Guard From Above has introduced its new Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Evolution Eagle, a covert surveillance drone that mimics real eagles.
- The company previously used live birds of prey, including hawks and eagles, to intercept unauthorized drones,
- The remote-controlled fixed-wing aircraft mirrors the size, shape, and color of a real eagle.
- It can be equipped with extra features for better covert surveillance.
As part of its Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS), Guard From Above released its Evolution Eagle, a state-of-the-art covert surveillance drone designed to look like a real eagle.
Guard From Above lives at the intersection of security and defense and animal training. Historically, the company has used both birds of prey, like hawks and eagles, and drone technology to intercept drones. In 2016, this company partnered with the Dutch National Police to help dispatch trained eagles to intercept unauthorized drones. That anti-drone system was a very controversial program as eagles are a protected species in the Netherlands and using them to hunt drones flirted with being unethical. But that’s a story for another day.
Back to the innovative anti-drone technology at hand. The remote-controlled fixed-wing aircraft mimics the appearance of a real eagle in shape, size, and color. This camouflage makes it blend into its environment seamlessly. And unlike conventional bird-like drones, the Evolution Eagle has two front propellers. This change not only simplifies its mechanics but also extends its battery life.
The similarity between the lifeless mimic and its living counterpart isn’t exclusive to its looks. In fact, it imitates its flight patterns as well. The bird-of-prey imposter can glide on thermal updrafts, rising columns of air caused by uneven heating of the ground. The advantages of this drone hunter are two-fold.
- Battery Saving: the “bird” doesn’t use energy to go up, instead rides the hot air.
- Stealth: this method makes for silent operations.
The main selling point of the Evolution Eagle is its live “Eagle Eye.” It’s equipped with a First Person View (FPV) system that allows remote pilots to navigate and make real-time decisions. It thus ensures effective surveillance and reconnaissance, both of which are central to military operations. Users can also attach thermal and mapping cameras or counter-drone systems to it.
All of this is fine and dandy but there’s a couple of issues here. First, if you actually look at it and not just dismiss it as just another thing flying in the sky, it looks like a model aircraft that belongs to an ornithologist. There’s no way someone is going to mistake it for the actual bird. Second, the Evolution Eagle might go unnoticed in rural areas, but in cities? They are going to stick out like sore thumbs. Even people with little bird knowledge are going to wonder why an “eagle” is maneuvering between the buildings. And finally, a lot of people are the shoot-first-ask-questions-later type of people. They’ll just shoot anything that’s flying too close for their comfort. Poor birdies.
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