Video: US Navy F/A-18s release drone swarms in technology demonstration


The U.S. Department of Defense revealed in a January 9 statement that three U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets launched one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms during an October 2016 demonstration at China Lake, California.

The 103 Perdix drones launched from the Super Hornets demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said SCO director William Roper. “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 Strategic Capabilities Office partnered with the Department of Defense and Naval Air Systems Command to work on this program.

Originally designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering students, the Perdix drone was modified for military use by the scientists and engineers of MIT Lincoln Laboratory starting in 2013.

Drawing inspiration from the commercial smartphone industry, Perdix software and hardware has been continually updated in successive design generations.

Now in its sixth generation, October’s test confirmed the reliability of the current all-commercial-component design under potential deployment conditions—speeds of Mach 0.6, temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius, and large shocks—encountered during ejection from fighter flare dispensers.

The demonstration is one of the first examples of the Pentagon using teams of small, inexpensive, autonomous systems to perform missions once achieved only by large, expensive ones. Roper stressed the department’s conception of the future battle network is one where humans will always be in the loop. Machines and the autonomous systems being developed by the DoD, such as the micro-drones, will empower humans to make better decisions faster.

As SCO works with the military Services to transition Perdix into existing programs of record, it is also partnering with the Defense Industrial Unit-Experimental, or DIUx, to find companies capable of accurately replicating Perdix using the MIT Lincoln Laboratory design. Its goal is to produce Perdix at scale in batches of up to 1,000.

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Sea-Air-Space 2018

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

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Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology 2017

Maximising Maritime Situational Awareness Capabilities for the Safety and Protection of International Waters

Gold Sponsor: PAE
Sponsored by: exactEarth

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After last year’s huge success the SMi Group is proud to announce the 2nd Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology. The event will be held in Rome on the 30th and 31st of January 2017.

Based on the success of the 2016 conference, we aim to replicate and improve by providing a more regional focus, not just on the Mediterranean, but other areas of interest including the Black Sea and further beyond in the Asia Pacific region. All of which have keen collective interest on ensuring the safety and security of legitimate maritime activities.

This high level meeting will bring together senior military leadership, project decision makers, technical experts and cutting edge industry solution providers to explore future endeavours that will enhance the security and stability of the world’s oceans.

The 2017 programme will:

  • Provide a wider regional focus outside of the Mediterranean where challenges are also persistent
  • Feature high ranking military personnel involved with the enhancement of maritime surveillance platforms and systems
  • Present a running theme on the importance of information sharing as operations are increasingly conducted at an international level
  • Include Informal networking time to talk to peers and colleagues also shaping and influencing Maritime ISR programs today
  • Allow learning on how other nations are developing their maritime surveillance and reconnaissance provision from past experience and cutting edge research and development
  • Get to the heart of challenges faced by modern maritime forces such as capability gaps and what requirements they now have

HOST NATION KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

  • Rear Admiral Giovanbattista Raimondi, Chief of C4 and Security Department, Italian Navy
  • Rear Admiral Nicola Carlone, Chief of Operations, Italian Coast Guard
  • Colonel Sergio Cavuoti, Chief of the Intelligence and Awareness Policy Branch of the Air Staff Aerospace Planning Division, Italian Air Force

REGIONAL EXPERT SPEAKERS:

  • Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, EU Navfor Med Operation Commander, EU Naval Force
  • Commodore William Ellis, Commander CTF-67, US Naval Forces Europe
  • Captain Jan De Beurme, Chief of Staff, Belgian Navy
  • Captain Fernando Angelo, Director, Navy Intelligence Analysis Centre,  Portuguese Navy 
  • Wing Commander Richard Berry, P-8 Poseidon Program Manager, Royal Air Force
  • Commander Michael Sela, Head of C5I Branch in the R&D department, Israeli Navy
  • Commander Pasi Staff, Chief of Surveillance, Finnish Navy
  • Commander Hannes Schroeder-Lanz, Branch Chief C4ISR, Germany Navy
  • Guy Thomas, Director, C-SIGMA
  • Gerard O’Flynn, Head of SAR Ops, Irish Coast Guard
  • Leendert Bal, Head of Department C Operations, European Maritime Safety
  • Joachim Beckh, Technical Working Group Chair, MARSUR
  • Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Hudson, Former Commander, NATO MARCOM

 

HOW TO REGISTER:

EALYBIRDS AVAILABLE:

BOOK BY 30TH SEPTEMBER TO SAVE £400

BOOK BY 31ST OCTOBER TO SAVE £200

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Register online at: www.maritime-recon.com/navaltoday or email Justin Predescu on
jpredescu@smi-online.co.uk

 

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10th annual Border Security Conference

The 2017 conference will possibly be the most relevant and topical event to date as we enter our 10th successive year…

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Sea-Air-Space 2017

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

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