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The first armed drones were deployed after the tragedy of 9/11, but the modern-day battlefield poses threats that were previously unimaginable. It’s becoming more important than ever to prepare US soldiers for any potential dangers. Improving situational awareness while remaining covert is the main goal, along with real-time intelligence while being on the move. 

We’ve come a long way with regard to the history of drones in the US Army. 1907 marked the use of the world’s first quadcopter (a drone that is controlled by four rotors). It was invented by a Nobel Prize winner and two inventor brothers. It was a mighty endeavor but with many limitations such as lack of steering capability, the need of four men to hold it steady and a height of merely two feet from the ground. 

Ten years later, the first pilotless winged aircraft in history was launched. It was called the Ruston Proctor Aerial Target. It used Tesla’s remote-control technology and was designed to be a pilotless bomb that could be flown into enemy targets. 

Transistors in the 1960s meant a huge rise in the availability and lowering of the cost for moderately-sized radio-controlled items. This meant that many more people could now afford RC planes. 

Thanks to revolutionary micro UAV technology, troops are now scouting Afghanistan with a brand new device. They are a combination of personal reconnaissance, surveillance and target drones called Black Hornets and they are small enough to fit inside someone’s pocket.

FLIR Systems is the company behind this groundbreaking technology. The FLIR robotic sector services the military in a variety of ways through human-machine interaction, and the nano drones are the latest development. 

Weighing little over an ounce, these tiny devices have the capability of leaving zero audible or visual signature as they doing a reconnaissance mission. They are able to fly for 25 minutes on a single charge, at a top speed of 13 miles an hour, and they have a range of 1.24 miles. They are capable of withstanding gusts of wind up to 20 knots and can fly in inclement weather. Their cameras are day and night compatible. 

In addition to this technology, FLIR has also partnered with public safety groups, private security firms, and transportation agencies to improve the lives of countless people through their video and audio innovations. In the field of science, their infrared science cameras allow testers to monitor experiments from beginning to end, quickly identifying heat dissipation problems and administering solutions.