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Is It an Insect or a MAV?
MAV is a UAV
The next time you swat an dragonfly or butterfly, examine it, make sure it is actually an insect because it might be a MAV. That is, Mirco Aerial Vehicle. The MAV is a product of the CIA and Defense industry and prototypes have been tested to observe with. They look like real insects, can fly and hover over near their targets. They can land on branches. Unlike the Predator drones, they have no weapons. Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month, "I look up and I'm thinking, 'What the hell is that?' They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects." Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too, "I'd never seen anything like it in my life," the Washington lawyer said. "They were large for dragonflies. I thought, 'Is that mechanical, or is that alive?' ". Bernard has seen a MAV prototype that also had some kind of round ball on the tail, not a dragonfly characteristic.
These insects could follow suspects, guide missiles to targets or navigate the crannies of collapsed buildings to find survivors. The problems is that their small size are subject to atmospherics and trying to mimic a real insect in flight is not easy. Many agencies have been researching and testing them since 2008. At John Hopkins University, the flight characteristics of a butterfly are funded by the U.S. Government. Three cameras for about two seconds collected 6,000 three-dimensional views of the insect's flight maneuvers. From these frames, researchers homed in on roughly one-fifth of a second of flight, captured in 600 frames. The reason is because butterflies flap their wings about 25 times per second!
Government agencies all deny they are researching or trying to develop insect drones, but it is clear, some exist and one can see how they would be used in the civilian and military world.