Multiple modular flying wings fly 10kft above a battle-space. Deployed to escort mounted units as they enter the battle-space, the wings transition to loiter mode as units dismount to begin an operation to capture a high-value target. Very quickly, the dismounted units encounter much heavier fire than anticipated from their intelligence briefing. Three members of Squad A are severely wounded when an RPG hits their position. The one medic able to reach the three Soldiers does not have enough supplies to treat all three. He immediately taps his medical resupply request button on his wrist-mounted communication interface as he begins to treat the first soldier. Immediately in the sky high above, the first wing splits in two, and a small component of the wing drops away before the two halves combine back together to reform the larger flying wing. The intelligent flying modular component containing a small medical kit quickly drops down out of the sky using its thrust-vectoring system to maintain a heading under gusty conditions toward the pulsed UV laser delivery beacon signal initiated by the medic. Just as the medic finishes treating the first soldier, the autonomous air module containing the med kit transitions into a hover mode next the medic, lands, and splits itself open revealing the med-kit inside.
Simultaneously, 5o yards away, Squad B is engaging a heavy machine gun, which is firing from an elevated position behind a reinforced wall. They are unable to provide sufficient covering fire for maneuvering units or to directly engage the personnel operating the machine gun. The squad leader instructs one of his Soldiers to paint the gun position with his pulsed UV laser designator as he taps his weapons delivery request button on his wrist-mounted communications interface. High above, the second wing splits in two, and releases two intelligent flying modules each containing 500g high explosive warheads. The modules fly down, following the target designator beacon, and deliver their charges just above the gun emplacement. This buys the ground unit enough time to maneuver to a better firing position to directly engage the gun position, which allows Squad C to move into the structure to retrieve the target.
The High Aspect Ratio Efficient Modular Wing (HAREMwing) is a system comprised of multiple intelligent autonomous flying modules. Individually, the modules are agile, hover-capable, thrust-vectoring intelligent systems in their own right, capable of carrying modular payloads up to 500 grams. The modules are capable of self-assembling into a large, high aspect ratio flying wing. High aspect ratio wings are highly aerodynamically efficient. Thus by assembling into a larger vehicle the wing is able to significantly increase its endurance over the battle-space. The larger flying wing is intelligent in its own right, and leveraging the ensemble processing power of its modules it is able to exploit atmospheric energy such as shear layers (dynamic soaring) and thermals to minimize its energy usage and further maximize its endurance. The modules can carry any payload that fits within the weight requirements, including communications relays for over the horizon communications to the ground forces, tactical intelligence modules (e.g. EO/IR sensor), actively morphing modules to help damp out vibrations that are problematic for lightly damped high aspect ratio wings (case in point: NASA’s Helios crash), high explosive warheads, or ammunition or medical kits for emergency resupply to ground forces below. The wing is capable of intelligently disassembling and reassembling itself in order to release individual modules to deploy to the ground for payload delivery.