The Czech Military Technical Institute (VTU) has developed a new unmanned aerial vehicle, Brus, which is designed for rescue and humanitarian purposes, has a day- and a night-vision camera and may also carry other devices, VTU representatives told a press conference on Monday.
The VTU used the new drone for the first time to tackle the aftermath of an ammunition dump blast in Vrbetice, south Moravia, late last year.
The VTU has focused on the development of unmanned aerial vehicles since the 1980s. The first drones, named Sojka and developed for the then Czechoslovak military, weighed dozens of kilograms and were designed for air reconnaissance. Other types were used for pulling air targets at shooting exercises.
The latest type, Brus, is a drone with a short takeoff and six rotors.
“It can be equipped with both a day- and a night-vision camera, and there is a laser rangefinder,” VTU director Jiri Protiva said.
He said all that VTU-developed drones have been designed for rescue and humanitarian purposes.
“By no means are we considering equipping the drones with weapons or arms systems,” Protiva said.
After the blast in Vrbetice, a Brus covered 70 flight hours while monitoring the ammunition dump complex concerned.
The VTU is now negotiating about the use of Brus by the country’s Integrated Rescue System bodies. It could also be useful for the Prison Service and the customs authority, Protiva said. The Czech military uses similar vehicles on missions abroad.
Jiri Kuzdas, from the VTU, said Brus can stay in the air for 40 minutes, cover 10 km and reach the altitude of 1000 metres.
Apart from the cameras, Brus can also carry chemical and radiation sensors, Kuzdas said.
Yesterday’s presentation of Brus was attended by Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka, who tried to fly the drone. He said he wished that similar useful vehicles be used for peace purposes if possible.
Source: Prague Daily Monitor