The Argus One tadpole, or sperm blimp, takes to the skies once again…
Around two years ago, a tadpole shaped blimp, often referred to as the sperm blimp, had been making waves amongst aviation enthusiast. Unfortunately a few name changes, shifting of company ownership, an SEC probe and a resulting $300,000 civil penalty halted the progression of the blimp, but the now the drone has finally completed more flight tests and is on route to the U.S. Army’s Yuma testing grounds to undergo further trials.
Argus One UAV
The blimp, official known as the Argus One, formally known as the STS-111, was based on a segmented design crafted by Germany’s TAO Technologies; a design that has the ability to resist the push, pull, and twist of air currents.
The Argus One also utilizes a unique “Fuelgas” system – a technology developed in the 1930’s – that mixes fuel with the same density as atmospheric air, keeping the aircrafts buoyancy the same as it burns of its supply.
The original STS-111/Argus One system was initially tested back in 2008-2009, with the intention of deploying the aircraft as surveillance and communications drone.
U.S. Army testing at Yuma is scheduled to being this summer, and all being well, the blimp could be protecting skies over dangerous territories in the not too distant future. Video of a 2008 prototype test can been seen below.