Unmanned aircraft to get cues from unattended ground sensors
Spy Â€śrocksÂ€ talking to robot aircraft might be the future of
In February, the company plans to have its self-powered ad-hoc network (SPAN) automatically cue a hand-launched unmanned aircraft in a test held at
Â€śAll the technical applications are in place. WeÂ€™re just waiting to get the airspace clearance,Â€
Hidden in fake fibreglass rocks or covered by topsoil, SPAN sensors provide low-cost acoustic and seismic surveillance over a targeted area without requiring frequent battery changes.
If something triggers a sensor, that information bounces from one SPAN node to another until it reaches a tactical operations center, where an operator can dispatch an unmanned aircraft to the site of the alarm.
Now Lockheed wants to eliminate the need for the operations centre and have SPAN directly communicate with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Â€śItÂ€™s just so much faster to be able to have the UAV be cued automatically,Â€ Moore explains.
So far, the
The next step is to offer SPAN, along with the companyÂ€™s 6kg (13.2lb) Stalker unmanned aerial vehicle, as a turnkey solution. The pair Â€śgives you more operational effectivenessÂ€ than just having ground sensors and drones working in isolation, he says.
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