One of today’s keynote speeches is held by Dr. Lars Rundqwist from SAAB. The topic of the speech is
An overview of the American UAV is given. For example, typically two or three operators are required to man the aircraft. The collaboration between the vehicles is typically on the human level at the home/remote control base.
The Chinese soar eagle is also mentioned.
Currently research is on many small vehicles (swarms, etc.) The “new” vehicles should have a high level of autonomy, require a less number of operators per unit, adaptable to the mission, coordinated flight, task and role (re)allocation during mission.
A short description of Technology Readiness Levels is given. A thermometer of the status of your project. This project targets TRL 5. Further on, an outline of different autonomy levels is also presented. The project uses 6 levels. The lowest implies that remote operator controls everything. The highest implies that only an interrupt can be given by the operator, the rest is handled by the UAVs.
The technical challenges are plenty, plenty — all the way from flying the machine up to mission management, contingency plans, decision makings, etc. The main focus though, is on flight management and mission management where the flight management currently takes most resources.
Some more UAV:s
Dr. Lundqwist describes a few examples on adaptation where the mission needs to be redefined on-the-fly (sorry). Even though a target has been identified there might be other hidden threats along the path. How do we manage the group of aircrafts to pass the threats but still take out the target, or possibly take out new target along the path.
(… and the project is run on Linux machines, CentOS distro btw.)