Path Home Shows 2010 Show Archive June 2010 Show 1025 UAVs


The use of military drones has dramatically changed the demands on modern day pilots. Unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, are being credited with lowering U.S. casualties while also giving the military another tool in the fight against terrorism.

UAV in action

For more information visit these links:

Design Intelligence Incorporated, LLC
OSU School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Show Dates

Show 1025: UAVs

Air date: June 20, 2010



Rob:  Well if you’d like to meet a young man who has achieved his dream of working on planes, despite a disability, just head to our website at and click on this week’s value added.

Well the use of military drones in both Iraq and Afghanistan has dramatically changed the demands on modern day pilots.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, are being credited with lowering US casualties while also giving the military another tool in the fight against terrorism.

With more, here’s our Courtenay DeHoff.

Courtenay DeHoff:  For the first time the US Air Force is training more unmanned pilots than manned pilots.

Leading the way is an Oklahoma company whose design, may be the future of aviation.

It’s not unusual to see small insects and birds flying through the air, so common they often go unnoticed; and that’s exactly how the US Air Force wants the next generation of UAVs, unnoticed.

James Grimsley:  These are vehicles and systems that are modeled after birds, they’re about the size of the bird; they are biomimetic, a lot of them look like birds so that they can be concealed in a military environment or in a military mission.

Courtenay:  Missions that may be too dangerous for human pilots.  James Grimsley is the CEO of Design Intelligence Incorporated, the Oklahoma company that is designing unmanned air vehicles to take on our most dangerous threats.

James:  In particular we’re working with very, very small vehicles called Microware Vehicles.  These are the vehicles that are going to be used by our military in the next four to five years for reconnaissance, surveillance, and just a variety of purposes and even possibly weapons.

They will carry a variety of payloads from censors to, to warheads, to just, you name it.  So we work with very, very small stuff.

Courtenay:  So small they can go virtually anywhere, virtually undetected.

In a promotional video for Design Intelligence Incorporated, we see just how advanced the new vehicles could be.

James:  It will blend in with its surroundings and operate undetected.  MAVs will use micro-censors and micro-processor technology to navigate and track targets through complicated terrain such as urban areas.

Courtenay:  The ability to travel complicated terrain unnoticed, may make UAVs the new future of our military.

James:  We’re working on things that the military is going to use for essentially spying, for reconnaissance, flying in and taking pictures behind battle lines, and in urban environments, things like that.

Courtenay:  Abilities that are just as important to Oklahoma as they are to the military; just for different reasons.

Jamey Jacob is with the Oklahoma State School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Jamey:  There’s essentially an unlimited use of unmanned vehicles.  Two of the things that are near and dear to the heart of Oklahoma will be agricultural and oil.  Both of those have unique opportunities for unmanned systems to use them, for example, on the agricultural side you can have unmanned aircraft do crop surveys so that way you can look and see where you have damaged crops, track livestock; on the oil side you can use that for exploration with all types of censors.

Courtenay:  Exploration that Oklahoma State knows well; one of the top schools in the world at training undergraduates who are working on unmanned vehicles, OSU has won more competitions than anyone in the country.

Jamey:  It gives us a real edge in competing in what we kind of think of as the next golden age of aerospace or aviation.  The ability to develop these small platforms that are very unique, that can do things that have never been done before, and make Oklahoma a center for aerospace excellence in the 21st century.

Courtenay:  In the skies of Afghanistan, UAVs are providing America’s military forces with a significant advantage over our terrorist enemies.

With UAV’s flying more than 30 missions a day, they are becoming assets that save American lives.