• The “Cicada”, short for Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, was designed to be smaller, cheaper and simpler than any other robotic aircraft — but still able to carry out a mission in a remote battlefield.
  • The prototype cost just a thousand dollars, and the cost could come down to as little as $250 apiece, said Kahn, a flight controls engineer at the naval lab.
  • It is designed to glide to programmed GPS coordinates after being dropped from an aircraft, a balloon or a larger drone, researchers said.In a test about three years ago in Yuma, Arizona, Cicada drones were released from 57,600 feet (17,500 meters). The little drone flew — or fell — 11 miles, landing within 15 feet of its target.

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