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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things with wings: Indian aerospace scientists developing MAV/NAVs that bio-mimic birds & dragonflies

Indian aerospace scientists are bio-mimicking  birds and dragonflies while developing MAV/NAVs. Photo of dragonfly: Baburajan Thekkan
 | Bangalore | India | August 23, 2010
Indian aerospace scientists and designers are drawing inspiration from birds and insects such as the dragonfly in developing micro air vehicles (MAV) and nano air vehicles (NAV) that are smaller, smarter and more efficient.
In fact, some experts in the field say future MAVs and NAVs will resemble birds more than an aircraft.
Even so, a top expert with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) says it is a huge challenge for scientists to accurately mimic birds and insects. “The energy efficiency of birds is huge. Some birds eat less and digest their fat,” says Dr. Prahlada, chief controller for aeronautical research and development for DRDO. “Our biggest problem with MAVs will be powerplants, and hence we may even need to look at biobatteries. Rather, biomimicking a battery, and that’s what we are now putting our heads together [on].”
In order to fly with minimum weight, experts think biomimicking batteries will be the most effective strategy.
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