Datron Scout Showcased “Hover and Grab” Landing, 10X Optical Zoom Camera, and 2.4 kilometer (1.5 mile) Mission Reach in a Harsh Environment

San Diego, CA (June 15, 2011) – Datron Scout, a lightweight quad rotor Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) designed for air reconnaissance and surveillance in harsh environments, played an important role during the maritime-based portion of the recent Empire Challenge 2011 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As a part of this event, Datron Scout was responsible for the silent surveillance of points of interest — and their movements — detected by unattended ground sensors and airborne assets. The Datron Scout’s success in this demonstration was highlighted by its:

  • “Hover and Grab” Landing: the ability to hover above a moving or stationary boat enabled operators to simultaneously turn the Datron Scout off and grab it out of the air avoiding retrieval from a water landing.
  • 10X Optical Zoom Camera: with capability to detect a person from up to 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) away, the 10X optical zoom camera was vital to rapidly survey the marine environment and clearly identified points of interest from a hover and stare position.
  • 2.4 kilometer (1.5 miles) Mission Reach: Datron Scout was sent to “clear the route” 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) ahead of a command boat where it streamed video and images to the control center and multiple devices.
  • Harsh Environment Operation: with winds, heavy cloud cover, 36°C (98°F) temperatures and 40 percent humidity, Datron Scout performed without consequence in this harsh saltwater environment.


By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.