Remote Control: Flying a Predator

How Will Unmanned Airplanes Fit Into Our Airspace System?

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NASA's Ikhana is a civilian version of General Atomics' MQ-9 Reaper.NASA
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The Predator's "eyes:" a pair of cameras (one visual, one infrared) in the plane's nose.NASA
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IkhanaNASA
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The General Atomics-designed pilot stations are far from intuitive.NASA
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Ikhana shown taxiing past two of NASA's F-18 research/chase platforms at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB.NASA
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The Global Hawk pilot station at Dryden (above), designed with input from Northrup Grumman and NASA pilots, is more advanced. But the Global Hawk has to work around limited control frequencies -- which is why most NASA UAV flights are in the early morning.NASA
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IkhanaNASA