I was eating dinner a few weeks back with a soldier that just returned from Iraq. He was telling me about a UAV that they carried in a suitcase and how well it worked in an urban environment. They could carry the lightweight unit to the top of a building and reconnoiter the entire area looking for hostiles or other potential troubles. This UAV could be fitted with either a day or a night vision camera so illumination wasn’t an issue.
It sounded so interesting I thought I would research the UAV and blog about it. He was speaking of the Bluebird MicroB. NOTE: I am NOT affiliated with nor connected in any way with Bluebird. I found it fasinating how technology can be used with such purpose. Imagine how many American lives are being saved by this UAV and others like it. It can be launched from a street or roof top and can fly around and see everything around for miles. Here’s what their website had to say.
Tactical Micro UAV System
The MicroB, Bluebird’s micro UAS, weighs only 1Kg but features exceptional, unprecedented capabilities, considering its small size and low price.
The MicroB is the smallest UAS in the world, with an intergared advanced, cutting edge, proprietary stabilized video camera, designed to provide high quality ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and high-resolution images.
The MicroB delivers full autonomous capabilities, all weather stealthy operation, high reliability, high life expectancy and unprecedented ease of use, all in a small and cost effective platform. It can be autonomously launched within seconds even in a crowded urban environment, and provides up to 1 hour of real-time, enhanced visual intelligence in stringent situations.
With its small size and fast deployment, the MicroB allows critical, visual recognition of elements in real-time and gain dominant situational awareness in any tactical circumstances.
The MicroB is packed in two carry-on briefcases. One briefcase contains the portable GCU with tripod based communication box and the launcher, The 2nd contains the MicroB UAV platforms, folded and ready to fly. Each briefcase weighs about 7Kg.
The soldier did mention however that his was shot down at one point in time and their CO made them go out and retreive the remains. Apparently they did not want the technology to fall into the wrong hands. He said the MicroB has a GPS homing device so finding it was easy, it was the actual getting in and getting out of the situation that proved difficult. All went well though and the soldier in question is now home with his wife and kids.