Latest BLACK HORNET Nano-UAV Enables Operation in GPS-Denied Areas
FLIR Systems, Inc. today announced the BLACK HORNET 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for use by global militaries, government agencies and first responders. The BLACK HORNET Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) is already the world’s smallest combat-proven nano-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and FLIR’s next generation BLACK HORNET 3 nano-UAV adds the ability to navigate in GPS-denied environments, enabling the operator to maintain situational awareness, threat detection and surveillance, no matter where the mission takes them.
According to the company, to fly the nano-UAV in a GPS-denied environmen, is achieved through a very advanced flight controller, using a combination of onboard cameras and other sensors, in sync with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software. Once GPS is jammed, he UAV does not come home but the operator will use its cameras and other sensors for navigating home. BLACK HORNET 3 uses a mega-small Inertial Navigation System, to which the company was not able to disclose any further details as the technology is proprietary.
The BLACK HORNET PRS has been fielded by over 30 nations over the past seven years and continues to represent the cutting-edge in the combat nano-UAS space, enabling small combat units, SWAT teams and first responders with immediately available intelligence, target-acquisition, and reconnaissance capability.
At 32 grams, the BLACK HORNET 3 offers the lowest size, weight, and performance for UAS available. Offering improved speed and distance compared to previous versions, the BLACK HORNET 3 flies 2km at speeds of over 21km an hour. It also incorporates sharper imaging processing featuring the FLIR LEPTON thermal microcamera core and a visible sensor to allow greater image fidelity. The design features an improved encrypted military-approved digital datalink, enabling seamless communications and imagery significantly beyond line-of-sight and in closed areas.
Additionally, the new nano-UAV seamlessly integrates into the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) utilised by the military to provide battlefield networks and distribution of information to anyone on the network.
“We are excited to bring this advanced BLACK HORNET 3 to our warfighters and first responders,” said James Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR. “With longer range and indoor flight capabilities, the latest generation BLACK HORNET provides full surveillance coverage continuity to the mission. The BLACK HORNET 3 is representative of FLIR’s new focus on providing full-solution technology, and we look forward to playing a role in helping modernise our military customers.”
Last week, FLIR Systems announced it had been awarded a U$2.6 million order from the United States Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) programmr to deliver the BLACK HORNET in a first batch order. Units delivered for the SBS programme, in addition to units recently deployed by the Royal Australian Army and French Armed Forces, will be the BLACK HORNET 3. For FLIR Systems detailing these successes, please see here.
The latest BLACK HORNET will be demonstrated at Eurosatory 2018 in Paris, France next week, 11-15 June in the FLIR Systems booth #A267 in hall 5A.
Eurosatory 2018 is showcasing the future of innovation across the land forces sector and MONCh (Moench Online News Channel at www.monch.com) brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #06/2018, available at the show in hall 6, stand #D198.; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.