Mapleseed Nano Air Vehicle: Nano Air Vehicle  Photo by Art Oglesby
Mapleseed Nano Air Vehicle: Nano Air Vehicle Photo by Art Oglesby

Mapleseed Nano Air Vehicle

DARPA wants Lockheed to design a surveillance drone shaped like a mapleseed. The remote-controlled nano air vehicles (or NAVs, for short) would be dropped from hovercraft, whirl around a battlefield snapping pictures or delivering various payloads. Once the NAV delivers its payload, it would return to the warfighter for collection and refurbishment.
Besides controlling lift and pitch, the wing will also house telemetry, communications, navigation, imaging sensors, and battery power. The NAV will be about 1.5 inches long and have a maximum takeoff weight of about 0.35 ounces. A chemical rocket enclosed in its one-bladed wing will power a sensor payload module more than 1,100 yards. Delivered from a hover and weighing up to 0.07 ounces, the module will be interchangeable based on mission requirements.

According to James Marsh, director of Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL), "The challenges are both exciting and daunting, because some of the technologies vital to our success have yet to be discovered. We know going in that we need some of the best minds in manufacturing technology and in the development and integration of highly sophisticated, software- driven control technologies and mission systems." From Lockheed press release via Yahoo Finance

Want to design a mapleseed rocket?

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Kelsey's picture
Kelsey says:

sounds cool.

posted on Sun, 07/30/2006 - 1:30pm
Josh hultberg's picture
Josh hultberg says:

that would be a big advantage for our us troops but one problem i think is that this (spy drone) if it is expensive then it could be a problem or maby if for the wind issue that rocket would not last long enough to keep the drone steady long enough to take enough pics and bring them back to the us hq.if the drones were able to just self destruct after taking it's photos and digitally relay them to the us computers and wire that info to the generals on the field then the drone would have a better outcome i think.

posted on Sun, 07/30/2006 - 7:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Might be a good idea, but if your'e convinced that the US is spying on us then we'll probably be in a bad spot. Still, the advantages this might bring our troops should be worth it.
It could be an excellent spy if they improved the rocket.

posted on Tue, 09/19/2006 - 2:49pm
bobalobashingdo's picture
bobalobashingdo says:

this is really cool

posted on Sat, 12/30/2006 - 1:30pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Update on maple seed nano air vehicle: A cool video explaining the nano air vehicle project being developed by Lockheed Martin can be viewed at Scientific Frontline

posted on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 7:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Just like their bigger UAV cousins, we will soon after military deployment see these thingees used by local police forces. Orwell is turning in his grave.


posted on Sat, 10/31/2009 - 4:51pm
Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey says:

pretty cool but just like any camoflauge vehicle paint, will this truly blend in well?

posted on Sat, 04/24/2010 - 7:36am
kevinanchi's picture
kevinanchi says:

Great vehicle, i wonder where will the nano technology will take us, it is also said that this nano machine can crawl in to our body and can fix the disease like cancer with out a surgery......
big lifted trucks

posted on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 5:54am
Amelia's picture
Amelia says:

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posted on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 12:52pm
JANE JOSEPH's picture

tiz is really interesting and efficient

posted on Sun, 02/13/2011 - 9:31pm
ThomasWilliams's picture
ThomasWilliams says:

This is quite an advancement of surveillance cameras. And I know that this is not far from happening. Google recently launched their Google Balloons, bringing internet to far flung places which technology could not be reached on normal occasions. These surveillance cameras, I believe, work with the same technology. What I am always interested would be the after-sales of these types of vehicles, which includes auto parts. It would be great to have some follow up articles of the same topic.

posted on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 8:28pm

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