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Invisible Unmanned Aircraft 241

MattSparkes writes, "A Minnesota company, VeraTech, has applied for a patent on an unmanned drone that is nearly invisible to the naked eye. The Phantom Sentinel takes advantage of the phenomenon where fast moving objects appear as only a blur, so it fades out of view once it speeds up. This is achieved by rotating the entire craft. The center of gravity is in open air between two of the blade-like wings. There are some videos of a prototype in action on the VeraTech site." The company says you could get usable video of the terrain by processing the images from a spinning camera. One version of the drone is small enough to launch by throwing it like a boomerang. And it folds for travel.
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Invisible Unmanned Aircraft

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  • Videos? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2006 @03:45PM (#16282185)
    And what exactly would we not see there?
  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @03:52PM (#16282325)
    but it is close.... Yet another misleading /. subject header.

    The basic idea is that the plane flies by rotating and, just as a fan blade or propeller becomes close to invisible when spinning, this aircraft might too.

    Of course visibility to the naked eye is only a very small part of invisibility. This thing probably sticks out like dogs balls on radar.

  • Re:Invisible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Monday October 02, 2006 @03:54PM (#16282361)
    This looks designed to be robotic, so don't worry about the pilot.

    And, while not completely invisible, it has a much lower visual signature than anything else of comperable size. I'm just not quite sure what the use is: it probably has a higher radar cross-section, so it's fairly useless as a spy-plane. The only thing you are really hiding from are people. Or civilians. Might be usefull as a close-rage spybot on a battlefield, but anybody with smart weapons can see and hit it quickly.
  • Waste of money... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ltwally ( 313043 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @04:03PM (#16282507) Homepage Journal
    Military drones fly at extremely high altitudes. Thus, they don't have to worry about being spotted by the naked eye. They're also very small, so they have a little tiney-tiny radar cross-section, too -- making them look like a bird on most radar screens.

    Basically, this sounds overly-complicated and expensive to implement and is utterly unneeded. So... the military may well go for it! But it's still completely retarded.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane