Draper Laboratory unveiled another concept for – the Magnetically Operated NAno RotorCraft (MONARC). This miniature aerostructure uses a coaxial rotor powered by two direct drive brushless motors that run on new 2 gram lithium- ion battery developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) delivering power density of 250 Whr/kg.
Actuation will be managed by magnetic virtual swash-plate with pitch amplification mechanism for directional control. The MONARC will use a unique control system, featuring a hybrid RF/Laser Radar (LIDAR) ‘tractor beam’ facilitating tele-operation and navigation indoor. It will use an avionics package weighing only two grams.
MONARC will be able to sprint at up to five meters per second in the outdoors or fly autonomously on a controllable flight at a speed below 0.5 m/sec indoors. The current effort represents the first of a two phase program that seeks to develop and demonstrate an end-to-end system for hummingbird-scale UAV that executes ISR missions in denied battlespace. Another company participating in the DARPA NAV program is, which is designing a maple-seed like aerostructure for the NAV.