Tuesday, April 12, 2022

McGyver Lives!

 4/11/22 Petapixel examines reported components of Russian UAV captured by Ukrainians:

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense has released a video in which a Ukrainian soldier disassembles a Russian military surveillance drone. The teardown revealed a remarkably rudimentary design that features a low-end Canon DSLR camera at its core....

The soldier notes how surprisingly low-tech the military drone is — observers quickly pointed out that certain aspects of it are more reminiscent of a hobbyist RC airplane project than a high-tech piece of military spying technology.

A Consumer Camera, Bottle Cap, and Duct Tape

What the soldier found is that the primary camera responsible for image capture is a Canon EOS Rebel T6i (AKA 750D), a DSLR camera launched in 2015 with a retail price of $750 but which is currently worth about $300 to $400 on the used market....

The camera is mounted to a board with a hook-and-loop fastener strip (commonly referred to as Velcro)....

The mode dial of the camera has been frozen with glue, preventing the camera shooting mode from accidentally being switched mid-flight....

t now seems some electronic components in the drone also come from Japan, as well. Canon Europe already announced in March that it had suspended new shipments of products into Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, but it seems unlikely that the move will have any impact on whether Russia continues to use Canon cameras in its future drones.

Comments observe that the Velcro means use of whatever DSLR they can find on eBay can be swapped in.  But it also shows that they better have a lot of DSLRs already stockpiled.  The cleverness of McGyvering it is impressive, but I see why our stuff works better and is more expensive.  I notice that Taiwan chips are a big part, and yet another reason to protect Taiwan from Chinese control.  

The price of the UAV is quite high for something that McGyver, The Movie might have produced.  As one comment observes:

I bet the state (meaning the taxpayer) was charged tripple and quadruple rates for this MacGyver sh*t.

Another comment:

They're being charge $87000+ for a 2-3000 drone. The yachts keep getting bigger though so there's that. 

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