Quiet, covert UAV flight is goal of IARPA program to develop gasoline-powered electric propulsion

WASHINGTON, 6 Oct. 2011. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become invaluable tools for military surveillance missions, but sometimes the sounds or infrared signatures of their propulsion systems can give away their presence to the enemy, which compromises their ability to make covert observations. To solve this problem, U.S. intelligence experts are asking industry to develop a UAV propulsion system that generates electrical power quietly from gasoline or diesel fuel to enable purely electrically driven quiet flight. Officials of the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) Smart Collection Office in Washington issued a broad agency announcement Wednesday (IARPA-BAA-11-12) for the initial phase of the Great Horned Owl (GHO) program.

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