Public Release: 

Peregrine falcon attack patterns and drone design

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers used GPS loggers and onboard video cameras to study peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) attack patterns on dummy targets and live prey, and found that the guidance law used by most visually guided missiles, which states that the turning rate is proportional to the rotation rate of the line-of-sight, would describe the falcons' terminal attack trajectories if the law is tuned to the birds' relatively slower flight speed, a finding with implications for the development of drones designed to remove other drones from protected airspace.

Article #17-14532: "Terminal attack trajectories of peregrine falcons are described by the proportional navigation guidance law of missiles," by Caroline H. Brighton, Adrian L. R. Thomas, and Graham K. Taylor.

MEDIA CONTACT: Graham K. Taylor, University of Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM; tel: +44-7906-666257; e-mail: <>


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