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This slender-wing aircraft is the Altair UAV, which had its checkout flight in June 2003 at El Mirage, Calif. The Altair was developed for NASA by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for long-endurance, high-altitude missions. It will be used to test collision-avoidance technologies that are necessary for UAVs to fly in the U.S. national airspace--and share skies with general aviation pilots and commercial flights.
Coastal mapping flight
General Atomics' Altair UAV flew a coastal mapping, mammal observation and marine monitoring mission off the California coast in late 2005. It was organized by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the Department of Commerce.