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The world’s smallest operational military UAV with night capability was unveiled by Prox Dynamics.
The PD-100 Black Hornet is an 18-gram single-rotor helicopter UAV. It is fitted with both long-wave infrared and day video sensors, and can transmit video streams as well as high-resolution still images via a digital datalink with a 1m range.
According to Aviation Week, more than 3,000 PD-100 air vehicles have been delivered, and the system has been used operationally in Afghanistan by British army units since 2013.
The complete system weighs 1.3 kg and comprises two vehicles, a charging and transport case and a ground control station. The UAV helicopter has an endurance of 25 min. and can operate in a 15-kt. wind.
Norway-based Prox Dynamics produces most components of the PD-100 itself, above the chip level. For example, the company buys the IR detector but has designed and built the new camera itself, and also designs and builds the high-efficiency propulsion motor. Component design, the company says, allows the PD-100 to achieve a useful endurance while powering the cameras, datalink and GPS receiver.