Simple Problems, Not-So-Simple Solutions

Evidently, our Air Force wants to create a way for electric UAVs – or at least MAVs, Micro Air Vehicles – to recharge themselves in the field from power lines. It seems a brilliant solution; you need power to operate the things, and there’s all sorts of power down there, twelve to fifty feet from the ground. As the article says, the Air Force’s “first plan is to work out how to make a MAV flying at 74 kilometres per hour latch onto a power line without destroying itself or the line”. That, of course, is just the first step… the next one, I imagine, is miniaturizing the transformers and other electronics needed to convert the alternating current of a power line – anywhere from one-hundred volts up to tens of kilovolts – into a voltage and current useful to the aircraft.

The sad thing is, I bet that right now, some bright nerds in places like China, North Korea, Syria, Iran, or even Russia are trying to figure out the same problems – only so they can devise and market countermeasures…

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on December 19th, 2007| Comments Off on Simple Problems, Not-So-Simple Solutions

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