The path not taken.
- Oct 9, 2009
- Reaction score
Some news on DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program:
For Immediate Release: April 14, 2015
By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.
LOCUST can launch swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary. The deployment of UAV swarms will provide Sailors and Marines a decisive tactical advantage. (Watch: LOCUST video on YouTube)
“The recent demonstrations are an important step on the way to the 2016 ship-based demonstration of 30 rapidly launched autonomous, swarming UAVs,” said ONR program manager Lee Mastroianni.
The LOCUST program includes a tube-based launcher that can send UAVs into the air in rapid succession. The breakthrough technology then utilizes information-sharing between the UAVs, enabling autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or offensive missions.
Since the launcher and the UAVs themselves have a small footprint, the technology enables swarms of compact UAVs to take off from ships, tactical vehicles, aircraft or other unmanned platforms.
The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions. Another technology demonstration of nine UAVs accomplished completely autonomous UAV synchronization and formation flight.
ONR officials note that while the LOCUST autonomy is cutting edge compared to remote-controlled UAVs, there will always be a human monitoring the mission, able to step in and take control as desired.
“This level of autonomous swarming flight has never been done before,” said Mastroianni. “UAVs that are expendable and reconfigurable will free manned aircraft and traditional weapon systems to do more, and essentially multiply combat power at decreased risk to the warfighter.”
UAVs reduce hazards and free personnel to perform more complex tasks, as well as requiring fewer people to do multiple missions.
Lowering costs is a major benefit of UAVs as well. Even hundreds of small autonomous UAVs cost less than a single tactical aircraft — and, officials note, having this capability will force adversaries to focus on UAV swarm response.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s Sailing Directions to the fleet note that over the next 10 to 15 years, the Navy will evolve and remain the preeminent maritime force. It directs: “Unmanned systems in the air and water will employ greater autonomy and be fully integrated with their manned counterparts.”
David Smalley is a contractor with the Office of Naval Research
Grey Havoc said:And here's something totally different: https://www.fastcompany.com/3069053/a-startups-plan-to-halve-cargo-shipping-costs-with-777-size-drones
I can. It's part of my high speed helicopter UAV research work. We planned to apply the ABC concept for tandem helicopters.hesham said:In a Russian book about Unmanned Vehicles,
can you ID this rotor UAH concept,the right one ?.
What will air defenses do when both sides of a conflict send hundreds upon hundreds of disposable UAVs that simply overwhelm any defensive response?
Foo Fighter said:What about proximity airburst payloads? Enough shotgun pellets in the air at one time would be cheaper and more effectively than a laser targeting multiple points one after the other.
Colonial-Marine said:I'd agree that lasers are the ideal solution but for 30 years they've been saying we're less than 5 years away from laser weaponry being commonplace on the battlefield.
Of course the counter has to scale for the size/capability of the UAVs in question but what can be done on the squad level versus lots of small models like those?
Pardon a stark disagreement. The guts on these things are very mature. The craft itself is need revolution and no one is offering anything near survivable for the far term. An AF person exclaimed on a PBS special some years ago that "We are in the Model A age of UAS. " He is near to correct. Some UCRAS designs are well along however tactical for the troops and VTOL are near zero.TomcatViP said:I think the approach is to nurture a specific modding industry.
With numbers on, builder would get interested to adapt their product to the military. If even a part of the R&D has been done upfront , it will be COTS adaptation with an easier integration.