Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have become so popular in the battle space that a whole new industry has been created, one which could easily reach several hundred billion dollars world-wide including military, government and civilian uses. Lately, we have seen many new technologies implemented into the UAV aviation sub-sector.
UAVs are unique in many ways that these aircraft have the ability to film who shoots them down and send that data prior to a missile impact. In fact, this happened recently when a Russian Mig shot down a Georgian UAV. No one could deny that the incident, no matter how hard they tried, it was all on film.
UAVs now have the ability to autonomously land themselves in some cases and for the very first time the ability tie themselves down on the airport ramp. Soon in the future they will have the ability to refuel themselves also.
Lighter materials and carbon composites are allowing UAVs to operate with longer range and carry more ordinance. Still, sometimes you want something really small, something that no one else can see, well look no further here come the nano UAVs or MAV micro-air vehicles, which are now available. With all this expensive technology and hardware, you cannot afford to lose one of these robotic aircraft.
Well, they have that figured out too, now available are autopilots with the ability to fly an aircraft or UAV even when damaged or the wing is blown off by the enemy in flight. These technologies have many uses and can also improve fight for the general public as well.
Soon we will see wide scale use of lighter-than-air UAVs for a multitude of missions, both military and civilian and all the UAVs no matter what size or type will have better sensors and higher rates of data transfer with better resolutions. And all this is available right now, just imagine what 2009 will bring?