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    Swarming Development in Next Generation Military Drones

    From technically manning sensitive military areas to luring hobbyists throughout the world, drone technology has developed and prospered in the last few years. Whether you call them Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Miniature Pilotless Aircraft or Flying Mini Robots, drones are rapidly growing in popularity. They are still in the infancy stage in terms of mass adoption and usage, but drones have already broken through rigid traditional barriers in industries which otherwise seemed impenetrable by similar technological innovations.

    Over the few years, Drones were successful in penetrating industries where it was never possible to imagine its existence. From delivering food in peak hours to entering into agriculture and businesses. It has certainly shown an impeccable amount of reach, success and connectivity. Apart from that, they need minimal amounts of manpower and can access any remote location with ease. The easy access, less time, better reach and minimal effort are the reasons why it is widely accepted and in use for every industry. Though majorly, it is used by four mega industry that are Commercial, Personal, future Technology and Military.

    Military has been a significant user of drone technology since its inception. Right from combat to, R&D, for pre attack supervisions to secret operations, it has shown a successful adoption. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, military spending will remain the main driver of drone spending in the coming years. The military drones market is projected to grow from USD 12.1 billion in 2018 to USD 26.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12.00% from 2018 to 2025.

    Existing vs. Emerging Technology: A Comparison

    There has been a biggest fuss in the field of technology development between a few powerful countries of the world. The biggest power rivalry between China and the US will set the pace of adoption and proliferation of advanced technologies employed for coercive military action. The countries with power and huge infrastructure for manufacturing will lend a leg-up for advanced manufacturing companies, software and services platforms, the space industry and commercial sources of new products, services and innovations. These developments will probably not overturn the military balance in the near term, but they will broaden when, where and how armed forces fight.

    Is the Existing Drone Technology Enough to Combat?

    With the existing drone technology, the toil in combating has improved but there is a lot yet to make better. The mostly technology that we have in roll out right now are RADAR/LiDar, Wireless/Cellular Communications, Optoelectronics, Photonics, Actuators/Connectors, Satellite Communications, Inertial Navigation System,  Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Global Navigation Satellite System, Gallium arsenide (GaAs) Solar Cells.

    These technologies have already witnessed sustained innovation based on the growth of the military UAV industry during the forecast period. Though military UAV industry is vouching for some new technology since long like Infrared Thermography (IRT) and hyper spectral Imaging (HSI). Apart from them, innovators are up to really stunned remolding of UAV to make them unbeatable, persistent and immaculate.

    Connecting Dots with Emerging Drone Technologies

    The designs and application of future drones are better than present and are rooting for so many new and unimaginable techs. Drones are supposed to be in air but engineers are preparing to launch submersible drones which can be launched through an underwater station which will float back to the surface. It is also processed to stay inactive underwater in bleak situations and can be activated whenever needed.

    Infrared Thermography has been used in many industries for a long time. Recent advances in advanced thermal imaging cameras, on the other hand, use focal plane arrays (FPAs) that use uncooled micro bolometers as FPA sensors. IRT has long been used in military applications in other equipment and now it will be used in UAVs too.

    Other than that there are Artificial intelligence powered UAVs. There have been instances in the past where drones stop responding after striking to some obstruction, an AI enabled UAV will have the sense, where to redirect itself in case of danger with the help of computer vision and motion planning.

    One other application that can be involved in UAVs are Airborne Communication Nodes. Aside from being sensor and shooter platforms, UAVs can also act as airborne communications nodes, similar to satellites, offering mobile network coverage for manoeuvring forces. This frees up manned systems to focus on higher-value missions while still providing a cost-effective way to maintain secure communications.

    UAVs will follow the paradigm change toward a network-centric warfare concept, seamlessly integrating into all three main areas of defence systems: sensor, shooter, and C2 network. By providing platforms for deploying sensors, weapons, and communications architecture, UAVs can enable the force commander to see first, understand first, act first, and finish decisively.

    With the rapid advancement in battery technology, UAVs can now fly for long hours and distances without a further redo of charging.

    Technology has no breaks until the innovators want to stop, military is the most tangible part of any country and UAVs will provide a next level advancement to the warfare operations, secrets supervisions and even for keeping a recce on new unexplored locations.

    Latest Drones Bringing Power & Peril to Military

    Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft (AURA) was a tentative name for an Indian UCAV project, but was eventually called the Ghatak UCAV. Ghatak [Hindi-language = Lethal or Dangerous] is a fully funded and sanctioned national defence project for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).

    Ghatak is using Fluid Thrust Vectoring technology to change the directions very efficiently. It is also mentioned in the official papers submitted by ADA & IIT Kanpur that the fluid thrust vectoring in the yaw direction using a transverse jet injection in a converging nozzle using an elliptical exit and triangular-shaped aft-deck. The studies are carried which states that Ghatak will not work on Supersonic Speed. The momentum of the core nozzle was kept constant and the momentum of the secondary nozzle was varied. The surface pressure distribution, exhaust jet velocity, and thrust were measured.

    Other than that Kamikaze Drone popularly known as Dubbed kamikaze, suicide or killer drones, these unmanned aircraft don’t fire missiles — they are the missiles. While the other missiles just hit the target, they can fly around the target, wait for an apt time and then strike with precision. The US military couldn’t fought the way it did in Iraq or Afghanistan if they had killer drones. The 300, 600 model is called “Switchblade” that can kill individuals & armoured vehicles respectively while merely carrying it in a bag pack.

    It has features which allow an operator to adjust the blast radius. The Switchblade has cameras that show a target seconds before impact. But for a better view of the battlefield, it’s often used in conjunction with a small surveillance drone.

    Switchblade may be the most advanced version of the genre but many other countries like Russia, China, Israel, Iran, and Turkey have some version of killer drones

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