Micro-UAV points of view

Two commercially available quadcopters have been used to film footage of the Costa Concordia wreck site. The footage gives a great sense of what is possible from man-portable UAV surveillance systems.

Note the film makers comments at the beginning of the video.

via gCaptain

Interesting as this is, the implications for operating against an enemy that can order this type of kit from Amazon are obvious.

If the Taleban flew one of these over Bastion today, what would be the response?

Perhaps a bad example, the Phalanx C-RAM would get busy but one could imagine the ensuing shockwaves, now imagine if it was a remote FOB.

Are we thinking about the implications of this

We could of course give everyone one of these

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May 21, 2013 8:17 pm

Get the distinct impression watching that, that they had no permission to be there. If so, despite their arse covering statement at the beginning that seems like an incredibly disrespectful thing to do.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
May 21, 2013 8:40 pm

ISO container accommodation on a barage… Just saying…

El Sid
El Sid
May 21, 2013 9:01 pm

Here’s some more examples – the UAV costs about £500 but is a grownup system with GPS, barometers for altitude, compasses etc, a GoPro camera is a couple of hundred on top. One for the Christmas list!


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Red Trousers
Red Trousers
May 21, 2013 9:24 pm

I think that UAVs (or more properly, UAS for systems) are going to obey a Moore’s Law type of trajectory, and that brings a whole new range of users into play. A year ago, there was a riot in Germany. The rioters had their own UAV tracking the police. To be fair, I think that some among the rioters were university students, and had filched the coding and possibly the kit from the university, but it shows what is increasingly cheap and possible.

What to be done? Apart from jamming RF signals which has legitimacy and proportionality problems in a western urban environment, I think the responses are immature. “Counter-UAV”, especially micro and in a complex civilian peacetime environment should be a priority for work.

John Hartley
John Hartley
May 21, 2013 9:59 pm

Never mind micro, what about mega UAV? Thinking of all those soon to be retired B747-400 . One of those stuffed full of explosives & flown by remote right into the target.

May 22, 2013 3:10 am

What was the cost of that small UAV the army was using in the stan last year? Think it was £70,000 and I bet it did not do 1080 DP.

I think some of the promise of military UAV’s is lost because of gold plating gucci capabilities. What a Capability it would be to give every solider a cam copter if they only cost a few hundred quid each. Does not matter if it get’s shot down and it does not need to be able to uplink HD images to Northwood.

May 22, 2013 11:09 am

The military response will presumably be soft-kill. For them to be cheap enough for mass use by taliban types they are not going to be very difficult to jam (if the Iranians really could do it to top line US kit then we should easily be able to do it to Amazon-supplied kit)
The kit needed is presumably not a million miles different from the counter-IED electronics that all the vehicles carry now.
If the things are controlled then the controllers are very vulnerable – RF direction finding will show where they are and they would be a priority target as they would be a step up from ordinary taliban grunt.
The most awkward would be autonomous ones that record and take home, no transmitting.
I presume these things are quite a challenge for radar – small, not much metal, low and in cluttered background? Can they take useful images from outside small arms range – I am thinking a kind of shotgun cartridge in a 40mm auto grenade launcher….or even a small net to bring the thing down for intel!

Anyone know whether Roman Abramovich’s yacht’s anti-papparazzi system actually works and how big a system it is? It is supposed to detect CCDs on cameras and then blind them with a laser. Sounds like a perfect detection system for micro-UAVs, with potential to hard kill the cameras?

May 22, 2013 1:43 pm

Are you thinking airburst with this “Can they take useful images from outside small arms range – I am thinking a kind of shotgun cartridge in a 40mm auto grenade launcher”?

I think the real shotgun type AHEAD & like only work with high-velocity cannons

May 23, 2013 12:11 pm

ACC, 40mm MV airbursts are getting to be fairly common on APCs nowadays. Human carried systems… maybe not.