Draper Laboratory will be part of two of the three teams selected by DARPA to complete Phase1 concept development of an unmanned aerial system that will be able to stay aloft for five years.
Draper will be part of the Aurora Flight Systems’ team developing a design called “Odysseus” and a separate team led by Boeing. DARPA has awarded a third Phase 1 contract to Lockheed Martin.
The Vulture program’s objective is to create an aircraft with “pseudo-satellite” capabilities that can carry a 1,000-pound, 5-kilowatt payload and is able to stay airborne for an uninterrupted period of at least five years while maintaining its on-station position 99 percent of the time.
According to DARPA, a system able to remain on station for five years could have utility in a variety of missions such as communications relay, surveillance and reconnaissance, and signals intelligence.
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