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[aprssig] Put APRS On This! Battery-Powered UAV

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Tue Sep 21 20:09:47 UTC 2010


  Sounds like this could be useful for APRS-based SAR operations.....

 From Urgent Communications mag (formerly Mobile Radio Techology)

<http://urgentcomm.com/mobile_data/news/datron-scout-uav-20100811/index.html>


      UAV comes in handy when raiding a suspected drug lord

Aug 11, 2010 4:14 PM, By Glenn Bischoff

"Last week at the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials 
conference in Houston, Datron World Communications showcased the Scout unmanned 
aerial vehicle 
<http://urgentcomm.com/mobile_data/news/datron-scout-uav-20100811/Last%20week%20at%20the%20Association%20of%20Public%20Safety%20Communications%20Officials%20conference%20in%20Houston,%20Datron%20World%20Communications%20showcased%20the%20Scout%20unmanned%20aerial%20vehicle,%20which%20is%20manufactured%20by%20Aerion%20Labs%20of%20Waterloo,%20Ontario.%20A%20video%20that%20was%20shown%20illustrated%20the%20effectiveness%20of%20UAVs%20for%20surveillance%20operations.%20%20The%20U.S.%20government%20used%20the%20Scout%20over%20several%20days%20to%20conduct%20surveillance%20of%20a%20compound%20in%20Central%20America,%20where%20an%20alleged%20drug%20lord%20and%20his%20crew%20were%20suspected%20of%20hiding.%20Once%20the%20UAV%20confirmed%20that%20the%20suspects%20were%20on%20the%20premises,%20agents%20conducted%20the%20raid.%20%20%u201CThere%u2019s%20no%20point%20kicking%20down%20the%20door%20when%20no%20one%u2019s%20home,%u201D%20said%20Chris%20Barter,%20Datron%u2019s%20Scout%20program%20manager.%20%u201CUsing%20Scout,%20they%20were%20able%20to%20figure%20out%20their%20movement%20patterns%20and%20when%20they%20were%20home.%u201D%20%20Another%20advantage%20of%20UAVs%20such%20as%20the%20Scout%20is%20that%20they%20can%20be%20used%20to%20for%20reconnaissance%20purposes%20so%20that%20military%20troops%20and%20law-enforcement%20officers%20%u201Cknow%20what%u2019s%20around%20the%20corner,%u201D%20said%20Datron%20CEO%20Art%20Barter.%20%20%u201CWhen%20you%20think%20about%20this%20in%20a%20military%20application,%20the%20ability%20to%20go,%20let%u2019s%20say,%20three%20football%20fields%20into%20the%20battlefield%20to%20assess%20what%u2019s%20going%20on%20before%20you%20send%20[troops]%20in%20there%20will%20be%20a%20great%20advantage,%20especially%20in%20places%20like%20Afghanistan%20and%20the%20Middle%20East,%20where%20there%20are%20a%20lot%20of%20caves%20and%20mountains,%u201D%20he%20said.%20Other%20applications%20include%20wildland-fire%20observation%20and%20border%20patrol,%20as%20well%20as%20crowd%20control%20and%20security%20for%20major%20events.%20%20%u201CThe%20World%20Cup%20wanted%20to%20use%20Scout%20during%20the%20soccer%20matches,%20but%20we%20couldn%u2019t%20get%20product%20to%20them%20in%20time,%u201D%20Art%20Barter%20said.%20%20%20The%20UAV%20communicates%20to%20the%20system%u2019s%20base%20station%20over%20a%20900%20MHz%20link,%20while%20the%20base%20station%20communicates%20with%20the%20tablet%20PC%20via%20an%20encrypted%20Wi-Fi%20link.%20All%20of%20the%20UAV%u2019s%20movements%20are%20controlled%20by%20the%20tablet%20PC%20using%20a%20%u201Cpoint-and-touch%u201D%20interface.%20The%20interface%20can%20be%20used%20to%20identify%20areas%20for%20reconnaissance%20and%20to%20pinpoint%20specific%20targets,%20as%20well%20as%20to%20create%20no-fly%20zones.%20When%20the%20UAV%20is%20locked%20onto%20a%20specific%20target,%20its%20GPS%20function%20will%20indicate%20on%20the%20touchpad%u2019s%20display%20where%20the%20target%20is%20in%20relation%20to%20the%20overall%20reconnaissance%20area.%20%u201CIt%u2019s%20designed%20so%20that%20you%20don%u2019t%20have%20to%20have%20any%20piloting%20experience,%u201D%20Chris%20Barter%20said.%20%u201CJust%20about%20everybody%20can%20pick%20it%20up%20and%20within%2010%20to%2015%20minutes,%20you%u2019re%20good%20to%20go.%20It%u2019s%20very%20simple%20to%20use.%u201D%20%20The%20UAV%20also%20is%20designed%20to%20be%20both%20rugged%20and%20portable.%20All%20of%20the%20UAV%u2019s%20components%20%u2014%20including%20its%20legs,%20payloads,%20battery%20and%20rotors%20%u2014%20snap%20on%20and%20off%20its%20rugged%20body,%20which%20allow%20it%20to%20be%20deployed%20in%20a%20manpack.%20The%20legs%20and%20rotors%20also%20pop%20off%20upon%20impact,%20which%20reduces%20the%20likelihood%20of%20significant%20damage%20should%20the%20UAV%20crash-land.%20%20%u201CIt%u2019s%20designed%20for%20rapid%20deployment.%20You%20can%20pull%20it%20out%20of%20the%20pack%20and%20in%20a%20few%20minutes,%20you%u2019re%20ready%20to%20go,%u201D%20Chris%20Barter%20said.%20%20The%20UAV%20offers%20a%20transmission%20range%20of%20three%20kilometers%20when%20its%20Lithium-ion%20battery%20is%20charged%20fully.%20When%20fully%20charged,%20the%20battery%20offers%20about%2020%20minutes%20of%20flight%20and%20transmission%20time,%20though%20transmission%20range%20diminishes%20as%20the%20battery%20depletes.%20It%20also%20is%20GPS-enabled;%20the%20UAV%20automatically%20will%20return%20to%20its%20home%20base%20when%20battery-depletion%20reaches%20a%20pre-defined%20level.%20%20In%20addition,%20it%20utilizes%20brushless%20rotors%20that%20are%20so%20quiet%20that%20the%20UAV%20can%20fly%20as%20low%20as%2020%20meters%20%28about%2066%20feet%29%20above%20the%20target%20without%20being%20heard,%20Chris%20Barter%20said.%20%20Available%20payloads%20include%205-%20and%2010-megapixel%20daylight%20and%20infrared%20cameras%20that%20are%20plug-and-play;%20they%20immediately%20start%20transmitting%20video%20or%20still%20pictures%20upon%20plug-in,%20Chris%20Barter%20said.%20The%20cameras%20feature%20a%20two-axis%20gimbal%20to%20keep%20the%20video%20steady%20even%20in%20high%20winds.%20He%20added%20that%20the%20UAV%20has%20a%20wind-threshold%20of%2060%20kilometers%20per%20hour%20%2837%20mph%29.%20It%20also%20resists%20rain%20and%20humidity.%20%20Future%20payloads%20that%20are%20being%20discussed%20include%20one%20that%20would%20allow%20the%20Scout%20to%20scoop%20up%20a%20soil%20sample%20and%20analyze%20it%20for%20contaminants,%20data%20that%20could%20be%20used%20to%20prevent%20deployment%20of%20military%20troops%20into%20hazardous%20conditions%20involving%20biological%20or%20chemical%20agents.%20Datron%20also%20is%20working%20on%20a%20network%20gateway%20that%20will%20allow%20any%20video%20or%20photos%20transmitted%20by%20the%20UAV%20to%20be%20transmitted%20to%20an%20incident%20command%20center,%20in%20addition%20to%20the%20tablet%20PC.%20%20Datron%20currently%20is%20the%20worldwide%20distributor%20for%20Scout,%20with%20the%20exception%20of%20Canada.%20The%20company%20hopes%20to%20eventually%20manufacture%20the%20device,%20according%20to%20Art%20Barter.%20%20%u201CThey%20can%20manufacture%20about%20two%20of%20these%20a%20week,%20where%20we%20can%20manufacture%20anywhere%20from%20a%20thousand%20to%20three%20thousand%20radios%20a%20week,%u201D%20he%20said.%20%u201CThe%20inside%20of%20[the%20Scout]%20will%20be%20fairly%20easy%20for%20us%20to%20manufacture,%20and%20I%20think%20it%20will%20be%20pretty%20easy%20for%20us%20to%20assemble.%20In%20another%20two%20years,%20we%20may%20become%20their%20manufacturing%20facility.%u201D%20%20In%20other%20news,%20Datron%u2019s%20Guardian%20II%20VHF%20radio%20will%20go%20into%20production%20in%20about%2030%20days,%20and%20soon%20will%20be%20reviewed%20by%20the%20FCC%20for%20type%20acceptance%20and%20by%20the%20Project%2025%20Compliance%20Assessment%20Program,%20according%20to%20John%20Biljan,%20the%20company%u2019s%20national%20sales%20manager.%20The%20UHF%20version%20of%20the%20radio%20will%20follow%20suit%20in%20about%20eight%20weeks,%20Biljan%20said.%20He%20added%20that%20the%20company%20expects%20the%20tri-band%20version%20of%20the%20radio%20%u2014%20which%20will%20offer%20VHF,%20UHF%20and%20700/800%20MHz%20operation%20%u2014%20will%20be%20in%20production%20by%20the%20end%20of%20the%20year.%20%20>, 
which is manufactured by Aerion Labs of Waterloo, Ontario. A video that was 
shown illustrated the effectiveness of UAVs for surveillance operations."

"The UAV offers a transmission range of three kilometers when its Lithium-ion 
battery is charged fully. When fully charged, the battery offers about 20 
minutes of flight and transmission time, though transmission range diminishes 
as the battery depletes. It also is GPS-enabled; the UAV automatically will 
return to its home base when battery-depletion reaches a pre-defined level. In 
addition, it utilizes brushless rotors that are so quiet that the UAV can fly 
as low as 20 meters (about 66 feet) above the target without being heard, Chris 
Barter said."

[If it already has a GPS, one could probably tack on a Micro-Trak very easily, 
if it's command link doesn't already include an APRS-like reporting capability. 
- SHS]

"The UAV also is designed to be both rugged and portable. All of the UAV’s 
components — including its legs, payloads, battery and rotors — snap on and off 
its rugged body, which allow it to be deployed in a manpack. The legs and 
rotors also pop off upon impact, which reduces the likelihood of significant 
damage should the UAV crash-land."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node: WA8LMF or 14400 [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Skype: WA8LMF
Home Page: http://wa8lmf.net

===== Vista & Win7 Install Issues for UI-View and Precision Mapping =====
http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/UIview_Notes.htm#VistaWin7

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http://wa8lmf.net/APRS_PSK63/index.htm

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