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Old 03-23-2012, 02:51 AM #1
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UAV and Paintball

I recently saw that Ultimate Paintball Wars in CA is hosting a upcoming scenario for the Hurt Locker and they will be deploying an actual UAV in the game.
Has anyone seen or heard of a UAV or Unmanned Ariel Vehicle used in a scenario paintball game before?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:31 AM #2
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The only one I'm aware of is the one owned by Gary Baum, but he's only
using it to capture footage of the events he covers, not to help one side
or the other gain an advantage.

If you're looking to employ a UAV or as they're called in RC language, FPV
there are two ways to go. The first would be to use a helicoter or multi
copter and the second would be by using a fixed wing model. The chopper
offers more stability, but it's also harder to learn to fly, whereas the plane
is easier to learn to fly, but it can't hoover.

There's also the issue of how far from the operator you expect to fly. Some
video transmitters have a very short range, while others can work over a
couple kilometers.

Bottom line cost and user experience will play significant roles in how this
capability pans out in paintball.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 AM #3
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I know that the next stop on Greg Hastings Tour of Duty features a Law Enforcement/ Military UAV made by Daton.
I have also played with a Parrot AR Drone as well, just never thought to play paintball with it.
Im more doing reseach to see if any has been used for a scenario before. I think it would be the perfect prop to use on a Modern Warefare type scenario.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:25 AM #4
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Uav

We used what some would call the ultimate drone during
Oklahoma D-Day a few years back. It was a 1942 vintage
two place aircraft, the same type used during D-Day. We
had the pilot overfly the field while the backseater radioed
reports of German positions and tank movements. It cost
us around $500.00, but it gave us some critical intel.



That was what we used back then, today we're looking into
use of a small UAV, very similar to the RQ-11 used by the
Marine Corps, or in an even newer model which feeds live
video images to the operator, as well as to flat screen TV
so staff members can also observe.

Sincerely,
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:58 AM #5
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additonal intel

Here's some additional details regards to the quad rotor
Daton drone which is apparently going to be used in an
upcoming event.

~~~~~~~~~~
Recent small-scale vtol developments include successful
demonstrations by the Aerovironment Nano Hummingbird.
(Readers are advised to watch the video on the company's
website).

While the subject of micro vertical-lift drones will be discussed
in detail in Armada 5/2011, the quad-rotor Datron Scout featured
on our cover is worthy of a paragraph here. Since its introduction
last year at Eurosatory, the 1.3-kilo Scout has undergone significant
developments to enhance its usability in the defence arena.

As earlier described in Armada, one of the unique features of the
Scout is its quick component snap-on assembly -including payload
and battery - before flight. Conversely, damaged components are
quickly replaced following the same procedure. The second is its
operation, which is simplicity itself, and one that dramatically reduces
the user's learning curve. There is no joystick to fumble with, just
a touch-screen hand-held monitor on which one prepares the mission
using a map of the area. There even is a facility to draw a no-overflight
zone. When all is ready, the drone literally leaps to a height of about
one metre where it stabilises before setting off on the mission.

Although Datron has so far not envisaged such an application, this
strong leaping take-off mode added to the amazing stability of the
aircraft in winds of up 65 km/h (and gusts of 80 km/h) would
theoretically enable the scout to operate from a vehicle on the move
(the rock-steadiness of the platform/gimbal assembly in the hover
can be seen in a sequence in this footage: www.armada.ch/datron-scout,
where smoke crossing the screen provides a clear indication of wind
speed).

Compared with the configuration featured in last year's Armada Urban
Warfare Compendium (issue 4/2010), the Scout now features carbon
fibre propeller blades for added rigidity, an improved heat sink and a
new gimballed Flir or Video Zoom camera that no longer requires the
transparent plastic dome hitherto used.

The Scout now also runs a new version of its in-house-developed
mission control software, including Zoom Snap that enhances the
resolution of the video by a factor of up to ten, Follow Me, which
as the name implies enables the aircraft to automatically follow
vehicles, and Live Maps that enables the operator to build and store
new map tiles (all is needed is to fly the Scout at a suitable height,
snap a photograph of the ground and the software will impose that
new image over the old, outdated image, to provide accurate,
geographically accurate and real-time map tiles).

As for sensors, the Scout is designed to operate both a Flir Tau 640
infrared camera or a 10x video zoom camera.

Through the use of its new 10x video zoom camera, the Scout will
be able to detect the presence of a person at a range of more than
two kilometres and identify him at 300 metres (a company spokesman
told Armada at the recent Idex exhibition in Abu Dhabi that this feature
also enables one to read a car registration plate number or to clearly
identify if a person in a field carries a tool rather than a weapon).The
camera operates in low-light monochrome and full colour modes and
can snap geo-refer-enced photographs.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:13 PM #6
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Thanks for the help. I was putting together and Article for Paintball X3

http://paintballx3.com/interview/ris...paintball.html
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:48 AM #7
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Drones

Trickstr,

Hope your article stirs up more interest in the use
of Drones. We've already seen what Gary Braun has
been able to do with his camera carrying kite and it's
clear that the Daytrron 'Scout' you mentioned is far
and away more expensive than a team or even the
game promoters can afford, so options like the Parrot
and others I can think of will probably be the way
folks will prefer go. Of course there's bound to be
some problems learning to fly as well as getting
over concerns about safety.

Sincerely,
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:42 PM #8
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UAV for paintball

Hi,

Just a quick update since my last post regards to UAVs for
paintball. I'm still waiting to hear back from the firm that's
bringing the quad copter to Greg's event. Had hoped to get
them interested in bringing it out to D-Day as well.

Also spoke to owner of another firm in new Jersey who is
sole source here in US for a small inexpensive foam UAV
called the 'Spyhawk.' Cost for this model, complete with all
necessary components needed to feed live video back to the
ground transmitter is right around $400.00. Range is limited
to around 1/4 mile and flight time is approx 15-20 minutes
on each battery charge.

Here's a clip of the craft for your review and comments.



Love to hear what everyone thinks about this...

Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:32 PM #9
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FPV Camera

Here's another pretty impressive camera for those looking
to view the playing fields from the air. Would also make a
nice camera for anyone looking to create a backpack cam
system.

Link -
http://www.foxtechfpv.com/horyzonhd-...der-p-498.html

Video review -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2ASH...re=uploademail

Enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:20 PM #10
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Just got a reminder form the folks who are selling the Spyhawk.
Apparently he's got just a few that aren't spoken for as far as
his first batch. Anyone who want to get in on this special deal
can do so by visiting http://www.spyhawkfpv.com

Sincerely,
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:27 PM #11
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If these are going to become used on a more regular basis, there is going to have to be some serious thought put into how they are utilized. It can't be a free for all. Restrictions on their time aloft, launch locations, and "avalibility" need to be put in place. (Where can I launch it from? What platform is it standing in for and therefore must simulate that platforms flight profile. How can it be "shot down"). If everyone with $400 (Lets face it most of us have more then that into our markers) put one of these up then you start running all sorts of problems. (RF conflict, midairs)

The biggest concern I have is safety. Depending on where the game is being played you could be causing a hazard to manned aircraft operating in the vicinity. Other wickets would include min alt for operations. Skimming a drone along at 5AGL while scouting is 100% unacceptable. The highly restricted FOV of these cameras can result in a loss of SA and the aircraft running into equipment and persons. The small size and cheapness of these drones also present a problem. Winds out here in Cali in the valleys can toss something the size of that Spyhawk around so badly you would lose control and the bird could strike someone on the way down. Military hardware cost the thousands it does because its ment to survive rugged enviroments, both natural and man made. (WX, jamming) Not to mention if it comes down on our enemys heads we don't care.

Aside from the clear safety issues that must be resolved the intergration of these into a command structure is going to add a whole new aspect to the game commanders are going to have to wrap their heads around. Should make things fun (if done properly). As dorsai said in his post about bugging an HQ. Some people come to play a GAME, others to fight a WAR. This most certainly requires people in the latter mindset.

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:17 AM #12
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FYI,

I just finished watching a video which addressed the fact that the AR Drone is NOT a good platform to use. Here's
that video for those who'd like to learn why -




As for the rest of the points raised, the flight time will
be limited by the size of the battery. If you're planning
to use a 'Spyhawk,' figure 10-15 minutes max. As for
maximum altitude that'll be limited what sort of camera
you're using, it's resolution and the fact that the higher
you fly the lower the detail will be, uless of course you
want to invest thousands for your camera.

Sincerely,
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:20 AM #13
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Having a low res camera that requires low flight alt is my concern. These have a very narrow FOV. If they are going to be used they must employ some kind of hard deck. A 5lbs aircraft moving at 30 knots is certainly enough to cause damage if it were to impact someone/something. Rules for manned aircraft are 500ft over unpopulated areas, 1000ft over populated areas for general VFR cruising. Even more come into play in reguard to height above the tallest obstruction in the area. If your playing on a field with a castle tower that sticks up 20 feet, then a resonable min alt would be in the 40-50AGL ballpark. (Unless on a T/O or landing) As cool as it may seem using buildings to terrain mask and indeed tactically sound, the risk to players in those buildings and around them is unacceptable. Orbiting at 200ft giving an overall view of the battle area, check. Using a drone to check out windows in a MOUT game or clear a bunker from 10 feet, not so check.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:07 PM #14
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In terms of what the RC people are supposed to abide by, it's
under 400 feet maximum and always within line of sight of the
person flying the model. That said, most of the people who've
gotten into this aren't part of the organization, nor are they
staying within the established guidelines. New proposed rules
from the FAA are reportedly going to keep things the same, as
long as the flyer isn't looking to profit from it. That means no
selling photos, or video I suppose. Not sure how they'd rule if
you were selling photos or video of a paintball game.

I'd like to close by leaving you with a clip that shows the true
potential something like this could have, if you've got the right
equipment and the skill to use it.

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:03 PM #15
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That is some very fancy stickwork. But it also helps to prove my point. Flathatting like that around a large number of people is 100% UNSAT. I don't debate that there is utility in them, we use them every day to drop bad guys like Third Period French. But before they are sent out as anything other than a novelty in the paintball world there has to be serious consideration put into their use. This needs to include at the very least, industry accepted use policies that also conform to all local, state and Federal laws. Some kind of insurance is also a must. (Like a Tank) I can say with absolute certainty ANY R/C platform approaching me in the manor those planes were on the field is going to get taken down in a very permanent and violent manor. It’s not cute, it’s not funny, and it’s dangerous. If the motor quit or controls experienced a momentary signal interruption I've just gotten a face full of plastic, metal, gas, and battery. Controlled, safe, and well governed operation of these assets is what’s going to be required. I'm all for it, trust me. But it’s got to be done with safety in mind at all times, like every other thing related to flying.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:00 PM #16
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It might be easier/safer/cheaper to use a camera mounted to a tethered balloon. this mitigates the risk of control or mechanical failure resulting in a crash, allows the field owner or game manager (or generals) to decide where to strategically place it, and would have much less startup and upkeep cost (I'm guessing).
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:10 PM #17
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The balloon is certainly a safer idea, but I wonder how you'd control
where the camera points? Regardless of whichever approach you
decide to go with, para sail, foam plane or quad, there'll always be
some risk involved. Mitigating that risk might be as simple as having
the 'pilot' conduct a demonstration flight for the field owner, to show
they're capable of maintaining control over the craft, before they'd
be allowed to employ it during the event. Specific written guidelines,
which the pilot has to agree to would also help keep things as safe
as possible.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:16 PM #18
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http://www.fpvflying.com/

lots of info here. generally, people buy the software for fpv (including stabilizers and ****autonomous flight***** and then build the plane or quadcopter themselves, picking out their own brushless motors, carbonfiber, and Lipo batteries.

the real money is in software. autopilot would be clutch, set to fly in orbit around combat zone, and then have a rotational/zoomable camera to do the scouting. plus that lets the "pilot" do all the spotting and can focus on relaying information instead of flying

honestly, you would have a whole new hobby with lots of investment in time and money to get one operational at all, let alone combat ready. but what an asset for biggames or zombie apocalypse
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:49 PM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorsai View Post
The balloon is certainly a safer idea, but I wonder how you'd control
where the camera points? Regardless of whichever approach you
decide to go with, para sail, foam plane or quad, there'll always be
some risk involved. Mitigating that risk might be as simple as having
the 'pilot' conduct a demonstration flight for the field owner, to show
they're capable of maintaining control over the craft, before they'd
be allowed to employ it during the event. Specific written guidelines,
which the pilot has to agree to would also help keep things as safe
as possible.
I would stick with a wide angle camera. If the balloon is up about 250 feet, that should give decent area coverage for a particular area of the field. This brings in some strategy - where does the general think the action or the most important part of the field will be?

And with anything remote controlled, the risk will always be there that something will interfere with the controls. if the pilot loses sight of the craft, or the feed from its camera, or power, or steering, there is potential for a bad accident.
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