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This Octorotor Cloak Blade Drone is Like a Flying Skype Call

Written by on Thursday, October 18th, 2012

We’ve all seen clips of miniature quadrotor drones, which can nimbly flit through the sky with their four-part rotor system. The Pentagon is trying to one-up themselves by developing an octorotor. If four rotors are great, then eight rotors should be twice as good, right?

Known as the CloakBlade, this “inherently stealthy micro-copter” has a camera on the front of it for a somewhat unorthodox purpose. You’d probably never guess what the DoD has planned for this unique drone.

Essentially, the drone will let the Navy communicate with other ships in Skype-esque phone calls. Communicating on the open sea can be a little bit tricky, especially with the rise of piracy in the waters around Africa. Getting into communication or visual range might put you into the range of weapons, too. That doesn’t mean the Navy should just give up. It’s crucial that the Navy figure out how to improve lines of telecommunication to help identify friend from potential foe.

The Cloak Blade will fly over to suspicious ships and ask them questions with a built-in language translator, all while providing live stream footage of the event. Theoretically, the Cloak Blade will be better for just about everybody. It will help the Navy get the answers it needs from the crew of suspicious ships, and it could also help prevent miscommunication. Back in July a US ship was forced to take defensive measures and fired upon a pleasure craft in the Persian Gulf, killing one and wounding several others. The Cloak Blade could have been used in that situation to save lives.

Of course, the Cloak Blade is also prepared in the event that the suspicious vessel turns out to be hostile. The nimble drone can take defensive maneuvers to avoid enemy fire, it can make perfectly vertical ascents, and it utilizes erratic flight patterns so that enemies will have a hard time tracking its movements. With a top speed of 30 mph, a ceiling of 3,000 feet, and a flight time of four hours, the Cloak Blade can take pursuers on a wild goose chase before losing its pursuers and returning to its mothership. Ultimately, that will keep potential bad guys in the dark and the US Navy in the know.

Cloak Blade System

Image source: Timemilitary.files.wordpress.com

If drones like these prove to be effective then we could see a new generation of drone-equipped Navy ships, with clouds of tiny drones buzzing around them like bees around a hive. Technically, that would make just about every vessel an aircraft carrier, even if Cloak Blades don’t carry quite as much firepower as an F-35. Are we about to see a spike in demand for drone pilots in the US Navy?

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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