Cool idea - reconnaissance shell

From SF Gate comes word of an ex-soldiers invention. bq. It was 1971 and Charles Stancil was driving back to the U.S. base in Khe Sahn, Vietnam, when "all hell broke loose." bq. Pinned down in the crossfire between North Vietnamese and U.S. troops, Stancil thought he could survive if only he could see what was waiting for him about 100 yards away -- from the overhead perspective the young helicopter pilot was used to. And more - describing his invention: bq. His invention, which he calls a reconnaissance round, is essentially a digital camera packed into a mortar shell that is fired 1,800 to 2,000 feet into the air. The shell then deploys a parachute, and the camera is rigged to transmit photos to a soldier's laptop on the ground as it floats back to earth. The beauty of this is that you get an immediate answer. Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV's) are the current buzz in military technology but you need an hour to set one up and launch it. Plus you need a specialized operator and equipment to drive it. The price tag is also very steep -- a couple million bucks each. The shells are expected to cost about $700 each, they can be deployed by any soldier with minimal training and the image comes back into their laptop without any need for a trained operator.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 18, 2004 11:17 AM.

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