The U.S. defense budget might be headed downward in general, but not for select technologies determined to be critical for the nation's warfighting efforts. Among these critical technologies are unmanned vehicles -- surveillance and weapon systems that operate autonomously on the ground, in the air, on the water, and beneath the seas. U.S. military leaders maintain that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and unmanned surface vessels (USVs) will play a central role in tasks such as aerial surveillance and target detection, mine detection and disposal, anti-submarine warfare, ground surveillance, and helping haul military gear into and out of war zones. Proliferation of unmanned vehicles in the nation's military arsenal means growing demand for sensor payloads, on-board digital signal processing, navigation and guidance, and many more sensor and embedded computing technologies.
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