STAR, Short Term Aerial Recognizance - Phase 2

Project number: 
Raytheon Technologies
Academic year: 
Problem Statement: Civil security reconnaissance is invaluable to the operations of the Border
Patrol, Law Enforcement, and first responders in every type of environment. Although there are
large-scale assets available for these ground forces, the immediacy aspect of reconnaissance is
tough to satisfy for the emergency real-time surveillance information.

Solution: A low-cost, light-weight networked, aerial reconnaissance solution implemented by
ground forces on demand, no waiting for assets, no call for crew served air support, could make a
difference. System could also serve as fixed surveillance camera to monitor a suspected traffic
route, a complex urban scene, for first responder’s hazard assessment.
Concept of Employment: The operator turns the STAR round on and establishes the video link
with their hand-held display unit (smart phone, tablet, etc.) Then the operator launches the round
at the high-loft angle by using a standard issue flare pistol or maximum 40 mm caliber launcher.
Once at altitude, The STAR will provide wide angle field of view to the operator while holding
the station without burden to the operator. Altitude and time on station are to be refined; for the
point of departure, they are greater than 100 meters above ground level (AGL) and 5 minutes,
respectively. Image quality (resolution, stability etc.) must be sufficient for the operator to assess
the situation in real-time (for example, distinguish a threat: is a person holding a pistol or a

Project Scope: This Phase 2 is the continuation of the 2022 Phase 1 effort, when the design team
had conducted the design, procurement, fabrication, and limited design verification testing of the
most critical technology elements and subsystems. The Phase 2 team will conduct necessary
design changes, performance analysis, procurement, fabrication, integration, verification, and
tests to deliver an integrated, form-factored STAR system (including a smart phone/tablet App to
initialize and launch the round, and to display the projected picture). The system must be
inexpensive (single time use), light-weight (easy to carry and non-destructive when falls) and
environmentally friendly, must not expose the operator to any harm and must be constructed
with common obtainable materials to simplify the procurement (51% of the system must be
constructed in the U.S.) It is acceptable to demonstrate the capability with 40 mm caliber
pneumatic launcher. It is desired that the system has future network expansion capability (several
STAR systems generate integrated surveillance view)

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