The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is extending the notion of persistent surveillance. Its latest unmanned aerial vehicle program seeks to develop a platform that will stay airborne for five years—no small feat considering that the endurance of operational UAVs is measured in hours. Known as Vulture—or Very-high-altitude, Ultra-endurance, Loitering Theater Unmanned Reconnaissance Element—the heavier-than-air UAV would carry a 1,000-lb. payload. Darpa doesn’t say why five ...

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