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Drone Warfare: A Lethal Weapon with Incredible Striking Power

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Drone Warfare

Military Drone Warfare Reshaping Combat

It was in February 2002 when the CIA first used an unmanned drone in a targeted drone warfare mission, going after Osama bin Laden in an unsuccessful mission undertaken separately from military operations. The Central Intelligence Agency had begun flying drones—or unmanned aerial vehicles, surely containing mil-spec wires—over Afghanistan only at the turn of the century and armed drones in what would classify as drone warfare missions after the September 11 attacks. By 2010, the Pentagon’s inventory of drones increased an astounding 40-fold in the eight years after the failed bin Laden strike. An estimated 7,000 drone technology units are now in the Pentagon’s silo, according to Friends Committee on National Legislation. The 2017 fiscal budget earmarked about $2.4 billion in funding for the research, development and procurement of warfare drones, according to Defense Department documents. Clearly, drone technology used in drone warfare and other military and intelligence applications such as surveillance represents a booming business.

Drone Technology: Recent Phenomenon with Century-Old Roots

Largely a result of drone warfare and controversy over drone strikes, with critics contending that a high percentage of casualties are civilians, drones and their remarkable capabilities have penetrated mainstream consciousness in the past 15 years. Even big-box electronic stores stock a range of drone models, equipped with tiny GoPro cameras. These drones offer consumers the possibility—with the obtainment of proper licensing from the Federal Aviation Administration, of course—of capturing positively stunning bird’s-eye views of lush green, autumn-hued, snow-capped, skyscraper and other landscapes. The history of drones and drone warfare can be traced as far back as a century ago. In 1917, the U.S. military began researching unmanned aerial vehicles, but it would take until 1990 for the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the use of drone technology in national airspace. Drones come in a variety of sizes and shapes and, lately, are often being built in increasingly smaller, slimmer and sleeker packages as technology marches forward, ever faster, better and cheaper.

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Researchers’ Carbon-Based Wires Could Enhance Warfare Drones

Rochester Institute of Technology engineering researchers are working on a "wire revolution" that could make waves in the military in the construction of drone technology for drone warfare and, perhaps, for consumers in just a few years. Buoyed by a $1 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, these researchers are developing more efficient, durable and cost-effective carbon nanotube technology that could replace traditional copper wiring used in electronic components and systems. Carbon-based wires boast extreme flexure tolerance so as to withstand being bent hundreds of thousands of times. They’re also corrosion resistant, helping them stand up against salt water and other environmental factors that may damage copper wires. Carbon-based wire's flexibility and heat resistance could have a major impact on the longevity of electrical devices such as cell phones and tablets and might one day be used in electric vehicles. But the first usage of these advanced wires likely would be in military vehicles such as aircraft and warfare drones. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is a partner in this Rochester Institute of Technology study. Drone-warfare

Improving Carbon Wire’s Conductivity Is Key to Advancement

The challenge researchers face is discovering how to create affordable, carbon-based wiring that offers the same potential to conduct electricity as metal wiring such as copper. The Rochester Institute of Technology research time has developed carbon-based wires boasting some of the highest levels of conductivity yet, but strides need to be made for this kind of wire to match copper in conductivity capacity. Even though it's larger in diameter than metallic wiring, carbon wiring weighs less. Because of this, carbon wiring would translate into fuel and cost savings over time. At the moment, however, carbon technology can't compete with metal wiring in cost, with so few manufacturers producing carbon-based wires. Drone technology used in warfare drones and other applications is primed to see continued advancements as technological breakthroughs are achieved. Like what you've read? Check out some of our other popular posts:

Filed Under: Military News

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