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The Military United Kingdom News

Handheld Black Hornet Nano Drones Issued To UK Soldiers 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the palm-of-your-hand dept.
cylonlover writes "Drones have become a valuable asset for any military force in recent years for both combat and surveillance. But while scanning a warzone from miles away is great from a tactical standpoint, unmanned aircraft can be just as useful in the hands of troops on the ground. That's why British soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued several Black Hornet Nanos, a palm-sized UAV that can scout around corners and obstacles for hidden dangers. Each UAV measures just 4 x 1 inches (10 x 2.5cm) and weighs a mere 0.6 ounces (16 grams), making it easy for troops to carry along with the rest of their gear. A built-in camera transmits live video and still images to a handheld control unit at a range of up to half a mile (800 meters)."
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Handheld Black Hornet Nano Drones Issued To UK Soldiers

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  • by Terje Mathisen (128806) on Friday February 08, 2013 @03:52AM (#42830021)

    Read the article: One of the main selling points of this tiny little helicopter is the fact that it is actually very stable even in high winds.

    Remember that it was developed here in Norway where we have quite a bit of "inclement weather", i.e. it has to be able to handle both wind, dust and some rain.

    Re. the excessive cost: This will obviously come down a lot, and even if the main article didn't say so, each kit contains multiple drones: The mil-spec controller is probably far more expensive to manufacture than each drone.

    Terje

  • Re:Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2013 @04:25AM (#42830151)

    First of all, its 125000 GBP, not USD, second, that's the cost for 10 years of maintenance.
    Meaning, that for 10 years, they'll repair and replace those drones, which will undoubtedly get damaged pretty frequently in a combat situation.

  • Re:Price (Score:4, Informative)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Friday February 08, 2013 @04:57AM (#42830279) Homepage

    The actual price of these things should fall dramatically over the next year or so as they get rolled out.

    You don't know much about military contracting, do you?

  • Re:Too light (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr Max (1696200) on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:14AM (#42830337)
    I fly a walkera genius (it's a tiny bit bigger http://www.helipal.com/walkera-hm-genius-cp-v2-helicopter-2-4ghz-value-edition.html [helipal.com] ) and it handles the wind exceptionally. Wind i couldn't fly an rc plane in, the little chopper barely gets disturbed. I think it's due to being such a small surface area, plus those little motors have surprising amount of power. If any one wants to try this at home you can also buy 1 gram camera and transmitter modules http://www.fpvhobby.com/143-sub-nano-combo-set.html [fpvhobby.com] ; it'll only run for 8 minutes or so (not like the 30 this uk military one does) but the genius is fast and it's full 3d cyclic pitch (fly it upside down if you can handle it).
  • by oobayly (1056050) on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:27AM (#42830367)

    What, you mean one of the polystyrene upy-downy lefty-righty helicopters that are barely controllable indoors and where the blades fall off if you land slightly badly. I had one of those, it was a bit of a laugh but it was lacking the following features:

    1) A copter which uses a secure (DDL) network, capable of transmitting over 800 meters
    2) GPS navigation
    3) High quality, stabilized, pan-tilt, and mechanically zoomed video
    4) 30 minutes battery
    5) Carbon-fiber propellers
    6) Super-quiet operation
    7) Waterproof
    8) Hover and stare, preprogrammed search routes
    9) Base Station
            Mission Planning, Execution and Analyses
            Display connections, Functions and System Controls
            Storage of Mission Data including Video and Images
            Connections to PC, Network and other Peripherals
            UAVs housed inside for Protection and Support

    List stolen from Phyvel Lavine's comment under TFA

  • by bluescrn (2120492) on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:41AM (#42830423)
    Take a look at the Walkera Ladybird (~£100) or Hubsan X4 (~£50). These little quadcopters are surprisingly good for toys. Things have moved on from those crap polystyrene 2-channel IR-controlled helis

    Add a cheap camera system, and you could still have hundreds of them for the price of one mil-spec system. Although the military version does look very impressive, it's probably overkill for looking around corners/over obstacles :)
  • by toopok4k3 (809683) on Friday February 08, 2013 @10:31AM (#42832467)
    Think of any new smartphone, but without all the plastics around it and that huge screen.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

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