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A new four-rotor surveillance nano is small enough to be carried by soldiers and squads in their pouch. manufacturing firm AeroVironment officially unveiled the new Snipe Nano Quad, a miniature (“Class 0”) and field-rugged unmanned aircraft system designed to support close-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The first U.S. government customer delivery of 20 Snipe systems took place in April, according to the company’s statement on its website.
Equipped with electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR), low-light-capable and long-wave infrared (LWIR) sensors in an integrated tilt mechanism, Snipe can relay high-resolution images and record real-time video both day and night. In addition, Snipe’s integrated UHF radio provides for excellent non-line-of-sight operation. The software-defined radio (SDR) allows Snipe to be sold commercially.
With its quiet electric motors, flight speeds exceeding 20 mph and more than one-kilometer range, Snipe is difficult to detect in operating environments with even minimal ambient noise. Its rechargeable batteries power approximately 15 minutes of flight time. Despite its small size, the durable nano- is capable of operating under challenging environmental conditions – including harsh winds.
“Snipe’s tiny size belies its impressive capabilities,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “It is quick, quiet, fast, durable and packed with advanced features critical to helping our customers succeed in close-range missions.”
“Snipe enables operators to spring into action quickly,” Flittie said. “No assembly is required for the five-ounce (140-gram) nano-, which is designed to be worn by its operator so it can be deployed in less than a minute.”
“While Snipe’s stealthiness makes it ideally suited for military applications, it’s an invaluable asset for anyone needing a ‘Class 0’ to support their missions,” Flittie said.
Snipe is controlled using an intuitive app on a standard, ruggedized (MIL-STD 810) touch screen controller with intuitive user interface and automated operation for ease of use. Other critical functions include Snipe’s ability to return to its operator automatically if it loses its radio link.
Snipe benefits from advances in nano unmanned technology achieved by the company in its development of the internationally recognized Nano Hummingbird. “The Nano Hummingbird, the world’s first unmanned aircraft capable of propulsion and control using two flapping wings, is an example of how our breakthrough innovation has spawned a valuable new capability in Snipe,” added Flittie.