Autonomous Drones Are Now Deploying at a U.S. Air Force Base
Security is a big concern when it comes to the military, and the powers that be, have no shortage of impressive cutting-edge technologies that they can use to achieve this goal. We recently wrote about using dog robots to patrol Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida. Now Travis Air Force Base in California is testing autonomous drones to protect what is going on at the military site from prying eyes.
“Air force bases are sprawling installations that can be problematic to secure,” Ido Gur, CEO of Easy Aerial, the company that provides the drone solution, told Digital Trends. “Perimeters extend over many kilometers and have to be constantly monitored on foot or by vehicle. If a security camera detects a violation or a sensor alarm is triggered, it can take up to 15 minutes for staff to arrive at the site. Our UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are deployed automatically within seconds of an alarm being triggered, and basic security can keep an eye on the scene within minutes. “
Easy Aerial used two types of custom drone technology at Travis Air Force Base. One is connected UAVs, while the other drones are used in free-flight mode with autonomous take-offs and landings from weatherproof base stations. These can either be strategically placed around the base or mounted on vehicles.
“When motion, vibration or optical sensors are triggered along a perimeter, the closest system is automatically triggered within seconds and flies to the trigger location at a speed of up to 100 km / h,” said Gur. “Or in the case of the connected system, it will automatically take off and enlarge the location in question.”
This collaboration between Easy Aerial and the 60th Air Mobility Wing, the 60th Security Forces Squadron, is reportedly the first automated drone-based surveillance and perimeter security system used for a U.S. Air Force installation. If everything goes according to plan on this first mission, the hope is to roll out similar technology to other U.S. air force bases next year.
“We are currently in the first operational phase [of the deployment] This consists of support, training, logistics and system interoperability within the [Department of Defense] Operating environment, ”said Gur. “From there we will make Travis AFB fully functional. Several USAF Air Mobility Command bases and the Air Force Security Forces Center are investigating additional applications, including critical infrastructure and aircraft inspection, fire fighting, asset protection, incident monitoring, and surveillance. “