The Aeryon Scout, a micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recently helped out in a Central American drug bust.
“The Aeryon Scout — a small, lightweight mini-helicopter that is remote-controlled from the ground by computer — was able to provide visual surveillance of a suspected narcotic trafficker’s compound deep in the jungle. The Scout provides the features of larger unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in a small package, at a fraction of the cost.”
““This might sound like a plot from a TV show like CSI or 24, but it’s a real-life application of our robotic technology,” said Dave Kroetsch, President of Aeryon Labs. “This is what the Scout was designed for: providing aerial intelligence in settings too challenging or dangerous for humans to venture into.”
Kroetsch said the law enforcement officers took the Aeryon Scout into the jungle, in hostile territory, under the cover of darkness. At first light they cleared a small launch area, took the Scout out of its suitcase-sized case, and snapped it together. Measuring only 80 cm by 80 cm when assembled and weighing just over a kilogram, the Scout was easy to transport. They then set the robot’s target by selecting the location of the drug compound using a touch-screen satellite-map interface on a portable computer tablet. The target location was approximately 1 km from the operator. For security reasons the actual date and location of the operation cannot be publicized.”
Apparently the images from the Scout enabled the enforcement team to determine the interior layout of the compound, establish what vehicles were inside, identify possible escape routes, and assess what security measures were in place. Most importantly they were able to see a gap in the wire surrounding the compound that was then used as the entry point for the raid. The successful bust resulted in the arrest of the drug gang members. Before the use of the Aeryon Scout, law enforcement officers would typically drive an armoured vehicle through the wall of the compound and face unknown circumstances on the other side.
““The Scout’s low noise, radar, visual and heat signatures make it an ideal platform for covert tactical imagery collection. You can set it up in a couple of minutes out of its case, fly the mission, and be gone without ever alerting the target. And if you can play a simple video game, you can fly the Scout,” said Charles Barlow, President Zariba Security Corporation and former Canadian intelligence officer.
Aeryon Labs designed the Scout system to be easy enough for even non-technical people to use with minimal training. Its on-board computer system supervises all aspects of the mission, allowing the operator to focus on completing a task.”
See full story at: Aeryon Labs Inc.