FLIR Systems has announced a vehicle-mounted launch system that holds several of its tiny surveillance Black Hornet 3 nano-drones capable of being launched in quick succession whilst on the move. This seems like a slick scene from a Bond movie, why even not even James Bond had the ability to launch a drone swarm from his decked out Aston Martin!
FLIR’s Black Hornet 3 nano-drones can be packed into a launch unit that can deploy multiple drone units in rapid succession. The drones can be utilized not only for reconnaissance and information gathering purposes but also by first responders to gauge their surroundings without exiting vehicles.
This capability to launch a drone swarm from a moving vehicle is a new step forward. The Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System(PRS) is the world’s smallest unmanned aerial system weighing in at 2.87 pounds at present. The near-silent Black Hornet 3 weighs less than 33 grams or 1.16 ounces by itself and carries both electro-optical and infrared sensors. It is capable of flying forward up to 1.25 miles and communicating with the operator at the back through an encrypted data link. Additionally this tiny drone can withstand gusts of over 20 mph. This might not be as quick as compared with other drones; however the Black Hornet 3 is still reasonably fast for its size and can reach upwards of 13 mph. Noise signature is a large concern making faster flight undesirable.
The FLIR Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS) equips armored or mechanized vehicles with an immediate, organic, and self-contained surveillance and reconnaissance system. Adapted from the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), the VRS has extended this game-changing and lifesaving capability of the Black Hornet nano-UAV. The launch unit is mounted externally, and fully integrated within the vehicle to create a real time situational awareness RSTA airborne system for crews protected inside the vehicle.
Today, more than 30 countries are using FLIR’s Black Hornet PRS for battlefield insights. Aside from military use, first responders, SWAT teams, and law enforcement have been successful in gathering real-time information via nano-drones. The Black Hornet VRS is strictly available to military, government agencies, and law enforcement customers. FLIR Systems also develops infrared cameras and thermal imaging systems.
Photo: Black Hornet 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) | FLIR Systems