Black Hornet Nano UAV

A collection of videos and images of the Black Hornet nano UAV from Prox Dynamics currently deployed in Afghanistan.

A few snippets from the videos;

  • 20 minutes flight time with low power warning and auto return
  • 3 cameras
  • GPS or manual controlled
  • Susceptible to wind (second video)
  • Half mile range
  • Main advantage is speed of deployment and lack of chain of command intervention

Marlborough Communications are the main contractor with the equipment supplied by Prox Dynamics in Norway.

Image caption

Soldier Operating Black Hornet Nano UAV Helicopter

A soldier of The Queen’s Royal Lancers launches a Black Hornet, Nano UAV from a compound in Afghanistan during Operation QALB.

The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle measures around 4 inches by 1 inch (10cm x 2.5cm) and provides troops on the ground with vital situational awareness.

The Black Hornet is equipped with a tiny camera which gives troops reliable full-motion video and still images. Soldiers are using it to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal.

This revolutionary new system – the size of a child’s toy – is carried easily on patrol and is capable of performing in harsh environments and windy conditions.

The Black Hornet weighs as little as 16 grams and has been developed by Prox Dynamics AS of Norway as part of a £20 million contract for 160 units with Marlborough Communications Ltd in Surrey.

British Army Black Hornet Nano UAV 01 British Army Black Hornet Nano UAV 02 British Army Black Hornet Nano UAV 03 British Army Black Hornet Nano UAV 04

 

 

 

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wf
wf
April 5, 2013 1:19 pm

All very nice. But I note it comes with it’s own control equipment and screen, all of which needs to be carried and supported. If anyone had a brain, they would be replacing the PRR with something Android based and ruggedised, where a channels could be repurposed for remote control and video and adding equipment like this would be a matter of installing an app :-(

Pab
Pab
April 5, 2013 5:12 pm

and hopefully reduce the buy price too!

ChrisM
ChrisM
April 5, 2013 10:05 pm

How sophisticated are the control links? How long before Iran starts providing its friends with a very cheap jammer, for all the main infantry UAVs?

PS has my hearing gone or did the soldier refer to himself as an “infanteer”?

Euan Stewart
Euan Stewart
April 5, 2013 10:43 pm

I totally agree If anyone could be bothered, it would probably only take a couple of industrial designers and electronics engineers a couple of months and a few million to come up with a wrist wearable computer. All the electronics are freely available globally these days it just takes someone with the balls to say to various defence technology companies that their kit has to work based off of a common standard and to write their own app.

Control links for something like this would be relatively basic and i dare say with bang up to date technology in smart phones etc they are probably harder to jam than quite a lot of military kit. A big problem with mobile phones and civvy tech is the regulations placed upon them by Governments hence why various countries can easily mess around with the mobile network.

Obsvr
Obsvr
April 6, 2013 3:07 am

The best thing about it the the lack of need for airspace coordination, but don’t say it too loudly because some crab is bound have a sharp intake of breath, witter about ‘airmanship’ and demand to be in the chain of control for it.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
April 6, 2013 8:07 am

Euan Stewart,
Might I ask what you base your “probably”s on?
If you are going from scratch, I suspect that it would cost a great deal more – the various computer companies spend billions each year on R&D.
If you are simply modifying existing components then about £1000 for a smartphone, a case and some webbing and a short amount of time would not seem outrageous.

Mark
Mark
April 6, 2013 8:21 am

Does it work when its raining?

Euan Stewart
Euan Stewart
April 6, 2013 9:03 am

Not from scratch, more or less repacking a Samsung Galaxy with a ruggedised case and connectors not developing anything really. USB cable going back to a USB hub and to a common battery pack for power, various things such as antenna or additional hardware could be connected up and the app added to the system. I’m just too much of a pessimist to think that a public sector organisation let alone military could spend less than a few million buying a smartphone, putting it in a tougher shell and testing it.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
April 6, 2013 9:48 am

It’s a possibility, but just a rugged case isn’t going to cut it – you also need to do something about the temperature performance. Most consumer products are rated for something like 5-30 celsius while military equipment needs to be rated for -30 to +50 celsius.

A good idea, but not a trivial task.

wf
wf
April 6, 2013 12:39 pm

@TD: and we haven’t even talked about EMP yet :-)

That being said, it’s fantastic that we now have a massive worldwide market for devices that have many military uses. Software is usually the biggest problem

WiseApe
April 7, 2013 9:38 am

On a similar vein – in slow mo this looks like it’s swimming through the air:

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/videos/bionic-opter-mimics-dragonfly/

I’m thinking massively scaled up = Crowsnest, but that’s probably just me. Or, possibly equally bonkers, all those elements that make up an AESA radar – what about putting one on each of these and using in a swarm. No idea how it would all fuse together – leave that to someone who has never had a girlfriend to work out. How do boffins breed?