More than 30 military and government agencies began using drones in the form of birds, at least in five provinces in recent years. A new program related to the use of "spy birds", code-named Dove ("Dove"), is led by Son Bifeng, a professor at the Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi'an.
Despite the fact that the scale of using bird drones is still small compared to other types of unmanned aerial vehicles that are used today, experts believe that this technology has good potential for large-scale use in the future, as it has some unique advantages. So, for example, unlike unmanned aerial vehicles with fixed wings or rotor blades, the new drones actually mimic the flapping movements of the wings of birds. In addition, this is a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles that can evade detection by humans and even radar. According to the developers, drones replicate up to 90% of the real pigeon movements, and also produce very little noise, which makes it difficult to detect them from the ground. It is noted that drones are so realistic that real birds often fly next to them.
Each machine is equipped with a high-definition camera, GPS-antenna, flight control system and data channel with satellite communication. Specially designed software helps to withstand any traffic disturbances, ensuring that the camera receives clear images and stable video.
At the moment, the team has already conducted about 2000 test flights, testing new equipment. One of the tests showed that the movements of the drones' wings were so realistic that they managed to deceive even the most sensitive radar systems. Experts believe that the use of camouflage - perhaps even real feathers - on the hull of the drone can further complicate the detection of drones by radar.
Despite the fact that the technology is still at an early stage of development, its wide range of possible applications - including the military, police, emergency response and disaster management, environmental protection and urban planning - that drones can cost 10 billion yuan (1.54 billion US dollars) only in China.