Bandwidth-starved military spyplane chiefs are resorting to the use of humans as airborne data-processing nodes, according to reports. Difficulties in deployment of unmanned robot surveillance craft have led to the purchase of basic civilian planes for use in intelligence work above Iraq and Afghanistan. For years now, ground …
Wouldn't some sort of high altitude blimp be the best solution to the bandwidth problem?
I'm sure Dickie Branson could lend some of his ballooning expertise to developing one...
Remember folks, trust is a moral action. Machines are not moral actors. If you can't trust pilots not to shoot up folks on the same side, you are going to trust an autonomous UACV?
Oh, and some NATO countries fly MIGs.
Why not just stick a troll inside and convince him it's just a game? Trolls iz cheap. Or pigeons.
Why not just install CCTV on all the street corners in afghanistan - it magically cuts crime by just being there.
bandwidth , what bandwidth ?
Just trying to get handle on which bandwidth is in question.
Is it satalight or ground based problems.
just thinking, the predators et all need to talk over the horizon, so tend to use satalights, but
could they not be set to use a more local relay like another plane near by but far enough away, which then uses microwave link to connect to ground based fibre optic internet,
thus no need for satalight bandwidth.
"operate in pairs"
All through this story I was wondering why they don't have a really cheap drone/blimp of some sort that can have a high endurance and just act as a relay. It wouldn't even take much to turn loose a fleet of them and using off the shelf kit make them into a fully meshed wireless network that can be fault tolerant (say while the replacement birds are heading up to position or bad weather) and get all the data back to the ground stations.
The whole point of tactical UAVs is that they fly in the area of interest of the tactical commander on the ground. In Afghanisatn the easiest solution might be to secure the odd mountain top and put the UAV ground station there with a high bandwidth line of sight terrestial link to wherever imagery is needed.
Incidentally it's only in the old fashioned services, RAF and RN, USAF, USN, etc that insist that a driver chappy has to be a proper orrficer. In the British army air corps most pilots are sergeants & WOs, they are trained as pilots having reached substantive corporal in any part of the army. A few years back there was some wonderful stuff in the Parliamentary Defence Cttee hearings when the elected representatives chastised the RAF and RN over their elitist ways, and RAF/RN justifications were BS and fiction of a very high order.
The RAF may still be a little embarrassed by the differences in treatment of officers and other ranks, when they were held as POWs in WW2.
The Army, on the other hand, doesn't need anything like as many junior officers in a combat unit as the RAF uses, and Sergeants would probably tell you that most of them are expendable.
The Army has never quite left the world of ten-rupee jezails. The RAF just issued goolie chits.
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