Air Force Developing Swarms of Mini-Drones

orangesunset

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The air force is working on developing swarms of mini drones, which will work in a manner similar to swarms of bees or wasps.

“It is built on the biological concept of say a swarm of bees, for example, where you can see a lot of them fly as a group but they do not run into each other. They manage some type of coordinated activity between them in order to be able to navigate successfully,” Endsley told Military?.com. “In the laboratory – we have developed algorithms that allow small UAVs to be able to operate that way so that they can work in conjunction without running into each other.”


The idea is that the drones will be able to communicate with each other, and they they will have a swarm intelligence. They also will be able to overwhelm the enemy, similar to how bees or ants. Ants have been known to kill small pigs or other small animals by swarming them, and biting them until they eventually kill the animal.


Air Force Developing Swarms of Mini-Drones | Military.com
 

Corzhens

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The US air force is always first in gadgets and weaponry. I have read somewhere that drones are becoming a common tool by the military. It is not the ordinary drone that can be used in filming a movie. They are the small drones that can be considered spy planes. I hope it can help in bringing peace to the world.
 

Redheart

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Small drones can be a hard to neutralize. But if what they refer to as a swarm is 5 or six drones then I don't think they would be that effective.
“You might want to set the task for five or six UAVs to go and cover a particular area where they work in conjunction with each other. Maybe one has one type of sensor and the other has another type of sensor — so they could cue each other,” Endsley said.
At first I thought a swarm would consist of hundreds if not thousands of mini-drones. Such a huge "swarm" would inflict some serious damage to any enemy.
 

orangesunset

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At first I thought a swarm would consist of hundreds if not thousands of mini-drones. Such a huge "swarm" would inflict some serious damage to any enemy.
Ideally they would consist of tens of thousands of small drones, the smaller the better. So the drones would be dropped close to the target with a convential aircraft, ship or maybe submarines. Each drone would be the size of lets say a baseball. So calculate how many of these you could shove into a shipping container.

It would be similar to how ants swarm a small pig to kill it. The pig might kill some of the ants, but it gets over whelmed. Certain species of red ants have tiny amounts of venom that slightly stun the pig. Eventually the ants will kill the pig.
 

Redheart

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This most certainly will be the future of air warfare. But now that the idea is out there, I'm sure that others who think mini-drones can be great will work on building their own mini-drones. Would it have been better to have kept this secret or this part of the chest-thumping that's been going on lately — we've built this, we've got that, we've got the best weapons, etc?
 

joshposh

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Ideally they would consist of tens of thousands of small drones, the smaller the better. So the drones would be dropped close to the target with a convential aircraft, ship or maybe submarines. Each drone would be the size of lets say a baseball. So calculate how many of these you could shove into a shipping container.

It would be similar to how ants swarm a small pig to kill it. The pig might kill some of the ants, but it gets over whelmed. Certain species of red ants have tiny amounts of venom that slightly stun the pig. Eventually the ants will kill the pig.
If this method was actually used, where they are the size of a baseball, what would be their payload? Small radioactive bombs, EMPs?

You know my grandfather and I talked about the Pacific fleet and the battle with Japan, before he passed away. He was serving in the war and at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He talked a lot about how our superior planes were against the Japanese Zeros. In major sea battles the Japanese would lose hundreds of planes per engagement. Only in desperate times and later in the war, as the USA got closer to Japan, did they start running suicide plane missions. We went on to talk about if they had implemented that strategy from the beginning of the war, that could of drastically changed the outcome. It only takes one plane to take out the main control room of a battle ship. One plane to leave the flight deck inoperable for hours on end. If you take in consideration that during a heavy onslaught, 100s of Japanese Zeros were lost, it would only take a few suicide bombers to cripple a carrier. By the number, 50 planes or less could cripple several battle ships and turn the tide in a heavy naval engagement.

So the theory of having massive amount of drones and hitting strategic targets is sound.
 

DancingLady

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I don't like the sound of that for a number of reasons. I can see all sorts of potential for misuse here. I know drones are supposed to help keep people out of harms way, and that's a good thing, but these kind of drone swarms could be used for way too many things. Or individual small ones could be used to even more illegitimate purposes.
 

LilAnn

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I am sure they will use it on foreign enemies, at first. But how long do you think it'll be before the swarms are used the people?
 
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