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Reconnaissance/patrol drones have preset routes like cruise missiles, and upload data by satellite so they don't have to come back in one piece to make the mission a success. There is little comm feed implied and that is easy to secure.

But the real problem is getting rid of all comms: This is an interesting issue. I don't know about those new technology drones, but in a large-scale deployment, they would have to be pretty autonomous: no way a central command would handle 10k+ drones on a battlefield, armies of Nintendo players are eerie. There's just no way a C3I network would support thousands of low-latency video-feeds and order anytime soon. It's just too much bandwidth. What bandwidth is available today is already expensive to get in a secure and stealth fashion: look at the money Thales and Sagem make on C3I chains, it's more than the actual weapons they sell.

A real combat drone would have to handle "high level language" orders like "patrol this area in a random pattern for six hours, freely engaging any moving vehicle on the ground and engaging upon confirmation for others..." A.I. systems still have a long way to go before humans can really delegate such tasks.

Pierre
by Pierre on Sun May 14th, 2006 at 04:30:22 PM EST
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"patrol this area in a random pattern for six hours[..]A.I. systems still have a long way to go before humans can really delegate such tasks

I agree, even if I lack AtinTM's knowledge on such issues. I can already picture a robot flying "randomly" over a small piece of land (because of randomly choosing to get left, then left, then again left, then left again ;))

That same robot would also be thiking along the lines of "six hours starting at what time exactly, and do I include processing time, do I use local time or HQ time, and do I suddenly stop flying randomly after six hours, what the hell do I do" pssssscht BOOM (robot head explodes)

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun May 14th, 2006 at 04:35:44 PM EST
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Well, you nailed an essential point so I have great hopes for you.

Stick with me kid and you'll be wearing horse turds as big as diamonds.

;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 14th, 2006 at 05:01:03 PM EST
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Using SWARM technology recon droids don't have to follow preset flight paths and for the overall mission parameters it is better if they don't follow preset flight paths.  Statistical analysis of military - especially Air Force - methods of operation, operational cycle time, yadda-yadda make preset missions easy - ok - easier to defeat.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 14th, 2006 at 04:39:06 PM EST
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