The palm-sized Snipe UAV is designed for close-range surveillance missions

Introducing Snipe: The Tiny New Battlefield Surveillance UAV

posted by Paul Fiddian | 11.05.2017

AeroVironment Debuts Latest Nano-UAS

Palm-sized new UAV tech designed for close-range surveillance missions is unveiled by one of the unmanned systems sector's most prolific contributors...

Nano Hummingbird and RQ-11B Raven manufacturer AeroVironment has introduced its latest product – the tiny and rapidly-deployable Snipe.

The palm-sized Snipe is for dismounted troops’ use, handheld device-controlled and can send images the instant they’re captured.

Weighing 140 grams, Snipe is approximately smartphone-sized and it specialises in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). An initial 20-strong delivery to an unnamed customer within US Government has already taken place.

Snipe UAV Features

The Snipe UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s) features include EO/IR (electro-optical/infrared) sensors and inbuilt UHF radio that enables outstanding non-line-of-sight communications. Other key capabilities include real-time, 24-hour, high-res still and video footage relay.

Snipe missions can take place in up to 20-mph winds and, thanks to its small dimensions and limited noise output, this is one stealthy little machine. Endurance is around 15 minutes and control is maintained via a touch-screen controller. Maximum flight speed is 20-plus miles per hour – maximum range exceeds one kilometre.

Close-Range Surveillance

The system, explained AeroVironment Vice President/Unmanned Aircraft Systems General Manager Kirk Flittie, has numerous battlefield uses plus a whole host of other applications.

“Snipe’s tiny size belies its impressive capabilities“, he said. “It is quick, quiet, fast, durable and packed with advanced features critical to helping our customers succeed in close-range missions.”

“Snipe enables operators to spring into action quickly”, Flittie added. What’s more, “no assembly is required for the five-ounce nano-UAS, which is designed to be worn by its operator so it can be deployed in less than a minute.” To become a Snipe operator requires just four hours’ training.

New customer orders for this small-sized, high performance UAS will start being taken in Autumn of this year.

Snipe image copyright AeroVironment – courtesy Business Wire

Snipe video copyright AeroVironment - courtesy YouTube

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