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About the drones

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By Lou Elliott Jones

    They operate much like radio-controlled airplanes, with a human sending a signal to guide these sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles. 

   The BAT-4 , developed by MLB of Mountainview, Calif., and the SIERRA (Science Instrumentation Environmental Remote Research Aircraft) developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, take off and land like an airplane, carry video and scientific equipment and generate the power for that equipment. 

   For example, the BAT-4 can carry a 30-pound load for a 10-mile range while generating 750 watts of power. 

   The SIERRA has a 20-foot wingspan. while the BAT-4 has a 13-foot wingspan.