The Atlas Beacon incorporates a translucent impact-resistant, waterproof (down to 200 feet, or approximately 60 meters) polymer housing and contains 4-LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights and electronics. They have a 14-day (336-hour) effective run time. Tactical Revolution president Timo Tervola was kind enough to demonstrate both versions (visible and IR) of the Atlas Beacon for DefenseReview (DR), which you can see in the embedded video that we shot, below. The visible-light Atlas Beacon is available in blue, red, green, yellow and white, and all the variants, including the IR variant, feature steady-on and blink modes. To activate the Atlas Beacon IR, just hold the nipple…um, I mean button, down until the red light comes on. As soon as the light goes off, you’ve got eight (8) seconds to throw the Atlas Beacon at an enemy target location to mark it for destruction by friendly ground forces and aircraft. Perfect for urban warfare operations.
The system, dubbed Explorer Tactical, is a camera contained in a rubberized ball the size of a grapefruit, with six recessed lenses feeding data into the system, coupled with 40W LEDs for lighting.
Software mates the six viewpoints into a panoramic view of the environment and feeds it back to an officer's smartphone via an internal Wi-Fi hotspot.
Key to the device is the image-stitching software used to take the feeds from the six lenses and merge them into something useful. The Explorer can build one full 360-degree panorama per second and the internal Wi-Fi can send this back to an Android or iOS device from 60 meters away.
Bounce Imaging CEO Francisco Aguilar says he got the idea for the device after hearing about the problems rescuers in the 2010 Haitian earthquake were having finding survivors in the rubble of ruined buildings. But after winning a prize for the invention, the firm was deluged with requests from police departments looking to use the device for crime fighting.
He told The Register that the Explorer was originally designed with a whole host of embedded sensors, including microphones, gas sensors for carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, and other diagnostic hardware, but the police feedback was that little of this was needed.
"The thing we heard from officers was 'I am stressed out about a suspect with a gun around the corner and don't want to be messing around with options, I just want to see where they are,'" Aguilar said.
The device is powered by twin Lithium-ion batteries that give about 30 minutes of operating time. The ball has been designed to withstand rough treatment and can handle drops of up to seven meters without breaking.
It's not cheap, at $2,495 for the tactical version that uses a camera capable of seeing in near-infrared. But there's also a version with less sophisticated imaging systems that costs a thousand bucks less. Tests with police are ongoing, but Aguilar said development is continuing on the original concept for rescue work
The Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose grenade, or ET-MP, will be able to switch between two modes and produce two different kinds of explosions, according to Picattiny. At the same time, it brings back an older “concussive” effect absent from the U.S. Army since the 1970s.
Adjust the grenade, and the operator can select a fragmentation or concussion mode.
The ET-MP is also safer for the thrower, Picatinny Arsenal added in an announcement this week. This is because the grenade will feature an electronic fuze, or delay mechanism, unlike the M67’s mechanical fuze. To simplify, an electronic fuze is more reliable over the long term and the detonation can be timed to be extremely precise.