We are not a drone

Science and Technology News, Advanced Military Projects and Space Exploration

Moderators: ryguy, chrLz, Zep Tepi

We are not a drone

Postby longhaircowboy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:10 am

Apparently noone wants to fly alone.
http://www.popsci.com/drones
The age of remote-control warfare isn't coming--it's here, and not even the Air Force, which made it happen, is entirely prepared. Here, a firsthand look at the struggle to train thousands of drone pilots virtually overnight.

Technology again outstrips man. Ray?
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Memory...is an internal rumor.
George Santayana
User avatar
longhaircowboy
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 am
Location: Florida


Re: We are not a drone

Postby ryguy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:04 pm

They need to recruit teens from in front of the Xbox and PlayStations that sit in almost every teenager's bedroom in the country. These gamers could outmaneuver any AF trained "drone pilot" any day of the week. :)

-Ry
---
"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place." - Paul Kurtz

The RU Blog
Top Secret Writers
User avatar
ryguy
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 4920
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:49 am
Location: Another Dimension

Re: We are not a drone

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:03 pm

longhaircowboy wrote:Apparently noone wants to fly alone.
http://www.popsci.com/drones
The age of remote-control warfare isn't coming--it's here, and not even the Air Force, which made it happen, is entirely prepared. Here, a firsthand look at the struggle to train thousands of drone pilots virtually overnight.

Technology again outstrips man. Ray?


Have no fear....Northrop-Grumman to the rescue! :D

This article focuses on the UAVs that seem to get all the press: Predator and Reaper. These are built by our competitor General Atomics (GA). They are decidedly cheaper than Northrop-Grumman UAVs for a very good reason: They rely on a human pilot to fly it (Predator/Reaper both have VERY meager autopilots, and have no capability to takeoff, or land, autonomously). This is the difference in approach between GA and my company (NGC).

More than a third of the 200 Predators delivered to date have crashed catastrophically, due to both aircraft malfunction and human error.


Both of these are problems with the GA design approach: Minimal redundancy in their designs (if any!), and the reliance on a human on the ground to handle most tasks, including many flying tasks. Now what about that "little airplane that could" that not many people hear about, but is flying mission after mission every day for both the USAF and US Navy? I am speaking, of course, about the NGC Global Hawk. We have never lost a single Global Hawk when it was flying a real mission. And we have only lost one Global Hawk during high altitude endurance test flight, and the command-destruct button was purposefully engaged over the desert when the decision was made that the failures could not be recovered from.

The Global Hawk has dual-redundant flight control systems, so if one sustains a malfunction the other one is available to bring it home safely. The other major difference is that there is NO STICK AND THROTTLE on the ground based control station for Global Hawk. It is what we call an autonomous UAV. It flies on its own, which includes takeoff and landing. The operator merely programs the flight path s/he wants the Global Hawk to follow (and can always change that flight path in-flight) and the advanced, intelligent autopilot does the rest.

But the other NGC UAV that we have talked about here before, the UCAS-N (Unmanned Combat Air System-Navy), that we are developing to fly off of aircraft carriers is going to take the paradigm even further. Its design has triplex-redundant flight control systems. I designed the triplex throttle control system that controls the engine that Ryan's company builds. So the weakest link is actually the fact that it only has a single engine. But Ryan and his co-workers do such a good job with the engine design and monitoring, that it is pretty unlikely we will ever lose an engine on this baby. Engine monitoring has gotten to the point where, if monitored properly over the engine's operating time, one can predict when an engine will fail hours before it actually does. This can serve to prevent the military from dispatching a vehicle whose engine is almost "timed out".

So....in summary: While my competitors at GA are getting lots of press, and the operators of their products are having lots of fun tossing munitions at terrorists, we at NGC know the bigger design problems and we are addressing them methodically. Some of the more interesting stuff I work on is intelligent, adaptive system control designs for UAVs. It is one thing to make a UAV smart enough to fly an entire flight when it is healthy. But giving it the smarts to figure out, on its own, how to keep itself flying safely after either sustaining a failure, or incurring battle damage.... well, that's just a whole new world that will be brought to you thanks to Northrop-Grumman! The clear leader in UAV technology development! ;)

Ray
The Universe is an Integrated System. Operational, Functional, and Physical.
User avatar
You Can Call Me Ray
Uncovers Reality
Uncovers Reality
 
Posts: 1914
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:49 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA

Re: We are not a drone

Postby Access Denied » Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:37 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:This article focuses on the UAVs that seem to get all the press: Predator and Reaper.

Umm… that’s because they’re piloted by humans for a reason, hunting down and killing people. AI is nowhere near having the decision making ability required for that kind of responsibility… and likely (if not hopefully) never will be.

[see Asmiov’s Three Laws of Robotics for example]

Global Hawk is a passive surveillance platform… it doesn’t need human-like intelligence to perform it’s relatively basic mission. There’s simply no comparison…

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:We have never lost a single Global Hawk when it was flying a real mission.

Wrong.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Some of the more interesting stuff I work on is intelligent, adaptive system control designs for UAVs.

If that’s true that would explain what’s taking the Navy so long… :mrgreen:

The UCAS-D (X-47B) demonstrator (sans weapons) isn’t scheduled for sea trials until what… two years from now?

It will be even longer before we see anything in the field… that is assuming the program ever evolves beyond a X-plane. Something tells me it probably won’t.

LHC, in case you missed it, there was a good segment on 60 Minutes last weekend I think it was about UAV pilots… you might be able to find it on YouTube or something.
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: We are not a drone

Postby Access Denied » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:17 am

Never mind, found the video...

Drones: America's New Air Force
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/ ... 1439.shtml

She had to be cleared for access... love those censored displays.

By the way, love your thread title too... clever.
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: We are not a drone

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:42 pm

Access Denied wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:We have never lost a single Global Hawk when it was flying a real mission.

Wrong.


On that sole issue, I stand corrected. There were two Block 10 (RQ-4A) GH's lost in the SW Asia theater (Afghanistan and Pakistan) in the early part of this decade. RQ-4B has a better record. But still, as compared to the Predator loss rate, autonomous flight capability still proves its worth.

As for the other comments, they are not worthy of my reply, as I was never even talking about automating the decision to launch a weapon. Apples and oranges.

Ray
The Universe is an Integrated System. Operational, Functional, and Physical.
User avatar
You Can Call Me Ray
Uncovers Reality
Uncovers Reality
 
Posts: 1914
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:49 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA

Re: We are not a drone

Postby longhaircowboy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:48 am

Ray- I was hopin I could get an update outta ya with this thread. Thanks.
My youngest son is enlisting and I'm tryana talk him into piloting drones. That way he wouldn't have to be in a combat zone. (Disclaimer: I volunteered Army in '74- 2ND Armored Ft. Hood Texas) Tried to get a job with one of the contractors but didn't have the right clearance.
BTW Ray how would you characterize the AI in use in yer UAV with the others? Apollo 11 had a wristwatch.
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Memory...is an internal rumor.
George Santayana
User avatar
longhaircowboy
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 am
Location: Florida

Re: We are not a drone

Postby Access Denied » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:07 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:On that sole issue, I stand corrected.

Thank you.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:As for the other comments, they are not worthy of my reply, as I was never even talking about automating the decision to launch a weapon.

Really? Then please provide evidence to support your assertion, given the very different mission requirements I pointed out, how the NG design approach will resolve the “problems” with the GA design approach for performing the same mission as the GA solutions.

[Hint: Agility and situational awareness are probably two of the most important "problems" that need to be addressed]

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Apples and oranges.

Is there an echo in here?
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: We are not a drone

Postby longhaircowboy » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:20 am

The Global Hawk expereinced numerous crashes none due to enemy fire.
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-371341.html
The Central Command said the aircraft was not downed by hostile fire. Pentagon officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the cause appeared to be engine failure.

It was the second Global Hawk aircraft to crash since the war ...

Others had maintenance issues. They also had a large number of crashes during the development phase.
I wish you better luck Ray.
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Memory...is an internal rumor.
George Santayana
User avatar
longhaircowboy
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 am
Location: Florida

To drone or not to drone

Postby longhaircowboy » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:18 am

Hey Ray you involved in this?
http://defensesystems.com/articles/2010 ... =ds_110110
Tech delivers video recon to warfighter radios Just curious. Looks like some good stuff.
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Memory...is an internal rumor.
George Santayana
User avatar
longhaircowboy
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 am
Location: Florida

Re: To drone or not to drone

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:55 pm

Hi LHC,

longhaircowboy wrote:Hey Ray you involved in this?
http://defensesystems.com/articles/2010 ... =ds_110110
Tech delivers video recon to warfighter radios Just curious. Looks like some good stuff.


Nope. I just work on the flying bits, and try not to get involved at all with the transmitting/recieving bits (except as a user of their most excellent data services). :)

Ray
The Universe is an Integrated System. Operational, Functional, and Physical.
User avatar
You Can Call Me Ray
Uncovers Reality
Uncovers Reality
 
Posts: 1914
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:49 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA


Google

Return to Science & Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron