Monday, June 18, 2012

Generic drone fleet architecture

Wired: War With Friends: Pentagon Eyes a Drone App Store

Inside the Pentagon’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics directorate, a team is working on ways to operate different types of drones with a single controller. It’s a big technical challenge — one that’s failed in the past — since the different manufacturers of different drones each have proprietary control software. But the official in charge of the effort envisions a new drone software architecture that’s agnostic about what kind of drone it controls; and allows human controllers to think in terms of drone fleets rather than individual robots, including fleets comprising different kinds of drones. That would enable a dramatic expansion of the possibilities of drone warfare.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hydrogen-powered drone

Boeing’s Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system (UAS) completed its first autonomous flight June 1 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drones make oppression much more cost-effective

John Robb writes: Drones are changing the dynamics of warfare in very scary ways. They make oppression much easier (and cost-effective).

To recap: Drones are extremely cost effective vs. ground/air assets (particularly in that with drones, operators aren't put at risk). They also enable extremely centralized command and control (as in: operations can be micro-manged in DC, down to the decision to kill). In sum, a small number of people in Washington CD can control/operate a vast 24x7 killing field for very few $$.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Botnets in the skies

MIT Technology Review: The Next Wave of Botnets Could Descend from the Skies. In two separate presentations last month, researchers showed off remote-controlled aerial vehicles loaded with technology designed to automatically detect and compromise wireless networks. The projects demonstrated that such drones could be used to create an airborne botnet controller for a few hundred dollars.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Economist: UAVs will be smaller, lighter, cheaper

The Economist: Joining the drone club: The future of air power is likely to be unmanned. It may also be surprisingly small. Reapers and Predators grab the headlines, but these big, high-profile drones are already outnumbered by small and cheap but capable craft.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drones, and the future of war

Link: The DIY Terminator: Private Robot Armies And The Algorithm-Run Future Of War

[...] as the tech becomes more democratized and more deadly, what happens when anyone can assemble an army of killing machines?