B5 Systems

Archive for the ‘Recce’ Category

Quick Fit Recce EO System Launched by Chess At DSEI

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Long range easy to fit, easy to use Hawkeye Vehicle System on stand S8-140

A quick fit electro optical system designed for recce vehicles is launched at DSEI by Chess Dynamics on stand S8-140.

The Hawkeye Vehicle System (VS) is an easy to use, easy to fit surveillance system which allows the operator to see out to 15km using long range day/night sensors.

“The basic principles of reconnaissance have not changed in millennia, it is to gather and disseminate tactical and operational level information which enables commanders to disrupt an enemy’s activities,” said David Eldridge, Sales Director at Chess Dynamics. “Our Hawkeye VS is designed specifically to enhance the most reliable method of persistent surveillance and observation, eyes on the ground.”

To reduce the operator’s workload the system uses the latest image stabilisation and video tracker techniques, in addition to relevant situational awareness aids. A touch screen, icon based display and a Game Pad style controller makes the system both intuitive and very easy to use. The system has built into it the ability to set up specific target areas which are monitored automatically and the operator alerted to any activity rather than having to continually monitor the screen.

The system comprises a four metre pneumatic mast that lifts the electro optic head, which enables the vehicle to remain “hull down” in anonymity while observing targets at a safe distance and out of reach of direct line of sight weapons.

A Gen4 cooled thermal imager and Chess Dynamics Long Range Piranha Day/Low light camera forms the backbone of the system, detecting targets at extreme ranges.

The sensor suite also incorporates a Laser Range Finder capable of measuring ranges up to 17km; an optional Laser Target Marker, Designator or NIR pointer can also be fitted to enhance the platforms capability. The system is geo-referenced system enabling the platform to give accurate target location, which, with the correct battlefield C4I system, can support and feed into the wider targeting cycle.

“A combination of these assets in a squadron would prove useful for target hand off and directing troops at night,” said Mr Eldridge.


TNVC Reintroduces The PVS-14 SLR Camera Adapter

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

After a very long absence in the industry TNVC tells us they are happy to bring these back. The PVS-14 SLR Camera Adapter allows you to place any NVG with a PVS-14 Eye Piece Assembly and Retaining Ring on a DSLR or SLR Camera. It provides a 46mm ring for a step ring that will fit your camera lens. Step rings are available at camera supply stores and websites.


SHOT Show – Badger Ordnance

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


The Badger Ordnance Snipers Lightweight Integrator Combat Kit or SLICK is now available to the public. It integrates additional accessories to the Leupold M151 Spotting Scope such as Insight RULR, Wilcox RAPTAR, AN/PEQ-15, clip in NVGs, and red dot sights.



Adams Industries Launches Helmet Mounted Binocular

Friday, August 1st, 2014

bino mount 1

At Warrior West, Adams Industries showed me a prototype concept of a Steiner Binocular that had been modified with an adapter to fit on to a Night Vision Goggle Mount. The idea was that some folks in the reconnaissance and Call For Fire business wanted a means to mount a bino directly to the helmet and pulled down for use during daylight hours for magnified optics. After a few tweaks, the final result is the HELM-BINO-ST which includes the adapter and a STEINER 8×24 TACTICAL Binocular. This particular model was chosen as a balance between size, weight, performance and cost. When you need the magnified binocular vision, you pull them down into place and when they are not needed, you flip them up, just like NVGs. No more binos flopping around on your chest. No more wondering where they are, because they are handy. When it becomes too dark to use the binos, swap them out for NVGs.

-High Definition multi-coated lenses w/ Fast Close Focus from 6′ to infinity. Field of view at 1,000 yards: 375 feet
-Military Grade Rubber Armoring and Waterproofing, Eye cups, submersion to 6 feet
-Mounting systems available for dovetail (PVS-15 style) mounts. Bayonet (PVS-7B style) mounts coming soon!

Currently in production, these are available for order now with EOY funds. KillFlash and Laser Filters available separately.


ARA Robotics Solutions – Nighthawk Mini UAV

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

SSD would like to thank Weapon Outfitters LLC for sharing this report on the Nighthawk UAV with us from the recent NTOA conference in Seattle.

In the last ten years, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology has grown exponentially as technology has taken a leap forward to meet the needs of service men and women in the war on terror.

Information lag used to span days and minutes, as well as down organizational hierarchies… but modern technology has increasingly shortened the lag of gathering of information to delivering that information to the folks on the ground.

The ARA Robotics Solutions Nighthawk is an extremely intuitive and user friendly mini UAV that can support operations at the lowest levels: no need to call up to command to ask for assistance to see what’s right beyond the hill with the Nighthawk.

One of the first things you notice about the the Nighthawk Mini UAV is its impressive, all carbon fiber construction. The fuselage, wings, and “cargo bay” which stores the optical and optional thermal camera are all made of carbon fiber. Known for its lightweight and durability, carbon fiber is an ideal material for this application, and handling the demo Nighthawk, it was clear ARA was quite skilled with this sometimes finicky medium. Impressively, the carbon fiber wings of the Nighthawk are easily wrapped around the fuselage for storage and quick deployment, and can also be easily installed or removed with just two pins, and the payload selection.

A complete system with two Nighthawks, control units, support materials, carry pack for field use, and hard case for transport is estimated to be around $125K. Each Nighthawk is estimated to cost around $25 to $35K depending on imaging payload, as the thermal imaging unit is worth $12K by itself! Adding to the cost are the live video and data transmission hardware, as well as the $6K for a COTS autopilot system. Though a $6K autopilot may seem expensive, as anyone with RC airplane experience will tell you, crashing is very, very easy and can be very expensive considering the electronic payloads the Nighthawk is designed to carry.

Designed with user friendliness in mind, the Nighthawk’s COTS autopilot system that eliminates the need for users to have anything other than a basic understanding of flight. Users just have to launch the unit, and can then control the unit by plotting coordinates on a map, or controlling the Nighthawk with a video game-like interface. With programmed automatic landing, map based “point and click” navigation, failsafe responses to loss of communication or GPS, and other traditionally vexing problems for novice pilots, the autopilot system truly takes out all the hard work from controlling what amounts to a miniature aircraft.

For a guy in the field who jobs and hobbies have nothing to do with RC aircraft piloting, the well designed and complete system offered by ARA Systems looks to be a useful tool for safe reconnaissance.

The Nighthawk has been purchased and fielded extensively by the military, but suffers from FAA regulation in domestic operations by police departments. Though rules have loosened somewhat in the last few weeks, there is still a byzantine layer of red tape which must be navigated by law enforcement agencies to use this unit stateside. Some larger departments are using this system though, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot!

Quick Facts

-Each Nighthawk UAV weighs roughly 2 pounds
-Extensive carbon fiber use for strength and weight
-Modular design allowing for easy reconfiguration, repair, and storage
-10 KM range
-60 minute run time in Lithium Polymer Batteries
-18-30 knots cruise speed
-Built in autopilot system for easy navigation and/or piloting
-Live relay of day time and/or thermal optic capability


Weapon Outfitters LLC

Replay XD1080 Camera

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The Replay XD1080 camera is a serious contender in the market of mountable HD cameras such as GoPro and Contour. It features a water-resistant, hard anodized, aluminum mil-spec housing with a double o-ring sealed lens bezel, rear cap, and top push buttons that allows it to operate through any number of adverse conditions. A two-button activation also allows for easy and fast operation, with built-in LED and vibration feedback that alerts the user when the camera is active.

It records using a custom designed 135º wide angle lens, giving it a flatter, clearer picture when compared to similar cameras currently on the market. The front lens bezel can be removed and replaced with a 37mm adapter for aftermarket lens and filter kits. As for audio, the internal microphone has been specially designed to capture the most realistic audio possible while cutting down on wind noise. For situations where an external audio device is preferred, the unit comes with a standard 3.5mm mini-jack adapter.

The XD1080 is supported by a wide range of mounting options, including the HardCore Billet Picatinny mount which features 2-way, 360° positioning and 10° incremental camera ring positions.

The Replay is available from ustacticalsupply.com/replayxd1080.

Pivothead Video Recording Eyewear

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Pivothead eyewear provides still and video recording. But there’s no fish eye distortion with this camera system. It features a 75 Degree Field Of View.

The lenses offer 100% UV A/B/C Blocking and ANSI Z80.3 Impact Resistance. There are multiple frame options including the Durango seen here.

HD video recording options include 1080p@30 frames per second / 720p@60fps / 720p@30fps with continuous auto focus. Pivothead also offers wind-resistant audio recording. The sensor incorporates a 8MP Sony CMOS Image Sensor for crisp still images as well as face tracking. Still recording options include time lapse burst stills with up to 16-shot rapid bursts shots per interval. Includes a 8GB internal memory capacity.


PCAS – The Final Piece

Monday, March 5th, 2012

We’ve mentioned the Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program in the past. Remember the Vuzix Next Generation Display Technology we wrote about last Spring? It’s a major enabling technology but there’s still a lot going on.

Raytheon is the prime for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) PCAS program which is intended to allow the joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) the ability to rapidly engage multiple, moving and simultaneous targets within his area of responsibility. Additionally, the system will be designed to reduce collateral damage and potential fratricide to friendly forces. What’s more, PCAS is taking a ‘system-of-systems’ approach demonstrating the ability to digitally task a CAS platform from the ground.

DARPA’s been working the software, man-machine interface and JTAC portions of the program hard. The missing piece has been the aircraft in the loop. Recently, Aurora Flight Sciences was chosen to convert an A-10 CAS platform into an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which may well be the most ambitious element of the program. Despite the Air Force’s long-term goal of retiring the most successful CAS aircraft ever built, ground forces are one step closer to controlling their own CAS. We foresee a day where ground force commanders own purpose-built CAS platforms controlled by non-rated JTACs.