The need for autonomy in unmanned systems is growing due to efforts to command and control for multiple unmanned aircraft simultaneously in ‘swarms’, as autonomy reduces manual labour, lowers manning costs, and increases the range of operations.
A 2017 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-sponsored Service Academies Swarm Challenge tasked two teams with finding new swarm and counter-swarm tactics that could defeat each other through air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes. The challenge initially involved simulated sensors, but then gradually moved towards actual live engagements, Delbert Christman, an assistant professor at the US Air Force Academy, said at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's (AUVSI's) Xponential 2018 in Denver.
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