Military drones set to get stronger chemical weapons and could soon make their OWN decisions during missions

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Drones that can choose to vary from a set mission and search in ‘swarms’ could be patrolling skies within the next 25 years, according to a new Roadmap.

Unmanned aircraft holding more stronger chemical weapons could also be on the horizon, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) showed in its Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap.

While the document sets out plans for unmanned maritime, land and air vehicles, there is a lot of emphasis on the long run ability of controversial drones, which, if the plans come to fruition, could vary from objective instructions set by humans if they identify a better target.

Military drones set to get stronger chemical weapons and could soon make their OWN decisions during missions

Current drones require intensive manpower on the ground to fly, which is expensive and the DoD plans on cutting costs by letting the machines make more decisions themselves, Live Science reported.

At the moment drones follow precise commands to complete a predetermined step-by-step mission, but the unmanned aircraft of the future could deviate from tasks, informed by ‘laws’ that govern their behaviour, laid out in algorithms and machine learning, as well as advanced sensors.

 

While drones, or unmanned aircraft, currently use GPS to navigate war zones and remote areas, the satellite signals used by the systems can be jammed easily, so the Defence Advanced Research  Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on jam-proof ‘inertial guidance systems’.

Current drones require intensive manpower on the ground, which is expensive and the DoD plans on cutting costs by letting the machines make more decisions themselves. A demonstrator model of Neuron, a pan-European stealth combat drone is picturedCurrent drones require intensive manpower on the ground, which is expensive and the DoD plans on cutting costs by letting the machines make more decisions themselves. A demonstrator model of Neuron, a pan-European stealth combat drone is pictured

 

The DoD’s roadmap also features plans for deadly ‘swarms’ of drone-bombs that are launched from an unmanned ‘mothership’ to circle the skies while a human operator searches for targets for the drones to crash into, guided by the bots’ on-bard cameras.

Thanks to the unmanned mothership, the kamikaze drones could have a range of over 250 nautical miles (463km) the roadmap said.

The weapons dropped by more traditional drones are also set to get more deadly under the plans, as researchers are working on ‘energetic nanoparticles’ with a larger surface areas so that the chemicals within the ammunition reach faster and create a more powerful explosion.

The technologies combined are intended to help the U.S. military be ‘more effective through greater automation and greater performance,’ the report says.

BIRD SPOTTING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: THE DRONE GUIDE THAT LETS SKY GAZERS SPOT FLYING ROBOTS BY THEIR SILHOUETTES

designer Ruben Pater's Drone Survival guide has been likened to 21st century bird watchingdesigner Ruben Pater’s Drone Survival guide has been likened to 21st century bird watching

 

A Dutch designer has penned the Drone Survival Guide, which like bird watching charts, shows the various shapes and sizes of flying objects by their silhouettes.

Ruben Pater’s guide, however, details the differing kinds of flying robots used at war, as well as survival tips of how to hide from them.

The majority of the drones selected for the chart are from NATO member countries, including the UK, France, Germany, U.S. and Canada.

This is because these countries have used drones in wars such as Afghanistan and are also more transparent than some other countries in disclosing information about the robots, such as their wingspan.

It uses a skull icon to show that a drone is used for attack and a little eye to denote a surveillance vehicle.

The chart, which Mr Pater describes as ‘21st century bird watching’ shows the vast array of flying war machines used today from the giant 130ft wingspan of the Global Hawk drone to the petite Parrot AC quadcopter, which measures just 23 inches.

He said: ‘Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack and their numbers are growing.

‘The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. soil alone.

‘As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarise ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.’

Source: Daily Mail

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