Giddy up! Military and civilian bomb squad operators are taking to a capabilities exercise robot rodeo to showcase proficiencies and uses of robotics in the field. For the first time in nearly a decade, organizers included unmanned aerial vehicles in the competition.
Imagery captured from UAVs can be up to 10 times less expensive than from manned aircraft or satellites, prompting government agencies and private farmers alike to investigate using the economical method. But piecing the puzzle hasn't always produced a workable solution.
The technology behind development of unmanned and autonomous systems makes the platforms more precise, meticulous and exacting than the legacy systems they will replace, but the migration theoretically could make some governments hungrier for war.
The U.S. military can get a bird's-eye view of a battlefield or humanitarian mission via use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Now, DARPA is asking for technology that would let the military get into buildings without having troops actually step foot inside.
Benchmark Contracting Incorporated (dba Cobblestone Construction), Las Vegas, was awarded a $10,643,419 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a remote piloted aircraft mission complex physical protection system, Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, Nevada. The Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, is the contracting activity (W912PL-14-C-0012).
The battlespace dominance enjoyed by U.S. forces for two decades may be disappearing as many potential adversaries begin to employ the very technologies that have served U.S. forces. Dick Diamond Jr., national security trends and strategic issues analyst with Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, warned that the near monopoly enjoyed by the United States in precision guided munitions (PGMs) and surveillance is going away. "We may not be able to conduct our favorite American way of war in the future," Diamond declared.
Although it seems UAVs have been around for a long time-and are essential in current operations-the ground truth is that a number of challenges remain to be resolved before these aircraft can be used to their full potential.