An unmanned mini plane guided by GPS satellites has been developed by European Space Agency (ESA) to provide monitoring of land areas and disaster zones.
Designed by the German start-up company – the autonomous micro-air vehicles (MAVs) with a wingspan of less than two meters are assigned inspect land areas.
The MAVs can carry visual and thermal cameras or other customer-specific measuring equipment. They’re controlled by an autopilot from takeoff to landing, and they use GPS satellite navigation to follow a planned track, triggering the camera to image the target area. From the ground, the plane is followed by radio by a safety pilot who can take over the controls at anytime…via