The US Army is requesting proposals for micro air vehicle technology demonstrators with capabilities in autonomous route de-confliction, co-operative formation flying, vision-based navigation, acoustic sensing and building interior mapping.

MAVs with these capabilities would be used by the US Army for operations in urban environments. Proposed demonstrators would be test flown at a six-day event planned for March 2008. The goal is to identify technology shortfalls that must be overcome to achieve these capabilities, as well as commercial off-the-shelf components that are applicable to urban-environment MAVs.

Bidders "deemed to be meritorious" will, subject to the availability of funds, be requested to submit proposals that could result in the award of grants, says the US Army. Candidate demonstrators would be flown at an Indian ministry of defence facility in Agra, northern India during the March event, which will be the first US-Asian demonstration and assessment of micro-air vehicle technologies.

India's National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore is organising the event for the US Army International Technology Center Southeast Asia Office, and is supported by the country's Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Source: Flight International