The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Air Vehicles Directorate Micro Air Vehicle Integration & Application Research Institute (µAVIARI) is dedicated to the development and testing of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) technology. A MAV is a flight vehicle about two feet in length or less, capable of operating below rooftop level in an urban environment. It may have a fixed wing, rotary wing (helicopter), flapping wing, or possibly no wings.
The new micro drones could be said to float like a butterfly, sting like a lethal bee.
One of the primary missions driving MAV development is the need to fill the covert close-in sensing requirement. This requirement demands that MAVs be able to covertly find, track, and target adversaries while operating in complex urban environments. The µAVIARI brings together scientists and engineers, along with world-class experimental facilities, for the research, design, fabrication, and testing of MAVs. The lab’s Indoor Flight Test Laboratory, the showcase of the µAVIARI, allows researchers to simulate an urban environment by removing or controlling environmental effects such as temperature and wind. It also provides a contained test volume that can be highly instrumented, while minimizing interference and risk to people and property.
The US Air Force is developing bug-sized drones that will be able to fly, crawl, perch and hover while performing unprecedented surveillance tasks and carrying out deadly targeted missions.
“Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal – Micro Air Vehicles, enhancing the capabilities of the future war fighter,”