Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is pushing ahead with a program that will allow U.S. military drones to navigate in an intense electronic warfare (EW) environment without ever having to rely on GPS (the Global Positioning System).
If realized, this aim will be a game changer. Aerial drones untethered from GPS will erase the vulnerability of these robots to jamming and other EW techniques.
DARPA revealed it’s successfully demonstrated the ability of drone swarms non-reliant on GPS to operate in the face of enemy jamming thanks to its ongoing CODE (Collaborative Operations in Denied Environments) program.
CODE will develop sophisticated software that enables drone swarms to work together under a single person’s control as they conduct operations in denied or contested airspace. The goal is for CODE’s human operator to monitor the swarm without micromanaging it. He will allow autonomous drones to improvise and adjust as they pursue their mission.
CODE technology can be compared to wolves hunting in coordinated packs.
DARPA tested the technology during a recent three-week series of exercises at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The CODE systems included as many as six live and 24 virtual drones.
The drones collaborated to navigate, search, and engage both pre-planned and pop-up targets. These CODE-equipped systems demonstrated an ability to “adapt and respond to unexpected threats in an anti-access area denial environment.”
When communications or GPS were degraded or denied, CODE vehicles were able to maintain their mission plan and accomplish mission objectives without direction from humans said DARPA.
“The test series expanded on previously demonstrated approaches to low bandwidth collaborative sensing and on-board planning. It demonstrated the ability to operate in more challenging scenarios, where both communications and GPS navigation were denied for extended periods,” said Scott Wierzbanowski, DARPA CODE program manager.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate