Global defence and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, will soon demonstrate a new command and control system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that would likely allow a relatively small ground control staff to control hundreds, if not thousands of such aircraft.
According to company officials, the six-month demonstration programme, using Internet protocol version 6, would focus on distributing command and control among multiple controllers-including a possible split between control of sensors and of the aircraft's movement.
Future demonstrations would involve operators controlling disparate aspects of multiple aircraft, each task assigned a unique IP address to share a single spectrum of radio frequency. This would also help to conserve valuable bandwidth in the theatre of operations.
All this, said programme manager Frank Cuccias, would allow a relatively small ground control staff to control hundreds, if not thousands of aircraft.
By using the new Internet protocol standard, which allows for more IP addresses in a single frequency spectrum, the military gains the ability to operate multiple UAVs without having to squander multiple radio frequencies.
The system also provides much greater security.