Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been the new development in terms of military surveillance, allowing a pilot-less insertion of an aerial vehicle into enemy territory for purposes of collecting data, or simply maintaining the security of a country’s own air space.
UAVs are traditionally using remote control, requiring the “pilot” with the control console to have certain skills and abilities to launch, fly and land the UAV. In recent developments, UAVs are moving towards semi-autonomous and even fully autonomous operating conditions. Semi-autonomous UAVs require a pilot to launch the UAV after which it can be programmed to fly on auto-pilot beyond the radio’s range or out of the line-of-sight of the pilot on the ground. A fully autonomous UAV will be able to launch, fly and then land all by itself in a pre-programmed flight path.
The HERTI is one such UAV, developed by BAE Systems. HERTI, otherwise known as “High-Endurance Rapid Technology Insertion” is capable of conducting various reconnaissance missions for up to 25 hours, and boasts of new technology such as a collision avoidance system, which comprises of a radar and electro-optic sense-and-avoid system. It also has an “Autosoar” system, which gives it the ability to detect thermals on which the UAV is able to climb on, thereby giving it an extended operating range and time.
Oh Yide Andre