A very elegant design from Bedford based BlueBear Systems Research the iSTART. It will be officially unveiled at DSEi 2011 next week.
In their own words:-
Eyes in the sky on demand.
The iSTART system is all about getting the right sensors to the right place at the right time. With an endurance of 40 minutes you can keep it where you need it. You don’t need to be a pilot – just tell the system where it needs to go, and point the sensor where you want it to look (or optionally steer it).
The iSTART system supports a range of sensors including optical and IR cameras.
Throw and GO
Operating the iSTART system could’nt be easier. Prime the vehicle with a rechargable battery start it up and throw it. Mission planning is via a simple point and click interface. A full motion video feed is available as soon as the vehicle boots up. The system requires no direct human piloting from launch to landing.
Maximum take off weight 1.5kg
Maximum endurance 40 mins
The entire systems, GCS antennas and airframe fits into a soliders backpack and is very portable.
Underneath the airframe at the tail is an ultra sonic sensor to help with the autoland and a first person view camera.
Their are plug and play sensor modules which can be seen on the base in the picture on the right.
They are self contained, connecting to the airframe via an edge connector.
The system is supplied with two airframes.
We could not find out if all the pens are included.