Capability, safety are drivers for unmanned technology

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Lora Weiss discusses how unmanned technology is changing both the shape and missions of airborne systems. Removing the human from air vehicles already has significantly changed the types of missions that can be undertaken by aircraft. In the future, it is likely that removing the human will have even more dramatic and far-reaching impacts on the design, operation and missions of airborne systems. Budget constraints and mission growth will also be factors expanding UAV adoption. The Navy projects a UCAS could cost about half that of its new Lockheed Martin F-35 manned fighter, and recently the service has asked its leaders to consider reducing procurement of the F-35 to free up money to buy unmanned platforms. In very small UAVs, hybrid approaches to power will be exploited, enabling dash modes, cruising and gliding. Because these UAVs must be small and light, they will likely be single-purpose. Expect to see clusters of vehicles, a mix of different single-purpose UAVs, individually carrying different sensors and payloads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
Specialist publicationAviation Week and Space Technology (New York)
StatePublished - Oct 24 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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