During a test in California military of the US has launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet. Last October three F/A-18 Super Hornets were used to release the Perdix.
The drones operate autonomously and share distributed brain. According to a military analyst the devices were likely to be used for surveillance. They were able to dodge air defence systems.
The drones were launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets
Video footage of the test was published online by the Department of Defense. William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office said: “Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature.Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”
The drones were designed by engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2013 they modified the drones for military testing. Elizabeth Quintana, at the Royal United Services Institute said: “When looking at how you deal with air defence systems that are optimised to spot very large, fast-moving aircraft, small, cheap disposable drones seem to be one solution,”
Asia also doesn’t want to stay behind, late last year the Chinese also demonstrated a swarm of larger, fixed-wing drones.
“They have a tremendous amount of expertise in the country,” Ms Quintana told the BBC. “It’s going to be very interesting – it won’t just be about who has the biggest swarm but also about who can out-manoeuvre who.”
It’s kind of scary though that these swarming drones in future could be used to for everything from taking down enemy air defences to electronic warfare to reconnaissance. Technology is growing like crazy and it scares me more and more.