ABOVE: Black Hornet is a “flyable robotic video camera” that bears a resemblance to a helicopter if you can see it – it is small like a colibri (hummingbird). Its small size and electric motor makes it virtually inaudible and invisible beyond short distances. (Prox Dynamics)
A surveillance micro drone, easily started from the palm of a soldier’s hand, can fly horizontal and look on a suspected area or hover beside a building and look into a window, giving soldiers on foot patrols an advantage of seeing what’s there from a safe distance: that is the Black Hornet.
When U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan needed to see whether danger lurked over the next hill or on the next city block, they often relied on small, hand-launched, fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the Army’s Raven and the Marine Corps’ Dragon Eye.
Perhaps no technology is more important today for soldiers on foot patrol than flying robotic micro drones equipped with cameras that can be used to get a bird’s-eye view over a certain object so they can accurately assess situations.
Military and Special Forces Application
The game changer, PD-100 Black Hornet PRS (Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) provides the modern day warrior with a piece of equipment for instant use on the battlefield. The personal pocket-sized intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance capability this small system gives, allows immediate situational awareness for soldiers executing dismounted operations. The system provides real-time live motion video back to the operator and the opportunity to take snapshots during missions. Combat proven in Afghanistan by NATO-forces and with a range exceeding 1.2 km, the PD-100 PRS represents an operational capability available to military units. Its features include:
Instant situational awareness within 2 minutes of activation
Organic and extremely light weight
Capable of covert target surveillance and route reconnaissance
Easy to operate
No assembly required
With the very small, micro drone (copter), the PD-100 Black Hornet PRS (Personal Reconnaissance System), a patrol infantry team or Special Forces soldier can quietly conduct surveillance missions in urban areas, or in areas with dense obstacles, providing security and see the hidden threat. What the PD-100 Black Hornet PRS brings to the team is the ability to get a close look at dangerous situations as they unfold. A major tactical advantage of this very small micro drone is that it is easy to carry, attached to the combat carrying harness, and that it starts from the palm of the hand enabling launching from confined areas. The PD-100 Black Hornet PRS maintains its combat proven credentials with a variety of international military forces since 2012. Designed to operate by the soldiers in the field, it is simple to operate. The PD-100 PRS is a force multiplier that provides the warfighter on foot with immediate eyes-on-target and real-time situational awareness. Inherently safe and truly organic, the PD-100 PRS has introduced a unique game-changing dimension to small team covert reconnaissance tasks.
The Unmanned Aerial System
A PD-100 Black Hornet PRS is a complete nano UAS (unmanned aerial system) consisting of two nano helicopters, base station, single hand controller, display unit and pouch. Total system weight is 1.3 kg. The system is delivered in a waterproof hard transport case.
Nano Air Vehicle
Black Hornet is a “flyable robotic video camera” that bears a resemblance to a helicopter (if you can see it) – it is small like a colibri (hummingbird). Its small size and electric motor makes it virtually inaudible and invisible beyond short distances. The nano air vehicles are inherently safe and pose virtually no risk to other air vehicles or personnel, allowing the system to be operated almost anywhere at any time without prior airspace coordination.
The nano copter can hover and fly in any direction and is operated by a soldier using a small control unit that directs its movements in the air. The base station holds the two nano air vehicles, and contains all necessary functions to plan, execute and analyze missions. All mission data is stored in real time on the base station. Internal rechargeable batteries supply power to the external display and recharge the nano air vehicles. The base station also contains the detachable single hand controller. In addition to external head mounted display options, Prox Dynamics offers a lightweight daylight readable display for the Black Hornet. The high quality 7 inch screen allows information to be shared between users.
Concept of Operation
The PD-100 is designed as a short range ISTAR (information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissane) system for lower echelon combat units. The complete system is easily carried by a single soldier in a pouch attached to the load bearing system along with the rest of his combat gear, providing the unit with a quick reaction reconnaissance and surveillance capability. It is easy to use and requires only a few hours of training. The UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) are fully assembled and ready to fly after a short initialization period. The system may be operated in standby mode for prolonged periods of time. Pre-planning of waypoints and reference points may be performed, but is not required for flight operation. Guidance is provided through the GUI (graphical user interface), and live video and still images are downlinked on the digital data link to the operator and stored automatically in the base station. After completing the mission the UAV is placed back inside the base station for system checks and recharging. When the team is about to enter a suspicious area, for example, the little drone is sent out to take a closer look at the suspected area with
its “birds eye.”
Not Only Military Application
The PD-100 Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) provides law enforcement agencies with a pocket-sized ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) capability that provides instant situational awareness. The PRS provides Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with a unique piece of equipment for use in both urban and rural settings under any climatic conditions. The personal pocket-sized ISR capability allows the worker to get situational awareness and reconnoiter points of interest from a safe distance. Hence, the PD-100 PRS can be used as an effective tool to enhance force protection for worker’s own organization and civilians.
Who Makes the PD-100 Black Hornet PRS?
Prox Dynamics was established in 2007 by three aviation enthusiasts with a background in defense and the technology company Tandberg. They established a joint venture with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) as the other party and the ‘Innovation Norway’ as a third party, to start the development of an unmanned, flying reconnaissance micro copter for defense units. Dialogue with Norwegian soldiers in the field have provided important input in product development and the result is the nano copter Black Hornet that police organizations and defense organizations around the world are interested in. Prox Dynamics is a privately held company, focusing on the development of world leading nano and micro air vehicles and associated technology.
Capable of covert target surveillance and route reconnaissance, the The PD-100 PRS provides the modern day warrior with a piece of equipment for instant use on the battlefield. It is organic and extremely light weight, no assembly is required, is easy to operate, allows instant situational awarness within 2 minutes of activations, and the personal pocket-sized ISR capability allowss immediate situational awareness for soldiers executing dismounted operations. The system provides real-time live motion video back to the operator and the opportunity to take snapshots during missions. Combat proven in Afghanistan by NATO-forces and with a range exceeding 1.2 km, the PD-100 PRS represents an operational capability available to military units – it is a game changer.