Surveillance drone that can fit in soldier’s pocket, developed by researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The pocket-sized aerial surveillance drone developed by the U.S. Army, is ideal for soldiers and small units operating in challenging ground environments.

In the past few years, the usage of drones has dramatically increased. Miniature surveillance helicopters are being used by British military intelligence forces in Afghanistan. The remotely controlled devices send camera footage and pictures to the troops on the ground.

The 1 by 4 inch drone, known as the Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle, can be piloted manually or it can be programmed using GPS coordinates. It weighs less than an ounce, reaching speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. The Black Hornet can travel for up to half an hour, and has a range of around a half-mile.

Sergeant Christopher Petherbridge, from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force stationed in Afghanistan, said:

“We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset. It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.”

The Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, or CP-ISR, seeks to develop a mobile Soldier sensor to increase the situational awareness of dismounted Soldiers by providing real-time video surveillance of threat areas within their immediate operational environment.

While larger systems have been used to provide over-the-hill ISR capabilities on the battlefield for almost a decade, none of those delivers it directly to the squad level, where Soldiers need the ability to see around the corner or into the next room during combat missions.

Dr. Laurel Allender, acting NSRDEC technical director, said:

“The Cargo Pocket ISR is a true example of an applied systems approach for developing new Soldier capabilities. It provides an integrated capability for the Soldier and small unit for increased situational awareness and understanding with negligible impact on Soldier load and agility.”

via io9 via wordlesstech