How Do The Most Advanced Military Drones Work?

Drones are everywhere! They're used in television, movies, toys, military, construction, sports, manufacturing, and more And the newest technology is even more advanced than you know

The official name for the remote controlled "drones" we know and love/hate is UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, though the military calls them Unmanned Aerial Systems or UASs The word "drone" implies something which operates on its own, though most military drones or UAVs are simply remote controlled — but for the sake of simplicity we'll call them drones anyway… The first weaponized drone was flown in 1994 — the Predator MQ-1; but advances in the last 20 years have been incredible Take, for example, the largest drone around today: a 757-sized UAV called Triton operated by the US Navy

Its 130-foot wingspan and fuel efficiency allows it to fly 2,000 nautical miles in a mission, identify ships, de-ice its wings, and navigate turbulence — ALL without human interaction The thing can even be struck by lightning and still operate Most flying drones operate for 20 hours and are pre-programmed to fly to a specific area and look around, or piloted to a mission by a person in a ground station The military controls these giant aircraft from hundreds of miles away via satellite communications, GPS and the aircraft's onboard computers This combination of ground and space-based systems can affect how long information takes to get to the pilot — Predators took a long as five minutes to get detailed information, making the UAV system extra important, but today, the newest drones can provide 360 degree video, infrared, and radar data: all live

Most UASs include line-of-site control for take-off and landing, and satellite control during long flights and missions which would go out of range of a tower or antenna Obviously direct control is faster, satellites have a 1-second delay but if somehow the signal is lost from the human pilot, the drone can be programmed to fly in circles, or return to its take-off point

It can even land on its own if it has to Drones aren't only airborne The drone boat is a true autonomous and artificially intelligent helper boat These drone boats are programmed to swarm targets without human instruction — they can network with each other, and though they're unarmed, are supposed to isolate a craft or intercept enemy fire without putting people in harms way Another naval drone uses biomimicry technology to look like sharks or fish! These drones can operate in 10 inches of water or dive to 300 feet either tethered to a ship, or autonomously; only surfacing to communicate

They're unarmed, but key for intelligence gathering The future of drones is getting crazy Virtual Reality is coming, where pilots can "look" through cameras and pilot aircraft or boats like a video game It's already come to commercial drones used for Star Wars pod-racing-style games But the U

S Air Force is pulling out all the stops with their "secret" space shuttle The X-37B launched in 2012 and orbited the earth for 500 days autonomously, returning and landing on its own in 2014 No one knows what it's for… but it's technically a drone And people allegedly spotted Northrop-Grumman's flying wings over texas, a type of aircraft rumored for a long while, even tested by NASA, but still classified, if it exists at all

Drones have advanced so much in 20 years… will another 20 have them delivering pizzas, filming football games, going to asteroids and flying us around the globe Who knows, but one things for sure, they're here to stay There is something that could dampen drones in our time, if the people put their foot down and stop their use in the military, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen For more check out TestTube for the Pros and Cons of Drones in War here That being said, drones are machines, they're not just for attacking, plenty of drones are used for good! Seeker has a whole episode about how drones are making the world a better place

Which you can see here!

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