Designing Unmanned Systems with Greater Autonomy: Using a Federated, Partially Open Systems Architecture Approach
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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In 2008, U.S. Department of Defense DoD Secretary Robert Gates pushed the military services to field more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR assets in an effort to address the warfighter s insatiable appetite for the information these systems provide. Since that time, the DoD has made substantial progress in fielding more, and more capable unmanned aircraft systems UAS to meet the needs of warfighters in different theaters of operation. Innovative UAS platforms and sensors have been introduced by the defense community in the last decade to meet urgent operational needs to include systems with greater endurance and improved sensors. However, innovation has also led to development of multiple programs with different communications systems, which can contribute to interoperability problems and limit both the degree to which information collected by these systems can be shared and how these systems can work together, with other systems, and be controlled by warfighters in different units or military services. Today, unmanned systems encompass more than unmanned aircraft to include unmanned vehicles UxVs and unmanned systems UxS that operate on land and at sea. Such systems are having an effect on the way important missions are conducted, yet they also introduce a number of challenges the number of personnel needed to operate and manage the increasing number and type of unmanned systems, the survivability of these systems against new threats, and the ability of these systems to operate in more complex and contested environments. These challenges can potentially be met by fielding unmanned systems with greater autonomy, but to date, as noted by the Defense Science Board DSB, such progress has been limited.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Military Intelligence