Quick Study

By Brian Robinson

Blog archive

The Army unfolds a roadmap for unmanned aircraft systems

It’s not usual for me, or anyone else that I know for that matter, to recommend a government document as a great piece of reading, but I’d stray from that norm and point to the U.S. Army Roadmap for UAS 2010-2035.

I’m not saying it’s great literature, and there’s sections of it that would serve well as a sleep aid, but for overall entertainment for the techie minded among you I think it makes the grade.

Turn first to a section that describes the far-term of the Army’s roadmap for its unmanned aircraft systems, which describes what the Army sees happening in the 2026-2035 timeframe. It talks there, among other things, about using bug-like nano UAVs to survey buildings before soldiers enter them, and use clouds of the critters operating as interlinked smart warfighting array of reconfigurable modules (SWARM) to do the same for area reconnaissance.

There’s lots of similar acronymic stuff in the document (this is the Army, after all), but most of it has a similar heft, particular that for both the far-term and mid-term (2016-2025) chapters.

Taken individually, none of the technologies will come as a surprise as they’ve been talked of before. But the roadmap provides a context for how they will work together, and it promotes a grand vision that’s pretty sweeping. Twenty years from now, battlefields and the skies over American itself could be filled with these flying robots.

There are provisos, of course, as there always is. The military overall wants as many unmanned aircraft as it can get it hands on, but the Government Accountability Office recently warned that the military’s ability to handle the number it already has is stretched. And then there’s a small matter about making sense of all of the data these things produce.

Pshaw! Don’t let these piddling matters interfere with the dream. Read the thing first. Reality can come later.

Posted on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:19 PM


Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.