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Business & Technology

Pentagon Tests Military Use Of Micro-Drone Swarms In California

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Pentagon Tests Military Use Of Micro-Drone Swarms In California

2017-01-12 00:55:19

On Monday the U.S. Department of Defense announced a successful demonstration of one of the world's largest micro drone swarms. The exercise took place at China Lake in California, where three combat jets launched 103 Perdix drones, then tested advanced swarm behaviors, such as collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing. MIT's Lincoln Laboratory debuted Perdix in 2013, and ever since, the DoD has been upgrading the technology. The demonstration confirmed the drones' reliability under a variety of conditions - including high speeds, low temperatures and large shocks. Once launched, the micro drones - which run on AA batteries - gain situational awareness and locate other drones to create a swarm, which can stay airborne for 20 minutes. They may be used for low-altitude missions such as surveillance and reconnaissance, and the system's collective mind spread over an area "could provide an unprecedented level of information and be very hard to block."

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