One of the tools available to the Iowa National Guard in their deployment is a small remote-contolled airplane that gives them an eye in the sky.
Specialist David Brumley of Stuart demonstrated what’s called the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”, or U-A-V during the guard’s recent training exercises at Camp Ripley in Minnesota.
Brumley showed off one of the mobile operating trucks that includes two seats and the computer equipment to operate the plane. Brumley says the “A-O,” aircraft operator sits on the left side and flies the airplane, while the “P-O” or payload operator sits on the right side and operates the video camera.
They can shoot video and print out pictures from the plane’s camera. Brumley says the camera has a high resolution that can give soldiers a lot of intelligence information.
“You can be at 15,000 feet and see a person clear as day, tell that it is an actual human being,” Brumley says. The plane can also pick out people in trees or when they can’t be seen.
He says it has an infrared camera that detects heat. The plane is launched off a rail on the back of a truck, so it does not need a lot of airstrip to take off. The mobile trucks can spread out and operate the plane from different points, or the plane can be operated from a stationary tent.