Libyan rebels using micro UAV
Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 25 August 2011
While numerous UAVs operate over Libya (such as the Predator, Fire Scout and ScanEagle), these are all NATO assets, leaving rebels without their own platform. However, Aeryon Labs earlier this week revealed that rebels have been using its Scout to acquire intelligence on enemy positions and to coordinate resistance efforts.
The company said that representatives from the Transitional National Council (TNC) were looking for an imagery solution to provide to the troops on the ground and chose the Scout after evaluating a series of micro UAVs.
In cooperation with the private security company Zariba Security Corporation and the Libyan Transitional National Council, Libyan troops were trained in-country on the use of the Scout UAV. Docking in the besieged city of Misrata, after an 18-hour boat ride from Malta, a representative from Zariba Security delivered and conducted Scout UAV training, which began at the Misrata Airport.
"After only one demonstration flight, the TNC soldiers operated the following flight," said Charles Barlow of Zariba. "I was amazed how easy it was to train people with no previous UAV or aircraft experience, especially given the language barrier. Soldiers need tough, intuitive equipment – and the Scout delivered brilliantly."
With only a day and a half of training flights and a few familiarization flights, Aeryon Labs said the rebels put the Scout into service on the frontline and have so far operated it without any incident.
The Scout, developed from 2007–2009, is a small vertical takeoff and landing UAV that weighs only 1.5 kg (3 lbs) and can be packed into a suitcase or a backpack. Instead of using joysticks, the Scout uses a map-based, touch-screen interface that allows new users to pilot the system in just minutes. The Scout essentially flies itself, allowing the operator to focus on acquiring imagery, Aeryon Labs said.
The Scout has four rotors, each powered by a brushless DC electric motor, ensuring nearly silent operation. The vehicle can operate up to 3 km from the user, with a designed operational altitude above ground level of 300–500 feet at flying speeds of up to 50 km/h. It can tolerate winds of up to 80 km/h.
Libyan rebels are using the Scout’s day and night-time cameras. The day camera allows them to gather detailed images and video, while the night-time camera is a thermal imager, gathering heat images of equipment and people on the ground. Each image is embedded with date and time stamps and latitude and longitude information for every target.
Aeryon said other countries in the Middle East are in the process of buying the UAV. It is currently being used by police in Canada and a company called Geo-Rhea is flying it to collect environmental data, including, for example, the size of coal piles. And BP used several Scouts to monitor the oil spill during its clean-up efforts in the Gulf.
Top stories this week
- Allegations of vehicle maintenance corruption in the SANDF
- Soldiers shoot at police and vehicle trackers on KZN/Mozambique border
- Nautic Africa to deliver boarding craft to South African Navy
- Denel expects Rooivalk production decision later this year
- US intelligence analyst thinks SA government likely spying on citizens
- Aerospace and defence industry to grow 3 per cent this year - report
- Heavy investment into aerospace and defence by IT and Internet players
- Strong demand for helicopters in emerging markets – report
- Deloitte predicts strong aerospace, weak defence market in 2014
- Angola buying 18 ex-Indian Su-30s - report
- Denel’s aerospace and aviation divisions face future with confidence
- Atlas Elektronik, Thales Deutschland to modernise combat system of F124 frigate
- Aerospace outlook positive, defence negative in 2013 – report
- Defence to shrink, commercial aircraft production to grow in 2013 - report
- Ethiopian Airlines orders additional Boeing 777-200LR
Strong order book, growing profit, diversified product offering confirm Denel as Africa's hi-tech powerhouse
by Denel Corporate, 24 July 2015
The company has an order book of over R35 billion, triple the value of secured orders of a few years ago, and a six-fold annual revenue cover.
Southern African Shipyards leads cost management in African shipbuilding
by 6Sigma Naval Architects, 22 July 2015The company is taking part in two tenders for the South African Navy, and has selected the CostFact system to cover its calculation demands.
Paramount Group supports orphanage, homeless shelter for Mandela Day
by Paramount Group, 21 July 2015The Paramount team assisted the Thusong Children's Orphanage and the MES Kempton City Homeless Shelter.
Denel dogs to sniff out rhino poachers in Kruger
by Denel Corporate, 16 July 2015
Specially trained dogs will be deployed in the nature reserve for the next 18 months, in terms of an agreement between Denel and SANParks.
Denel to offer wide-ranging products to African defence leaders
by Denel Corporate, 6 July 2015
It will exhibit these at the Land Forces Africa conference at the Heartfelt Arena in Thaba-Tshwane today and tomorrow.
REMULES, the world's first all-in-one, fully mobile, carbon fibre solar system
by Land Forces Africa, 6 July 2015
Renewable energy solution, ideal for aid organisations and military forces deployed in crisis zones, debuts at LFA 2015.