The US Naval Research Laboratory successfully tested a new kind of UAV earlier this month: a pack of tiny gliders that can deliver intelligence-gathering sensors within fifteen feet of a target, despite starting up to ten miles high and thirty miles out. Dubbed CICADA, for Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, the vehicles don't get there on their own. The Navy launches a pair of them from a larger Tempest UAV, and before that, it sends the whole three-UAV package skyward on a large balloon. Signal Online reports that the original idea was to drop literally thousands of the autonomous gliders from an aircraft, but there are three modular versions now, Mark I, II and III: the CICADA Mark I is designed to be fired from a gun, and the CICADA Mark III has wind resistance for long-range stability. They're basically just winged circuit boards, with only a GPS receiver and a two-axis gyroscope for navigation, because low cost and a low profile is the goal. Like most UAVs, the idea is to perform a duty more covertly and cost-effectively than putting a flesh-and-blood human on the field.