Military Robotics

UAVs in the War Against Terrorists

Posted 25 Sep 2001 at 13:38 UTC by steve Share This

Wired has a story on the major role that UAVs such as the Predator will play in the war against the terrorists who attacked the US. Both armed and unarmed UAVs will be employed. One Predator UAV may have been shot down already over Afghanistan. The low cost and low risk of using UAVs in areas where they are likely to be shot down makes them ideal for this mission.


Preditor vs Global Hawk, posted 25 Sep 2001 at 15:49 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

BTW Steve, I was just about to email you this article but noticed you already posted it. You're quick.

When are they going to start using the global hawk? Isn't it better, higher, etc?

Global Hawk, posted 25 Sep 2001 at 19:43 UTC by steve » (Master)

I ran across one article that speculated about the global hawk already being in use over Afghanistan. It can fly high enough that they'd never even know it was there. And they probably wouldn't mention it to us just yet either. :-)

From what I've been reading, the terrorists have networks of caves in the mountain regions, so I wonder what kind of remote sensing we can come up with to locate caves?

Finding Caves, posted 3 Oct 2001 at 13:51 UTC by rex » (Journeyer)

My immediate thought on finding caves was rather star trekian and involved lots of data processing and comparison of thermal sensing data and patterns.

If a more immediate solution is required I would think about designing a robot to crawl in with a seismometer and a satellite transmitter link. An F-15, F16, or F-14 could detonate a rocket at a laser designated site when enough of the robot squads were in place to take readings. Then the siezmotransports crawl on to the next location and wait for the next flyby or buzz bomb to impact.

Clearly there would be substantial attrition of these throwaway robots. Perhaps they could be equipped with some primitive arms operated via teleoperations (we would not want a kid to trigger an attack upon themselves) or commands so that if discovered by hostile terrorist forces they could take pot shots back and keep the terrorists pinned down for a while before attempting a kamikaze run on the nearest terrorist.

It is worth noting that such robots would have a lot of useful components so the design should verifiably destroy most of the most militarily valuable components or the terrorsts would soon be sending these back to civilization's cities, outposts, neighborhoods, and/or parks.

It is also worth noting that judicious stage acting would allow delivery of useful materials and wealth to double agents or freedom fighters in the area under guise of preparation for an overt U.S. military attack. While terrorist leaders waste their resources watching for paratroopers local freedom fighters might be eroding their support base until an almost bloodless coup or a final battle in defense of the free villages computer centers and schools solved the problem of thugs in charge.

Clearly once the thug governments are gone tactics will have to change so we are not arming barbarians with advanced technology allowing them to be more of a nuiscance than would otherwise be the case.

While an intelligent barbarian can probably duplicate anything in the field that civilization's advanced manufacturing processes can put out, it takes a lot of time and effort compared to walking into a military command post and requesting a security sweep of the neighborhood via robotic security forces because a barbarian was spotted crossing the SOSUS borders of the local parks.

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