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DARPA Selects Aurora For Vulture Program

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by Staff Writers
Manassas VA (SPX) Apr 17, 2008
Aurora Flight Sciences has announced that it has been awarded a contract to develop a radical new aircraft that can stay aloft for up to five years. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) made the award under a program known as "Vulture."

The objective of the Vulture program is to develop an aircraft capable of remaining on-station uninterrupted for over five years to perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and communication missions over an area of interest.

The technology challenges include development of energy management and reliability technologies capable of allowing the aircraft to operate continuously for such extended durations. Vulture, in effect, will be a retaskable, persistent pseudo-satellite capability, in an aircraft package.

Aurora's design is called "Odysseus." The concept uses solar energy to power the aircraft during daylight, and stored solar energy to power the aircraft at night. The aircraft is designed to fly in the stratosphere throughout its mission.

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Defense Focus: High-tech limits -- Part 2
Washington, April 16, 2008
What matters most with weapons systems is not how fast and how high, or even how heavily armed the aircraft flies, the tank rumbles or the warship sails, or even how powerful their guns and missiles are, but whether the systems will actually work reliably and how much punishment they can take.







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