Aerial swarms as asymmetric threats

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Despite being unmatched on the battlefield or at home, low-cost, asymmetric threats have proven dangerous for U.S. military forces and homeland security. The proliferation of improvised explosive devices of all types in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters has demonstrated that inexpensive, commercial off-the-shelf technology and some electronics knowledge can be combined to significantly impact high-tech operations. Autonomous GPS-guided and semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles will change the paradigm in their employment in the very near future. While a single attack might be insignificant, a swarm of robotic devices could prove a credible threat. In this paper we discuss the impact and limitations of commercially off-the-shelf drones and what measures might be used to counter these devices. We back up our findings with flight tests and observations on systems commonly used for research but also easily available to adversaries and bad actors. Finally, we present some speculation on the potential implementation of swarms using these vehicles as a continuation to the discussion.
Drones, Batteries, DC motors, Brushless motors, Software, Global Positioning System
S. Wilkerson, C. Korpela, K. Chang, A. Lee and A. Gadsden, "Aerial swarms as asymmetric threats," 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Arlington, VA, USA, 2016, pp. 381-386, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS.2016.7502615.