|Author||: Frank Schätzing|
|Publisher||: Hodder Paperbacks|
|Release Date||: 22 February 2007|
|Pages||: 896 pages|
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'Something strange and terrible is happening deep in the oceans. Tides and currents are shifting, normally peaceful creatures are attacking, ships are sinking, fishermen drowning. The world ecology is in crisis ... and this is just the beginning. Led by the claret-loving Norwegian Sigur Johanson and the Inuit whale expert Leon Anawak, a motley group of scientists find themselves in a race against time to prevent a global cataclysm -- and to head off those who want to exploit it in their own pursuit of power.'--Back cover.
- THEY ARE SWARM.
- – DRONE SWARMS.
- And they are future of robotic warfare.
- The Swarm war has begun
- In 2019, 25 massed drones in two waves attacked the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais.
- Analysis of satellite images of the Abqaiq facility before and after the attacks showed 19 individual strikes. What was noteworthy was that the Saudi air defence, including the potent MIM-104 Patriot and Crotale NGs failed to stop these waves of drones and cruise missiles.
- This demonstrates how a group of drones and cruise missiles coming from multiple directions can escape undetected for long and overwhelm conventional air defences.
- A profound transformation in warfare is underway, based on advances in two interconnected critical technologies related to artificial intelligence and machine autonomy. The convergence of these technologies is enabling the concept of ‘Drone Swarms’, made up of cooperative, autonomous robots that react to the battlefield as one — this concept will fundamentally alter the rules and nature of warfare in the 21st century.
- SWARM is an acronym for ‘Smart War-Fighting Array of Reconfigured Modules’. The basic ‘Drone Swarm Technology’ revolves around the ability of a very large number of drones, generally in the mini/micro category to autonomously make decisions based on shared information, and has the potential to revolutionise the dynamics of conflict.
- In simple terms it is like a hive of bees geared towards a single larger objective but each bee capable of acting on its own in relation to other bees to meet that objective. Due to the significant number of drones that can form part of any swarm, there is considerable degree of autonomy that the swarm as a whole and individual drones can exercise in finding and engaging targets.
- Swarm robotics is an approach to the coordination of multiple autonomous robots as a system which consists of a large number of mostly physical robots, controlled by minimal human These exhibit collective self organising (SO) behaviour through interaction and cohesion between robots, as well as interaction of robots with the environment.
- Once unleashed an armed, fully autonomous drone swarms (AFADS) with distributed AI will locate, identify, and attack targets without human
- The United States is the world leader in swarm technology and has underway a host of swarming UAV and munition initiatives.
- It demonstrated the Perdix swarm in 2017. A trio of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters release a total of 103 Perdix drones in air.
- The drones formed up at a preselected point and then headed out to perform four different missions. Three of the missions involved hovering over a target while the fourth mission involved forming a 100-meter- wide circle in the sky. The demo showed Perdix’s collective distributed intelligence, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing
- The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has also showcased the X-61A Gremlin air launched drones. The idea behind DARPA’s Gremlins program is to turn cargo aircraft like the C-130 into motherships capable of launching and retrieving swarms of small
- The US Navy and Marine Corps’ Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program, which fires small UAVs from a tube-based launcher to conduct varied class of missions, is another swarm development underway.
- Further, the USAF’s ‘Skyborg’ initiative aims to design and deploy an artificially intelligent fleet of loyal wingman unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV).
- The Chinese are the closest in matching the high density drone swarm capability of the United States and in many ways are replicating the US R&D initiatives with development of AI empowered autonomous drone swarms.
- Recently The China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology (CAEIT) tested a 48 x tube launched drone swarm of CH- 901 UAVs. CAEIT in the past has demonstrated a 200 unit drone military swarm in 2017.
- Chinese companies have also demonstrated impressive swarms of 1,000 plus drones using quad-copter-type drones for large public displays, which however are ground controlled and do not have distributed intelligence.
- In India, the Indian Air Force has been pioneering swarm drone research and development with its Meher Baba initiative since 2019. This is geared towards in depth humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR)
- the Indian Army showed off a mature offensive capability with a swarm of 75 autonomous drones with distributed intelligence and edge computing, destroying a variety of simulated targets with kamikaze attacks during India’s Army Day parade
The Ardent Swarm
- The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India has unveiled the Air Launched Flexible Asset (ALFA -S) air launched swarming drone system as part of it next generation Combat Air Teaming System (CATS). This is a unique program which utilises a network of air launched remote carriers and swarming units to penetrate contested airspace.
What did we learn?
- A new age warfare is upon us.
- The DRONE SWARM.
- Remember few names of different systems being developed.
- Keep an eye on Indian developments – In Drone Swarm Technology
- India shall stay prepared and ahead in this technological race.