Category:Drones

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This is a consolidated page covering the behavior and operation of all drones.

Naming conventions

Drones are a relatively new addition to NATO STANAG standard, and so are in their infancy, but Steel Beasts has developed a system of letters to identify the drone's type and role, taken from other NATO STANAG identifiers used for aircraft. NATO should adopt a similar standard at some point, and it could be said that Steel Beasts is pioneering this area.

UAV = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UGV = Unmanned Ground Vehicle
...modifier in parenthesis
(R) = Recon
(I) = Intercept
(M) = Munition (the drone is a suicide drone; its body is a munition and the drone will destroy itself)
(A) = Attack (the drone carries weapons that it fires, but does not destroy itself)
...mobility type identifier...
V = VTOL
...special properties identifier separated by a dash...
LR = Long Range (large vehicle type drones)


Infantry Deployed Drones

Standard Controls

Non-vehicle drones have a set of standardized controls in the form of on-screen buttons, when you are located in the controlling infantry unit. These may do different things when you left-click the mouse on them, depending on the button's icon.

Drone fkeys.png

F1: The soldier's 1st person eye view.
F2: The soldier's 1st person view, looking in the direction of the deployed drone - the drone controller view. The drone can be flown manually from this view.
F3: The drone's camera view. The drone can be flown manually from this view. Also, while in this view, you will get the Mission Control buttons to change the navigation mode.
F5: The map view.
F7: The unit's commander position.
F8: The unit's external view.
While in the F2 or F3 view, you can fly the drone manually with these keys:
W: Fly forward. Hold to gain speed.
S: Stop.
A: Hold to turn left.
D: Hold to turn right.
X: Fly backwards (if VTOL). Hold to gain speed.
Q: Ascend. For VTOL, hold to ascend altitude. For airplane, causes a set altitude level to appear at the top of the HUD and the drone will ascend to that level as it is able.
Z: Descend. For VTOL, hold to descend altitude. For airplane, causes a set altitude level to appear at the top of the HUD and the drone will descend to that level as it is able.

Launch and Recovery

Launch and recovery of drones is relatively simple. To launch the drone you must first deploy it.

Drone deploybutton.png

This button deploys the drone and prepares it for launch. Note that this icon can differ, depending on the drone (the drone's silhouette may appear differently).

Drone recoverbutton.png

This button recovers the drone from the ground; the drone is picked up by the infantry unit and the battery is replaced. Note that this icon can differ, depending on the drone (the drone's silhouette may appear differently).

Mission Control

Drone missioncontrolbuttons.png

The drone's flight path and behavior are controlled by buttons on the Mission Control row of buttons. The button will illuminate depending on what mode the drone is in.

Drone HomeButton.png

The Home button is used to have the drone return roughly to where it was launched (Libelle), or where the controlling unit currently is located (Munin), depending on the drone.

Drone MANButton.png

The MAN button is used to have the drone enter a manual flight mode, where the user controls the drone with the ASDWX keys. Additionally, the MAN button will illuminate if the user overrides the drone by using the ASDWX keys while the drone is returning home, or on a route.

Drone NAVButton.png

The NAV button is used to have the drone enter a navigation flight mode, where the drone is following a route that you plotted at the map view. When the operator plots a route for the drone on the map, the NAV button must be pressed in order for the drone to embark on the route.

Drone OrbitButton.png

The ORBT button is used to have the drone enter an orbit around the view's center. In other words, in this mode the drone will orbit around where the camera is currently pointing on the ground.

Camera Operation

Top Left: Camera on/off, Top Center: NAV / TGT camera toggle (Libelle), Top Right: Camera FOV toggle Bottom Left: Thermal fusion toggle, Bottom Center: Thermal/day toggle, Bottom Right: Thermal polarity toggle

Camera controls are done with a variety of buttons that may or may not be present on the drone, depending on the drone's camera properties. Additionally there may be a zoom slider present if the drone is equipped with continuous zoom optics.

DroneCameraPower.png

The camera power button toggles the camera view on and off. The battery will decrease at a slightly reduced rate if the camera is off.

DroneTGT-NAVCamera.png

This button toggles between the targeting (TGT) camera and the navigation (NAV) camera if available (such as the Libelle drone).

DroneFOVCamera.png

This button toggles between different fields of view for the camera, if available (such as the Libelle drone).

DroneFusionCamera.png

This button toggles on the combined day/thermal fusion mode for the camera, if available.

DroneThermalCamera.png

This button toggles on the thermal camera, if available.

DronePolarityCamera.png

This button toggles toggles the thermal view polarity between white hot and black hot modes, if a thermal camera is available.

Fire Control

The munition drone's targets are engaged by pressing the various buttons on the drone's Fire Control Panel.

Drone firecontrolpanel.png

When a target is in view, most drones will highlight valid targets with a red box. The target is then selected in one of two methods:
DroneFCP Target.png

This button is used to manually select a target. After left clicking this button, you must left click on a valid target in view, at which point the target will receive a cross hair.

DroneFCP Caret.png

The other method is to use caret button, which cycles automatically through the visible valid targets.
In either case, once a target is in view and is selected, a red cross hair will appear:
Libelle drone, TGT camera, T-72 target locked


DroneFCP Armed.png

Once a target is selected, the drone must be armed in order to engage it. Left click on the safe/armed switch to arm the drone.

DroneFCP Fire.png

When the drone is armed, and a target is selected, a Fire button will appear when the drone is within parameters to engage. In the case of the Libelle drone shown here, the Fire button will not appear unless the drone has come to rest, for example.

Aerial drones/UAVs

Libelle

Libelle.png

General specifications:

Name: UAV(M)V Libelle
Type: Munition
Method of Attack: Top attack, EFP smart munition
Target Type: Anti-armor
Flight Type: VTOL
Counter Techniques:
  • This drone can be countered by constant movement from the target, since the cannot effectively engage a moving target. Additionally, a constantly moving target will force the drone to expend battery at an accelerated rate as the drone maneuvers to follow the target.
Special Considerations:
  • The warhead is an EFP, so essentially its a KE penetrator that is formed by the explosion. Therefore, the lower the drone is to the target before firing the warhead, the more effective the penetration of the EFP will be. However, the lower the drone is the target, the increased chance that the drone will be seen and heard, increasing the likelihood that someone will shoot the drone down, or spot the drone and begin evasion.
  • Drone must be at rest in order to execute its fire command, which causes the Libelle to pendulum swing-aim its warhead.
Libelle LandButton.png
Unique Characteristics:
  • Communicates with other Libelle drones. When looking at the ground, other Libelle drones will project a small red box below their position, which allows multiple Libelle drone operators to quickly see that drones are flying above enemy vehicles. This helps prevent collisions and is a way to coordinate attacks against different targets without the need for communication between drone operators.
  • The Libelle also has a land button which causes the drone to automatically descend where it is, and land on the ground below.
  • The Libelle has two different cameras available: NAV and TGT. NAV is the horizontally facing camera used for flight, and TGT is the downward facing camera used for targeting.

Munin

Munin.png

General specifications:

Name: UAV(R) Munin
Type: Recon
Method of Attack: None
Target Type: N/A
Flight Type: Airplane
Counter Techniques: N/A
Special Considerations:
  • The drone is extremely susceptible to wind and cannot be launched down wind if wind speed is too high. If flying into the wind, it will travel extremely slow and the operator must take wind direction and speed into account when determining endurance range and optimal flight path.

Swingblade AT

SB600.png

General specifications:

Name: UAV(M) Swingblade AT
Type: Munition
Method of attack: Impact, tandem HEAT (Javelin ATGM warhead)
Target Type: Anti-armor
Flight Type: Airplane
Counter Techniques:
  • This drone can be countered by hiding in dense woods or, to a lesser extent, remaining close to buildings. In regards to urban terrain, the drone operator has to take the direction of attack in mind and this restricts how quickly and effectively the drone can be employed on a target, and greatly restricts its use against moving targets in urban areas.
  • The drone can be also be countered by a sudden evasive maneuver just before impact, which can cause the drone to miss or may cause a glancing impact since the drone cannot maneuver quickly while in its terminal dive.
Special Considerations:
  • This drone is fired from a launch tube and cannot be recovered; it does not have a return home function.
SB600LaunchButton.png
SB600DetonateButton.png
Unique Characteristics:
  • This drone has a special launch button. When pressed, the drone is fired into the air from a launch tube, like an ATGM, and it's wings swing into place as it is projected into the air.
  • When armed, this drone has an abort button which causes the drone to immediately detonate in flight. The drone can be detonated if the operator does not want it to crash land over friendly troops or urban areas when the battery is running low (otherwise the drone will detonate on impact with the ground). Additionally, it is possible to manually fly the drone over soft targets and detonate above them for a limited area effect.

Quadcopter

General specifications:

Name: UAV(R)V Quadcopter
Type: Recon
Method of Attack: None
Target Type: N/A
Flight Type: VTOL
Counter Techniques: N/A
Special Considerations:
  • Drone currently uses the old Quadcopter flight model (it will be and has been enhanced over time).

Bullitt

General specifications:

Name: UAV(I)V Bullitt
Type: Interceptor / Defense
Method of Attack: Kinetic impact
Target Type: Anti-drone
Flight Type: VTOL
Counter Techniques:
  • This drone has a limitation in its target recognition capability based on size of the target drone's altitude and silhouette size. The smaller the target drone, the lower in altitude it must be for the Bullitt to recognize it. Therefore, it is generally possible to completely avoid the Bullitt drone's target recognition by flying smaller drones at higher altitudes.
Special Considerations:
  • This drone will engage and destroy friendly drones if you fly too close.
  • Can be given to normal rifle teams (A teams). Drone is automatically deployed by the infantry with Defend tactic as long as the unit is not in a forest or in a large building.
  • This drone does not have a warhead: it impacts with the target drone and the kinetic force of the impact will cause the target drone to either get destroyed or lose control and crash (due to the force of the impact causing loss of control from the target drone rolling over and being unable to correct its flight).

Ground drones (UGVs)

Generic UGV

See the UGV page.

Vehicle drones (non infantry-deployed drones)

Vehicle drones are larger drones that are not launched by an infantry unit.

Sperwer

See the UAV Sperwer page.

S-100 Camcopter

See the UAV S-100 page.

Pages in category "Drones"

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.