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Miami-Dade Police First To Use UAV Drones?

The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has purchased a T-Hawk micro air vehicle (MAV) drone from Honeywell for use in the skies above the city of Miami.

"It gives us a good opportunity to have an eye up there. Not a surveilling eye, not a spying eye. Let's make the distinction. A surveilling eye to help us to do the things we need to do, honestly, to keep people safe," said Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus.


(Honeywell's T-Hawk micro air vehicle)

The T-Hawk drone as described by Honeywell:

Featuring vertical takeoff and landing, the lightweight and portable T-Hawk is a combat-proven unmanned micro air vehicle that can be quickly deployed. T-Hawk is easy to assemble and can be airborne within 10 minutes. It is simple to fly with minimal training. With unique hover and stare capability, T-Hawk supports advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with real time video documentation. Day or night, the all-weather T-Hawk increases situational awareness.


(T-Hawk micro air vehicle diagram)

Honeywell has applied to the FAA for clearance to fly the drone in urban areas; thus far, permission has not been given to fly these devices, which were developed for the US military, in the skies above the United States.

Science fiction buffs may recall the police surveillance devices from Larry Niven's 1972 novel Cloak of Anarchy:

Someone at police headquarters had expected that. Twice the usual number of copseyes floated overhead, waiting. Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each a television eye and a sonic stunner, each a hookup to police headquarters, they were there to enforce the law of the Park.
(Read more about Niven's copseyes)

I also thought of the servo-optical stick-tight surveillance drone from Jack Vance's 1964 novel The Star King; it is described as " spy cell supported by rotary wings" and the robot tracking devices from Philip K. Dick's 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer, which were very quick-moving and maneuverable autonomous flying robots.

Finally, gamers might recall the City Scanners from Half Life 2 (thanks, Fortigurn).


(City Scanner from Half-Life)

Read more about another device, the SkySeer MAV, which is being tested for use in Los Angeles - SkySeer UAV Drone Soars Over L.A.. See also this earlier story Honeywell Micro Air Vehicle Tested By Miami Police, which has another cool sfnal predecessor.

Via WSVN.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/10/2011)

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