After four years of intensive research and testing between the US army and FLIR Systems, the collaboration has finally put forth the Black Hornet nano drone. This comes as a huge advancement for the miniture device’s military applications. According to the US military, the tiny unmanned copter is set to give even the smallest defense units, like infantry squads, a major advantage. Aside from enhancing their situational alertness on the battlefield, it will also enable them to scout ahead of their physical presence without putting the lives of soldiers at risk. Reaching, seeing, and accessing previously remote and hard to reach areas will now be quite easy from behind cover with the new drone capabilities.
The most recent iteration of the Black Hornet, dubbed the Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) by FLIR Systems and the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) by the US army, weighs just 1/10th of a pound and is only 7 inches long. The complete system also equips you with a docking station for 2 devices that also keeps the drones safeguarded from damage when not in operation. Another part of the package is a hand-held touchscreen monitor and a controller. The basic parts of the complete PRS system can easily fit in a soldier’s backpack. FLIR Systems has already delivered up to 60 units of the miniature drone to the US army.
The tiny device gives the army impressive advantages over their adversaries on the front lines of battle. A single Black Hornet is equipped with 2 daytime motion picture cameras and a thermal imaging system. Both system types can also capture static images if additional analysis is necessary. When operated at night, the Black Hornet is capable of differentiating hostile and potentially dangerous adversaries from innocent individuals just going about their business. It does this by creating high-fidelity images from fusing the camera feeds from both its thermal imager and the electro-optical system. This also enables the operator of the unmanned flier to examine and affirmatively identify any other objects of interest in darkness, among numerous other applications.
Once the American military starts making the use of this nano drone a mainstream battlefield tool among its many infantry units, US defense allies and partners are also expected to follow suit. This will obviously have a significant impact on the way the US army performs even the most mundane operations in its many engagements around the globe.