UAVs Assisting in Military Mapping
While drones are most commonly known as recreational toys, they also play an important role as tools being used in military/defense efforts. While using drones for these applications often times has negative connotations associated to attack, it is important to note the positive impact drones and UAVs can have for overall defense, and potentially repair of military assets. The US Navy specifically is working to create a system in which drones can assist in planning for the repair of planes throughout damaged airfields.
According to the head of the US Navy Expeditionary Combat Command ( NECC ), they are in need of a drone that can be used to fly over the damaged airfield and help strategize a plan to get these damaged planes back up and running again as quickly as possible. The UAVs will be enabled with artificial intelligence to help teams quickly find the best solution and expedite the repair process.
While laborsome, one option in this strategy is to build a system in which several damage scenarios are mapped to set recovery plans, based on what information the drone captures. Commercial drones already have the capacity to create highly detailed maps of vast areas and locations, with the ability to then send back that data to be further investigated. The difficulty in this use case is taking that data one step further and enabling the drone to analyze the data and make recommendations for repair. Mapping the area is one thing, but using the drones as part of the plan for repair is another, much more difficult task and the critical aspect of this plan. While not yet available, experts have reported that the wheels are already very much in motion and that the technology is already getting close to being ready.