flir black hornet price

Finding the best Flir Black Hornet Price can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top black hornet drone specs in the category.

Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.

AIRBORNE PERSONAL RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM (PRS) FOR DISMOUNTED SOLDIERS

Black Hornet PRS

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The FLIR Black Hornet PRS equips the non-specialist dismounted soldier with immediate covert situational awareness (SA). Game-changing EO and IR technology bridges the gap between aerial and ground-based sensors, with the same SA as a larger UAV and threat location capabilities of UGVs. Extremely light, nearly silent, and with a flight time up to 25 minutes, the combat-proven, pocket-sized Black Hornet PRS transmits live video and HD still images back to the operator.REQUEST INFO

Game-Changing, Life-Saving Nano UAV Technology

  • SQUAD-LEVEL IMMEDIATE COVERT SITUATIONAL AWARENESSSave lives and minimize collateral damage. Detect and identify threats day and night without being detected. Increase speed and expand maneuver options.
  • COVERT AIRBORNE SENSORExtraordinarily low visual and audible signatures and a light, small profile allow covert operation and increased security for dismounted soldiers.
  • BEYOND VISUAL LINE-OF-SIGHT CAPABILITYExpand visual range in complex and urban environments. Rapidly engage targets beyond visual line-of-sight, and conduct real-time weapon effectiveness assessment.

AIRBORNE VEHICLE RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM (VRS) FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Black Hornet VRS

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The FLIR Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS) equips armored or mechanized vehicles with an immediate, organic, and self-contained surveillance and reconnaissance system. Adapted from the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), the VRS has extended this game-changing and lifesaving capability of the Black Hornet nano-UAV. The launch unit is mounted externally, and fully integrated within the vehicle to create a real time situational awareness RSTA airborne system for crews protected inside the vehicle.REQUEST INFO

Real-Time Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BLOS) Capability

IMMEDIATE COVERT SITUATIONAL AWARENESSSave lives and minimize collateral damage. Detect and identify threats day and night without being detected. Increase speed of movement and expand maneuver options.

NON-SPECIALIST NANO UAV SYSTEMSeamlessly integrated into the vehicle control systems, crew members need only minimal training for successful deployment.

EXTREMELY COVERT AIRBORNE SENSORExtremely low visual and audible signatures allow covert operation and increased security.

The latest Black Hornet 3, which FLIR Systems also calls the Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), weighs less than a tenth of a pound and is just under seven inches long. The complete system comes with a docking station for two drones that keeps them protected when not in use, as well as a hand-held touchscreen device and a controller.

All of this, along with a number of other more minor parts, as well as the user’s manual, comes inside a foam-lined, ruggedized container. But the basic components necessary to use the Black Hornet in the field could easily fit inside a soldier’s backpack.

For its compact size and weight, the system, which the Army officially calls the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS), offers impressive capabilities. Each Black Hornet has two daytime video cameras, as well as a thermal imager. All of these systems can capture still images for further analysis, too.

During nighttime operations, the drone fuses the feeds from both its electro-optical the thermal imaging system to create higher fidelity imagery. This makes it easier for the operator to positively identify individuals as hostile, rather than just innocent bystanders, or otherwise examine other objects of interest in the dark.

It can stay aloft for up to 25 minutes and has a maximum range of 1.24 miles, allowing the operator to send it well ahead of their position to look for threats and other items of interest. It’s very quiet, too, allowing troops to use it regularly, day or night, without being worried that it might give their position away.

Black Hornet has a line-of-sight link, as well as a GPS-enabled beyond-line-of-sight navigation capability. The operator can use the controller to pilot the unmanned helicopter manually, observing its activity through the cameras in its nose via the touchscreen display. The drone is also capable semi-autonomous operation, following preset waypoints, and can return to the user as programmed or on demand.

It also has a feature that will send it back in the direction of the operator’s position if it gets jammed or the encrypted control link otherwise ends up broken. FLIR Systems offers a Vision-Based Navigation capability for GPS denied environments and for operating indoors, where the control signal could easily get blocked, but it’s not clear if the Army has purchased Black Hornets with this specific capability. Vision-based navigation is an autonomous mode where the drone uses the feeds from its cameras, coupled with a computer algorithm, to determine its relative position and avoid obstacles.

It would certainly be a valuable feature given the growing threat of enemy electronic warfare systems, as well as the U.S. military’s increasing interest in being prepared to fight in dense, built-up areas. The Army, among others, is also preparing for the possibility that subterranean warfare, involving fighting through caverns and underground complexes of various types, could be another significant component of future warfighting.

“The main purpose of this mission is to provide security, safety, and alertness to the Soldiers where the enemy is at all times,” Koshal, the branch chief at Rock Island Arsenal said. “Bottom line is it will keep the Soldier safe.”

Even just in day-to-day operations, Black Hornet will give Army soldiers an impressive boost in awareness about their surroundings, allowing them to make better-informed movements and out-maneuver opponents. It also offers a new way to reduce vulnerability to a host of threats, including ambushes, improvised explosive devices, or just what might be hiding on top of a roof or the other side of a wall. It could also help small units to more quickly and accurately assess the impact of artillery or air strikes and determine whether more fire support is needed and where. 

Flir Black Hornet Price

It’s a relatively cost-effective way to upgrade the capability of small units, too, with a unit price per complete system of between $15,000 and $20,000, according to the Army’s budget request for the 2019 Fiscal Year. The service’s hand-launched RQ-11 Ravens, among the service’s most common small drones in widespread service now, cost around ten times more each and are exponentially larger than the Black Hornet.

It’s a capability that’s been some time in the making, too. The Army’s Natick Soldier Research Center first began experimenting with what was then known as the Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet in 2014 as part of the Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (CP-ISR) program.

Two years earlier, the U.K. Armed Forces began using the very early versions of the Black Hornet in Afghanistan. The U.K. Ministry of Defense said that the system had been withdrawn from use sometime between 2016 and 2017 in favor of larger hand-launched drones, such as the Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk III, that offer significantly greater capability over the first generation PD-100s. As of 2016, the Black Hornet was reportedly in service or under evaluation in nearly 20 different countries. 

FLIR Systems also bought Prox Dynamics in 2016 and has been continuing development of the drone since then. The latest Black Hornet is a far cry from the original PD-100, featuring a significantly more robust design and improved performance.

Since then, U.S. special operations forces and the U.S. Marines have also evaluated the Black Hornet as part of similar efforts to improve the situational awareness of small units in the field. For special operations forces, which might be operating well away from friendly lines and larger conventional forces, having a good, real-time picture of their surroundings could be essential. It could also increase their ability to conduct special reconnaissance operations, potentially deep in denied areas, but allow for a greater standoff distance to the actual target, reducing the risk of the mission getting compromised.

In 2018, FLIR Systems also unveiled a larger dock/launcher for up to eight Black Hornets that a user could mount on a vehicle, as well. Armored vehicles, in particular, typically offer poor visibility when the crew is “buttoned up” inside, which can increase their vulnerability to dismounted infantry attacking from the sides or the rear, especially in confined spaces, such as urban environments. Known as the Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS), FLIR’s vehicle-mounted system could help reduce the risk of hostile forces getting the jump on an individual vehicle, or a larger convoy, especially while fighting through a congested cityscape.

The Army is now considering adding a small unmanned aircraft capability to whatever armored vehicle design it chooses to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The existing purchases of Black Hornets for dismounted units could make it an attractive option for this requirement, as well.

With the service now buying large amounts of them for widespread distribution among regular units, other branches of the U.S. military, as well as American allies and partners, may be quick to follow suit. Regardless, nano drones are now literally on the way to becoming a standard piece of infantry equipment across the Army, which will have a dramatic impact on the way it conducts even the most routine operations.

Types of Drones

Beginner Drones

At the lower end of the drone spectrum are toy drones, like the Parrot Mambo and the Hobbico Dromidia Kodo. These simple and inexpensive drones come in at about $100 and are more focused on fun than features. Their controls are straightforward and easy to learn, and they can be accessed through a smartphone app or included remote control.

The flight times of beginner drones and drones for kids are also more limited – generally less than 10 minutes, or even fewer than five for the very cheap models. Designed to perform some tricks, like midair flips, spare parts are available at fairly low prices if anything goes awry. Some small drones also come with video cameras, though the quality captured tends to be poor. But don’t count them out too soon – getting a cheap drone is a fantastic way to learn to fly before upgrading to a more expensive model. They also won’t cost a fortune to fix or replace in the event of a crash.

Camera Drones

Drones with cameras – like the DJI Mavic Mini, the Parrot Bebop 2, and the GDU Byrd – are specifically designed to capture images, and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Built to provide a steady platform for the lens, which can either be an add-on or built-in, these sophisticated flying machines are more focused on recording high-quality video and still images than performing midair tricks. Because the equipment needed makes them larger and heavier, video drones need to be registered with the FAA.

Video drones often come with gimbals, which is a system designed to pan and tilt the camera – and cushion it from the motors’ vibrations – to cancel out the drone’s motion and keep the lens steady. Gimbals can either come as an electronic system built into the camera, as seen in the Parrot Bebop 2, or as a physical system made of motors and gears, like in the Mavic Air. Either way, the gimbals allow users to direct the camera at whatever angle they like, to capture beautiful pans like those seen in nature documentaries.

Bigger drones need bigger batteries, which often translates to longer flight times. A fully charged battery typically lasts a video drone around 20 minutes, and they can usually be swapped for spares to extend the session. Like toy drones, video drones are also built to be repaired, and replacement parts are generally easily available. Parts are relatively inexpensive as well, with Mavic Air’s replacement rotor blades running about $20. The quality of video these drones capture can vary widely, from the Bebop 2’s decent but sometimes choppy HD video to the Mavic Air’s super-smooth panning shots. While the videos produced by cheaper models like the Bebop 2 will be good enough for most use cases, it’s worth investing in the more sophisticated DJI drones when quality’s the main focus.

From photographing special occasions to surveying construction sites, drones are being used for an ever-expanding range of purposes. In fact, dedicated drone film festivals have popped up in major cities like New York and Berlin to showcase the creative new ways amateur moviemakers are utilizing their flying machines. Not only that, but the more innovative drones – like the Mavic Air – have built-in autonomous flight tech to make journeys on their own. They can even use cameras to detect and avoid obstacles in the way of their flight path. These more advanced drones allow users to play with their device’s autonomy by letting them navigate a predefined course on their own via GPS. Autonomous flight does, however, come with some restrictions – these drones must be registered with the FAA and have to be kept in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. The pilot must also be able to take back control of the drone at any point.

Racing Drones

With the rise of drones came the rise of drone-based competitions – and drone racing might just be the most exciting of all. Racing drones are on the smaller side and designed specifically to offer pilots speed and agility. Users see through their drone’s lens via first-person-view headsets, navigating around a course and trying to beat other fliers. Most racing drones are adapted by hand to shed unnecessary weight or increase motor power. Cheaper models, like the Aerix Black Talon 2.0, start at about $115. Ready-to-fly drones on the higher end of the spectrum, such as the Uvify Draco, can run up to $700.

Drone Safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations are the guiding principle behind safe unmanned aircraft flight.

Drones can be an incredibly fun and fruitful new hobby, but they must be flown responsibly. Even a small toy drone can hurt someone if hit by it, and fingers can get injured if caught in the rotor blades. To fight this, some drones have built-in shields to protect the rotors, but even these aren’t foolproof. It’s best to fly any kind of drone, big or small, with proper care and caution. Here’s five quick tips for drone safety:

  • Know the drone. Before the first flight, take the time to read through the instruction manual and get familiar with the controls.
  • Check the drone before flight, looking for any damage to the motors or rotors that could fail in the air.
  • Never fly near people or animals.
  • Fly with caution, particularly when first using a drone or taking a new one for a spin. Always be sure to land before the drone’s battery runs outs.
  • Fly with care. Drones can be noisy, annoying and even scary to those near their flight path. If someone asks to stop flying, be reasonable and courteous.

To learn more about drone safety, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a fantastic resource on all things drone. The AMA can help connect drone enthusiasts with others in the area to share both beginner’s flying techniques, and more advanced tips and tricks. Remote-control flying clubs often meet regularly to discuss and fly drones together. But remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to update all software and firmware before any takeoff, and read the drone’s manual thoroughly before use. For FAA registration requirements and further information on drone safety, check the FAA website. Additional local jurisdiction requirements may apply, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest drone regulations for the area.

Drones & The Law

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced registration requirements for anyone flying a drone weighing over 250g recreationally. Most drones that fall under the toy category will not have to be registered, while those built for video, racing and autonomous flight likely do. Drone registration can be done via the FAA website – and separate, more stringent requirements are applied to professional drone fliers.

Once registered, the registration number must be displayed on the drone. This can be as simple as a sticker or shipping label placed under the battery, along with the owner’s name and number in case of theft or loss. The FAA also defines restrictions on where drones can be flown. They can’t be flown higher than 400 feet, in restricted airspaces, or over emergency areas, like traffic accidents or wildfires. They’re also banned from flying through national parks and cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport without informing the air traffic controllers. Federal, state, and local regulations can vary, so check with the organizations directly if unsure.

Drone Accessories & Add-ons

Additional hardware can be added to drones that have ample lift from their propellers and motors. Lift specs can be found via the drone manufacturer’s website. In general, drones built to support external cameras are usually equipped to carry an additional half pound or more of weight above that of the drone on its own. Added weight increases stress on the motors and can affect flight time and stability.

The most popular and useful drone accessory is undoubtedly the spare battery. Drone batteries can provide between 5 and 25 minutes of power in the air per charge but can take an hour or longer to recharge. Fortunately, most drone batteries can simply be replaced with a freshly charged one when the power levels get low. To get the most airtime out of each flying session, users should invest in several spares.

The next most useful accessories for drones are spare propellers and parts. Because occasional mishaps and less-than-perfect landings are an inevitable part of flying drones, they were designed to survive crashes. The exterior components are made from sturdy materials – such as polypropylene foam and carbon fiber – that protect the more sensitive parts, like the CPUs, motors and transmitters. The parts that break the most easily, like the propellers, are the cheapest and easiest to repair or replace. New drones often have extra propellers included, and additional spares are usually available for purchase separately as well. Remember that drones need different propellers to spin clockwise and counterclockwise for stability, so it’s wise to get both kinds of spare propellers.

Depending on use cases, other drone add-ons that may be of interest include LED bands, propeller guards and extra landing gear. For photography drones in particular, various lens filters can be added to alter saturation levels, reduce glare, and more. Getting a quality bag or case specifically designed to carry a drone is an important investment as well. Drone bundles can often be found with a number of accessories. Drone cases should have a foam interior built to fit the device and its accessories and protect them from damage during transit.

Featured Products

Here are some featured Drone products.

1. Holy Stone HS700D FPV GPS Drone with 2K FHD Camera

Main Feature

GPS Assisted Flight

Camera Quality

2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera

$699.99

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2. DJI Mavic Mini 

Main Feature

249g Ultralight + 30-min Max. Flight Time

Camera Quality

4 km HD Video Transmission

$499.00BUY NOW

3. Wingsland S6 (Outdoor Edition) Black Mini Pocket Drone 4K Camera

Main Feature

250g can be easily put into your pocket.

Camera Quality

4K 30P and 1080P 60P HD Video

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4. Hubsan H501A X4 Brushless WIFI Drone GPS and App Compatible

Main Feature

Waypoint function choice the best flight-route.

Camera Quality

Built-in 1080P HD camera

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Things to Consider When Buying a Drone

There is a multitude of options on the market now, with each model excelling in something else. Hence, before you go ahead and buy your drone, decide what are the most important things to consider when buying one.

Purpose

Drone to Learn Flying

When you just wanna try and see if it’s something for you, learn how to fly a drone and have some fun, it may be better to go for a cheap UAS. You can get one for as little as $30 and it will have all the functions you’ll need. It may lack in video quality, or it can get heavy, but you will be able to play with it without worrying as much about crashing. It’s a good idea to start with this and learn the ropes.

Here’s a list of best drones for under 200 dollars in 2020.

Drone for Hiking

You can capture some of the best videos of yourself and your friends, as well as the landscapes, when you go hiking with a quadcopter. The most important things to consider when you buy a drone for hiking are weight, flight time, camera resolution and camera stabilization. It’s also important to make sure it will fit into your drone backpack (yeah, that’s actually a thing now).

With this in mind, we created a list of the best drones for hiking in 2020.

Hiking Drone

Drone for Selfies

It’s no longer uncommon to see someone swapping a selfie stick for a selfie drone. From pocket drones that can take photos of you and your friends to machines that will follow your movement and react to voice commands/ hand gestures, there’s a whole genre of devices built to accommodate the need for us to capture each moment from another perspective.https://6a7216e4485e9de66bead7c4465a0d81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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We created a list of best selfie drones in 2020, and there’s even one that doubles as your phone cover so it’s always with you.

Drone Weight

Depending on how you want to use your drone, its weight is probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you want to take it with you everywhere, heavy UAS will soon prove to be a burden. Lightweight, however, often lack the extra features and have shorter flight times. Hence it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider first.

Important! Many countries regulate the licensing and use of UAV based on their weight. Do consider your contry’s regulations before buying a drone. Many places around the world do not require licensing or registration to use drones under 250 grams.

Flight Time/ Batteries

How long you can fly your drone on each battery will determine how far you can go with it. When the first personal drones come out you had a minute or so to play with. Now there are drones that can fly for 30 minutes non-stop and then you can just swap a spare battery to continue.

Flight time of each battery charge is one of the most important things to check before making a purchase decision. Also, do not forget to see if the batteries can be easily replaced or even if the drone comes with spare ones.

Drone Parts
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Flight/ Control Range

How far you can fly without losing control can make a huge difference in the footage and fun you can get from your drone.

There are 3 main methods of communicating with your drone, which impact it’s control range:

  • Radio
    You’ll need a controller to send and receive the radio waves to and from your drone. Depending on the size of the antenna, the range can extend up to 5 miles.
  • Wi-Fi
    The maximum control range using Wi-Fi signals is about 650 yards (600 meters). It’s often much shorter so you’ll have to see the specs of each drone you consider. The good thing is that with some models you may not need a separate controller to fly your UAS.
  • GPS
    It’s also possible, with some models, to define a flight path that your drone will then follow using Global Positioning System (GPS).

Controller

With the things mentioned above in mind, there is a trade off between flight range and total weight of the equipment you have to carry with you. On one hand, it would be best if we could use your smartphone to fly the drone, so that you don’t have to carry an additional controller, but on the other hand the range would suffer without it.

If you just want the drone for selfies, then lack of controller would be fantastic, but if you want to go far into the sea to capture whales, then you want to be in control at all times and from afar. Consider this before you choose your quadcopter.

Drone Controller
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Camera Resolution

Most people use drones for videos, so you should check if your new drone would capture the world in low resolution, Standard Definition (SD), 720P High Definition (HD), 1080P Full HD (FHD), or 4K. Each one is at least twice better than the one before and something to consider.

It’s also very important to check if the footage is recorded to an SD card in the drone, or sent to your smartphone before getting recorded there. If it’s not built-in, whenever you lose connection, you lose that part of the recording. Whereas, with the on-board SD card you’ll have the full footage at your disposal after retrieving your drone, even if it lost the connection with the controller.

Camera Stabilization

Your drone, if it has any camera stabilization at all which you should check, will either stabilize the recording with software or mechanically.

The best for the job is a 3-axis gimbal. Thanks to which, your videos will be filmed with a steady, cinematic motion that compensates for the shakes and wind movements.

Alternatively, some models compensate for the shaky conditions with built-in software. Not as good as a gimbal but much better than nothing at all.

Drone And Smartphone
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First Person View (FPV)

Check if it’s possible to see through First Person View directly from your drone while flying. While you can control the AUV by looking at it directly, it would be better to sometimes see for yourself if everything you want to record stays within the frame.

Speed

The importance of your drone’s speed becomes crucial when you need to fly in a strong wind. It may not be able to return back to you if you’re standing upwind, and there are places where it would not be possible to retrieve your drone by walking up to it (imagine shooting at sea).

If you just want to use your drone for fun, then speed is important as it’s just more exciting to fly it faster.

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