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On a Wing and a Dare

The Vapor, built by Pulse Aerospace of Lakewood, Colorado, can fly as high as 15,000 feet and be flown autonomously or under the control of a ground-based pilot. In a trial run near Corvallis, Michael Wing used the unmanned aerial system to study imaging techniques in a search-and-rescue operation.

Flight Plan

UAVs can help manage wildfires, support a search-and-rescue mission, plant trees to avoid wind or heat damage, monitor wildlife, improve irrigation, detect crop-disease outbreaks and gauge environmental health.