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NOVA; Rise of the Drones

12/19/2012

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Series
NOVA
Program
Rise of the Drones
Program Number

4003

Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

A revolution is transforming the armed forces of every nation. In "Drones," NOVA launches an investigation of the explosive growth of airborne UAVs or pilotless drones. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. deployed only a handful; now, it has more than 7,000. Besides the U.S., over 40 other nations are now building or buying these increasingly lethal and cost-effective weapons, and it's only a matter of time before a terrorist group turns the technology against Western targets. The latest Predators can track 12 targets at once, trace footprints back to their source and even recognize individual faces. Yesterday's soldiers and pilots put their lives on the line but today, a UAV pilot can "fly" a mission in Afghanistan remotely from a base in Nevada. As one pilot said, after carrying out a strike, "within 20 minutes you can be sitting at the dinner table talking to your kids." That new ability has already saved hundreds if not thousands of U.S. service lives but may make military strikes a more tempting, seemingly risk-free option.

Drones. These unmanned flying robots — some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds — do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense and kill has remained secret. But now, with unprecedented access to drone engineers (including a rare interview with the “Father of the Predator,” Abe Karem) and those who operate drones for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make them so powerful. Discover the cutting-edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history.

A NOVA Production by Pangloss Films, LLC for WGBH

Duration

00:56:46

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Genres
Documentary
Topics
Science
Citation
Chicago: “NOVA; Rise of the Drones,” 12/19/2012, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 2, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6CD75E534AF44F318E2E2170F7516F90.
MLA: “NOVA; Rise of the Drones.” 12/19/2012. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 2, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6CD75E534AF44F318E2E2170F7516F90>.
APA: NOVA; Rise of the Drones. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6CD75E534AF44F318E2E2170F7516F90
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