More than 18 months ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, but Ukraine has managed to stave off many of Russia’s attacks. Among other tactics, one strategy Ukraine has used is to launch an all-out small commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) uncrewed aerial system (UAS) or drone counteroffensive that has played a pivotal role in its survival. The success of COTS drones in battle highlights a significant possible physical challenge for which U.S. military and homeland security officials should plan now. Those plans should include one of the most precise ways to take out rogue drones, namely cyber radio frequency (RF) takeover technology. That technology just got a little better.
A story that went viral on social media early in 2023 reportedly claimed that during a U.S. military artiﬁcial intelligence (AI) drone simulation, the AI targeted and killed the human drone operator. It had apparently determined the human had been interfering with its mission: in this case, to take out surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats. Although the military has since denied such a sim even occurred--with an Air Force official calling it a “thought experiment” rather than an actual test--according to Rommel Martínez, CTO of the ASTN Group (Austin, Texas), it doesn’t take a great leap of logic to imagine that this scenario could actually occur.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is changing the way it does business. Recognizing the need for speed and agility to rapidly onboard ever-evolving commercial technologies to benefit the warfighter, it has promoted a modular open systems approach (MOSA) and, in significant respects, reframed its business model.
The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Blue UAS Program is intended to enable a holistic and continuous approach to rapidly prototyping and scaling capable and secure commercial uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) and related technology for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It sponsors the development of innovative new drone technology and makes it easier for government agencies to procure “DoD-cleared” commercial drone tech.
The Vector uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) – a fixed-wing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) drone – made an effective battlefield debut in Ukraine for NATO allies, proving that such commercially developed systems can be deployed quickly for decisive wartime advantages.
Funding for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft continues to increase as U.S. defense planners recognize that eVTOL platforms can be a game changer on the battlefield. eVTOL-maker Talyn Air (Los Angeles, California) recently secured $1.7 million in government funding through an AFWERX AFVentures Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) program in support of a two-year design/build/fly effort with the Air Force’s Agility Prime program.
Funding for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft continues to increase as U.S. defense planners recognize that eVTOL platforms can be a game changer on the battlefield. eVTOL maker Talyn Air (Los Angeles, California) recently secured $1.7 million in government funding through an AFWERX AFVentures Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) program in support of a two-year design/build/fly effort with the Air Force’s Agility Prime program.
Designers of systems aimed at countering unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or drones can now take advantage of open architecture designs and modular artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) to detect, identify, track, and mitigate potentially dangerous aircraft.
Draganfly, a drone solutions and systems developer, has created drone solutions, software, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems to transform how various industries can save time, money, and lives. The company’s commercial plug-and-play AI machine-vision system enables the delivery of goods and data and provides biometric information through its Vital Intelligence (VI) software platform. This tech has proven its mettle across a wide spectrum of use cases ranging from retail operations and drone racing to disaster management. It could also revolutionize the battlefield.