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Posted: 9/6/2010 4:08:28 PM EDT
Came across this over at SoldierSystems.net.

It's made for airsoft, but looks like it gets pretty decent altitude and streams live video back to a very compact hand held device. Video resolution looks decent.

Application to SHTF would be to scout far forward in a bug out to check ahead for trouble or maintain aerial suveillance on your AO during a bug-in. Could also have S&R applications for local groups and possibly cost-effective applications for LEO.

http://strikehold.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/a-mini-uav-for-the-masses/
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 4:31:32 PM EDT
Hadn't seen that one before.

I have seen this one before:
parrotUAV

which supposedly can be flown from an iPhone.

Most of these small V/TOL things have very limited endurance and would be of limited utility for any kind of extended SHTF. Especially if you're trying to do perimeter surveillance where your perimeter is several hundred meters from your BIL/BOL/house/bunker/mom's basement. The generally can't go very fast, either, so they wouldn't be able to scout the road ahead of you if you were bugging out. (Unless you were stuck on the Interstate with a zillion other folks and are only moving 10mph. But if you're on this forum, that's not an issue...)

They are pretty cool, though. And they fly themselves better than I can.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:07:16 PM EDT
Who says birdshot isn't needed in you BOB?

You can buy RC models of various UAVs that will carry payloads and have long ranges.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:38:15 PM EDT
There are lots of different RC models that have lots of different capabilities. Some folks use them for doing aerial photography. Most all of the RC models you can buy have a limited range/endurance because manually flying an RC model for more than about 20-30 minutes is BORING. I once watched a guy who manually flew a not-so-fun model for just under an hour and he was exhausted. With the right autopilot, like maybe from diydrones, then having homemade UAVs becomes a lot more practical/useful and fun.

Of course, it helps if you can design and build your own...
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:17:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Came across this over at SoldierSystems.net.

It's made for airsoft, but looks like it gets pretty decent altitude and streams live video back to a very compact hand held device. Video resolution looks decent.

Application to SHTF would be to scout far forward in a bug out to check ahead for trouble or maintain aerial suveillance on your AO during a bug-in. Could also have S&R applications for local groups and possibly cost-effective applications for LEO.

http://strikehold.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/a-mini-uav-for-the-masses/


$15K, did I read that right? Yikes.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:29:30 PM EDT
tag for the reference links
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:17:02 PM EDT
Hey give it a few years and those little UAVs will have better range and better cameras at better prices.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:32:04 PM EDT
It seems to me that unless you could get them high enough to be out of sight, out of mind, they're just going to attract attention.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:36:27 PM EDT
I have thought about it , I keep saying Im going to break out my old RC stuff and get it back in shape . A few pics from a couple hundred feet up could be handy , Maybe to ID the location of a forest fire , at night you can see light sources a long ways off , a ham can use a helo to fish some line up where it normally be difficult , scout restricted areas ... With all that said RC helos are difficult to fly , the diy drone sit looks very interesting , maybe have one that is programed to go up for a curtain time and scan the horizon then land . As simple as that sounds it would not be cheap . Plus you have to figure the cost vs return .... not sure if it would be worth it but would be a neat piece of james bond like gear lol
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:30:03 PM EDT
wait, a 15 THOUSAND dollar mini UAV for airsofters? you gotta be kidding me
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:17:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 11:11:39 PM EDT by Lert]
I've been thinking about this too.

Maybe tie the comms into the cell network for pre-shtf, and ham freqs for post.

That diy drones site has lots of food for thought.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:41:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Hey give it a few years and those little UAVs will have better range and better cameras at better prices.



I can build a durable UAV with decent range and endurange for under $1000. For that price it would have a HUD display overlayed on your video feed, gps based autopilot, waypoint maps stability control, etc. Easily up to a 5 mile range if you want to study for a week or two and take the test to get your HAM license. Or not.

This technology is incredibly capable and affordable for what you get. Here is the website for the FPV video overlay and autopilot unit that I would use:RSOVD
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:19:15 AM EDT
15 grand...........think ill pass
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 6:31:46 AM EDT
I want one of these. Someone want to get a price check on this one?

http://www.ara.com/robotics/Nighthawk.html

specs taken from their PDF.

Nighthawk UAV system consists of:
• 1+ Nighthawk aerial vehicles (AVs) in durable, ballistic nylon covered storage tubes
• 1 Ground Control Unit (GCU)
• Commercial, off the shelf (COTS) laptop computer
• GCU software
• Lightweight Hardware Interface Box (HIB)
• Gamepad
• Antennas
• Assault Pack
• Field Support Kits
- Includes field spares and all tools required for operation
and standard maintenance
• Cables, Tripods, Antenna Mounts, Power Converters
• Pelican Case
• Durable waterproof transportation and storage

Nighthawk Specs
• Weight – 1.6 lbs.
• Wing Span – 26”
• Range – 10+ km
• Endurance – more than 60 min
• Cruise Speed – 18 to 30+ knots
• Operational Altitude – User defined
• Ceiling – 11,000 ft MSL
• System Weight – Assault pack configuration: 15 lbs.
Pelican Case: 65 lbs.
• Operational Modes – Waypoint Navigation, Loiter, Follow,
Altitude Hold, Manual, Home, Rally
• Failsafe Modes – Loss of Comm. Rally, Loss of GPS Loiter/Land
• Durability – Advanced, Lightweight Carbon Fiber Airframe
• Power – Electric Lithium Polymer Battery
• Payload – Electro-optical camera, Thermal Imager
• Strobe – Visible & IR Strobes
• Autopilot – COTS Autopilot
• Video – Digital/Analog Recording
Snapshots; EO & Thermal
• Launch – Easy hand toss (standing, sitting, prone)
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:09:53 PM EDT
Nifty idea but I must question the wisdom of spending that much scratch on something so specific. Also, I assume these things run on avgas?

The only frame of reference I have of them is when:

They would go down in the shitty ville next to our FOB. It was a race to find the fucking thing. Total clusterfuck.

Also, if you deploy this cool wiz-bang rc plane- it's for a really good reason right? Like "I'm not going through that town/property for a really good reason, so send in the drones!"

I don't mean to shit on anyones parade. It's a fun idea to explore, but not financially practical IMHO.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:33:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Vinnland:
Nifty idea but I must question the wisdom of spending that much scratch on something so specific. Also, I assume these things run on avgas?

The only frame of reference I have of them is when:

They would go down in the shitty ville next to our FOB. It was a race to find the fucking thing. Total clusterfuck.

Also, if you deploy this cool wiz-bang rc plane- it's for a really good reason right? Like "I'm not going through that town/property for a really good reason, so send in the drones!"

I don't mean to shit on anyones parade. It's a fun idea to explore, but not financially practical IMHO.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Most hobby RC planes run on RC glow fuel which is a mix of alcohol, castor or synthetic oil, and varying degrees of nitromethane (5-15% for fixed wings, more for helis). With the advent of lithium polymer cells capable of delivering a decent amount of current, electric powered birds are rapidly overtaking the glow fuel and gasoline burners.

If designed right, a small electric UAV can be almost silent and provide a good aerial picture of a fairly good sized area, even from low altitude. And, they really, really don't have to cost all that much. What happens with the current crop of UAV vendors is they are trying to recoup their non-recurring engineering expenses with a small number of potential units to be sold. Hence they seem ridiculously expensive.

Another on-board video provider is BlackWidowAV

You can also get a good video overlay with data logging and a build-it-yourself tracker thru these guys: EagleTree

This stuff isn't cheap like pennies and dimes, but isn't expensive like multi-thousands either. Unless you start getting into these:

http://www.jetcatusa.com/
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:37:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By phlat:
I want one of these. Someone want to get a price check on this one?

http://www.ara.com/robotics/Nighthawk.html

Making one of these yourself really isn't that hard. Especially the flexible wings. Ask me how I know...
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:57:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 8:03:34 PM EDT
Good write-up planemaker. Very informative, thanks!

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