Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

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Skipjack
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Skipjack »

I dont agree that it is that big of a problem and clearly neither does the US Airforce.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Tom Ligon »

The numbers our controls guys rattled around for smaller UAVs suggest to me that if your control inputs are half a second late you are just plain doomed. Really big craft could stand longer, but in general they hate any kind of delay, and tens of milliseconds make them cranky.

Which argues against using stick-to-surface control (what the RC guys use when flying models they can see directly) when sitting in some place civilized and controlling a remote piloted vehicle somewhere half a world away. But I don't think anybody in the business is doing stick-to-surface. The aircraft has at least some degree of autonomy, and its control system is closing the loop fast. All a pilot is doing is essentially programming an autopilot from a remote location. The really critical thing is to have some human judgement deciding what to look at and especially what to shoot at. There is generally a delay of some seconds in the command structure to authorize deadly force. You want to minimize it but a few hundred milliseconds is only likely to be critical in air to air combat.

As long as the craft are flying themselves, I see no problem with some latency in the pilot's inputs.

Diogenes
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Diogenes »

Ten-engine electric plane prototype takes off


Image


A team at NASA's Langley Research Center is developing a concept of a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. The prototype, called Greased Lightning or GL-10, is currently in the design and testing phase. The initial thought was to develop a 20-foot wingspan (6.1 meters) aircraft powered by hybrid diesel/electric engines, but the team started with smaller versions for testing, built by rapid prototyping.


http://phys.org/news/2015-05-ten-engine ... otype.html
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
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hanelyp
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by hanelyp »

Ten-engine electric plane prototype takes off
Looks like a refined variation of something I saw on youtube a couple months ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf7iNRdn4EI
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

palladin9479
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by palladin9479 »

Tom Ligon wrote:The numbers our controls guys rattled around for smaller UAVs suggest to me that if your control inputs are half a second late you are just plain doomed. Really big craft could stand longer, but in general they hate any kind of delay, and tens of milliseconds make them cranky.

Which argues against using stick-to-surface control (what the RC guys use when flying models they can see directly) when sitting in some place civilized and controlling a remote piloted vehicle somewhere half a world away. But I don't think anybody in the business is doing stick-to-surface. The aircraft has at least some degree of autonomy, and its control system is closing the loop fast. All a pilot is doing is essentially programming an autopilot from a remote location. The really critical thing is to have some human judgement deciding what to look at and especially what to shoot at. There is generally a delay of some seconds in the command structure to authorize deadly force. You want to minimize it but a few hundred milliseconds is only likely to be critical in air to air combat.

As long as the craft are flying themselves, I see no problem with some latency in the pilot's inputs.

Which is why I mentioned
Things like CAS and interdiction / air superiority are things that require manned pilots while surgical strikes and surveillance lend themselves very well to unmanned remotely operated vehicles.
The drone will be semi-autonomous, your not directly flying it so much as giving in general commands (move left / right / up / down) and actions (shoot / take picture / drop bomb / ect..) whilst letting the on-board programming interpret those commands and translate them into flight control surface movements and so forth. There will be a noticeable lag between the time the plane sends sensor data, the human analyzing that sensor data and the time to send the command back to the plane. In some roles that lag doesn't effect the mission profile or success rate, target selection prior to the drone getting close like what happens for an airstrike isn't an issue because there is little requirement for split second judgements. Same with taking photographs or just patrolling an area, there is no need to make rapid decisions in a small amount of time. Something like Close Air Support on the other hand requires the pilot to visually confirm the targets and attack vector after they are on site. This isn't something that can be pre-programmed in ahead of time because ground forces will be in very close proximity to each other and the chance of fratricide grows astronomically the further the execution the target and vector are selected. This is probably the single biggest reason the A10 is so amazingly effective at doing CAS, they can get on site, stay on site and the pilot can select targets and attack vectors that best fit the situation and they can do this on a second by second basis. Air interdiction is similar, whenever your intercepting an unknown possibly enemy aircraft, you must wait till your close enough to identify it and then execute the kill or no-kill order, maybe even communicate for it to turn around or escort to the nearest airbase. Those all require human judgement and potentially could require split second decisions be made should things not go "as planned".

So drones have their place and are an amazingly effective tool when deployed. They are not nor ever will be an total solution.

palladin9479
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by palladin9479 »

Skipjack wrote:I dont agree that it is that big of a problem and clearly neither does the US Airforce.
Do not project your beliefs onto the Airforce, your not that good. The Airforce most certainly believes there will always be a need for human pilots, they have zero intention of replacing all human pilots with drones. What they are doing is looking for ways to replace expensive piloted aircraft with cheap remotely piloted drones as a means to save an extraordinary amount of cash, which is a smart thing.

GIThruster
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by GIThruster »

palladin9479 wrote:Do not project your beliefs onto the Airforce, your not that good. The Airforce most certainly believes there will always be a need for human pilots, they have zero intention of replacing all human pilots with drones.
Do not project your beliefs onto the Airforce, you're not that good. USAF is not a monolithic group think that all approach this issue with the same beliefs. What they have done in the past is no measure of what they will do in the future.

What Tom is saying makes good sense. If you give a drone enough AI to dogfight, you can use it semi-autonomously, and the aircrafts' frames can be built to make much harder turns in the sky than the human body can take, so it is the dogfighting role that drones will eventually shine brightest in. Taking pilots out of harm's way when delivering air strikes is nothing new. If we can use X-47b's instead of Tomahawks, then there may be an economic advantage, but it will be a very long time before we see it. Dogfighting drones that can pull 12 gees. . .that's an advantage one could leverage immediately, and if we don't we will be in no position to provide air superiority against those who do.

Pilots have to come out of the plane eventually. The human body is too fragile to withstand the gee loading future air battles will generate.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Skipjack
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Skipjack »

palladin9479 wrote:
Skipjack wrote:I dont agree that it is that big of a problem and clearly neither does the US Airforce.
Do not project your beliefs onto the Airforce, your not that good. The Airforce most certainly believes there will always be a need for human pilots, they have zero intention of replacing all human pilots with drones.
I never said they would replace ALL human pilots with drones, but drones will make the majority of planes and they will go in first. Humans will stay in the background and will pick off what left over after the attrition of the enemy.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Tom Ligon »

GIThruster wrote:
What Tom is saying makes good sense. If you give a drone enough AI to dogfight, you can use it semi-autonomously, and the aircrafts' frames can be built to make much harder turns in the sky than the human body can take, so it is the dogfighting role that drones will eventually shine brightest in. Taking pilots out of harm's way when delivering air strikes is nothing new. If we can use X-47b's instead of Tomahawks, then there may be an economic advantage, but it will be a very long time before we see it. Dogfighting drones that can pull 12 gees. . .that's an advantage one could leverage immediately, and if we don't we will be in no position to provide air superiority against those who do.

Pilots have to come out of the plane eventually. The human body is too fragile to withstand the gee loading future air battles will generate.
The other way of looking at this is that we can presently afford, and could for the foreseeable future, to field human-powered fighters, when most of our opponents can't afford to. When is the last time any of our pilots got into an honest dogfight? There will probably never be another ace ... not enough targets because nobody wants to play our game. We've been using fighters as bombers instead.

So little countries that can't afford to train and equip air superiority wings might very well be able to buy combat UAVs (UCAV or CUAV). It has been demonstrated in exercises that, while a large, advanced, powerfully-armed fighter might have an advantage over a little lightly-armed one in one-on-one combat, a swarm of little ones against a big one will kill the big one, which is the most salient target. And a swarm of deadly little CUAVs up against an invading group of fighter-bombers would have the advantage. The things would not need to be particularly smart: kill the big guy, 'cause we don't have those. Defending interceptors don't need particularly long range and they can be specialized for the defense role. There is no recurring cost of training pilots. Just keep these things in storage until things heat up and let them loose. The cost savings are very attractive to third world countries.

At which point, we'd have to play, not because of the cost savings to us, but to retain our advantage.

palladin9479
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by palladin9479 »

You couldn't put them too far out though, the delay in communication from a ground based station via satcomm would be too much for target selection and acquisition and you absolutely do not want to give an autonomous device the ability to select it's own targets and kill them. That is one of those armchair general type ideas that come from the same place as "super soldiers who can't disobey an order", bad things will always happen in the end. I foresee it more as an airborne command and control vehicle receiving sensor information from the drone swarm and then relaying targeting information to them. That vehicle could be miles upon miles away, as long as there is LoS for direct radio communication then your good. Doesn't even need to be constant communication, receive sensor info, issue target list and AI program, then go radio silent and watch.

The human isn't needed for the dog fighting but for making real time decisions. Our AI is no where close enough to compete with a humans in an unbounded scenario, and if it was I would be very worried about turning it on and creating a "Skynet" scenario.

Skipjack
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Skipjack »

I think that this video here demonstrates pretty well how a networked team of multiple manned and unmanned AVs works together to destroy enemy defenses. This is a rather specific scenario, but I cant see why other scenarios could not be handled with drones in a similar fashion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A85Czh9KexI

Skipjack
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Skipjack »

I think that I have posted this video before. It illustrates quite nicely the cost difference between manned and unmanned systems and why UAVs are so effective through attrition of enemy air defenses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPl_xKPI_5w

Diogenes
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Re: Since we had this discussion about UAVs and F22s etc...

Post by Diogenes »

‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

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