Autonomous Drone Swarms Set to Launch, “Reducing Burden” on Humans
Saturday, February 18, 2012
From nary a cricket, let alone the general public, giving voice to the intrusion of drones in their airspace — the news has now flipped 180-degrees toward being largely dominated by the story of drone surveillance and warfare. New announcements are coming out daily in both mainstream, and in military and aviation journals.
One such announcement comes from Michael Vail’s StratRisks, which sources a recent Aviation Week article that states the following:
Christopher Ames, director of international strategic development at General Atomics, maker of the Predator, says that one way to keep UAVs out of harm’s way when operating in potentially hostile environments is to increase their standoff capability ‘so that you can influence the airspace and the area of interest from a greater distance.’ If the aircraft can operate farther out, ‘then the aircraft themselves don’t need to have the same degree of imbued stealth or survivability,’ he adds, which has the added benefit of decreasing costs since ‘stealth’ doesn’t come cheap. (Source: Aviation Week)
Embedded here is a stated problem that there is growing resistance on the ground to drones flying overhead — many times in undeclared war zones such as Somalia — as well as perhaps a concern over impending military budget cuts. The validity of the latter remains in question, as there is certainly enough in the black budget to access beyond prying eyes. Nevertheless, it is the rest of the Aviation Week report which more than hints toward what our robotic future might hold.