December 2, 2016

Pocket Sized Surveillance Drone Company Acquired

An article from Recode:
The leading maker of thermal imaging sensors, Flir, bought a Norwegian drone maker for $134 million, the company announced Wednesday.

Flir acquired Prox Dynamics, which makes the Black Hornet, a tiny nano-drone used by the military and law enforcement for surveillance and reconnaissance. The drone is deployed by throwing it in the air and is small enough to fit in a soldier’s pocket. Despite its compact frame, the Black Hornet carries three cameras.

The palm-sized aircraft is used by the U.S. Marines, the British Army, the Australian Army and Norway’s Armed Forces.
These drones can easily fit in the palm of your hand.
President-elect Donald Trump wants to resume law enforcement access to military equipment, so Flir acquired Black Hornet at an opportune time, when its client base in the U.S. may soon swell.
They're not cheap. I can see a new law enforcement grant initiative whereby federal tax dollars will be used to purchase these devices. The Black Hornet drone and all the equipment necessary to operate it costs $1950,000. Few small or even medium sized police agencies can afford that price tag.

If these drones become common place there might be an ancillary business boom for residential swimming pool domes . Swarms of miniature drones, cheap civilian models and otherwise, could infest skinny dipping sites. It could resemble a bee migration.

And what would you call a swarm of surveillance drones?

There's a bevy of quail, a dole of doves, a siege of herons, a gaggle of geese and a raft of ducks.

A dollop of drones?  


LL said...

It works good in larger cities where skyscrapers break the wind. They've been working on that for about three years now. I'm glad that it sold. The price tag was too steep for me to take it seriously back when I was in the drone biz. But maybe that's what it takes?

sig94 said...

LL - Someone had deep pockets. This comes out of a very high end law enforcement goodie bag. I have had a hand in purchasing up to almost a million dollars on a single system, but had to prove it could save local dollars (reduced costs in other areas).

In my mind that is still an awful large check to write even for the US gubmint. Can the Black Hornet be networked with other systems? You can't use it as a weapons platform. Or can you use it as a targeting system?

$200 large is gonna choke all but the largest agencies. Look for any grants to land mostly on southern border states (duh) or for cooperative MOU's to define how this equipment will be shared with staties and locals by the feds.