The RQ-16 T-Hawk micro air vehicle is an unarmed, short-range, vertical-takeoff-and-landing, remotely piloted aircraft that allows personnel to get a close look in situations where it would normally be too hazardous to do so. Bomb disposal units use them to scout for roadside bombs in combat theaters. Police SWAT teams use them to gather intelligence in hostage situations. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, U.S. military personnel used a T-Hawk to acquire the first clear images of the damaged nuclear containment structures of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. At the time, radiation levels were too high to allow people or other types of aircraft to safely approach.
Length: 1 Minute, 51 Seconds
Image Date: Compiled 2012
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: U.S. Army, Honeywell Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company