A New Role for Honeywell's T-Hawk

Crews trying to control Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are using a tool seen by only a few people outside the military: an 18-inch flying machine that can zip around at 50 miles an hour, stop quickly, and hover while taking videos and radioactivity readings.

The T-Hawk, as it’s called, belongs to a class of unmanned planes called “micro air vehicles” that have been used for a few years by U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for surveillance. Honeywell International Inc., the maker of the T-Hawk, has supplied four of the funnel-shaped drones to help Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator. The T-Hawk earlier this month gathered video and radiation data at the Fukushima plant, which was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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