, 2008 04:45 PM | posted by: Maccain
i hope Iran´s people take it down
51 votes

//26 Oct 21, 2008 03:35 AM | posted by: arlington JR
sounds like the military wants wants a certain type of machine that can almost outlast a freaking war! how long before you shoot people out there too?
45 votes

//25 Oct 18, 2008 04:18 AM | posted by: Matt
There's a problem with new military technology, once it's out it can be remodeled by other nations and used against us. As for the idiot that said they would need to look through 5 years of information, it is sending the data instantly back to earth. We can see everything that's happening. Havn't you heard of a UAV?
51 votes

//24 Oct 08, 2008 03:55 PM | posted by: festus
well its a sign dt the world's coming 2 an end.i wanna ask which theory is supporting d idea & does it uses fuel at all & for what reason shld it b kept up there 4 5-years
52 votes

//23 Aug 22, 2008 11:31 AM | posted by: Mohammed asif
i think this is the best invention ever made. with the help of such an aircraft we will have many advantages over the sky like;
1:we will be able to record all the activities going on,on the earth atmosphere first is we will be able to recognise all the air craft entering the earth atmosphere may be even UFO's(unidentified flying objects)
2:with such an air crafts we will have great impact for the army persons from the foreigh invaders.
3:many immediate reports can be obtained.
4:immediate rescue operation can be conducted in
different calamities etc.

Our world is growing very fast as a IT sector.
53 votes

//22 Aug 20, 2008 11:51 PM | posted by: unknown
Watch out Osama Bin Ladin. We are coming to get you.
54 votes

//21 Aug 20, 2008 11:50 PM | posted by: Darpa Man
This will be able to perform facial recognition from 60,000 feet. Watch out Osama Bin Ladin. We are coming to get you.
62 votes

//20 Jul 23, 2008 02:34 AM | posted by: Lee
who will cut through the years stock pile of the various data collected? plus then write up a comprehensive and understandable report? that would be boring. but unmanned flight for that long would be exciting though!!
62 votes

//19 Jul 18, 2008 09:50 PM | posted by: Ralph
Sounds like something the military would spend money on! How ridiculous.
54 votes

//18 Jul 04, 2008 04:17 PM | posted by: DOSUNMU E. OLUFEMI
It is not bad to embark on this project but hope it will not be detrimental to the whole world if it finds its application in the military.
49 votes

//17 Jun 13, 2008 03:56 PM | posted by: mohsleem [InfoTOT]
this is a wonderful idea, but what if the aircraft is occupied by some falcons :D it will go down after a while !!!
48 votes

//16 Jun 13, 2008 03:53 PM | posted by: abusleem
this is a wonderful idea, but what if the aircraft is occupied by some falcons :D it will go down after a while !!!
47 votes

//15 Jun 11, 2008 12:43 AM | posted by: virus
man ya'll stupid. they probably already have prototypes up there while you crackheads are talking about it
48 votes

//14 May 09, 2008 04:56 AM | posted by: gatzke
I reckon google maps will scoop it up first..
53 votes

//13 Apr 26, 2008 07:57 PM | posted by: Unknown
somebody would have to control it 24/7 for 5 years otherwise it might be a easy target for rockets but artiliary cant get to 60000 feet.
45 votes

//12 Apr 14, 2008 05:21 PM | posted by: snsuresh [InfoMANIAC]
great is there an end to findings?
51 votes

//11 Mar 31, 2008 01:23 PM | posted by: UNKNOWN
51 votes

//10 Mar 29, 2008 04:04 AM | posted by: Unknown
"Mar 24, 2008 07:58 PM » posted by: Pablo
I think it could be the best radio base to launch Television Marti to Cuba and help those poor people to live in the 20th century..
It could transmit Radio emisions sent from the continent to the Island..braking the tough silence impose by the goverment"

Is this comment for real? R U a retard? Do you carry a note with you saying; "1- Breathe In.. 2- Breathe out 3- Repeat"?
50 votes

//9 Mar 25, 2008 05:58 AM | posted by: Pablo
I think it could be the best radio base to launch Television Marti to Cuba and help those poor people to live in the 20th century..
It could transmit Radio emisions sent from the continent to the Island..braking the tough silence impose by the goverment
44 votes

//8 Mar 24, 2008 02:07 PM | posted by: Brandenburg
Nice idea actually but I think the key strategic value is the ability to descend below the clouds to get a clearer picture? Ah..but what do we do about those cheap Chinese SAMs?
50 votes

//7 Mar 20, 2008 07:30 AM | posted by: Amadeus
Useless. Utterly useless. It would be cheaper to send up a drone plane during the battle than to waste money leaving a plane in the air on permanent reconnaissance for 5 years during the peacetime before said battle. "Oh it will power itself" maybe but it will still be monitored by people on the ground. That means we're paying someone to watch out it's 'eyes' that means wasted taxpayer money during peacetime. And besides just get a fucking blimp.
48 votes

//6 Mar 17, 2008 03:54 AM | posted by: involved
The specs state for a heavier than air vehicle. The gist of these darpa projects is to try something unprecedented.
50 votes

//5 Mar 08, 2008 03:21 AM | posted by: Unknown
It will handle storms with no problem it will be to high. You can get over most storms as low as 40,000 feet. Winds will be the one of the big problems. example it is not uncommon to have winds in excess of 100 knots as low as 15,000 feet. A different problem I see is normal wear and tear in gear boxes for the prop that I assume will be used because at this time I am not aware of any jet engine or rocket motor running on electricity only.
53 votes

//4 Mar 07, 2008 08:38 PM | posted by: name
why does it need to be in an airplane package as opposed to a lighter-than-air vehicle like a blimp?
49 votes

//3 Mar 07, 2008 04:13 PM | posted by: cozzie101
would not solar cells provide enough power to keep it up there, obviously depending on the weight of the thing. This is so going to be used by the military hovering over Afghanistan or even should I dare say, Iran. let them help develop better solar cells.
51 votes

//2 Mar 06, 2008 11:48 PM | posted by: Unknown
Well I think one disadvantage is obviously powering the unit. maybe a hydrogen! Advantage? Better weather broadcasts? Probably worldly security system...oooooo, or spies whatever.
How is it going to withstand storms?
50 votes

//1 Mar 06, 2008 06:01 AM | posted by: mark jurey
i have no commit but i need some advantages and disadvantages

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