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Submission + - SPAM: Robot gas stations in the sky

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to Aviation Week, U.S. engineers will soon demonstrate the first in-flight docking of two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) while continuing the development of an autonomous aerial refueling system. Two specially designed UAVs, a tanker and a receiver, will perform their first test flights next month. 'One of the six-foot wingspan UAVs is equipped with an extendable refueling boom with drogue, or basket, and the other with a retractable probe.' These tests will check the autonomous rendezvous and docking processes, but will not involve actual fuel transfer, according to one of the companies involved. But read more for additional details and pictures of these UAV gas stations on the ground and in the sky."
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Robot gas stations in the sky

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Work continues in this area. -- DEC's SPR-Answering-Automaton