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Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test

 
looking 4 nukes
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11/25/2007 01:23 PM
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Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.

Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.

Then, cameras were rolling as an unmanned aircraft was launched into the sky and operated by remote control.

[link to www.click2houston.com]

Houston police cars were surrounding the land with a roadblock in place to check each of the dignitaries arriving for the invitation-only event. The invitation spelled out, "NO MEDIA ALLOWED."

HPD Chief Harold Hurtt attended, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and dozens of officers from various police agencies in the Houston area. Few of the guests would comment as they left the test site.

News Chopper 2 had a Local 2 Investigates team following the aircraft for more than one hour as it circled overhead. Its wings spanned 10 feet and it circled at an altitude of 1,500 feet. Operators from a private firm called Insitu, Inc. manned remote controls from inside the fleet of black trucks as the guests watched a live feed from the high-powered camera aboard the 40-pound aircraft.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/25/2007 01:24 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
"I wasn't ready to publicize this," Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo said. She and other department leaders hastily organized a news conference when they realized Local 2 Investigates had captured the entire event on camera.

"We still haven't even decided how we were going to go forward on this task, so it seemed premature to me to announce this to the media," Montalvo said. "But since, obviously, the media found out about it, then I don't see any reason why just not go forward with what we have so far."

Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft would be used for "mobility" or traffic issues, evacuations during storms, homeland security, search and rescue, and also "tactical." She admitted that could include covert police actions and she said she was not ruling out someday using the drones for writing traffic tickets.

A large number of the officers at the test site were assigned to the department's ticket-writing Radar Task Force. Capt. Tom Runyan insisted they were only there to provide "site security," even though KPRC cameras spotted those officers heavily participating in the test flight.

Houston police contacted KPRC from the test site, claiming the entire airspace was restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration. Police even threatened action from the FAA if the Local 2 helicopter remained in the area. However, KPRC reported it had already checked with the FAA on numerous occasions and found no flight restrictions around the site, a point conceded by Montalvo.

HPD leaders said they would address privacy and unlawful search questions later.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/25/2007 01:29 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
video link

[link to www.click2houston.com]


some peeps here think Houston or southern Tx could be the first strike location..
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 01:36 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
bump
The Good Reverend Roger

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11/25/2007 03:38 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
The invitation spelled out, "NO MEDIA ALLOWED."

 Quoting: looking 4 nukes 310071


Get the tar and feathers.

TGRR,
Hates fucktards who hate the 1st amendment.
HORRIBLE BASTARD.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 03:40 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
kool
10 foot rc planes.
wonder what that cost.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 03:44 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Look's like it's gona get bad, military drone's
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 04:07 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
this new technology will allows cops to taze people to death without leaving the comfort and safety of their favorite coffee shop
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 04:07 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
e.g. remote control fly-by tazing
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 04:15 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.

Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.

 Quoting: looking 4 nukes 310071


[link to www.click2houston.com]

A $50 MILLION DOLLAR lawsuit for invasion of privacy and unconstitionality of illegal searching awaits any police department using this technology.

We promise.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 04:21 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.

Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.



[link to www.click2houston.com]

A $50 MILLION DOLLAR lawsuit for invasion of privacy and unconstitionality of illegal searching awaits any police department using this technology.

We promise.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 225509

a lawsuit wont stop them
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 04:21 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
for example there were tazer lawsuits, but tazers are still used
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/25/2007 04:34 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Yo Brother John!

I hope you and yours had a happy Turkey Day. Thanks for dropping me a Thanksgiving note -- I hope that didn't mean that you folks at HPD CID were working on the holiday. My Ghost Troops sent me an interesting link to a KPRC-TV story on HPD, if you hadn't already seen it, I knew you would want to:

Local 2 Investigates Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test - Local News Archive Story - KPRC Houston

I have to say, I'm always pleasantly surprised when my former colleagues in the mainstream media do a story with teeth in it -- and this one has plenty of teeth. In the couple of years when I wrote editorials for the station, we tried hard to avoid the lapdog reputation that the Houston Chronicle has earned for itself.

Speaking of stories with teeth, please meet Police News editor Breck Porter, who took the bold step of publishing my article, "The Texas Triangle: Terror and Treason." I'm sure that neither of us will ever forget the first two 911-2B missions, which led up to the 3/30/04 and 7/28/05 British Petroleum Texas City explosions.

Incidentally, I provided a single good link to each of those missions in the Texas Triangle article. I was especially pleased with the investigatory piece written by Major William Fox (USMC) about the 3/30/04 explosion. You are mentioned in the piece, though only as one of my HPD contacts.

The link to the 7/28/05 event is, of course, my live broadcast of the mega-explosion that filled the skies south of Houston that night. I still agree with you that what we saw all looked like -- and was supposed to look like -- a nuclear device. Other than a lame attempt at an exclamation by the Chronicle the next morning, the local media covered it up. As you can tell from my voice in the broadcast, it was most frightening sight I ever saw, and the helicopter that you can hear circling my position didn't make me feel a bit safer.

Read "The Texas Triangle" for yourself if you haven't read it yet. The version done by my editor at The Price of Liberty as the best links: [link to www.thepriceofliberty.org]

The most prestigious Ghost Troop of all, Ambassador Chase Untermeyer, will be dropping by to pay me a visit today. He was my best man at my wedding to Mrs. May in 2002, and has been gone away to his posting in Qatar for the last three years. It's hard to believe that 10 years ago. He was trying to set me up with care and use as a speech writer for then-Governor Bush. We chatted yesterday on the phone about what I think we will soon be chatting about today: war, history and politics. I wish you could join us. I'll be sure to take a picture of Chase and me together for my cyber scrapbook.

All the best, Eric
 Quoting: FROM CAPTAIN MAY 331169


Thread: Houston Police and the Spy in the Sky (Attn: Police News)
Houston Police and the Spy in the Sky (Attn: Police News)

The nuk or dirty hit will happen in either
1 Houston
2 Baltimore
3 Seattle

LA has been ruled out because of all the sympathizers of the cause who are from there.

Mia is out because too close to Cuba another ally.

Savanna, St Louis, Boston and Philly are all in the top 10.

Get ready.
 Quoting: think tank 253307


Thread: Inside info---Think tank believe Houston is first target

Inside info---Think tank believe Houston is first target
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/25/2007 04:36 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.

Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.

Then, cameras were rolling as an unmanned aircraft was launched into the sky and operated by remote~

[link to www.click2houston.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 330387


Thread: Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test/houston

Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test/houston
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 06:06 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Houston we have a problem!

Any dibz on when the city will get hit?

I think its more up the coast Tx City...
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 06:37 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Short version of OP's post:


snip:

"Yeah so what, we tested a military drone. We weren't going to go public yet, but since you found out I have no options but to lie about it's intended uses such as:

[link to www.physorg.com]

and,

[link to news.bbc.co.uk]

also,

[link to vigilant.tv]

Our main use of these will to deter speeding, honestly. We would not dare track, spy, arm, or secure borders from people fleeing this fine country.

Now go fuck yourselves, we are being militarized for your convenience, and security!"

/snip
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 06:42 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of rednecks.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 07:55 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Blue Thunder
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 07:59 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
The all-seeing eye...


Stan P.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 10:00 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
video link

[link to www.click2houston.com]


some peeps here think Houston or southern Tx could be the first strike location..
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 310071


Fucking ridiculous. Pretty soon we won't be able to take a shit without the goddamn government peeping into our bathrooms. Disgusting.
.
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11/25/2007 10:51 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Houston, Texas to Deploy UAV Speeding Ticket Drones
Spy planes could issue speeding tickets by June 2008.

By June 2008, the city of Houston will use the same military drone aircraft currently used to hunt down terrorists overseas to write speeding citations on Texas freeways.

Local television station KPRC exposed the Houston Police Department's plan by using the station's news helicopter to spy on what was supposed to be a confidential gathering of area law enforcement personnel where the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities were demonstrated. The test took place seventy miles northwest of Houston in Waller County.

While police have used aircraft to issue speeding tickets for years, the practice can be quite expensive. The cost to operate an aircraft such as a Cessna 182 can run beyond $200 an hour, which cuts into ticketing revenue.

The UAV manufactured by Insitu, however, can stay aloft for up to twenty hours using just over a gallon of gasoline. While it only cruises at 55 MPH with a top speed of 86 MPH, its powerful onboard camera can zoom in on a vehicle from a distance of 60 miles with full night-vision capabilities.

Although Houston Police Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters that the main mission of the device would be homeland security, KPRC confirmed that the department's traffic unit played the lead role in the demonstration.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has opposed unrestricted police use of UAVs in navigable airspace at altitudes including the 1500 feet level used in the Houston test.

"The prospect of small UAVs flitting around in the same airspace we use is frightening," AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs said in a statement last year. "What do you think your chances are of seeing this thing before you hit it? And it can't sense you or get out of the way."


Depending on options, each UAV can cost up to $1 million.


Thread: Texas Police to Deploy Military UAVs for Traffic Monitoring
The Good Reverend Roger

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11/25/2007 10:55 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Local television station KPRC exposed the Houston Police Department's plan by using the station's news helicopter to spy on what was supposed to be a confidential gathering of area law enforcement personnel where the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities were demonstrated.
 Quoting: . 249719



If this paragraph doesn't get your hackles up, you are no American.
HORRIBLE BASTARD.
.
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11/25/2007 10:57 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
..cruises at 55 MPH with a top speed of 86 MPH, its powerful onboard camera can zoom in on a vehicle from a distance of 60 miles with full night-vision capabilities.

 Quoting: . 249719



Can it hover? Do slow circles?

Of course, if it can do all that, it can certainly peek through your windows at home, too.

Into your backyard hot tub...

Isn't this nice?

Don't we feel special?
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 11:08 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
The government is so paranoid that they fear the people of this nation as thier greatest threat. They know they are our enemies.
 Quoting: IDW 331633


More truth in that statement than most are willing to acknowledge.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 11:09 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
what can you say you thought it was a bird and were hunting on your private property..

-woops-
 Quoting: ^TrInItY^




hunter


I'd say "What? You must be looking for Mr. Cheney, he just left.."
DOOMBREAKER
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11/25/2007 11:38 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
"
"Inside info---Think tank believe Houston is first target"


I remember a movie from the early 90's called "By Dawn's Early Light" in which the US gives up Houston to the Soviets to nuke because the US nuked a city in Russia by accident. Kinda always crept me out and always had a feeling that houston was possibly expendable.

[link to www.imdb.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 11:42 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
..cruises at 55 MPH with a top speed of 86 MPH, its powerful onboard camera can zoom in on a vehicle from a distance of 60 miles with full night-vision capabilities.




Can it hover? Do slow circles?

Of course, if it can do all that, it can certainly peek through your windows at home, too.

Into your backyard hot tub...

Isn't this nice?

Don't we feel special?
 Quoting: . 249719


THESE PLANES ARE EQUIPPED WITH WEAPONS, SUCH AS TASERS, AND LIVE AMMO.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2007 11:51 PM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Sky snipers?

You'll never see that red dot as you sit there typing away at GLP.

Bullseye.

tomato
Earth420

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11/25/2007 11:52 PM

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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
[link to www.youtube.com]

Peace
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
Earth420

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11/25/2007 11:55 PM

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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
Lunatic fringe

haha

[link to www.youtube.com]

Peace
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
Anonymous Coward
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11/26/2007 12:04 AM
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Re: Local 2 Investigates Houston Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test
* new stuff *


New UAV Raven B increases airmen’s vision

Nov 25, 2007

When airmen need to see beyond the horizon, they call up their newest surveillance drone and an airman-cum-quarterback.

The RQ-11B, or Raven B, is a hand-launched small unmanned aerial vehicle with an operational range of 10 kilometers that “gives us eyes on places where we wouldn’t normally get to see,” said Lt. Col. Mary Anne Lutz.

Lutz is commander of 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, which has had the Raven B for a couple of months, flying over Kirkuk for the first time Oct. 10.

It replaces the Desert Hawk, a similar craft designed for the same purpose. But the Raven B is “10 times better than the Desert Hawk” in operation, according to Tech. Sgt. Jason Stachowski, noncommissioned officer in charge of the RQ-11B team for the 506th.

“The video that feeds from the aircraft is superior [to that of] the Desert Hawk,” he said, as are “the pictures [that] provide us some real-time video and rapid visual assessment.”

The Raven B is 3 feet long with a 55-inch wingspan, and weighs 4.2 pounds when carrying a full payload of traditional and infrared cameras. An airman launches the craft by throwing it, a convenience compared to the two-man bungee-cord catapult system used to launch the Desert Hawk.

Learning to ‘fly’
But it’s not as simple as throwing a football, Stachowski said. Airmen must complete a 10-day, 80-hour course of academic and operational instruction before they’re qualified on the RQ-11B.

The plane can stay aloft for 1-1/2 hours, flying between 100 and 500 feet above ground. It can be programmed to fly a predetermined route — say, around a runway before a C-17 drops in — or controlled from a hand-held device that’s “kind of like a large-size video game controller,” Stachowski said. The controller has a screen that displays real-time video and other peripheral information.

During flight, a vehicle operator controls the craft while a mission operator observes the images sent back.

The Raven B is also useful during convoy operations because it can travel at 17 to 44 knots, fast enough to keep up with most trucks.

“You can also do it for target acquisitioning, battle damage assessment and detection assessment for ground-based threats,” Stachowski said.

The Kevlar-covered Raven B is sturdier than its Styrofoam-based predecessor, and is designed to land by crashing into the ground and breaking apart, reducing unintended structural damage. It doesn’t carry stored data, so there’s little risk if somebody who isn’t on the American team picks up the pieces.

It’s not likely to fall prey to enemy fire, either, as the battery-powered motor is only barely audible when the tiny flier is up at 300 feet, Stachowski said. Besides, he’s never heard of the Raven B coming under fire.

But the Raven B’s best quality, according to Stachowski, is that it provides information without exposing any airmen to danger.

The beauty of the Raven B, he said, lies in its ability “to go out there and to reach out past us, to find the threat before it even gets closer ... before our troops get to harm’s way.”


[link to www.airforcetimes.com]

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