Swarm Technology for UAV
Drone swarm technologies allow multiple UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) to co-ordinate their operations and work together to accomplish a variety of tasks that either cannot be performed by a single drone, or would be too inefficient to do so. Each drone may perform a similar role or have one of a number of specialized roles, such as data gathering, weapons, or communications relaying.
Drone swarming requires a variety of advanced capabilities, such as the ability to maintain separation to avoid collision and the ability for each tactical drone to predict where its neighbours will be at any one time. These capabilities may be facilitated by real-time sensing as well as artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms.
Drone Swarm Communications
Swarm communications for UAV may rely on RF (radio frequency), cellular or satellite communications (SATCOM).
The swarm may utilise ad-hoc networking technologies, particularly when operating BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) and over large areas where existing connectivity is not guaranteed. Individual drones may connect to and disconnect from the network all the time, making a decentralized ad-hoc network structure highly suitable.
Drone Swarm Control
UAV swarm control can often be performed via a single GCS (ground control station), simplifying deployment and equipment requirements. The drones will be largely operating autonomously, so that a single operator does not have to control multiple drones in real time by themselves.
Drone swarming can be used for a variety of different applications in both civilian and military roles. It can be used to map or survey large areas in a short period of time, providing vital information for tactical operations, precision agriculture, utility inspection and more. Military drones can also be deployed as single-use loitering munitions against enemy threats.
Drone swarm technology can also be used with other robotic vehicles, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) or unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).