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Palm-Sized Nano-Copter Is the Afghanistan War’s Latest Spy Drone

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. micropage7

    micropage7

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    [​IMG]
    British Army Sgt. Scott Weaver of the Queens Royal Lancers launches one of the world’s smallest drones from a compound in Afghanistan. Photo: U.K. Ministry of Defence

    British troops in Afghanistan are flying a drone that’s shrunk down to its essentials: a micro-machine that spies, built for a solitary user.

    This is the Black Hornet. Its Norwegian manufacturer, Prox Dynamics, bills it as the world’s smallest military-grade spy drone, with a weight of 16 grams and a length of 4 inches. Propelled by two helicopter blades, the Black Hornet carries little more than a steerable camera that records still and video imagery. (That is: It’s unarmed.) Now British soldiers have brought it to Afghanistan, as it fits in the palms of their hands. It’s supposed to be a drone for an Army of One.

    “We use it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset,” Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force told the British Ministry of Defence for a Monday announcement.

    The fruit of a contract initially worth $4 million that the Ministry of Defence inked in 2011, the Black Hornet is a major step in the recent trend of miniaturizing drones. The U.S. has its own shrunken spy drones: The Raven can be launched by hand; the collapsible Switchblade fits in a rucksack; and on deck is the insect-inspired miniatures at the Air Force’s “Micro-Aviary.” But it’s currently got nothing as petite as the Black Hornet — although the Ministry of Defence is confident the nano-copter is rugged enough to withstand Afghanistan’s harsh conditions.


    What’s perhaps more significant than the Black Hornet’s size is its personalized application. Prox designed it to be a one-man intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance package. The video imagery captured by a Predator, by contrast, has to supply a lot of people (even if only a handful of airmen operate its ground control station). There aren’t that many Predators, and getting clearance to fly each one requires going up the chain of command. The smaller Raven pushed that spy capability down to company level.

    But the Black Hornet is designed to be the robotic, remote-controlled eyes of a single soldier. Its imagery is transmitted down to a personal device that looks kind of like a Game Boy. A handheld mouse-like device steers it. While it’s way too early to say how much value it actually adds in wartime, the Black Hornet hints at a future where recon soldiers and marines get kitted with their own cheap spy drones, the surveillance equivalent of the smartphone.

    The U.S. military is far away from that future, especially as budget cuts set in and the ground wars wrap up. But the Army, at least, has been all about pushing data down to an individual soldier on patrol through her own handheld smart device. It might be interested in playing with its British counterpart’s latest tiny drone.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/black-hornet-nano/
  2. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Easily repurposed to other ... less lethal field of operations ;)
  3. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Basically this replaces mirrors and optical worms...
  4. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

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    and all the drones got hacked! sometimes I wonder if the black ops 2 story line of the drones getting hacked and turned is all that far fetched the more military moves to drones for answers.
  5. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    LOL just imagine this with a single 22LR round for assassinations!
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  6. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Well, you certainly wouldn't be using that drone again.

    The technology we have and the way we apply it to killing people scares me.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. Krazy Owl

    Krazy Owl New Member

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    The 22LR is not enough to kill people sometimes. The soft head of the bullet is softening by heat due to air friction and at a certain distance the bones are acting as bullet proof also the muscle fibers are slowing down the .22 caliber.
  8. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Often, a .22 has enough power to enter a body, but not exit. It can pierce your skull and bounce around inside your head, or it could hit a major blood vessel and get caught up in your bloodstream. Don't think a .22 isn't as dangerous as higher calibers just because of its low power.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. acerace

    acerace

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    Isn't the war is over?
  10. uuuaaaaaa

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    why do they always come up this nano prefixes... it just bothers me.
  11. drdeathx

    drdeathx

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    Surely a stink bomb will work
  12. Krazy Owl

    Krazy Owl New Member

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    Depends of distance, wind, atmospheric pressure, bones thickness and muscles density. Ive shot 22 at hunting and sometimes its not even good enough to pierce the feathers of a wild bird that stop the bulltet.
  13. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    And then some. What annoys me why is this being made public information. Enemy's don't need spy's they just need to read the web..
  14. 1freedude

    1freedude

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    Exactly. No secrets, no wars. Let the public control the power of destruction.

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