Defcon Hackers Turn a Flare Gun into a DIY Wireless Camera Launcher
Israel defense contractor Rafael Armaments has developed what they called Firefly, a single-use wireless camera that's launched from a military-grade 40mm grenade launcher, which is intended to help military infantry forces scope out the unknown around them.
The munition contains two CCD color cameras, which travel for 8 seconds and up to 600 meters long at a maximum effective altitude of 150 meters. During flight, it captures high-definition video footage and transmits it back to the operator in the field, giving a bird's eye view of the terrain around them. It's definitely helpful on the battlefield, but what about in the civilian world?
Only military personnel can snag a M203 launcher, but it's completely legal for civilians to own a 37mm flare gun.
At this year's Defcon hacking convention, Vlad Gostom and Joshua Marpet built their own version of the Firefly capable of being shot from one of those legal flare launchers, which they hope to sell for about $500. The intended market would be geared towards search and rescue, SWAT teams and the likes, but it could be made available to the masses.
Their version includes a parachute, so it's reusable, and although their first launch attempt wielded unsuccessful results (it had a scorched parachute, partially ignited gunpowder and only flew 30 feet in the air), they plan on making a working prototype that will hit an altitude of 250 feet.
This could be a great resource for law enforcement and search and rescue operations, but for your average everyday joe, it's probably something an AR Drone can solve. What do you think? Unless you could make a better video camera ammunition for a cheaper price.