Machine Team

The Air Force is exploring the use of “swarming” unmanned aerial vehicles for missions such as overwhelming enemy air defense systems, the outgoing service chief scientist said Wednesday. Specifically, USAF is looking at using “multiple small UAVs … like a swarm of bees” that “don’t run into each other” and all perform separate elements of “a set task … in conjunction with each other,” said Mica Endsley. They may have different kinds of sensors, and cue each other to look for certain patterns that would enhance the overall battle picture sent back to commanders. This approach has “the probability … of working very well for us” in a variety of missions, including the defeat of enemy air defenses, Endsley asserted.