The Drudge Report & Honeywell & The Washington Post – 2005-11-13 23:42:04
Robot Spy Drones Built to Fly over US Cities
The Drudge Report
(November 13, 2005) — Honeywell is developing a micro flying spy drone — that would be used for civilian law enforcement! The device, a hovering robot carrying video cameras and other sensors, is being created and tested at Honeywell ‘s Albuquerque, NM plant.
The first round of testing on the drone (aka the “Micro Air Vehicle”) has been completed, reports Bob Martin of CBS affiliate KRQE.
The battery-powered craft can stay in the air for 50-60 minutes at a time, and moves around at up to 55 kilometers an hour. The Micro Air Vehicle has flown more than 200 successful flights, including flying in a representative urban environment.
“If there is an emergency, you could provide “eyes” on whatever the emergency is, for police or Homeland Security,” explains Vaughn Fulton of Honeywell.
In the meantime, the US Army has prepared a promotional video showing the craft zooming over war-zone streets. Drones have been given to the military to test during training exercises.
“It has the same system most fighter jets would have,” explains Fulton. The vehicle, nicknamed “Dragon Eye,” will be used for reconnaissance, security and target acquisition operations in open, rolling, complex and urban terrain; it will be equipped with Global Positioning Satellite.
Honeywell and government officials are meeting to discuss the status of the project. Troops in Iraq could get the craft in a year or two. The spy drone would be deployed for domestic use shortly thereafter.
Filed By Matt Drudge
http://www.drudgereport.com for updates
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Ducted Fan Miniature Unmanned Air Vehicle
Honeywell is developing for DARPA an advanced technology demonstrator backpack-sized Miniature Air Vehicle (MAV) designed to gather, transmit battlefield Information
The 13-inch autonomous surveillance aircraft began flight testing in early January 2005. The new UAV is considered a candidate for Class I OAV program, and is designed for transportation and operation by an individual soldier. Honeywell is developing the aircraft, called the Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of its Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. Flight tests will continue through March at Honeywell’s facility in Albuquerque and transition to the Army for initial experimentation in April 2005. (more)
The MAV is designed as a ducted fan air vehicle, and flies like a helicopter, using a propeller that draws in air through a duct to provide lift. The MAV’s propeller is enclosed in the duct and is driven by a gasoline engine. A heavy fuel engine variant of the MAV will be available in 2006. The MAV is controlled using Honeywell’s micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) electronic sensor technology.
The micro air vehicle may become part of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems program as the “hover and stare” Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System.
Iran Protests US Aerial Drones
Pentagon Won’t Confirm Alleged Crash of 2 Unmanned Aircraft
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post
(November 8, 2005) — Iran has strongly protested what it said was the United States’ use of unmanned aerial drones over its territory and said two of them had crashed this summer within its borders, according to diplomatic letters circulated at the United Nations yesterday.
Iran’s charge d’affairs at the United Nations, Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi, asked the Security Council on Oct. 26 to circulate two letters from Tehran, which called for “an end to such unlawful acts” by the United States.
The Pentagon did not deny the incidents but said it could not verify the Iranian claims. “I can’t confirm the validity of their statements,” said Defense Department spokesman Maj. Todd Vician, after reviewing the letters.
Asked about the Iranian letters, John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said, “That’s not in my bailiwick. I’m just a catcher’s mitt here as far as Iran is concerned. I really can’t comment.”
Iran began lodging opposition to U.S. surveillance flights earlier this year. U.S. officials told The Washington Post in February that such flights had been going on since April 2004 as part of an effort to gather evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons programs and spot weaknesses in its air defenses.
The latest Iranian protests identified one “alien” unmanned aircraft as a Shadow 200 (RQ-7), which it said crashed 37 miles inside Iran in Ilam Province at sunset on July 4. A second letter said that on Aug. 25 a U.S. Hermes aircraft crashed near Khoram Abad, about 125 miles inside Iran.
“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly protests against such unlawful acts and emphasizes the necessity to observe the principles of international law concerning the sanctity of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the States,” said the letters. The protests were first transmitted in August and September via Swiss channels to the United States, which has no diplomatic relations with Iran.
The Shadow is a small, lightweight drone used by the U.S. Army for reconnaissance, to pinpoint targets and to assess damage after strikes. Navigated with a global positioning system, it has a 12-foot wingspan and is designed to observe an area for about four hours at a time.
The US military and the CIA have used a growing array of unmanned aircraft over Iraq and Afghanistan to gather intelligence, observe potential targets, and provide tactical information during military operations — and the Pentagon has acknowledged the crashes of several drones since 2001.
Staff writer Colum Lynch contributed from the United Nations.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company