They resemble miniature Reaper drones, but the nimbler Sandstorm’s mission will veer sharply from its weapons-laden cousin as the Department of Energy explores using unmanned aircraft to respond to nuclear emergencies.

Instead of laser-guided missiles and bombs under its wings, the Sandstorm payload consists of radiation detection sensors and optical imagery gear. Named for designer Justin Sands of Henderson-based Unmanned Systems Inc., these sleek machines are more maneuverable, but like Reapers they have retractable nose gear and pneumatic brakes. FULL REPORT