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FLIR Nano Drone Creating a Buzz for Military

Military and emergency agencies may find the biggest aerial solutions are found in the smallest packages after the launch of new nano-drone system by an Oregon-based UAV firm.

FLIR Systems recently developed the Black Hornet 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle – a new member of its Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System.

According to a company press release, the tiny system empowers military personnel “to maintain situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance for battle damage assessment, pre-deployment and route and point reconnaissance, and targeting information without the need for warfighters to exit a vehicle.”

The Black Hornet 3 integrates with the FLIR VRS and includes a vehicle mounted launcher that can discharge several of the diminutive drones skyward while keeping troops out of harm’s way.

“The Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System brings unique situational awareness and understanding to vehicle operators, and provides our warfighters improved safety on the battlefield,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR. “The Black Hornet 3-powered VRS is representative of the company’s new focus on delivering full-solution technology, and we look forward to playing a role in helping modernize our military customers.”

Cannon unveiled the system at the recent AUSA 2018 in Washington D.C. He pointed out the system can also be used by law-enforcement and first-responder agencies.

FLIR also offers a Black Hornet model that can be used by a single soldier. The system operates within a one-mile radius and provides a live video feed to the operator on a chest-mounted display. The total system, including two aircraft, a controller and the video screen weighs less than three pounds. The controller has been optimized for single-handed operation.

The drone is one of the world’s smallest – about the length of a pen – and is one of the lightest at less than ounce. The Black hornet can fly up to 25 minutes in close quarters and up to 25 mph for distances up to a mile. It uses a single main rotor, versus the more common quad-copter design — virtually undetectable from 15 feet away.

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.

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