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Activity title

Evaluation of Swarm System for Military Applications

Activity Reference

SCI-334

Panel

Systems Concepts and Integration

Security Classification

NATO UNCLASSIFIED

Status

Proposed

Activity type

RTG

Start date

2020

End date

2023

Keywords

autonomous operations, autonomous systems, autonomy, C2, command control, communications, countermeasures, cybersecurity, disruptive technologies, future, joint forces, missions, paradigm change, swarm, swarm architecture, unmanned systems

Background

Swarms are increasingly considered as the future way of warfare and a major disruptive technology that will change the way wars are carried. The U.S. Air Force has already tested the Perdix swarm of aerial micro-drones launched from F/A-18D Hornet fighters as technology demonstrators. Other ground- or ship-launched swarm drones was the LOCUST (Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology) system. China is also testing an army of 56 tiny drone ships that might be used as shark swarm against enemies during sea battles, being able to replicate carriers, avoid each other and change direction rapidly. Moreover, China’s 119-fixed wing swarm has demonstrated various new military applications of swarm systems. Swarm systems can either operate autonomously as a decentralized system, or as a centralized man-controlled semiautonomous system, situation that can be evaluated differently. Swarm intelligence is seen as the core of artificial intelligence and the future of intelligent unmanned systems. Swarms have recently become a disruptive force to change the rules of the wargame. Current activities carried by STO are carried towards the evaluation of swarm systems for military applications, such as the SCI-ET-044.

Objectives

The objective of the RTG is to create a 101 on swarm system architectures (size, type, number, covered area, on-board equipment, level of autonomy) for various mission scenarios (ConOps). The study will evaluate how integration with current weapons can be made and what future standards are needed. Control and use of swarms imply testing and own countermeasure protection systems that will be evaluated. Scenarios will be designed and evaluate.

Topics

1. Swarm systems ConOps a. Air, ground, and water b. Urban and unstructured 2. Swarm systems architectures a. Homogeneous and heterogeneous b. Air, ground, and water c. Distributed vs. centralized 3. Swarm systems communication networks (MANET/FANET/VANET) and telemetry 4. Swarm systems task allocation 5. Swarm systems standardization 6. Swarm systems protection measures a. Countermeasures b. Safety measures

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