This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
A new drone project aims at improving the stealth capabilities and mission performance of drones that mimic birds and insects. The result is expected to be a more effective surveillance drone that’s also less prone to detection.
The drone is based on the previously developed drone dubbed Bionic Bird, which has a polymer body and carbon fiber wings.
The French Defence Innovation Agency (AID) is funding the project to explore the capabilities and performance of biomimetic UAVs for stealth missions.
Research efforts in BIOFLY are focusing primarily on the development of a ‘new flapping-wing flight architecture as well as the integration of an onboard camera requiring stabilization vis-à-vis the oscillations induced by the flapping of the wings’, the French MoD announced.
Biomimetics offer the possibility of various modes of flight and multiple trajectories that fixed-wing aircraft or rotary-wing platforms cannot perform.
Building on the Bionic Bird, researchers will seek to improve the propulsion system, the mechanism of movement of the wings and the improvement of the flight capabilities, according to shephardmedia.com.
Recent improvements have given rise to the updated version of the drone, as well as the insect-like variant. Though still a work in progress, officials at France’s Defense Ministry have been encouraged by the promising efficiencies of flight the drone has already attained, as well as the continued on-loading of tech that will include high-resolution cameras and effective body stabilizers.
“These improvements have been made notably in the addition of piloting assistance, automation of flight plans like straight-line trajectory, varying speed capacities, the possibility of quasi-stationary hovering, yet also an increase in the velocity of these drones,” France’s Defense Ministry explains in a web page on the craft.